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Namale Resort

Namale Resort is a scuba diving destination on the north island of Vanua Levu. There are 22 private bures and villas set out on a 525-acre former coconut plantation. There are garden bures, ocean view bures, Honeymoon bures, villas, and Luxury grand villas with 2 bedrooms. It’s the perfect adults only get away. Furthermore, if you need more privacy, you can rent out the entire Namale Resort. So, each accommodation has complimentary wifi, private deck, and mini fridge. Enjoy our blog article on Experience the Fiji Firewalkers of Beqa Island.

Namale Resort Diving

Namale Dive is the onsite scuba diving center. The Namale Pearl is parked at the private cove and waiting to take you almost anywhere in this region of the soft coral capital. Here, you can arrange multiple day 2-tank packages. In addition, rental gear and enriched air are also available. Some of the top destinations near the Namale Resort are the Namena Marine Reserve, Purple Gardens, Lepper’s Wall, and more. So, most divers visit here to view the kaleidoscope of several hundred soft coral species colors. However, Ribbon eels, clownfish, and juvenile coral trout along with 1,000 other species of fish put on a daily colorful display. Oh, and don’t forget the 500 species of uniquely shaped and colored mollusks. Finally, the turtles, sharks, and sea snakes avail themselves for the perfect photo/image opportunity.

Attractions and Activities

For indoor options, Namale Resort has a Spa, fitness center, an oceanfront basketball court, billiards, darts, a bowling alley, and private lounges. To enjoy time outside, there are two resort pools, hot tubs, a 9-hole golf course, and a tennis and volleyball area. Outside, you can go kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, or go on a reef walk. Tours to waterfalls, villages, game fishing, and sandbar picnics are also arranged.

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St. Lucia

St. Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island. Scuba diving offers varied experiences because the island lies between the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. Arawak Indians in 200AD named it Louanalao, meaning Island of the Iguanas. Subsequently, in 800AD the Carib Indians arrived and assimilated their culture. Carib descent can still be found on island today. Similarly, Dutch, French and English settlers began arriving in the 1600s. The English took control in 1814. Inhabitants of the island derive from Indian, African and European cultures. Official language is English with Creole spoken locally.

Diving St. Lucia

Together with colorful reefs; walls, wrecks, slopes, pinnacles and canyons form the underwater world topography. Likewise, fringing reefs also allow for shore diving. There are 25 named dive sites. The majority are in the central to southern section of the country. They are protected by the Marine Park and Soufriere Marine Management Association. There are hundreds of marine species, invertebrates, crustaceans, sponges, soft and hard corals. Beyond, smaller marine inhabitants expect eels, sharks, rays and turtles.

St. Lucia scuba diving sites will satisfy all divers. Such as, the 165-foot freighter wreck Lesleen M home to soft coral, sponges, hydroids and many fish. Also, Pinnacles has four spectacular seamounts that rise dramatically from the depths. These structures shelter trumpet fish, filefish and seahorses. Besides hawksbill and green turtles, there are pillar coral as well as barrel sponges at Turtle Reef. The Anse La Raye wall highlights colorful reefs and is popular for underwater photography. Lastly, Rosemond’s Trench is a must dive. Expect valleys, trenches, a small tunnel all with seahorses, frogfish and turtles.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

Larger luxury resorts, small to upscale boutique hotels have appeal for all travelers. Especially, the Pitons are famous landmarks to explore. Each Piton has its own name: Gros Piton (at 2,530 ft high) and Petit Piton (at 2,438 ft high). Here, exotic plants and animals call the area home. Also, you can sail to see the Pitons from the water. Pigeon Island is a National Park and site of the British Fort Rodney. Next, visit the Folk Research museum in Castries. In Soufrière, see St. Lucia Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. Hike out to Toraille to cool off in the natural rainforest. Similarly, Edmund Forest Reserve is a must for its waterfalls, rushing streams and best views of the island. Beaches, hiking, ziplining, numerous day tours compliment scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming.

