Do you show your love by creating elaborate patterns in the sand like the male Japanese puffer fish or opt for an eight-hour-long dancing ritual to court the one that you fancy like a seahorse? Perhaps, like us, you would rather witness these events happening with your special diving buddy. It's Valentine's day once again, but let's ditch the same old romantic restaurant and drizzly date night for some sun, SCUBA cylinders and Oriental sweetlips (fish). Read on for our roundup of the best dive destinations for you and your Divertine…
Back to basics but in the luxurious sort of way
If you who want to connect with nature (as well as each other) this Valentines, head to Mafia Island, off the coast of Tanzania, for some authentic diving adventures - we're talking the stripped-back luxury of a secluded beach hut resort. Visit in February and you may just catch the end of whale shark season. With a luxurious lack of crowds at this time of year, you may be lucky enough to snorkel with these magnificent animals in relative peace. The pristine reefs provide a kaleidoscope of colours from the soft coral rock walls and algae-dominated reefs and the diversity count is hard to match (there are over 320 coral species and 460 species of fish with more yet to be identified). It's no wonder that this underwater paradise is the first marine park in Mafia Island. With only a two-hour time difference between Tanzania and the UK, it's also a great destination if you want to avoid the dreaded jet lag.
A romantic classic for a reason
If you prefer to splash out on Valentines Day then it's hard to beat the romance and glamour of the Maldives where you can enjoy romantic strolls along the white powder-soft beaches and watch as the setting sun spreads its rays over an enchanting blue sea. When you're ready to slip beneath the surface, there's plenty of underwater thrills in this pelagic heaven. Instead of a romantic night at the ballet back home, dance with the underwater ballerinas (AKA schooling manta rays). Enjoy other critters like moray eels, gray reef sharks and schools of barracuda before wining and dining beneath the stars in arguably the world's most romantic destination.
In this for the long haul (flight)
If you're committed for the long haul (flight) then head to Indonesia for world-class diving. Here, the magic is in the detail. While diving over the house reef at Wakatobi - a luxurious island resort in Sulawesi - scour among the sea fans and yellow cave coral for pygmy seahorses, clownfish and butterfly fish. Even the greatest artist would struggle to compete with the colours of this underwater world. While you're here, make sure to check out the Black Forest site too, for the chance to see Oriental sweetlips, clown triggerfish and sergeant majors. And don't forget to appreciate the little things (both in one another and the reefs) as these waters are a mecca for macro photographers.
If you're looking to show your complete and utter adoration to your special diving buddy, then nothing can beat a liveaboard experience in Raja Ampat. These pristine waters host 565 species of hard coral and 1,100 fish species. Allow the water to do the work for you as you relax on a drift dive in Cape Kri, floating over coral gardens exploding with colour and keep an eye out for a sleepy wobbegong shark or a relaxing green turtle. Enjoy the crème de la crème of luxury and romance aboard a traditional phinisi yacht, diving and exploring the remote corners of this archipelago.
Find a location that can do both
If you want to dive hand in hand in the morning and go for a jungle trek in the afternoon, there's no better spot than the Caribbean. In the waters around the Bahamas, keep your eyes peeled for migrating humpback whales, on your way to dive with lemon, tiger and Caribbean reef sharks. Then back on land, soak in the lush scenery on a hike through the jungle to Annandale Falls and Forest Park in Grenada.
A wreck head's dream
Finally, for those wreck heads and history buffs, a liveaboard experience to Chuuk Lagoon in Micronesia will win your heart time and time again. Featuring 60 ships and 200 planes that were sunk in WWII, this is the holy grail of wreck diving. The collection of these sunken vessels provides a vibrant and diverse artificial reef, where coral grouper, sharks, rays and macro critters crawl and careen among the soft corals and sponges.