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Tag Results: Scuba Diving
Dubbed Green Lake for its emerald waters, it offers you a chance to scuba dive around sites that are usually on dry land, including its meadows, trails, roads, and bridges. You can see fish swimming through the branches of trees – a surreal effect. Read more
Just an hour’s water taxi ride from Belize City, Ambergris Caye serves as the gateway to snorkeling at the world’s second largest barrier reef and diving at the infamous Blue Hole. While on the island, enjoy delicious seafood in the fishing village of San Pedro, incredible wildlife, and more. Here’s a guide to where to eat, what to do, and where to stay on “La Isla Bonita.” Read more
Belize has its share of trendy resorts and exclusive retreats, but you don’t have to spend a small fortune to enjoy its lush jungles, Mayan ruins, and Caribbean coastline. With a little planning, you can afford to snorkel, dive, and explore this exotic locale on any budget. Read more
If you’re an avid scuba diver or adventure junkie, you’ve probably heard of, or maybe even experienced the Great Blue Hole in the Belize Barrier Reef (an UNESCO World Heritage Site). Around 10,000 years ago, the hole’s roof collapsed to reveal the previously concealed cave below. Measuring at around 1,000 feet in diameter (and around 412 feet deep), the cave sits in the Lighthouse Reef and it is close to a perfect circle. Read more
A fascinating, stuck-in-time string of South Pacific isles, the nation of Papua New Guinea (colloquially known as PNG) is an anthropological never-never land, where a linguistically rich population, representing more than 800 languages and dialects, maintains a culture and traditions that seem altogether from another time and place (ahem, cannibals and headhunters figured prominently in the not-so-distant past!). Brimming with lush coconut palm-speckled coastlines and astoundingly rich reef systems – the diving and snorkeling counts amongst the world’s best – I recently touched down for an exotic taste of the tropics at Rabaul, aka the “Pompeii of the Pacific.” Read more
The Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystem is incredibly rich, and even though you might not be, it’s a world wonder simply not to be missed. Undoubtedly, you’re in for a splurge on the airfare to get Down Under, but, happily, once you touch down, there are plenty of value Great Barrier Reef activities that won’t break the bank. Base your stay, like I recently did, in the well-serviced tourist center of Cairns or on Fitzroy Island, just offshore, and look out for these great ways to encounter the reef on the cheap, along with a couple of budget-friendly lodging options. Read more
You’ve likely heard all about New Zealand’s wondrous Middle-earth-worthy landscapes, but its offshore seascapes don’t skimp out on the wow factor either. With pristine conditions that provide haven for a thriving marine wildlife, offshore New Zealand offers optimum terrain for coastal adventuring like whale watching, sea kayaking, and diving. Freshly back from getting my own fins wet, I’m here with three top picks for the ultimate coastal Kiwi escapes. Read more
Sure, some art galleries are musts if you’re in the area – the Musée du Louvre in Paris, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, to name a few. But when it comes to Barbados, no galleries particularly come to mind, until now. Read more
This year, I spent my very first Christmas away from home, trading in New York’s brisk winter for the balmy beaches of Bali, Indonesia. A lifelong New Yorker, I’m used to having Christmas practically smack me in the face, with the city’s sensory seasonal overload oozing over-the-top holiday window displays; jingle bell-shaking, Salvation Army Santas vying for loose change; bustling Christmas markets and tree-hawking Canadian vendors cropping up on every other corner; and chilly temps only tolerable for their potential to deliver that coveted white Christmas.
In Bali – a predominantly Hindu island that’s part of a larger Muslim nation – setting out to find the spirit of a Christian Christmas required a decidedly more active approach, but with my boyfriend and I intent on celebrating the season in our own special way this year, rest assured, happy Bali-days were there for the taking. Read more
Get away to the Cayman Islands, known for idyllic beaches and world-class diving, and stay at a 4-star resort for $151 per night. This deal at the Westin Casuarina Grand Cayman Resort & Spa saves 20% on current hotel rates, and also includes $100 in hotel credit and $100 in vouchers for water sports excursions.
Travel now through December 21. Take in ocean and beach views from your guest room’s private patio; rooms also include LCD TVs, WiFi, plush bathrobes, and separate tubs and showers.