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St. Vincent & The Grenadines

St. Vincent & The Grenadines are a scuba diving destination in the Caribbean. The islands are 24 miles south of St. Lucia and 75 miles north of Grenada. 32 islands form the country and some are privately owned. The islands were formed by volcanic activity. Saint Vincent is the largest of the islands at 18 miles long and 11 miles wide. Moreover, it is home to Mt. Soufriere which rises 4,049ft above sea level and was last active in 1979. Fortunately, due to modern advanced warnings there were no casualties during the last eruption. Now we aren’t experts, but according to our math, the volcano shouldn’t become active again until sometime between 2056- 2120. As far as past history goes, Columbus named this island in 1498 much to the surprise of the indigenous native population.

By 1511 when the slave expeditions were given Spanish royal sanction, escaped and shipwrecked slaves from African known as “Garifuna” joined forces with the local natives. Together, they successfully kept the Spanish from taking over and decimating the local population as they had done on all the other surrounding islands. The French were the First Europeans to control St. Vincent followed by the British, then the French, and then the British again. In 1979 St. Vincent & The Grenadines became independent from the British. Enjoy our blog article: Scuba Diving Specialties: What is MUCK Diving?

Diving St. Vincent & The Grenadines

There are 67 scuba diving sites to visit here. Most of the beaches on St. Vincent have black sand and most of the beaches in the Grenadines have white sand. Because of the multitude of islands, there is almost a niche for every sea creature in the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean. St. Vincent & The Grenadines are called the critter capital of the Caribbean. From shrimps, flamingo tongue cowries, to dwarf frog fish, they have them all. Flying gunards, peacock flounder, lizardfish, and garden eels love the sandy area, and pelagics love the walls. So, one of the most popular scuba diving sites is The Cave. Here you enter a cave where bats are sequestered above and come out between a fissure to the reef.

Two locations near Fort Charlotte are The Steps to view a red lipped batfish and Bottle Reef to view rum bottles tossed from the 1806 completed fort. Anchor reef has swim throughs, New Guinea Reef at 100ft has black coral, and Tobago Cays is home to green sea turtles. If you want to discover a deserted island surrounded by sharks, then Mopion Reef will not disappoint you. Moreover, Bequia has a variety of sea life from sharks to seahorses. Drift diving around the coral is all the rage at Mustique. Now, for some dive sites the name says it all: The Wall, The Pinnacle, The Garden, and The Forest. For wreck divers there is The Capital Wrecks; a group of 3 and Mayreau Gardens with the 1918 British gunship called the Puruni.

Accommodations. Attractions, Activities

St. Vincent & The Grenadines have a variety of resorts, hotels, inns, as well as private island rentals. You may wish to visit the Bequia Maritime Museum or the St. Botanical garden. Above all, from 600ft up at Fort Charlotte you get a sweeping view and the Vermont Nature Trail is nearby. Besides scuba diving, you can go snorkeling in the Tabago Cays Marine Park. You might also like to take a guided tour up La Soufriere in search of the endemic Saint Vincent Parrot.  You can also tour the Dark View water falls or the Walliabou Heritage Park. Finally, did we mention that you can see the movie set/beach of The Pirates of the Caribbean movie: Curse of the Black Pearl?

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Tobago is the sister island in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.  They are the southernmost islands in the Caribbean. Many people work in Trinidad, but they take a 20min flight over to Tobago for the scenic beauty, scuba diving, ecotourism, or for a getaway vacation. So, Arawak, Caribs, Dutch, English, French, Spanish, and Swedish have all tried to control Tobago at one time or many times. More importantly, the natural mountain beauty of this 25-mile-long and 6.2-mile-wide island was recognized and preserved as a reserve back in 1776, making it the oldest reserve in the western world. The highest point is 1804ft at Pigeon Peak near Speyside. So, the southwest end of the island nears sea level and this area accumulates one third of the rainfall that permeates the mountain ridge. Enjoy our blob article on Tobago. The Less Known Dive Vacation Island.

