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The State of Hawaii is a scuba diving destination 2,000 miles SW from the mainland of the United States. The Hawaii archipelago consist of 137 islands and is 1,500 miles long. However, there are only 8 main islands. The largest population of Hawaiians are on the island of Oahu. Ironically, the second largest group of Hawaiians live in or near Las Vegas, Nevada. The islands were first populated by waves of Polynesians from 124AD to 1120AD. The Hawaiian language is similar to spoken Marquesan and Tahitian Polynesian. Captain Cook was the first European to land on the islands in 1778 and called them the Sandwich Islands. However, there is evidence that the Spanish passed by the islands in 1542 on their way from Mexico to the Philippines.  They wrote down their own island names, but kept their route secret. Sea Turtles; The Godfathers of Scuba Dive Magazines?

Nevertheless, after making contact with the Europeans, half the Hawaiian population died from influenza, small pox, and measles. Immigrants from the Gwondong region of China, the Philippines, Korea, Japanese, Germans, and Portuguese were brought in to work the sugar and later pineapple plantations. In 1893 Queen Lili’uokalani was overthrown by a group of US citizens with the assistance of US military troops. In 1959 Hawaii entered statehood. So, 1993 Hawaii received an official apology for the abrupt takeover signed by Bill Clinton.

Diving Kauai, Molokai, & Maui

Scuba diving around the islands is all about the former volcanic activity. You can dive caves, lava tubes, and tunnels; also, canyons, fingers, and craters. The beaches of Hawaii are black sand or white sand depending on the island. The islands have had time to acquired their own species of fish, birds, and plants. On Kauai, the garden island, there are over a dozen dive sites. However, currents and undertows can make many beach dive entrances difficult. Some of the top sites include Three Fingers, Sheraton Caverns, and Brenneckes Ledge. You can also go by boat over to the privately own island in Hawaii called Niihau to dive seldom seen reefs. Over at Maui you can scuba diving around 15 sites including: Molokini Crater, 5 Caves, or Airport Beach.

You can also take a boat over to Molakai and dive Fish Rain or go over to Lanai and dive the Cathedrals and tunnels. Keep in mind it is like a bathtub between the islands and you have a good chance of hearing humpback whales while diving.

Diving Oahu & Hawaii Island

Oahu has another 15 scuba diving sites. However, the local fish population has been more impacted by multiple factors. However, the minesweeper Mahi sunk in 1983, is a major attraction. So, Three Tables and Shark’s Cove are also quite popular. Look for juvenile white tip sharks under the ledges, crevices, and rocks. On the big island of Hawaii there are over two dozen scuba diving sites to choose from. The top dives have to be Pelagic Magic where you go 3 miles offshore at night and dive in the middle of a bioluminescent show, and The Manta Ray Night Dive where you watch mantas feed. You can watch the turtles get cleaned at Turtle Pinnacle. Au Au Crater, Black Coral Forest, Catacombs Manuka Bay and Pohoe Bay are all great dive sites.

To see most of the best dive sites on the Hawaiian Islands, you need to take a liveaboard boat. Finally, plan on a diving a week to fully experience the great diving.

Accommodations Attractions, Activities

In the islands you have a choice of luxury resorts, hotels, & inns. Now, you may like to go hiking mountains, visiting falls, and exploring rivers. You can surf, snorkel or boogie board til your heart’s content. Furthermore, Hawaii is the only state to produce coffee. They also have Portuguese sausage and rice for breakfast. So, plate lunches feature spicy Korean beef ribs, sweet Japanese teriyaki chicken, or grilled spam. Finally, dinner menus can be a fusion of Asian delights. They also have American favorites and traditionally cooked Hawaiian treats or feasts.

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Egypt is the cradle of civilization and is bordered by Libya, Sudan and the Gaza Strip. The scuba diving mecca called the Red Sea forms a natural geological border from Saudi Arabia.  So, hunter/gatherers roamed this region until milling grain became the dominant way of life some 10,000 years ago. The first major recorded expedition of the Red Sea was 4,500 years ago. The Red Sea was at one time the preferred trade route between Rome and India. Since that time, many ships and small boats sank beneath the waves. The deepest part of the Red Sea Rift is 9,970ft deep. The rift in the middle of the Red Sea is widening and has created several currently dormant volcanoes. So, this is one of the warmest and saltiest seas in the world. In addition, the currents are quite minimal. Enjoy our blog article on 110.000 Reasons to Go Liveaboard.

