The festive season is a time where many kick back in a beautiful destination and relax as much as possible. Not scuba divers, though. Scuba divers travel great distances to often remote destinations, go to bed at a reasonable time every night, and wake up in the early morning hours. While this idea of a vacation might not appeal to everyone, there’s no arguing that it is probably the most exciting way a diver can spend their Christmas holiday.
If you’re looking to finish off your year on a high note, consider doing one of these incredible adventure dives over the festive season:
1. Sistema Dos Ojos, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Located South of Playa Del Carmen and North of Tulum, Dos Ojos is a flooded cave system that spans across at least 61km and boasts incredible visibility. Here divers can expect to see blue/green caverns with intricate stalactite formations and a variety of marine life. This site is also known for a record-breaking 150m freedive. Don’t worry if you’re not a certified cave diver, there are also shallower cenotes that you can dive.
2. Great Blue Hole, Belize
Visibility: 15 – 30m
A two-hour boat ride away from Caye Caulker Island or San Pedro, this submarine sinkhole was formed during the last ice age. The Great Blue Hole is 300m wide and 124m deep and is made of karst limestone formations that have eroded into ledges, multicoloured stalactites and stalagmites, and submerged caves. You can also expect to see giant groupers, nurse sharks, Caribbean reef sharks and other fish that shelter between the steep walls. However, you need an Advanced Diver certification to dive here.
If you’re not afraid of a little cold, then this dive is for you. Located in the Thingvellir National Park, the Silfra rift is the only place in the world where you can dive between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Head through the -4°C water to a 600m cave on one side or a tiny tunnel on the other where divers need to descend 16m head-first down the passage. Don’t forget to enter Silfra Cathedral and admire the breathtaking view.
4. Great White Wall, Taveuni, Fiji
Depth: Up to 45m
Visibility: 15 – 40m
Just off Taveuni Island, you will find a world-class sloping wall that descends into the dark depths. It is covered not only in lavender-coloured soft coral but also in various hard coral and reef fish species. This popular dive site is worth at least a few dives and you might even see a few batfish or barracuda that hang around the area.
One of the world’s top wreck dives, the SS Thistlegorm was a British transport ship measuring at 128m long. After being attacked at sea, it sunk in 1941 on its way from Glasgow to Alexandria. At the time it was carrying rifles, motorbikes, trucks, trailers, radios, armoured cars and an assortment of other items. Divers can dive down to look at all the rusted cargo as well as take a look at the large hole where the German bomb hit the ship.
These are only a few of the amazing dive sites around the world, but there are endless sites to explore. Some people prefer wrecks, some prefer reefs, and others prefer big game. Regardless of where you scuba dive festive season, each dive is guaranteed to be an adventure in itself.