Diving Tobago

There are plenty of fish to see while scuba diving in Tobago. The local waters receive nutrients from the nearby Orinoco River in Venezuela, South America. So, you may see mantas, whale sharks, scalloped hammerheads, dolphins and lots of fish around the coral reefs. On the wall dive you will see shrimp, crabs, and lobsters, as well as sea fans and sponges. There are swift drift dives on the southern end and pinnacles and canyons to explore on the north end of Tobago. Nearby Goat Island on the northern end near Speyside has several excellent dive sites too. There are a few wrecks to explore. Moreover, the M.V. Maverick is 350ft long and is the largest purposely sunk local wreck. Finally, there is a giant Goliath grouper, part of the grouper family, that lives here. Leatherback turtles come ashore from April to July.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

There are hotels, resorts, and inns around the island of Tobago. Many people come here to take a guided tour along the mountain ridge to see water falls or go birding. Little Tobago Island and St. Giles Island have nest colonies for sea birds. Frigate birds, Audubon’s shearwaters, and red billed tropic birds appear to be unfazed by the antics of binocular laden tourists gawking in the wild. Others come here to play golf or visit the old sugar mills and plantation ruins. So, besides hiking or biking, you could go swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, as well as scuba diving. Moreover, some tourists just come here for the steel drum music and the “creole style” crab and dumplings. The Disney movie “Swiss Family Robinson” was filmed here, and for some, Pirate Beach is the best place to keep a lookout on the horizon or just relax on the sand.

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St. Kitts

St. Kitts is an 18-mile-long, 5-mile-wide island in the West Indies. This scuba diving destination is just east of the Virgin Islands and west of Antigua. The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is separated by a 2mi wide channel called “The Narrows”. The Arawaks first settled the island 5-7 thousand years ago. They left many petroglyphs on the black lava rocks. The last eruption was 1620 years ago.  Some 1200 years before Columbus discovered St. Kitts on his second voyage, the warlike Caribs took over the surrounding islands.  So, the Spanish brought with them influenza, non-negotiable work programs, and unrelenting musket fire. Those Caribs that were left alive were wiped out by the French and English combined forces in 1626.  After that, the Europeans brought in slaves from Africa while they continued to fight with each other.

Above all, between 1493 t0 1825 over 400 ships due to winds and war slipped down beneath the nearby waters. Enjoy our blob article Sea Turtles; The Godfathers of Scuba Dive Magazines?

Diving St. Kitts

There are close to two dozen boat dives and numerous shore dives to try on the west “Caribbean” side of the island. Expect to see crusted cannon balls, anchor chains, and anchors while scuba diving here. At Paradise Reef you may see iron cannons, musket balls, and old pipes as well. A hurricane revealed a 1740 vintage troop carrier in White House Bay. Most likely it went down during the battle of Frigate Bay in 1782. Modern wrecks around St. Kitts include the River Taw a 144ft long freighter, the MV Talata freighter, and the tug Corinthian. There is a nice drift dive at Nags Head. The Caves off of Nevis is popular for grottoes and swim throughs. So, Bloody Bay Reef is the site of corals, sea fans and small caves with spiny lobsters. Some of the areas are still thermally warm.

In addition, stingrays like to rest in the sandy areas while a few sharks such as nurse sharks hang along the reefs. So, as for sea turtles, green turtles, hawksbill, and leatherbacks swim near the shores. Moreover, leatherbacks come ashore in St. Kitts in March thru May. Humpback whales cruise by here January thru April.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

St. Kitts has inns, hotels, and scuba diving resorts. Non-diving activities include horseback riding, golfing tennis and shopping in Basseterre. You can hike 4,000ft up Mt. Liamuiga to view wild flowers and vervet monkeys left from French troops 200 years ago. You might also be interested in viewing the St. Kitts National Museum and the Brimstone Hill Fortress; both are full of historical artifacts.