Diving Egypt and the Red Sea

The Red Sea has reefs, pinnacles, walls, coral caves, and atolls to explore. There are over 1000 species of fish and 44 species of sharks. More than 150 species of hard and soft corals are just off Egypt’s eastern shores. In addition, they have 175 species of nudibranchs. Lobsters like to hide in reef crevices and Dugongs prefer the southern sand and sea grass beds. Out at Brother Islands, you may view spectacular soft coral colored walls, hammerheads, silver tips, oceanic white tips, and thresher sharks. During the Islands of the Stream excursions, you might visit St Johns, Rocky Island, the famous Elphistone walls, Dolphin Reef, and/or Marsa Alam.

Out of the thousands of wrecks in the Red Sea, the WWII Thistlegorm is the most popular wreck with divers. The 1869 Carnactic, the 1881 Shag Rock wreck, and the 1876 Victorian steamer Dunraven are also very popular. You really need to take two different liveaboard scuba diving trips to see both the highlights of the northern Red Sea and the highlights of the southern Egypt waters.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

There are many hotels and boutique resorts in Egypt to stay at before and after your liveaboard adventure. Furthermore, you may wish to stay at other hotels and resorts while sightseeing and taking land-based excursions. Egypt has sights to visit dating back to the beginning of hieroglyphically written time. There are 118 pyramids to date to visit. You can also visit temples or the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. At the museum you can view a bust of Akhenaten: the first Pharaoh to believe in one god. Moreover, you can view the gold mask of Tutankhamun; Akhenaten’s son whose burial chamber was hidden under a stream bed in the Valley of the Kings. You can also tour vast desserts and/or find an oasis, or ride a camel. Oh, and there are beaches.

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Barbados is a scuba diving destination in the West Indies in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is approximately 21mi long by 14mi wide. The first islanders settled here around 1600BC. The Arawak moved in around 800-1200AD and then they were replaced by the Kalinaga around 13th century. The Spanish stopped by in 1511 and the English colony came to be in 1627. Barbados sits right on the edge of tectonic plates. Each year one plate passes under the island and the island increases 1 inch in height every 1,000 years. Above all, literally, there are areas where the coral is 300 feet thick. One thing to note, that where there is an abundance of lime stone, there is also an abundance of caves created by rainwater’s slow yet determined solvent properties.

The wet season is June to December, and the dry season is December to May. Enjoy our blog article on The Cuttlefish The Undisputed Master of Camouflage.

Diving Barbados

The most popular wreck out here is the 365ft long SS Stavronikita. The 165ft long Pamir is also quite popular due to its shallower depth. In the Carlisle Bay Marine Park there are 5 wrecks. Maycocks Bay has a long reef and white sands. You may see up to four types of turtle out here including green, loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback. Hawksbill come ashore to lay eggs June thru November. Some of the other scuba diving sites include: Shark’s Bank, Dottins, Little Sandy Lane, Barracuda Junction, the deep, and G-SpotClarke’s Bank is known for its blue stripped grunts, yellow tail snapper, and an occasional black jack or white sided Atlantis Submarine filled with big eyed tourists. You may also see pods of dolphins, parrotfish and/or Pilot whales.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

Barbados has numerous luxury resorts, hotels, and inns. Depending on the accommodations you choose, you may look forward to having access to tennis courts, or working out at a fitness gym. Besides the shopping in Bridgetown, you might like a ride in the Atlantis Submarine Barbados, or exploring Harrison’s Cave. You can also view the Barbados Museum and the George Washington house. So, you can also take a catamaran cruise, visit a wildlife preserve, or go deep sea fishing. Furthermore, you may wish to visit the golfing greens at Sandy Lane or at the Royal Westmoreland. For some strange reason the Mount Gay Rum distillery is quite popular. They’ve been making great tasting rum since 1703. So, the Banks Barbados Brewery is also based in Barbados. You may like to take a hike; the highest point is Mt. Hillaby at 1,115 feet above sea level.

