When the legendary ocean conservationist, Dr. Sylvia Earle, said, 'Every time I slip into the ocean, it's like going home,' the sentiment resonated with divers worldwide. Diving transcends being just a pastime; it's a way of life. For most divers, selecting a holiday revolves around this passion, and this is where dive resorts truly shine. These resorts, often situated at the doorstep of the world's best diving spots, embrace an 'Eat, sleep, dive, repeat' mentality, quickly turning underwater companions into a family. You'll share adventures both above and below the waves and form genuine connections with fellow divers. Who wouldn't want more dive buddies?
When choosing a dive resort, there are several factors to consider: location, the number of dives included, the type of accommodation and facilities, non-diving amenities and its reputation.
Dive Resort vs. Dive Centre
First things first, what's the difference between a dive resort and a dive centre? A dive resort offers the complete holiday experience, including accommodation, dining and recreational activities, with diving as the main focus. Think of it as a one-stop shop for all your dive holiday needs.
In comparison, a dive centre provides diving training and certifications, guiding services and equipment rental. They may or may not have accommodation on-site. Dive centres are more geared toward diving activities and training, while dive resorts offer a broader holiday experience that includes diving among other amenities and services.
Location is Key
Dive resorts are usually located near popular diving destinations, along the coast or on an island, with direct or close access to a beach. Choose a dive resort that matches your diving interests, whether it's tropical reefs, wrecks or marine life.
A resort that's located close to your dive sites of interest means a shorter commute. Some dive resorts are located on house reefs, open for unlimited shore dives. When making travel plans, consider the time of year as this will impact weather and water conditions.
How Many Dives are Included
Most dive resorts offer scuba diving packages included in the price of your stay. Be sure to inquire about specifics. Find out how many daily dives are included and whether they are shore or boat dives. Understanding these details can help you make a clearer decision and manage expectations.
Dive resorts take pride in their diverse range of accommodation offerings, catering to the needs and preferences of different guests. When you are choosing a dive resort, consider the type of room you want. For instance, do you want to stay away from the main resort or close to the dive boat? Families with children that are learning to dive might want to have a room close to the resort's dive centre, so they can see their kids mastering the essential skills.
In addition, dive resorts offer a range of amenities, from restaurants, bars, to spa facilities and non-diving recreational activities like yoga or paddle boarding. If you have a non-diving friend or partner with you, there are activities for them to enjoy while you go explore the deep blue.
The Dive Centre
Ensure the dive centre at the resort is well equipped with experienced guides and instructors, serviced equipment and seaworthy vessels. Inquire about emergency procedures and safety standards. If you're looking to do a specialty course, confirm that the dive centre offers it. As the focus of these dive resorts is diving, the dive centres at the resorts work hard to ensure beginners are with other beginners and advanced divers are grouped together.
Reputation is important when it comes to selecting the right dive resort. Read online reviews and ask your fellow diving friends and forums about their experiences. Consider dive resorts promoting environmental conservation and sustainable tourism. These resorts will promote responsible diving practices, not touching the reef and disposing of waste properly.