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Great Location for Diving PLUS Other Tourist Fun

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by Carey Noll Miller, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Carey Noll Miller

    Carey Noll Miller Garibaldi

    I'm looking for an amazing dive vacation. We have a group of four... two will want to dive every day, including a night dive. Would love to see sharks / whale sharks. The other two will want to dive every other day but need a place where they would feel safe going off on their own for land fun.

    Any ideas? I've googled and googled. Came up with great dive locations, but am unsure about the safety of the area or the ease of getting to land-based attractions:

    Roatan - we went here on a cruise but the area did NOT seem safe. Traffic cops had MP5s and there was barbed wire surrounding the dive complex.

    Thailand / Blue Guru

    Dominican Republic

    The Red Sea

    Palau Pacific



    Any thoughts or ideas you may have would be greatly appreciated!
  2. diversteve

    diversteve mod

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Phoenix
    The likelihood of seeing a Whaleshark off Roatan is slim. For that you need to go to Utila. In spring. And it's snorkel only. On our boat we did 2-3 dives daily then went looking for them. Over 3 days we found/snorkeled with six. Utila is pretty small though, not a lot else to do there. Personally I'd be bored there if it weren't for the great diving. It's also a backpacking mecca so there's a lot of cheap accommodations. If you stay out at the resorts, you'll access town via boat - so they're probably pretty safe. And somewhat isolated.

    Google Deep Blue Utila for one option - they also explain optimum times for seeing Whalesharks. I've stayed there, it's nice.

    We spent a week on Curacao and dove 4x day. Never saw a shark - not even a nurse shark. A couple of Dolphins though. There aren't any whalesharks there either. There are some non-dive things to do there, shopping downtown, the ostrich farm, hiking, the Seaquarium etc.

    You can dive (too deep to snorkel) with Whalesharks in south Belize off Gladden Spit in late spring/early summer. Either from the Placencia area or any number of land or atoll based resorts. Some of the landbased resorts in the Hopkins area might be a good fit as they have access to the Mayan ruins, jungle tours, nature preserves, cave tubing etc. - something that might meet the "land fun" requirement.

    Google Splash Divers Belize for options - including bundled packages. They have some non-dive options also IIRC. Or Hamanasi or Roberts Grove for something a little nicer. There's also a couple of Coppola resorts there, Turtle Inn and Blancaneux Lodge <- not beachfront though.

  3. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives:
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year with
    Traffic cops on Roatan do not carry MP5's, they can't afford them. They usually have revolvers and do not accept coupons.

    None of those places are anything like Florida.

    What would make them feel safe?
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  4. robint

    robint Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    CArol - I think your first place to search is on Dive Travel websites:

    Scuba Diving Vacations - Caradonna Dive Adventures

    Island Dreams Travel scuba diving vacations, cozumel scuba diving, dive travel, dive resorts, diving trips

    Bay Adventures :: Dive Adventures and Island Vacations :: 888.599.3483

    these companies due high volume of trip bookings, they hear good and bad first hand, and can steer you in the direction of the trip you want.

    As others have said... the chance of seeing a whale shark anywhere in the world is pretty iffy.... they are very unpredictable, to say the least. They do come to Holbox Mexico in late summer and people are allowed to snorkel only with them.
    Sharks.... best bet to see real sharks in their environment is to do a liveaboard. That doesn't sound like what you are looking for though. Unless dive ops are chumming the water (very unsafe, IMHO) then you are never guaranteed a shark on any dive.

    Considering what you said you are looking for - I would recommend maybe going to Hawaii. You would feel safe, decent chance of smaller sharks, dolphins, and turtles as well as fishlife. Then you have topside activities galore. Kona and Maui are both good options. On Kona you could also do the night manta dive.... worth the trip there just for that!
    "The Best Snorkel and Scuba Dive Shop in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii: Jack's Diving Locker"
    Scuba Dive Lanai, Molokini, Maui and Hammerhead Sharks | Lahaina Divers

    If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, then I would look at Cozumel Mexico. Really is safe there, flights directly into and out, and great diving at a cheaper price than other places in Carib.
    check out one of my trip reports: Cozumel - April 2010

    or watch one of my videos from Cozumel:

  5. pholife

    pholife Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: In Transit
    HI I'm writing you from beautiful Bayahibe, Dominican Republic.
    Here with Coral Point Diving we can offer you an affordable dive vacation with many many options for non-diving excursions. Bayahibe is a great place and very easily accessed from the states. Much less toursty than some of the places you might encounter and offers some amazing diving and other activities.

    Please feel free to PM me through scuba board or email at CoralPointDiving@gmail.com


    Coral Point Diving
    Bayahibe, Dominican Republic

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