Finally, with the Atlantic surf on the east and Caribbean waters on the west you can find the perfect spot for kayaking, paddle boarding, or Hobie cat sailing. Quaint towns, numerous shops and restaurants, rolling hills, beautiful beaches, and year-round water sports are just some of Barbados great offerings.

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French Polynesia

French Polynesia is truly a scuba diving paradise. There are 118 islands and 6 archipelagos. More importantly, this 1,359sq mi land area has a dive site just right for any level of diver certification. The islands here were first inhabited by Polynesians around 200BC. Ferdinand Magellan stopped by in 1521 right before he died in Cebu, Philippines. James Cook stopped by the islands 3 times before being killed in Hawaii in 1779. Finally, Captain Blythe stopped by to collect breadfruit in 1789. He shortly thereafter lost command of his ship during the mutiny on the Bounty.  67 of the French Polynesia islands are uninhabited. 2/3 of the entire population live on the island of Tahiti. Moreover, here, extinct Mount Orohena rises 7,345ft above sea level. Enjoy our blog story: 110,000 Reasons to Go Liveaboard

Diving French Polynesia

With over 90 atolls to chooses from, there is an endless list of dive sites. There are swim throughs, walls, drop offs, lagoons, fringing coral reefs. There are also passes, motus (small islands), caves, canyons, and crevices too. So, Rangiroa is the 2nd largest atoll in the world. Bora bora has a spectacular lagoon. You also have a host of sites for doing drift dives and scuba diving on wrecks. Typically, you may see anglefish, turtles, grouper, trevally, barracuda, dolphins, and whale sharks. Fakarava is the place to see schooling sharks. Humpback whales appear in French Polynesia from July to November. So, June to October is manta season. Some of the drift dive passage sites have swift currents. However, other scuba diving sites have easy drift currents. Wave action is barely noticeable in certain sections of the lagoons.

The visibility is generally between a 100-130ft. Above all, you may see hundreds of species of fish. So, there are over 20 species of sharks found here. The most common species include Black tips, white tips, silver tips, and lemons. Silky, nurse sharks, and even hammerheads can be sighted.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

There are major hotels and resorts spread throughout the French Polynesian islands. However, there are only a dozen scuba diving centers to choose from. To see some of the distant dive sites you will need to spend some time on a liveaboard vessel. Many divers do a resort and liveaboard adventure during the same visit. While hotels offer swimming pools, others prefer the bungalows that reside off shore and just feet above the ocean’s gentle waves. Snorkeling, swimming, and/or kayaking in the crystal-clear waters is an amazing experience. More importantly, this area is considered by many to be the one of the top ten places to surf in the world. Because of Paul Gauguin many artists come here to become inspired by the natural tropical beauty.

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The Sandpiper

The Sandpiper is a scuba diving resort in historic Holetown, Barbados. It was built in 1970 and has been family operated ever since. So, the resort has 48 rooms and sits right against the beach and turquoise waves.  There are Garden view rooms, 1 & 2 Bedroom Suites, Tree Top Suites, and Beach House Suites. The rooms come with Air conditioning, a hairdryer, ceiling fan, refrigerator, safe, and ipod/ ipad docking station. Some of the suites have spacious living rooms, and walk in showers, 4 polster beds, and dinning for 6 on the veranda with a spectacular ocean view. Beach House Suites have a covered patio with a wet bar and sun deck. Enjoy our blog article on The Cuttlefish The Undisputed Master of Camouflage.

The Sandpiper Diving

HighTide Watersports is the preferred scuba diving center. This dive center is located close by at the sister hotel; Coral Reef Club. So, the dive center was established in 1993 by Willie Hewitt. They are known for their nice people, safe procedures, and quality service they offer to their guests. So, they offer discover scuba, open water classes. Specialty courses include night diver, underwater photographer, wreck diver, and enriched air diver. They also offer quality dive gear rentals. More importantly, some of the dive sites they frequently visit include Silver Banks, Shark’s Bank, Bright Ledge, Spawnee, and the easy-going wreck Pamir. Farther south from The Sandpiper, they go to Dottins, Stavronikita, and Carlisle Bay. Carlisle Bay is where you’ll find a nice collection of five wrecks.

