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What are the best places for diving value?

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by CODMAN, Jan 4, 2007.


    CODMAN Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Hi all, forgive me if this topic has already been posted; I did a quick search and came up with nothing, so decided to post it hoping it would be interesting for others also.

    I was just wondering to myself, what are the best value dive destinations in the world today? Obviously, this will depend on lots of things amongst which proximity, airfare, actual on-site costs, what your particular diving interests are, etc... But still, I think this could be fuel for a good discussion!

    So if you'd like to, please feel free to give your highly ranked dive destinations for value, generally where you are based (so we can get an idea how much airfare cost is; diving Yap must be a great deal if you live there!!!) and a short description why you consider it a great value!

    I'll give it a try...

    Basically, Roatan (had a quick trip there last october) was an awesome value for me. Being in Canada, the airfare was relatively cheap for a Caribean destination. Also, the diving packages were awesome: 3 dives a day, all inclusive packages for cheaper I've seen anywhere. And the reefs were in good health with tons of marine life! It was simply tons of great diving for cheap! Only down side to it was that I personally like big pelagics, and there were very few to be seen on the south side. But there was plenty of all the rest to compensate!

    So that is my value, based on my very limited experience. I'd love to read others oppinions on this!

  2. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    Yes, you are right- it absolutely depends on where you are starting your journey. Your and my favorite value- Roatan, can be a nightmare for our wet & cold buddies from the Pacific Northwest due to flight arrangements.

    It also depends on what someone is really looking for.

    Do you really want 4 and five dives each day? Or are you a two, maybe somedays three, preferring a little sunning, shopping and late night partying? Most people cannot really admit/say/post what they are really looking for out of their vacation. We see questions here all the time of this nature, but it really depends on what kind of diving people want, what quantity of diving (versus non-dive diversions).

    That said, if it is to be dive-dive-dive, with the accent on best value? (defining value as a clean place to sleep with access to a well run dive op)... here's my list...

    Caribbean: ROATAN, CoCoView; TOBAGO, Blue Waters Inn, RedM Dive; BONAIRE, you really can't go wriong! LIVEABOARD: Nekton fleet, any itinerrary. Nothing is cheap in terms of liveaboards nearby the USA, so you get what you pay for! They run Belize, Cayman, and outer Bahamas.

    Galapagos: Liveaboards are a delight, but best value is land based. Why travel all that distance just to see the same thing you can see land based, then miss the beauty of island tours? Best Land based is SUBA Iguana. Figure land based to be at 35% of the cost of a liveaboard.

    Red Sea: Any of the British clientelle liveaboards that pull out of Sharm. Day dive? See Camel Dive or Red Sea College of Diving

    South Pacific: See the same kinds of critters for cheap, but do it in the Philippines. Check out Hotel Atlantis properties.

    Maldives: Now less frequented by the Europeans, still a great place to see larger critters. The liveaboards are the only way to go, but they are reasonable.

    Again... People have to understand what they want. You can go to Coz, you can go to Belize. Two way different vacations. It's the same ocean, less than 100 miles apart, but each caters to a different crowd... entirely!
  3. Diver Dennis

    Diver Dennis Solo Diver

    Personally, I love Asia, although I'm leaving for Mexico on Monday.
  4. Kupu

    Kupu Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NC
    I spend 4-5 months each year some place nice and tropical where diving is good value. For me cost per dive is the number one factor for defining value, since I have to stretch my limited funds to make my lifestyle work. I look for places where I can spend an average of $50 per day for 2 dives, a place to stay, and food. I do carry all my gear so I don't pay rental fees. I factor in airfare as part of the daily cost, which means the longer I stay the cheaper the daily cost for airfare becomes. My homebase is in the mountains of NC. Of course, since I can't stay under water 24/7 friendly people, good nightlife, etc are also very important to making my decision.

    Southeast Asia is my favorite destination. Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines are places that I have very good diving for my buck. But the Philippines is by far my best find so far. There are so many different places to dive there, and all types of diving can be found. I am never at a loss to find somewhere to go diving, and great people there also.

    It has been a while since I have visited the Bay Islands in Honduras but on a price per dive basis it was a great deal. Roatan and Utila were fun places to spend time, with Roatan perhaps having a bit better diving but a bit more expensive.
  5. Ber Rabbit

    Ber Rabbit Floppy Ear Mod ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    LOL! I would say Tobermory, Ontario but you might not get the same value we do since we have the currency advantage. Still, the boats aren't nearly as expensive as they were when we were in Florida. We get quite a lot in Tobermory for $250 US.

    It's a 12 hour drive for us to get there from Ohio. I can be in Panama City in 12 hours or in Kittyhawk, NC in 12 hours as well. Tobermory has better prices on the diving.
    Ber :lilbunny:

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