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Costa Rica

The Republic of Costa Rica “Rich Coast” is situated with Nicaragua above them and Panama below them. On the western side they have the Pacific Ocean and on the right side rests the Caribbean Ocean. Most of the scuba diving takes place in the Northwestern region of Guanacaste. However, new sites are opening on the lower east side south of Limón. Some 10,000 years ago hunter-gatherers first entered this tropical rain forested landscape. In 1808 they planted the first crop of coffee. Within 12 years it became the number one export crop. In 1948 they abolished the military and put all the budgeted funds into education and health. So, more than 10% of the local Ticos and Ticas over 18 speak English.

Above all, Costa Rica is where a typical local morning cup of coffee is considered by many to be one of the best cups of coffee in the world.

Diving the Regions of Costa Rica

The Gulf of Papagayo is the hot spot for scuba diving on day boats and/or while staying at resorts. From this region you can go up to the Bat Islands to dive with bull sharks, or go down to the Catalina Islands to see white tips and mantas. There are over 20-40 dive sites in this area. You may see 25 endemic species of fish, five species of sharks including whale sharks, rays turtles, dolphins, orcas, humpbacks, and pilot whales. Moreover, while scuba diving, keep an eye out for frogfish, seahorses, lobsters, and octopus. Costa Rica waters have arches, caves, walls, pinnacles, seamounts, drift dives, and a few wrecks.  Advanced diver certification is required for certain dive sites with swift currents. Farther south there is scuba diving around Cabo Blanco Island and three wrecks near Tortuga Island in the Gulf of Nicoya.

Liveaboard vessels can go out to Cocos Island and Caño Island from the Costa Rica’s mainland. Cocos Island has over 20 dive sites. Dirty Rock is the place to encounter hammerheads and rays. Manuelita has white tips. You may also see Galapagos sharks out here. Caño Island has similar wildlife, but on a smaller scale. This area is a biological Reserve therefore, only 5 dive sites are available to dive. So, the names Shark Cave, Coral Gardens, and Paradise, say it all. Enjoy our blog story: 110,000 Reasons to Go Liveaboard.

On the eastside, The Cahuita National Park has a few scuba diving sites to visit.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

Costa Rica’s resorts and hotels with scuba diving charter boat operations are the best way to visit most dive sites. However, to visit Cocos Island and Caño Island you will have to travel by liveaboard. Corcovado National Park is a must visit wildlife park and has all four species of Costa Rican monkeys. You may also like to take a hike and visit a volcano. Trapes through a rain forest to see a red eyed tree frog, or climb up to tree level heights and use a zip line to quickly traverse a forest. Some people prefer to visit a beach and/or go surfing, kayaking, or snorkeling. Finally, many Americans come here for medical treatments or just to retire on their pensions.

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Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands are east of Papua New Guinea, West of Fiji, and southwest of Hawaii. There are 992 islands out here and more than half are unoccupied. Melanesians first appeared on the islands over 30,000 years ago. So, scuba diving is a more a recent event. More importantly, around the islands are cuts, tunnels, caves, and the longest lagoon in the world.  Coral reefs and sandy flats make the perfect backdrops to take images of frog fish, ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses and small crustaceans. For many scuba diving activists this would be enough to fill a bucket list. However, the Solomon Islands became the host site for the battle of Guadalcanal in World War II. During 6 months of fighting, some 100 ships and 600 aircraft were destroyed, sunk, or damaged beyond repair.  Enjoy our blog article: Enjoy our blog story: 110,000 Reasons to Go Liveaboard

Diving the Solomon Islands

Morovo Lagoon is so large that it has inner islands of which some are man-made. Twin Tunnels are macro creature filled lava tubes where you can go down one and up the other. There are inland pools that cut through the jungle and break out into open water. Large pelagics are viewed around Mary Island and mantas like to roam Devils Highway. Around the Solomon Islands you’ll see soft corals, hard corals, cuttlefish, octopus, squat lobsters, crabs and more. Schooling fish include bigeye jacks, trevally, and bumphead wrasse. As for the war, the Imperial Japanese navy left transport ships, a submarine, supply ships, and even a flying boat. The Americans left bombers and a wildcat. When the Americans finally left the Solomon Islands they scuttled most military supplies at White Beach.

