Top 5 Dive Spots
#1 – Zanzibar, Tanzania
Here’s the problem…when you start with perfection, it’s hard to improve.
See, I got my PADI dive license while chilling out in Zanzibar. Known as the “Disneyland of Diving,” Zanzibar was the perfect place to learn with clear blue waters and tons of fabulous colors and fish.
I was also the only one taking the course at the swanky 5-star hotel (a short walk on the beach from my very quaint family-owned place). I had 2 days of instruction in the pool, plus loads of reading, before heading to the open ocean for my final tests.
My instructor, Lorna, was super patient, and all was good. I even did well on my underwater compass test where you need to swim out 50 or so feet and find your way back to the boat with only your compass (slightly never-racking).
On my 4 open water dives, we saw rock fish (deadly!) and lion fish, sea snakes, Moray eels, plus a few sharks.
The ocean was literally teaming with fish.
# 2 – Ambergris Caye, Belize
I next headed to Belize – another world famous dive spot – to check out the Blue Hole.
The Blue Hole is known for its super deep water, not something on only my second time out – and a full 6 months after my first maiden dive – I wanted to try.
So my travel / dive buddy Clara and I opted out and instead headed to some local spots off of Ambergris Caye, where we did some cavern and tunnel diving. Pretty good visibility – all the better to see the mass of nurse sharks swimming in the bloody waters surrounding us.
- For more on this stupid-scary story read: Swimming with Sharks ….all 18 of ‘em
#3 – Corn Islands, Nicaragua
This is the same Central American trip with Clara where we decided to blow half our wad and fly from Managua to the Corn Islands, some totally remote and fairly undiscovered islands off the East Coast of the country.
The Corn Islands had only just received their first paved road a couple of years before and supposedly was the next Roatan (Honduras). It was a very cool place, but I diving equipment seems a bit old and dodging (even though it was a PADI outfit).
But hey, we survived!
One of the coolest things we saw was a black coral forest, large schools of fish and some barracuda. I admit, my favorite part of diving, is being surrounded by a massive school of fish
We also went to a spot call Blowing Rock, smack dab in the middle of the ocean where we saw huge spotted rays that were magnificent. I had seen smaller golden rays swimming in pyramid formation in the Amazon that were also way cool …. But I digress.
We saw nurse, black tip and white tip sharks, ginormous parrot fish, and puffer fish. Certainly worth the effort getting to this remote locale.
Which diving adventures didn’t make it into my top list:
Red Sea, Egypt
So bummed! I had heard great things about diving the Red Sea and expected this to be the highlight of my trip to Egypt’s Sinai. We dove around an abandoned pipeline, never my favorite to dive man-made structures. Although we did get to walk to the diving from the shore and saw a cool underwater “Japanese garden.”
Kas, Turkey, Mediterranean Sea
Launching from the Turkish Riveria, we boated a stone’s throw away from the bay and dove a downed airplane. While the plane was purposely put there for divers, it was still eerie.
Also went on the underside of a fish farm, but I’m pretty sure all the sentiment we were swimming through was fish poop that was escaping from the nets above us.
What about you divers out there — What are your favorite dive spots?