You may see tons of turtles, several species of sharks, and assorted fish. Keep an eye out for octopus, seahorses, sponges, lobster and conchs. On the surface you may see pilot whales, and pods of dolphins.

Attractions and Activities

The restaurant at The Sandpiper offers a free breakfast. The executive chef and his team change their dinner menu five times a week. They offer Caribbean flair and a fusion of European and Asian techniques and ingredients. On Wednesday night they have west indies specialties and an international buffet. Sunday is BBQ night and steel drum music. Harold’s Bar has alfresco lunches, and delicious concoctions that help you decompress and unwind. So, the resort has a spa and wellness center. As for activities, you can go kayaking, paddle boarding, or Hobie cat sailing. They also have tennis courts, and a fitness gym. Furthermore, you may wish to visit the golfing greens at Sandy Lane or at the Royal Westmoreland.

If you would like to participate in an ongoing conservation program, you are fortunate to be right next door to the Barbados Sea Turtle Project. So, you may also like to relax in the mosaic pool or swim in the 60ft lap pool. Moreover, the Tree top suites have their own plunge pools. Finally, to put your hair back in place, you may wish to visit the sister hotel hair salon and boutique.

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Coral Reef Club

Coral Reef Club is a family owned and run scuba diving resort. So, they are located by historic Holetown, Barbados in the Caribbean Sea. This 5-star luxury resort has 88 accommodations ranging from luxury rooms, cottages, and suites. The luxury suites even come with 4 pollster or canopied beds. So, rooms have flat screens and private bathrooms. Moreover, selected rooms have balconies or patios. Above all, some rooms also come with complimentary starter bars. Enjoy our blog article on Sea Turtle’s; The Godfathers of All Dive Magazines?

Coral Reef Club Diving

HighTide Watersports in the onsite scuba diving center. So, the dive center was established in 1993 by Willie Hewitt. They are known for their nice people, safe procedures, and quality service they offer to their guests. So, they offer discover scuba, open water classes. Specialty courses include night diver, underwater photographer, wreck diver, and enriched air diver. They also offer quality dive gear rentals. More importantly, some of the dive sites they frequently visit include Silver Banks, Shark’s Bank, Bright Ledge, Spawnee, and the easy-going wreck Pamir. Farther south from Coral Reef Club, they go to Dottins, Stavronikita, and Carlisle Bay Carlisle Bay is where you’ll find a nice collection of five wrecks.

You may see tons of turtles, several species of sharks, and assorted fish. Keep an eye out for octopus, seahorses, sponges, lobster and conchs. On the surface you may see pilot whales, and pods of dolphins.

Attractions and Activities

The restaurant at Coral Reef Club has a buffet style breakfast. They offer an a la carte menu for lunch and dinner. Fine dining and personal service are a high priority at this “Small Luxury Hotel of the World”. Furthermore, Thursday Night is BBQ night complete with local entertainment. Monday is cocktail night. So, for activities, they have a fitness center, a Spa, and 2 outdoor mosaic tiled pools. Golf is available at Sandy Lane and Royal Westmoreland. Roz’s Salon is available for hair care. So, the salon can also help you look perfect for a wedding at the resort. Finally, Coral Reef Club offers Hobie cat sailing, kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkeling.

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Bougainvillea Beach Resort

Bougainvillea Beach Resort is a scuba diving destination in Christ Church Parish in Barbados. So, they have 100 accommodations ranging from deluxe studios and suites. Moreover, you choose between a balcony or terrace, a room with a mini-fridge and microwave or a full fridge, kitchen and dining room. Most rooms come with flat screen TV’s with cable and air conditioning. So, Bougainvillea Beach Resort they also offer all-inclusive packages too. Enjoy our blog article on Diving the Bahamas with Max Gilbert.

