Top Ten Eco Dive Resorts

From pledging to become entirely plastic-free to developing circular waste systems and a whole heap of other green initiatives, resorts across the world are increasingly taking it upon themselves to have as little impact on the surrounding landscape as possible, and in some cases even championing change on a regional and global scale. While we’ve got a growing green book of Original Diving approved luxury dive eco resorts, read on to discover the top ten eco resorts paving the way for responsible travel.
1. Six Senses Laamu: Southern Atolls, Maldives

Championing conservation across the Maldives, Six Senses Laamu talks the talk and walks the walk when it comes to sustainability. To name but a couple of credentials, the eco resort aims to make the 19,200-acre Laamu atoll a marine protected area and is also a member of The Long Run, a global initiative that strives to create a sustainable future through conservation, community, culture and commerce. To find out more about their sustainable initiatives and eco-adventures guests can get stuck into in our Conservation in the Maldives blog post.

2. Nuarro Luxury Eco Lodge: Mozambique, Africa

The only resort to scatter the sandy shores of Nanatha Half Moon Bay in northern Mozambique, Nuarro Luxury Eco Lodge lives up to its name. The resort ticks all the right boxes with electricity and clean water produced using renewable energy, while guests can also give back to the local community by volunteering during their stay. Divers can explore straight from the shores and with seagrass, coral reefs and drop-offs, there is plenty to keep guests underwater the entire trip.

3. Misool Eco Resort: Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Regularly touted as the top eco resort in the world, Misool Eco Resort managed to turn an old shark finning camp into one of the fishiest marine environments in Raja Ampat, which is no easy feat. The resort's charity, the Misool Foundation, spearheaded the creation of the 300,000-acre Misool Private Marine Reserve in 2005 and continues to work with local communities to safeguard the area.

4. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort: Savusavu, Fiji

Living up to its namesake, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is a pioneer in eco-tourism and one of the world's first eco-luxury retreats. The resort works with local communities across Vanua Levu to conserve the environment, while guests can volunteer on a variety of conservation projects, including coral planting, mangrove restoration, its giant clam project, medicinal hikes through tropical rainforests... the list goes on.

5. The Brando: Tetiaroa, French Polynesia

Built from local timber and palm fronds, The Brando's sustainability was fashioned from the ground up. The uber luxurious French Polynesian private island champions green living, be it using coconut oil to power the resort or its seawater air-conditioning system. The icing on the cake? The Brando's global vision for a sustainable future means the resort regularly collaborates with other resorts on all things eco; after all, teamwork makes the dream work.

6. Alphonse Island: The Outer Islands, Seychelles

A tiny speck in the great expanse of the Indian Ocean, the remote private island of Alphonse has been left untouched by outside pressures, ergo remains wonderfully au naturelle. Guests can revel in WiFi-free glory, spending days exploring the island alongside ginormous ancient tortoises, diving on spectacular reefs in blissful solitude and learning about the region's incredible wildlife on an eco-tour with the Island Conservation Society.

7. Petit St Vincent: St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Caribbean

Ever heard of a reverse osmosis desalination plant? It's a system Petit St Vincent uses to process ocean water into fresh drinking water. Pretty nifty, eh? The private island paradise goes above and beyond in all things eco, including eliminating single-use plastic from rooms and giving kitchen waste to local chicken and pig farmers. Ensuring no stone is left unturned, there are also plans to funnel all wastewater into a nutrient-rich water irrigation system to supply the landscape.

8. Papua Explorers Dive Resort: Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Located next to the Dampier Strait, conveniently close to some of Raja Ampat's most coveted sites, Papua Explorers Dive Resort takes marine conservation seriously. So much so that the resort has established its own marine charity, the Papua Explorers Foundation, which collaborates with leading scientists and local communities to preserve the increasingly popular marine environment. Staying at the resort alone will help fund the foundation's conservation projects, or for a more hands-on experience, guests can become citizen scientists at the onsite Raja Ampat SEA centre.

9. Sangat Island Dive Resort: Palawan, The Philippines

Wild in the truest sense of the word, Sangat Private Island is characterised by jagged limestone peaks and untamed jungle - as a result a guide is thoroughly recommended to explore the island's interior for fear of becoming lost. Located on a sweeping arc of beach, Sangat Island Resort is wholly crafted in nature, from its rustic beach bungalows enveloped in palms to the resort's green initiatives, such as its solar generation plant and a complete ban on plastics. Its environmental impact on the island is virtually nil.

10. Pole Pole: Tanzania, Africa

Life's great conundrum: what would you take as your luxury item if you were castaway à la Desert Island Discs. Luckily, at Pole Pole there's no need to worry as the uber luxurious island has everything you could ever want while keeping in line with the natural landscape, which is quite something to behold. Overlooking Chole Bay, there are just seven bungalows hidden among the palm trees that line the white, sweeping beach, which the resort endeavours to keep untouched through its purification plant (which keeps waste to the absolute minimum) meaning guests can sit back, relax and revel in being marooned.

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Jacqui is our 'Top Ten Eco Dive Resorts ' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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