Life is in the detail

If you’re heading to Brazil’s Bahia state, make sure you spend a few days in the charming little cobblestone town of Lencois. From there, hike into Chapada Diamantina National Park for billowing waterfalls, deep canyons and natural waterslides – all without seeing another soul.

Lizzie - Original Diver

Lizzie Shipley

Original Travel Expert

I have extensive travel experience throughout South America, Central America, Australia and Thailand.

My travels

Everest-Base-Camp

Travel Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  • Dive in Socorro, Cocos Island and the Galapagos
  • Go on a liveaboard to dive across Papua New Guinea
  • Walk across the Amazon (one day!)
  • Freedive with whales and orcas in Norway
  • Take a voyage to the remote wilderness of Patagonia and Antarctica and dive under the ice sheets
Mexico-Cenote

Best Moments

  • Diving in the cenotes of Mexico: Dos Ojos for its labyrinth of stalagmites and stalactites, Casa Carwash for its Eden-like underwater garden, Angelita for its spooky Tim Burton setting and the best cenote, The Pit, for the turquoise shard of light that pierces through the freshwater lighting up the entire cave.
  • Watching the entire Milky Way at Punto Gallinas in Colombia, South Americas northernmost point.
  • Taking a speedboat to the Jurassic Park style islands of Coiba National Park, Panama, then diving amongst a whirlpool of marine life - I've never seen so many fish in my life!
  • Hearing a low grumbling in the middle of the night, opening my tent and seeing a shock of red in the darkness as Volcán de Fuego (Guatemala's most active volcano) exploded.
Atlas-Mountains

Toughest Travel Moment

  • A serious bout of food poisoning halfway through a hike up the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Yoga-Finca

Weirdest Travel Moment

  • Volunteering at a Yoga Finca in Colombia and being convinced to take part in a Vamana Dhauti. Never again!

Explore my blog posts

Six Senses Laamu4

Conservation in the Maldives

A glistening archipelago of pearl drop islands, turquoise lagoons and incredible (understatement alert) diving, the Maldives is one of the most coveted paradises on earth, yet also one of the most fragile. However, where unregulated fishing practices, plastic-pollution and climate change are…

Arenui liveaboard Komodo

Top Five Liveaboard Diving Destinations

When you set sail on your liveaboard to destinations unknown, and with a salty ocean breeze ruffling your hair, it's hard to argue with the old proverb about the journey being as important as the destination. As your skipper plots his course between the most coveted diving destinations, a…

birds eye view of house reef

Five of the Best House Reefs

Coral reefs are some of the world's most colourful and diverse ecosystems, and a hidden treasure to feast the eyes upon for any scuba diver and snorkeller. But why should you wait for a boat trip from your hotel when you can access these underwater Edens straight from the shores of your…

Use It Or Lose It - Make the Most of Your Remaining Holiday

Did you know that us Brits have some of the lowest annual holiday allowances in Europe? And to add insult to injury, the boffins in the Original Diving Office for National Statistics (sounds dangerous) tell us that almost a third of us don't even use all of our holiday days, even though 69%…

humpback whale listing image

Our Top 5 Destinations for Epic Marine Encounters

From seals, to humpback whales, to hammerhead sharks. You'll want to pack a couple of logbooks for these mad marine destinations…

blackwater diving

Top Five Dive Sites for Blackwater Diving

Ever been night diving? Blackwater diving is night diving on steroids. But rather than exploring reefs, divers are suspended in the pitch black of the open ocean. Why? Because that's when the diurnal migration (aka the world's largest migration) occurs, with countless platonic animals of the…

Louisa Fisher

She’s an A-Lister

Excuse us for a moment of unabashed self-promotion, but we're delighted to share that our Head of Diving, Louisa Fisher, has been named one of Travel & Leisure's A-List advisers. We pride ourselves on our unparalleled knowledge of diving destinations across the globe and, having…

solomon islands wreck

Winter Escapes

Summer may be nearing its end, but a spot of winter sun always provides a beacon of hope once the nights draw in. And this winter's going to be a corker, from swimming with whale sharks in Tanzania to being seduced by the songs of humpback whales in Oman, mingling with mantas in the Maldives…