Bougainvillea Beach Resort Diving

There are several scuba diving shops to choose from. Most of them will pick you up from the resort and drop you back off after the dives. So, Roger’s Scuba Shack is one of the closest dive centers. The Dive Shop, West Side Scuba Center, Seahorse Divers, and Barbados Blue Water Sports also viable options. Most of these dive centers teach referrals to open water divers, do 1 or 2 tank day dive trips and some night dive adventures. More importantly, there are over 30 dive sites on the west side of Barbados, and a few dives sites more on the east side. Popular dive sites close to Bougainvillea Beach Resort include Dottins, Shark’s Bank, the 365ft long Stavronikita, the five plus wrecks at Carlisle Bay, and Maycocks Bay. Castle, Pieces of Eight, the Deep, and G-spot also have well placed diver notoriety.

Attractions and Activities

The Siam Restaurant at Bougainvillea Beach Resort offers Thai inspired cuisine. The Calabash Café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. And yes, they have a swim up pool bar. So, 5 minutes away is the Oistins fish market and you have to try the fish fry. Also 5 minutes away in St. Lawrence Gap is where you will find several recommended eateries. Be sure and try Banks Beer or a Bajan Rum Punch. Now, as for activities, the resort has 3 pools, the Karma Spa, and Karma Fitness Center. Bougainvillea Beach Resort also has an air conditioned conference room for up to 65 guests. A game room with foos ball, air hockey, billiards table, and table tennis, plus video games. You can go horseback riding, ride the Atlantis Submarine Barbados, take a catamaran cruise, visit a wildlife preserve, golf, explore Harrison’s Cave, or go deep sea fishing.

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Coconut Court Beach Resort

Coconut Court Beach Resort is located on the south coast of Barbados in the Caribbean. Their top pick scuba diving center is located nearby in Bridgetown. So, the resort has 112 spacious studios facing the ocean with a private balcony. Moreover, they have ocean front rooms, superior ocean front rooms, and standard rooms (with a limited ocean view). At Coconut Court Beach Resort, the rooms feature a king or two twin beds, air conditioning, refrigerator, microwave, kettle, and toaster. They also have 12 apartments in the annex building for families and for those staying longer. They also have a complimentary hospitality suite available for those that have a late departure, but need a shower after regular check out time. Enjoy our blog article on Sea Turtle’s; The Godfathers of All Dive Magazines?

Coconut Court Beach Resort Diving

West Side Scuba Center in Bridgetown is their local go to scuba diving shop. They go out to 20 dive sites within a 10-20-minute boat ride. They also do snorkeling tours. So, for diving they do one tank and two tank excursions, plus night dives. They also do dive training. So, while staying at Coconut Court Beach Resort, the most popular wreck dive out here is on the 365ft long freighter Stavronikita. The “Stav” starts on angle at 20ft of depth and goes down to 130ft. In the Carlisle Bay Marine Park there are 6 wrecks. They rest close together and include tugs, freighters, a cement boat and barge. As for reef dive sites, there is Pieces of Eight, The Boot, The Muff, Tropicana, and The Village to name a few.

Clarke’s Bank is known for its blue stripped grunts, yellow tail snapper, and an occasional black jack or white sided Atlantis Submarine filled with big eyed tourists.

Attractions and Activities

So, Coconut Court Beach Resort is the home of The Deck Restaurant & Bar, Jakes Caribbean Steak & Seafood Grill, and Captain Charlie’s Beach Bar. The boardwalk that leads from the resort to Rockley Beach has cafes, bars, and restaurants along the way. So, for activities, the Barbados Museum and the George Washington house and tunnels are nearby. Shopping is over at Bridgetown. So, Coconut Court Beach Resort has a gift shop too. After a busy day you can relax at the pool in a lounger or take a dip in the ocean. More importantly, if you are here July to November you may see some of the 300 hawksbill turtles that come to shore to lay their eggs.

