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Seeking suggestions for "best diving" + "most affordable" dive destinations!

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by GR8FUL, May 8, 2019.

  1. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    One of my good dive buddies, lives on the other side of the world from me, with very easy access to the Red Sea. My buddy loves going to stay at Camel Divers Resort in Sharm. My buddy says the diving is just as good from shore and I heard similar from two fabulous diver/photographers that I met on a lob in Raja Ampat. Again, just hearsay but I've no reason to doubt them, though the photogs loved the little stuff, my Turkish buddy doesn't (yet).
  2. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Try Blackbeards if you're interested in another liveaboard - it's like camping at sea. I think it's $995 for the week plus the flight to Nassau.
    Blackbeard's Cruises Official Website - Bahamas Dive Liveaboards

    Should see a lot of sharks, there's obviously wall dives and there's a few drift dives they mention - one IIRC is called the Washing Machine for a reason.

    You could also hop over to Grand Bahama for a 2nd week. Find something moderately inexpensive in Port Lucaya (notice I did not say cheap) b/c several of the operators are based there. Again more wall diving, sharks, UNEXSO does a canned shark or dolphin dive. Go out with Epic or one of the other operators to Tiger Beach and mix it up with the apex predators.

    Food will be high and it's all boat diving. Maybe Bell Channel Inn could be a reasonable option - they have their own dive boat.
  3. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    I dove the Red Sea last year, it’s great but very busy and there are divesites with trash, broken glass, cans etc. There is a serial issues on reefs with ‘babywipes’ As people flush them even though there are repeated notifications not to. The liveaboards all dump their bilge/toilet holding tanks into the oceans, often over divesites so the problem endures.

    I’ll go back to the Red Sea for sure, but if you have ‘anywhere in th world’ at your disposal it has to be Indonesia for sure..
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  4. GR8FUL

    GR8FUL Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Agree that Cozumel (especially doing it as you described) would likely be the cheapest (and certainly easiest!) destination for me, especially coming from Florida. However, I spent 10 days there last year (dove with Tres Pelicanos), so I'm looking for something different.
  5. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    Philippines - Tubbataha Reef by liveaboard only would be for you. Unfortunately, there is a season and that is late March to early June. It's almost all wall diving with the exception of the tops of the atolls. There are many, many sharks there, along with some possible manta sightings, and WHALE SHARKS that come by naturally with no feeding. Unfortunately, there is no night diving here allowed. Not much macro here.

    Outside of that, I would suggest the Red Sea, doing the Brothers/Daedalus/Elphinstone itinerary by liveaboard. Also primarily wall diving. Oceanic white tips. Nothing macro based.

    You will find that there are many liveaboards available in the Red Sea. There is a lot of competition in this area and that keeps prices low and the quality of the boats are quite nice.

    These two countries, along with Thailand, have some of the cheapest liveaboard diving on a per day basis but some of the best diving given the cost.

    If you can handle homestays and very budget no AC and maybe not even 24 hour electricity accommodations, Raja Ampat homestays might be of interest to you.
    flyboy08 likes this.
  6. eisenhauer

    eisenhauer Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Calgary, Canada
    We learned to dive as a family about 13 years ago in Roatan...loved WEST END (not West BAY) for it's layback, backpacker vibe and cost. After some 20 dives, we were down to $25/dive which on one hand is a great deal, but on the other hand...one has to ask what they pay their DMs who were all terrific. Anyway, we rented VRBOs for a weekly rate, but there are lots of great cheap rooms or cottages in town, next to dive shops. Hopefully the reef is still pretty good...heard it was not too bad compared with other locations.

    Having said this, we did Raja Ampat for ten days on AMIRA liveaboard a few years ago plus nine days in north Sulawazi (Bunakan and Lembeh for muck diving) with Two Fish Divers, which was all great. If I had the flight points and four weeks to holiday, I'd be back in a blink. Loved Misol area in south Raja. There are lots of homestays now and good details online to book these.
    FezUSA and chillyinCanada like this.
  7. aviator8

    aviator8 Professional Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    Philippines is always easy on the wallet and diving is great there. I see you have been there though. Raja Ampat would be high on my list but getting there is a chore and probably not achievable only on miles.
  8. grantwiscour

    grantwiscour Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kona Coast, Big Island of Hawaii
    Check out United's Island Hopper flights. Dive Micronesia: Palau, Truk, Majuro, Guam and more.

    Great diving and strong value.
    aviator8 likes this.

    MOABCHICK Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Arvada, CO
    I am gonna second Doc's suggestion of Galapagos. Diving with Scuba Iguana - land based on Puerto Ayora. It's not the cheapest for the diving, but everything else there is pretty cheap! If you bring your own gear and book multiple days, the price comes down. Now, I'm almost 50, and I was there with my husband and 2 teenage kids getting them certified. But every day, on the boat, there were fun people from all different countries staying at backpacking type places, and meeting up in the evening for fun. The diving was amazing. Sharks (including hammerheads), turtles, huge schools, manta and mobula rays, huge dolphin pods, and the stars of the show - the sea lions! OMG they are so much fun in the water!!! They put on shows for you! The only downside is no coral. The sea life MORE than makes up for it.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  10. GR8FUL

    GR8FUL Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Thx for all the replies and suggestions, you've all def given me lots to think about. Wish last--minute flights weren't so expensive, I'm ready to go somewhere now! Kinda worried about going to places like Raja, Komodo, etc., 'cause sounds like after diving locations there everything else will pale in comparison and I'll be ruined for life in terms of diving more easily accessible locations!
    chillyinCanada likes this.

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