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 Family Scuba Diving Locations

            
General Scuba Information Diving Programs for Kids Scuba Tank Care
Scuba Terminology Best Scuba Diving Locations for Beginners Tips for The Beginner Diver 
Types of Scuba Diving

Some of the world's best scuba diving destinations now offer family-friendly resorts that combine scuba diving with the excitement of a family vacation.  The most exotic dive sites in the world like Costa Rica, Fiji, and Thailand have sites for beginners as well as the advanced or experienced diver.  You will find wonderful beginner diving in Jamaica, Curacao, Turks and Caicos. Bahamas, and the Caymans. In the United States Florida, the Florida Keys and Hawaii offer extensive dive areas and a variety of Scuba Diving environments.  Scuba Diving Magazine rated Islamorada in the Florida Keys the number one dive site for beginners.

The truth of the matter is that a certified Scuba Diver, even a beginner, will find that the possibilities of where you can dive and what you can see are endless.

Florida Keys

This is paradise for those living in the United States because is it drive-to diving and snorkeling. You will find many dive sites available.  Hot spots to consider include Alligator Reef, known for being home to the largest variety of fish species in the keys.  Crystal River Florida boasts the largest population of Manatee in the world and is the only place where you can snorkel and dive with them.

Diving conditions include good visibility, water temperatures between 70F and 80F and terrific fish.

Resort to investigate: Ocean Pointe Resort, Tavernier, Fla. Tel: (800) 882-9464, (305) 853-3000, Fax: (305) 853-3007

Hawaii

It is a great location for those residing on the West coast of the United States.  Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and located over 2400 miles from the nearest continent, Hawaii has unique marine animals, colorful corals and peculiar lava formations.  Hawaii's underwater terrain consists of five underwater habitats:  coral reefs, lava tubes, caves and caverns, sandy bottoms, drop-offs and basalt boulders. The four most visited islands are Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii, they each have their own unique characteristics and dive locations.  Their are plenty of operators for boat diving and it is one of the easiest ways to experience Hawaii's underwater adventures. Diving from the shoreline is dictated by ocean conditions and surf height.

Diving conditions include waters temperatures in the low 80Fs in summer and mid 70fs in winter, excellent visibility and calm water.

Bonaire

This small island off the coast of Venezuela is considered by many scuba professionals as one of the top destinations for diving in the world.  The reef which surround Bonaire's is a National Marine Park, which means the waters are legally protected, therefore you will find the most pristine reefs and diversity of exotic marine life in the world.  Every diver who has not dived on Bonaire within the last calendar year must attend a diver orientation dealing with Bonaire Marine Park regulations and information. Shore diving is extremely easy with 86 marked dive sites along the shore and there are plenty of operator options for boat dives offshore around Klein Bonaire.  The best time dive in the Caribbean waters of Bonaire is between September and December, since the sea is the calmest at that time.

Diving conditions include warm, calm water conditions that are excellent for beginners.  Advanced divers love the freedom of shore diving.  The year-round average air and water temperature is 82 degrees.

Resort to Investigate: Plaza Resort, Bonaire. Tel: (800) 766-6016, (781) 821-1012, Fax: (781) 821-1568.


Cayman Islands

The three islands of the Cayman group all share good diving. 
Scuba diving in the Caymans can be done by boat, or at many dive sites, directly from shore.  The number and diversity of the dive sites is amazing. Within the Cayman Islands there are several hundred named and regularly visited dive sites.  A few of the many diving opportunities include wall dives, cave dives, coral garden dives, reef dives, and wreck dives.  There are dive boats available for every skill level and service is first-rate at all dive operations. The peak tourist time in the Caymans ranges from Mid-December through mid-April.

Diving conditions include warm, crystal clear water, underwater visibility is well over 100 feet on all three islands and large concentration of colorful marine life. The Cayman Islands enjoys a stable climate with temperatures that vary only slightly throughout the year (70F - 80F).

