Learn to Scuba Dive, off the beaten track.
Most people learn to scuba dive in the well trodden resorts of Southeast Asia or Central America. But, if you’re looking for an experience that feels a little less like a production line I’ve got 3 fantastic places to tell you about.
It’s normally a big tick on most people’s bucket list when you learn to scuba dive and gain your diving certification. If you love the ocean, marine life, and the idea of being able to explore a whole different part of the world, then it’s the perfect Eco Tour for you. Of course there are many things to take into consideration when getting your certification, the biggest factor being ‘where’.
The world is filled with amazing tropical dive sites. From Southeast Asian islands to the Caribbean. Coastal Africa to Mediterranean Europe. There are plenty of options. Most people tend to head to Central America or Southeast Asia for their certifications. The diving is good, and, most importantly for many, the price is cheap. While both of those aspects are great, it also gives some places, such as Koh Tao Island in Thailand, a reputation for being a dive shop factory. This doesn’t mean that your training is any worse, but the experience will be busier which, in the diving world, is usually something you usually want to avoid.
Of course there are plenty of other places that offer incredible diving experiences and training, without the crowds. If that sounds more your style, these are my top 3 three off the beaten track places to learn to scuba dive that you might not have considered.
Located in southeast Asia, Malaysia’s waters are home to many of the same species of marine life as Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. There are plenty of places in Malaysia that are great for diving, and while these sites tend to attract more experienced and serious divers, they aren’t as well-known as those in the neighbouring countries.
Bright corals, tropical schools of fish, plenty of turtles, and reef sharks are just some of the amazing species that divers will be able to see during their underwater adventures. There is a large variation in currents making many dive sites perfect for beginners. Plus, water temperatures tend to be warm, allowing for thinner wetsuits or even skin diving.
Visitors can dive in Malaysia year round, though some areas are better during some months than others, so be sure to do your research ahead of time.
Want to get certified in Malaysia? Check out the Perhentian Islands Marine Project Tour which includes PADI open water certification.
The Azores are made up of nine volcanic islands a few hours off the coast of Europe. The area is known for its unique ecozone, with plenty of nature still untouched by humans. While the land is certainly interesting, the underwater landscape is fascinating as well. Due to all the volcanic activity, the underwater landscape is quite different compared to others around the world. The Azores are also home to a huge variety of sea life. Large marine life such as whales, manta rays, sharks, and dolphins are the big attractions here. However here are plenty of smaller species too including nudibranchs, eels, and crustaceans.
Part of what makes the Azores so special is that, despite being only a few hours from Europe, they are relatively quiet when it comes to tourism. Waters are cooler here, but visibility never gets very low and diving is available year round which makes is a great place to learn to scuba dive.
Want to get certified in the Azores? Check out the Eco Diving in the Azores tour which includes PADI Open Water certification.
Madagascar may be famous for lemurs, but they have a whole lot going on for them under the waves as well. Learn to scuba dive amongst the barracuda, octopus, dolphins, rays and sharks that inhabit the nearby area. It’s also a regular breeding spot for humpback whales during the summer months, and many divers have seen females with their calves swimming though the waters.
Waters are warm, rarely going below 25 degrees Celsius, and visibility is generally pretty good as well. Diving is available year round, however if you have a thing for whales consider going between June and September when the humpbacks migrate to the area to breed.
Want to get certified in Madagascar? Check out the Marine Conservation and Diving tour which allows you to get your PADI Open Water Certification.
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