The Westin Cuasarina is ideally located on the famous Seven Mile Beach in the heart of Grand Cayman, and offers easy beach access as well as an outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness center, whirlpools, a diving center, water sports, and a kids’ club. The resort also features eight restaurants and lounges, including the AAA Four Diamond restaurant, Casa Havana. Use your water sports vouchers towards activities through Red Sail Sports like sunset catamaran rides, wave runner excursions, and Scuba diving.
Book online at the Westin Casuarina website and choose the “5th Night Free – Sunsational Savings” package. Or, call 866-716-8108 and mention the rate plan ZS5. A five-night minimum stay is required.
Explore the lesser-known Southern Caribbean island of Bonaire, home to world-class scuba diving, sailing, and snorkeling. Stay at the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino from now through December 21 from just $129 per night — a savings of 30% on this hotel’s seasonal rates.
Situated on the Caribbean, the Divi Flamingo Resort serves as the perfect base for both an exciting scuba trip or a relaxing beach vacation. The Divi Dive Bonaire, a PADI five-star dive resort, is located directly on the property, and guests can book dive excursions 24 hours a day through the Flamingo front desk. Further excursions like guided snorkeling, kayaking, and sunset sails are also available.
For those more interested in kicking back, the Divi Flamingo features beach access, two freshwater swimming pools, a casino, and a spa and salon. Rooms offer garden or oceanfront views and private balconies.
Book online at the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino website or call 800-367-3484. This offer ends May 31.
The important thing to remember about manta rays – 3,000-pound creatures with wingspans reaching up to 22 feet – is that they’re born with their wings wrapped around their bodies, like manta-ray burritos. Want a little more? They gobble up to 300 pounds of plankton daily, by executing octuple backflips with their three-foot-wide mouths agape. The males also have “clampers” which have to be 1.5 inches long for them to be able to mate.
These are just a few bits of trivia you can pick up on your next Big Island visit by staying at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa (bonus factoid: Keauhou Bay is where Kamehameha III, Hawaii’s longest reigning monarch, was born in 1813). For that and more, you only need to stop by the Manta Ray Bar & Grill (soon to transform into Rays at the Bay) on any given night, when the hotel directs its broad beams at the water starting at 7pm, and a dozen or more of the creatures come to feed. You can observe or listen to the Sheraton’s docent from its broad deck – an experience which combines nicely with pupus or a Mai Tai, or with an upward glance at the stars.
This takes focusing on your breathing to a whole new level. At the LaSource Resort and Spa in Grenada, first-time divers can overcome their fears of diving and practice meditation techniques and yoga positions, all while under water. This scuba-yoga program is taught by a group of professional divers called Aquanats, who lead Pranayama yoga poses. Pranayama yoga focuses on the science of breathing, which can help divers, swimmers, athletes, and magicians hold their breath for long periods underwater.
Pre-dawn Cancun often evokes image of young partiers, embalmed in alcohol, taking the haggard walk of shame back to their hotel from the likes of Señor Frog’s. But this last August I ventured to the partiers’ paradise and discovered the true reason to be awake before the sun rises: for a chance to swim with the largest fish in the world, whale sharks.
I left my hotel at 6am, driving north through the hotel zone to the Solo Buceo diving company. Here, after booking in advance, guests pay a modest $165 before boarding the boat with nine other passengers and a crew of three. My group headed northwest, searching for the docile giants via GPS. The sharks come to the region on their southern migration in May and stay through early September, feasting on plankton and microorganisms in the warm Caribbean waters. After the tour companies initially locate the sharks in May, they can keep daily records of the sharks with each morning excursion, making sightings throughout the season a near guarantee.
For a brief few months each year, warm weather, long days, and generous vacation time conspire to open up a world of travel possibilities. From climbing the top of remote mountains to exploring breathtaking river gorges to biking quiet back-country roads, Smart Luxury Travel has selected 10 spectacular outdoor adventures. And to make sure there’s a trip to suit every taste, we’ve included a splurge option (for those who absolutely must have the most exotic and/or pampered voyage) as well as a great value (for those who don’t mind roughing it). Read on to discover our top picks – think kayaking through arctic waters, horseback riding in the Rockies, and catching waves in Costa Rica.
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