The Top 11 Dive Sites For Shark Diving

Did you know that sharks have been around for more than 400 million years? Not only do they pre-date humans but also dinosaurs, making them some of the oldest living creatures to patrol our planet. Despite this, over 100 million sharks are killed each year by human activity, from bycatch to…

green turtle

Last-Minute Summer Diving

Scorching one minute, torrential rain the next; the Great British Summer is about as fickle as the relationships on Love Island (only two weeks left, thank god). But rather than wait to see what Mother Nature throws at us next, we suggest trading in for an exotic new destination. From diving…

Top 20 Underwater Photographers: Part II

We revealed the first round of winners for our Underwater Photography competition in Part I, now after much anticipation, it's time to reveal the other images that smashed the 'original' diving photo brief, and, quite frankly, made us want to escape the city in search of some water. Pronto.

seahorse lembeh strait

Top 20 Underwater Photographers: Part I

Snapshots of time, passports to other worlds and instruments for change, photography is the most powerful tool. We might be biased, but underwater photography truly trumps on the nature scale; it allows us to explore the ocean's greatest (and still largely undiscovered) depths, celebrate its…

mobula rays

Original Dive Photographer of the Year 2019

After much heated debate, a bit of argy bargy and very nearly fisty cuffs, we're delighted to announce the winner of our Original Dive Photography Competition. We challenged photographers of all levels to show us their most original diving photo, showcasing the magic of the underwater world…

Epic Shark Diving in the Bahamas

You might not have noticed, but the Bahamas has been popping up just about everywhere (well, everywhere underwater related, anyway). Seen an epic shot of a tiger beach slinking across a sandy bottom? Tiger Beach off Grand Bahama Island. How about a close up of a great hammerhead smiling?…

Turtle

World Turtle Day

From the patter of tiny turtle flippers as they race to the sea; to spotting an adult casually cruising through the blue; or finally seeing the determined digging of a mother laying her eggs, sea turtles are some of the most enchanting and fascinating creatures to inhabit the world's oceans.…

Crocodile swimming

Behind The Lens: Alex Mustard

Few divers have such envy-inducing CV's as Alex Mustard. One of the world's leading underwater photographers, Alex has featured in a staggering ten different BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year books, has an MBE and has personally presented his work to the Queen. In his most impressive…

Bobtail Squid

Dive In

We need to apologise. We've been keeping a rather large, very exciting secret which we are finally able to share: our brand spanking new brochure has landed (cue gasps and rapturous applause). Diving a little deeper (literally) into our favourite destinations, discover some of the ocean's…

Instagram Competition: Win a Luxury Diving Holiday for Two in the Philippines

Atmosphere Resort & Spa is, quite simply, a diver's dream. Located on the doorstep of some of the world's best muck diving in Dauin and just a stone's throw from world-class reef diving at Apo Island, divers can experience the whole spectrum of watery wonders, with surface intervals…

nudibranch

Instagram Dive Photography Competition: Terms and Conditions

By entering this competition; entrants agree to be bound by these rules.

anemone fish

Hot Off The Press

We've cracked hundreds of fortune cookies, consulted the stars and searched far and wide for Doc Brown (of Back to the Future fame), yet still can't predict the next few months for Britain (or this week's lottery numbers). We can, however, give you the inside track on the latest new…

whale shark ningaloo reef

Top 6 Places to Dive and Snorkel with Whale Sharks

As the ocean's largest fish whale sharks are found in tropical seas around the planet, making for some pretty comfortable dive conditions - unusual when diving, or snorkelling, for some of the ocean's bigger beasts. Yet despite being one of the most recognisable marine creatures, these…

Turtle Under Water

Top 6 Places to Swim and Dive with Turtles

Glimpsing a green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead, Kemp's Ridley, Olive Ridley or flatback on a dive can bring a smile to the face of the most stoical of divers. And while sea turtles can be found in all oceans (except the Arctic) throughout the year, here is our pick of the top spots to…

Hammerhead Shark

The World's Top 10 Dive Sites

The term 'bucket list' was first coined in 1941 by famous explorer John Goddard, who at the ripe old age of 15 listed everything he wanted to achieve in life. Since then, the concept has spread across the globe, evolving with each generation to include everything from milking a poisonous…

Manta Ray

Top Five Places to Dive with Manta Rays

Majestic mantas feature high on the priority list for many divers. The most elegant member of the ray family is equally at home gliding effortlessly in the most challenging of currents or floating serenely at a cleaning station. And with the largest brain-to-body ratio of any shark or ray,…

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Photo Credits

Top Five Liveaboard Diving Destinations: The Arenui