There is also the Wreck of the Ann and a couple of fishing boat wrecks to view. Arnavan Islands have a turtle reserve, so plan on seeing lots of hawksbill turtles.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

Liveaboards allow you to view the most dive sites at one time. There are some land-based resorts in the Solomon Islands, but you will have to fly between the islands to visit certain dive sites. Bring anti-malaria pills especially for times when you are near land. The Vilu War Museum and the American War museum are a must see. You can walk through a rain forest, encounter water falls, or swim in a river. If you have time, you can visit archaeological caves and see skulls collected by former head hunters. Finally, you can go to a local village market or purchase items right from their small craft to your big boat.

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Papua New Guinea

Some of the best locations for scuba diving in Papua New Guinea include Tawali, Tufi, Lissenung, and Walindi. So, humans first appeared in PNG some 50-70,000 years ago. There are over 840 spoken languages on this 2nd largest island in the world. They also have 730 species of birds including 41 species of the Bird of Paradise. Moreover, they have over 2200 species of reef fish. The war with the Imperial Japanese Empire also left lots of wrecks and artificial reefs to explore. This entire diving area is a Muck Divers dream come true. For more details, visit our blog articles: Papua New Guinea: Diving At The Edge of The World. Part One and Part Two.

Diving Papua New Guinea

Milne Bay area of Papua New Guinea

Tawali is a hand crafted resort where the House Reef has mandarin fish. So, Dinah’s Reef features frogfish, and Wahoo Point offers Hammerheads, minke whales, and whale sharks.

Collingwood Bay area of Papua New Guinea

Tufi Resort over sits a panoramic view of a fjord. The House Reef has WWII relics and seahorses. Blue Ribbon Reef has colorful eels. Clancy’s Reef has reef sharks including white hammerheads.

New Ireland Providence of Papua New Guinea

Lissenung Island Resort gives you a private island scuba diving feeling. The House Reef goes 2/3rds around the island and has 6 species of clown fish. Albatross Passage has large pelagics and Bermuda Drop has lots of colorful coral.

Kimbe Bay area of New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea

Walindi Plantation Resort has 40 scuba diving sites. Ingles Shoal and Ono’s Point are both spectacular seamounts. So, the MV Oceana also docks here after exploring the Bismarck Sea.

In addition, plane wrecks out here include a P38 lightning, B17 “Blackjack” Bomber. So, some ships wrecks include PT boats, a merchant ship, the Sanko Maru, and mini-submarine. Moreover, there is a Japanese freighter, PBY Catalina, torpedo bomber, Jake bomber, sub chaser, and Japanese Zero.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

These are all boutique resorts in far off exotic locations. Because of the time it takes to get out here, visitors to Papua New Guinea typically spend a week or two out here. Furthermore, these locations cater to serious divers, photographers, videographers, and wreck enthusiasts. You may have some contact with locals, but these locations are far away from mainstream tourist attractions. Activities are mostly water related and may include snorkeling, kayaking or paddle boarding depending on your destination. Above all, birding is the major activity exception. Many tourists come to Papua New Guinea just to see some 40 species of the Bird of Paradise. So, the other 700 species of birds are just icing on the cake.

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Australia (Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea)

Australia truly is a one of a kind country and the sixth largest continent. The geology of the land goes back 4.8 billion years.  Dinosaur fossils and prehistoric foot tracks are on display and gems such as opulent opals and spectacular sapphires can either be collected or purchased depending on the tour. Queensland is the scuba diving state and home of the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is the place to go for most liveaboard and day boat dive adventures. Osprey Reef has to be one of the most pristine and spectacular dive destinations in the Coral Sea. There are 1,500 species of fish and 400 species of coral out here. Enjoy our blog stories: Australia Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef and  110,000 Reasons to Go Liveaboard.

