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


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

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.

Toughest Travel Moment

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

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

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?…


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…


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,…

coral reef, Papua New Guinea

Where to dive in May

Our wonderful planet is made up of over 71% water which, when you tally up the average British holiday allowance (28 days in case you're interested), means you would need several lifetimes (official stat) to explore the watery world. Sadly, we don't have the recipe for the elixir of life,…

the alexa private charter, Indonesia

Romantic Escapes

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone celebrates Valentine's Day with Hallmark. In Wales, star-crossed lovers cement their love with wooden spoons while Japanese colleagues exchange 'obligation chocolate'. South Korea covers all bases with a day dedicated to men, women and singletons…

Hammerhead close up

Top Six Places to Dive With Hammerheads

One of the most iconic of all species, hammerhead sharks should be swimming near the brim of any diver's bucket list. The fact that - unlike most sharks - scalloped hammerheads usually swim in huge schools only amplifies the spectacular experience of seeing them.

diving alor, Indonesia

Your Yearly Planner

January: it's perpetually dark outside, the temperatures are less than peachy and many of us are miserably slogging through dry January. So, naturally, we're choosing to bypass all that and look straight ahead to all of the wonderful adventures you could have this year. From diving one of…

humpbacks swimming

Top Five Places for Humpback Whale Encounters

Humpback whales are some of the most beautiful, intriguing and inquisitive creatures in the ocean and regularly top divers' bucket lists the world over. And with good reason. Whether witnessing the casual flick of a tail or a gravity-defying breach; the thundering thwack of a belly flop or…

scuba diving, Iceland

Diving In A Winter Wonderland

When considering a winter diving trip, exotic sun-draped, far-flung destinations usually spring to mind. And while we're all for a winter sun sojourn, we'd also like to throw another hat into the ring: the surreal, wild wonderland of Iceland. So to put the theory to the test, Louisa and I…

diving in socorro

Dive Into 2019

As the nights draw in, the temperature drops (we had a good run) and businesses start to compete for the best Christmas TV ad (move aside Elton, Waitrose's Stollen takes the crown), the festive season is upon us. So, naturally, we've decided to bypass all of that and look straight ahead to…

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