As pirates, we like to travel not only on land, but also underwater. 🐚 Are you fascinated by diving and snorkelling?
From colourful coral formations, underwater forests and and sunken ships to sharks, whales, and other sea animals - every diver has their favourites and thanks to the vast underwater world on Earth, there is always something new to discover. Let us inspire you! Join us as we dive into the sea (and other waters). Because we're spoilt for choice, we've put together a list of some of our favourite dive sites just for you! 😍
The vibrancy of the coral and fish life in the Red Sea is unparalleled, especially in South Sinai. Famous dive sites such as the Blue Hole, also known as the world's most dangerous dive site; Shark Reef, a reef that drops 750 metres into the sea; and Thistlegorm, one of the world's most famous shipwrecks, attract divers from all over the world to the Sharm El-Sheikh area. However, South Sinai is not just for experienced divers, it is the perfect place to learn to dive. This is because many of the beautiful reefs are in shallow water and easy to access from land, there is little current in the Red Sea, and the water temperature does not fall below 21 °C, making diving enjoyable all year round.
🏴☠️ Pirate Tip: We recommend Sukoon Guest House and Red Sea Tribe and Scuba Seekers dive centres in Dahab, both of which are quiet and centrally located.
The islands of the Maldives offer some of the most incredible diving in the world. Drift diving is the most popular form of diving in the Maldives, where you let the current take you along the reefs. It's an incredible experience as you are almost flying! The reefs in the Maldives are still very much intact, as the conservation of rare species and the protection of the reefs are very important here. This is one of the reasons why there are more large and small fish here than anywhere else in the world. Water temperatures are ideal all year round, but the best time to dive is between October and April.
🏴☠️ Pirate Tip: Check out the fantastic Fihalhohi water bungalows, which also available with flights and all-inclusive basis!
The Galapagos Islands are made up of 13 main islands, 6 smaller islands and 40 islets. Due to their remote location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they have developed their own ecosystem full of unique underwater creatures - including Galapagos tortoises, blue-footed boobies and Galapagos sharks. Sea lions, hammerhead sharks, sunfish and incredible schools of fish also characterise the underwater world of the islands. One of the most famous and popular destinations is Wolf & Darwin - a challenging dive site full of whale sharks, dolphins, sea lions and other shark species. Due to the whale sharks, which are mainly seen between July and December, this period is considered the high season. Incredible underwater experiences can be had all year round in the Galapagos, so we don't recommend any particular time of year.
From cave diving to colourful coral reefs, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is the place to be for divers. The diving conditions are perfect, even for beginners. However, the cenote cave system is considered the diving highlight of the Yucatan - not least because it is one of the most unique dive sites in the world. Here you will discover the remains of the Mayan culture that once inhabited these caves. They saw the cave labyrinths as the gateway to another life and used them regularly for ceremonies and rites. Basically, diving in the Cenotes is not challenging as the freshwater is very calm and dives are usually made at 5 to 10 metres. However, beginners who are uncomfortable in the dark or who tend to panic in confined spaces should consider whether a cenote dive is right for them. Cenotes can be dived all year round, but the light conditions are best from May to September.
🏴☠️ Pirate Tip: Playa del Carmen and Tulum are the best starting points for cenote diving. If you prefer to see colourful corals and fish in the sea, Cozumel Island has the best diving!
Raja Ampat (translated as 'Four Kings') is an archipelago in the Indo-Pacific west of New Guinea and is home to some of the most diverse and intact coral reefs in the world. Around 80% of the flora and fauna of the world's underwater world is found in Raja Amat. The reefs are close to shore and chances are you'll be alone on your dive - Raja Ampat is usually visited by only a few liveaboard boats. Huge manta rays, tuna, napoleon wrasse, turtles, dolphins, coral formations and forests characterise Raja Ampat. The climate and water temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year. Manta rays are best seen from September to April. By the way: Night dives in Raja Ampat can even see the rare 'walking shark'.
🏴☠️ Pirate Tip: Stay and dive at Kri Island Eco Resort.
The Komodo Marine National Park, which lies between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores in Indonesia, is also one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. From colourful coral reefs to large fish and rare macro-animals, the 55 dive sites in the Komodo Marine Park offer something for every experienced diver. The currents here can be quite strong at times, making it a little dangerous for novice divers. Safaris to Komodo National Park can also be easily booked from Flores or other islands, and some of the most popular sites include Castle Rock, Batu Bolong and Manta Point.
The coral island of Pamilacan is a secluded paradise just south of Bohol. As well as beautiful coral formations in the marine reserve on the north-west side of the island, dolphins and the occasional whale shark and manta ray can often be seen. Also, nearby is Snake Island, a sunken island where regulars include butterfly fish, scorpion fish, white tip reef sharks and sea snakes. The best time to dive Pamilikan is from March to June, but resident dolphins and small whales can be seen all year round.
Coron Bay is considered one of the best wreck diving areas in the world. The largest and most impressive wreck is the Kyokuzan Maru, which is approximately 168 m long and lies to the north-east of Busuanga. Inside, you'll find cars and trucks from the Japanese navy. And if you're ever on Coron, don't miss the unique Barracuda Lake. Due to the mixture of fresh and salt water, the temperature fluctuates so much that divers can feel completely different temperatures on each side of their body. The barren landscape in the depths of the lake is a truly unique experience!
Protea Banks Shark Territory is a must for those who love the real thrill of diving. The reef is located about 7 km off the coast of Shelly Beach and can only be dived on the south or north side due to strong currents. The best time to see sharks is between November and May, but this is also when the currents are strongest. Visibility is usually not very good (15 metres maximum) and you are diving in the deep blue without any landmarks, which means you could suddenly have a 6-metre hammerhead next to you!
Diving with sharks at Protea Banks is an unforgettable experience, but really only recommended for experienced divers.
More shark encounters await you around Cape Town. Cow and blue sharks, dancing seals and magical kelp forests are the order of the day. The best dive sites are Duiker Island, where you can spot curious fur seals, the SS Mendi, a historic shipwreck dating back to 917, and of course the famous kelp forests of False Bay, a magical underwater landscape of dense vegetation.
Liveaboard boats go deep out to sea for most of these dives. The water is quite cold and currents are often strong, making many of Cape Town's dive sites quite challenging.
So, we hope your diving bucket list is now full. Of course, there are countless other beautiful places to dive. 🐠