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Dominica is a mountainous Caribbean country located in the Lesser Antilles. Pristine reefs mean rewarding scuba diving. Also known as “The Nature Island” due to its lush varied flora, fauna and rain forests. There are extensive protected national parks. As a result, it has 365 rivers, streams and multiple waterfalls. Lava craters from volcanic peaks create lakes. Here you’ll find Boiling Lake, the world’s second-largest thermally active lake. Also, prevalent are extensive bird and land species. Consequently, this destination mirrors a South Pacific island. Arawak, Taino and then Caribs tribes as well as European and African traditions contribute to the culture. Read Dominica The Nature Island

Diving Dominica

Including dramatic walls, healthy reefs, drop offs, canyons and pinnacles, Dominica offers remarkable dive sites. Thus, it’s sea life and underwater scenery is as impressive as its mountainous land. Deep and shallow waters on the west and east coast respectively, means whale encounters year-round. Namely, sperm whales (November-March), false killer whales and short finned pilot whales. Also expect Atlantic spotted dolphins, bottlenose, spinner and Fraser’s dolphins. There are three marine reserves where scuba diving occurs. Generally, most diving occurs in the south and central west of the island.

Usually, dive boats will be on moored sites for scuba diving. Champagne Reef gets its name from bubbles coming from underwater hot springs. Seahorses, frogfish, squid, large crabs and lobsters are common sightings. This site is excellent for night dives. Crater’s Edge has massive varieties of fish. Besides the fish, the wall is covered in colorful and giant barrel sponges. Similarly, another wall dive is Scott’s Head Drop Off. Especially colorful sponges, multiple invertebrates and crustaceans are on display. L’Abym (La Sourcier) mimics underwater the topography Dominica. Here, a surface cliff descends into an enormous wall with blue water on each side. Besides the landscape, find seahorses, scorpion fish and turtles.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

There are both larger and smaller hotels that cater to all visiting divers and vacationers. Compared to other destinations, there is no shortage of attractions or activities beyond scuba diving. The Dominica National Museum is housed in an 1810 colonial building. Morne Trois Piton National Park is your gateway to the Emerald pool and tubing on the Layou river. There are no shortages of day tours. Such as jeep safaris, whale watching, Carib Indian and Boiling Lake. Here, hiking thru rain forests to numerous spectacular waterfalls is a must.

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Grenada is a country in the West Indies of the Eastern Caribbean. Including the main island, there are six smaller northern islands. As a result of being surrounded by ocean and sea, scuba diving is a significant activity. Grenada is known as the “The Spice Island”. Coupled with its production of nutmeg and mace crops, makes it one of the world’s largest exporters. Similarly, its culture is a mixture of French, African and British influences. Thus, this antiquity features Georgian architecture, historical forts and olden rum distilleries. Its original inhabitants were the Arawaks and Caribs. There, culture is expressed through music, pageantry, poetry and dance. English is the official language but Creole is widely used. Cricket is the national and most popular sport.

Diving Grenada

Scuba diving this island will appeal to every diver’s experience level. Reefs, coral gardens, walls and ship wrecks are included among the 35 dive sites. Warm and clear waters means greater visibility of marine species. Accordingly, underwater life ranges from tiny invertebrates to large pelagic types. Read more: Grenada: Shipwrecks, Spice, and Beaches Delight

Above all, for wreck divers, is the Bianca C. This 600 foot ship, Caribbean’s largest, sank in 1961. Its live decorations include colorful sponges, black coral, eagle rays and schools of fish. Shark Reef attract abundant pelagic life. Therefore, expect sharks, southern stingrays, spotted eagle rays and turtles. Kahanee Reef showcases beautiful underwater gardens. Here is a pallet of colors with corals, fans, sponges and sea whips. Also, eels, lobsters, crabs, sea stars, queen conch and other mollusks cling to the coral. Lastly, Grenada Marine Park has exciting dive sites. Dragon Bay is a slope and Flamingo Bay a wall. But both will appeal to divers and snorkelers. Before any other, this island established the world’s first underwater sculpture park.

Accommodations, Attractions, Activities

There are accommodations for everyone. The Grenada National Museum is in the capital city St. George’s. It houses rare antiques and collectibles from the past. Historical sites include Fort George and Fort Matthew. In addition to forts, visit the Belmont and Westerhall estates. The annual Grenada Chocolate Festival includes visits to cocoa farms. Next, after scuba diving, are numerous beaches, national parks, gardens, land and water tours. Morne Gazo is one of many hiking trails that include rainforest, waterfalls, hills and views.

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