Turks & Caicos

The islands of Turk's and Caicos, which are located in the Caribbean hidden between Flortida and Puerto Rico, are a divers' paradise.  These islands are surrounded by one of the most extensive coral reef systems worldwide. Untouched reefs, dunes and drop-offs are awaiting under the water. are Grand Turk, Salt Cay and Providenciales. The reef system here is 200 miles long and about 65 miles wide. Wall diving starts fairly shallow so it good for beginners. Boat rides are longer on Providenciales, and shorter on Grand Turk.  It is best to plan your trip between April and July as the water gets unbearably hot afterwards and dive tour prices increase when tourist season hits peak in mid December to mid April.

Diving conditions include excellent visibility (up to 150 feet), pristine reefs, abundant tropical fish and other marine life. The average water temperature in the summer is 82F to 84F degrees; in winter, expect temps between 74F and 78F degrees.

Resort to Investigate: Morritt's Tortuga Club, Grand Cayman. Tel: (800) 447-0309, (345) 947-7449, Fax: (345) 947-7669.

Belize

Belize situated in the heart of Central America, right under Mexico, and next to Guatemala. The barrier reef, which is 185 miles long, offers you an opportunity to dive on the largest living coral reef system in the Northern hemisphere and second in size only to the Great Barrier reef in Australia. Belize offers all ranges of diving - from shore diving in shallow water,
to swimmming alongside nurse sharks and stingrays in Shark Ray Alley, to the Great Blue Hole. The "Blue Hole " dive which is an underwater dormant volcano which has collapsed inwardly creating a large cavern that is about 400 feet deep.  The barrier reefs offer excellent diving for beginners such as at Hol Chan Marine Park.

Diving conditions include warm, clear water and a brilliant variety of sea life.  Saltwater temperature varies between 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.  The country has an annual mean temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Resort to Investigate: Sunbreeze Hotel, San Pedro (Ambergris caye), Belize. Tel: (800) 688-019, (011) 501-26-2191, Fax: (011) 501-26-2346.

Mexico

Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Cozumel are the more famous spots for scuba diving in Mexico

Cozumel which is located 12 miles from the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula is known for the gorgeous reefs that stretch along its coast.  Diving in Cozumel reveal's an underwater world with canyons, cliffs and unique marine life and vegetation.  Warm turquoise blue waters, gentle currents and year round visibility make a great dive location. This is a great place to experience scuba diving either as a novice or as an experienced diver. Water temps range from 75F to 85F winter to summer, but you can count on visibility around 100 feet regardless of the season. Though the current can be fast here, it's not difficult to stay together as a family under water

Resort to Investigate:

Reef Club Isla Cozumel, Cozumel. Tel: (800) 221-5333, (305) 599-2124, Fax: (305) 599-1946.

Presidente Intercontinental, Cozumel. Tel: (011) 52-987-20322, Fax: (011) 52-937-21360.

Costa Club (formerly Fiesta Inn), Cozumel. Tel: (877) 454-4355, (011) 52-987-22900, Fax: (011) 52-987-22154.

Allegro Resort, Cozumel. Tel: (800) 858-2258, (011) 52-987-23443, Fax: (011) 52-987-24508.

Fiesta Americana, Cozumel. Tel: (011) 52-987-22622, Fax: (011) 52-987-22680.

Iberostar, Cozumel. Tel: (011) 52-987-29900, Fax: (011) 52-987-29909.

Cancun is another thriving diving hotspot on the Yucatan. Cancun provides you with the advantage of diving at the second largest barrier reef in the world. It is a perfect diving destination with sites to suit all interests and experience levels. It is a divers delight because the warm. crystal clear, turquoise waters of Mexico often exceed 200 feet of clear visibility and the sea life and coral formations are plentiful.

Puerto Vallarta is also one of the more popular scuba destinations for divers around the world. The clear and calm waters of Banderas Bay, the habitat of a varied and mysterious marine life, make it one of Mexico's favorite diving destinations.   You will find a variety of rock formations with canyons, caverns and rocky arches, as well as a great variety of multicolored fish and beautiful coral reefs. Between December and April, Puerto Vallarta scuba diving will likely offer views of humpback whales, as the mammals migrate to the warms seas off the coast each winter. In summer and fall, the best seasons for diving, water visibility ranges between 78 to 131 feet and temperatures fluctuate between 80 and 87 F.  During winter and spring, most diving spots have an average visibility of 20 to 30 feet near the surface and 40 to 60 feet at greater depths. The average temperature during that time of year ranges between 66 to 73 F.