Diving Australia, Queensland, and the Coral Sea

Cairns is located up north towards the top of the Great Barrier Reef. This is the scuba diving gateway to such locations as Osprey Reef where the liveaboards go to view a dozen of the 125 species of sharks found in Australia. Moreover, there are dwarf minke whales, humpback whales, and dugongs. At North Horn, divers can view shark feeds being professionally fed. Pelagics such as Maori “Napoleon” wrasse, turtles, and rays hang out at False Entrance. Lizard Island is popular for day and night dives and from here it less than an hour to Cod Hole, part of the Ribbon Reefs, where professional divers feed Giant potato cod fish. Yonge Reef, Dynamite Passage, and Big Softy are also quite popular. Closer to Cairns, Australia are several other reefs to dive as well as the Lord Howe Island and the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs up by Port Douglas.

Townsville is home to Magnetic Island, the Whitsunday Islands, Heron Island, and Lady Elliot Island.  Just south of here is 358ft long passenger ship SS Yongala. She went down in 1911 The destroyer HMS Brisbane was purposefully sunk in 2005.

Brisbane on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef is home to Morton Island and North Stradbroke Island. You can do both day and night dives at Shag Rock. Gotham City, Cherub’s Cave and the Tagalooma Wrecks are great dives off of Morton Island.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

Liveaboards in Australia are the only way to see Osprey Reef and many of the outer islands in the Coral Sea. Inner Great Barrier Reef day trips can be arranged from some island resorts, and day trips can also be arranged from most major cities. Fossiking for gold, gems and laying on the beach are popular activities. Visiting aquariums such as Underwater World and Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo are great attractions. Many visitors like to spend a few days in Sydney before or after going up to Cairns in order to see the architectural master piece known as the Sydney Opera House and scenic surrounding harbor.

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Mariners Hotel

Mariners Hotel is a scuba diving destination in Arnos Vale on St. Vincent Island. The island is in the Caribbean Sea 120 miles west of Barbados. The hotel has 20 air conditioned rooms that range from standard, superior garden view, ocean view, up to Superior Deluxe Suite. At the higher end you have a furnished balcony, work desk with chair and seating area. So, most units have a refrigerator, kitchenette, plasma TV, cable TV, 110/220v, and ensuite bathroom. Ocean view rooms also have private balconies. Enjoy our blog article on Frogfish, The Overlooked Camouflage Artist.

Mariners Hotel Diving

Dive St. Vincent is the onsite scuba diving center. They have been in business since 1978. So, they do dive packages such as five day of diving with 2- tank dives a day. They use two dive boats. The Hotel is so close to the dive sites that they return to the hotel between most dives. Their specialty here at Mariners Hotel and Dive St. Vincent is muck diving, which means macro photography diving or looking for small creatures such as shrimp and frogfish. The black volcanic sand at some dive sites make for the best macro photography backgrounds. St. Vincent is considered the critter capital of the Caribbean. Frogfish, bat fish lizardfish, cowries, conch, and flamingo tongues are all waiting to model for you.

Some of the local dive sites include Critter Corner, Orca Point, Pinnacle, Layou Wall, Coral Castle, Turtle Bay, Bat Cave, New Guineas Reef, and Bottle Reef. Not to mention the Capital Wrecks. Furthermore, the island of Canouan has soft corals, Mayreau has coral gardens, Bequi has seahorses, and Mustique is a great place to drift dive.

Attractions and Activities

The French Veranda Restaurant is the place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So, they have two chefs always mixing culinary delights and presenting fine wines. You have to try the curry conch, and just about any fresh grilled fish of the day. As for activities, you must try a sunset catamaran cruise. You might also like to hike around Fort Duveretti, Vermont Native Trail, the Botanical Gardens, Montreal Gardens, view Mesopotamia Valley or discover some petroglyphs. You can also visit a cascading waterfall or go shopping in Kingstown. Finally, La Soufriere has been dormant for some time and lush rainforests are all around.

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