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 -

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

  • Go on a liveaboard to dive across Papua New Guinea
  • Hike to Everest Base Camp in Nepal
  • Freedive with whales and orcas in Norway
  • Take a voyage to the remote wilderness of Patagonia and Antarctica
  • Dive between two continents in Iceland

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

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…

Manta ray in maldives

Beat the System

Question: do you consider yourself a canny operator (*taps nose and winks*)? Are you willing to buck the trend, go off-piste, roll the dice as it were? Well it's time to channel your inner wheeler dealer, à la Del Boy Trotter (perhaps without the dodgy gold medallions and morally ambiguous…

Diving lesson

The Top Five Places To Learn To Dive

Divers are really astronauts; gliding weightless through the ocean we observe alien worlds carpeted in vast fields of colourful corals with equally bizarre, enthralling inhabitants - from the foreign clicks of dolphins communicating to minute technicolour slugs (nudibranch). And best yet,…

humpback whale and calf

The Treasure Islands

What if we told you that Treasure Island was real? That hidden in the remote corners of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean lies an immense and intoxicating treasure trove. Okay, so there might not be booty but what those fabled buccaneers (read: we) did encounter was much, much better.…

sea turtle

Use It Or Lose It

Time flies, doesn't it? At the beginning of the year there's the resolution-fuelled vigour of dry January and flash-in-the-pan health kicks. Next up is nature's awakening in spring, followed by the rare but welcome heatwaves of summer (this year, anyway). And before you know it there's the…

liveaboard diving at sunrise

The 10 Best Liveaboard Destinations

It's aboat (sorry) time we let you in on a little not-so-secret-secret about liveaboards - liveaboard diving allows you to boldly go to where no day trip has gone before, setting sail to some of the most remote, pristine dive sites in the world. It's the crème de la crème of dive…

Diving in the Caribbean

It's a strange quirk of fate, but the best diving in the Caribbean is almost exclusively in the more out of the way corners of the West Indies. So, much as we love Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Barts and the rest of the big hitters, their diving just doesn't cut the…

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