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

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

  • 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
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

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…

The Arenui liveaboard

A Warm Winter

Winter might seem like a lifetime away but time has a way of creeping up on you. And when the nights get longer and temperatures start to plummet, we're here to give you that beacon of light that is a holiday. But with some of the best winter escape destinations filling up fast, organisation…

fish on coral reef in Raja Ampat

New Kids On The Block

Regularly topping just about every 'top diving' list and hogging a number of world records for marine biodiversity, it's irrefutable that Raja Ampat, located in the bullseye of the Coral Triangle, is home to some of the best diving on earth. But the Coral Triangle is vast and varied, with a…

grouper diving Maldives

Marine Conservation, It’s A Blue Thing: Part II

The Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) are a pretty marvellous bunch. Their chief mission is to tackle overfishing across the globe and they aim to place 30% of the world's oceans under protection by 2030. In part one of our Q&A with Vivienne Evans, BLUE's Maldives Project Manager, we…

scuba diving in the Laamu Atoll, Maldives

Marine Conservation, It’s A Blue Thing: Part I

Fish: they come in a kaleidoscope of colours and sizes, and whether alone or in a shimmering shoal dancing over reefs they're a delight to see on any dive, but are also essential to a healthy ocean. However, around 90% of global fish stocks are currently over-exploited, a problem Blue Marine…

sweetlips diving Raja Ampat

Marine Reserves

Blue belts. Nope, we haven't taken up karate and we're not advertising a new fashion trend, we are in fact referring to the UK Government announcing the expansion of protected coastal 'blue belt' marine areas surrounding the British Isles. Another excellent step on the ladder to conserving…

diving whales on Blue Planet 2

Sarah Conner: Across Ice And Tropics

There aren't many people who can list diving with orcas in Norway, descending into eerie ice worlds in Greenland, technicolour coral reefs in Raja Ampat and being dwarfed by blue whales, pilot whales and sperm whales in the deep blue as part of a day's work. Scientist, producer and diving…

sperm whales

Behind The Scenes of Blue Planet II

Ever wonder how the team at the BBC's Blue Planet II found out about the bird-eating fish? How on earth they managed to film the creepy bobbit worm lurking in the seafloor? How many hours they spent underwater (hint: a lot)? Us too. That's why we hosted a rather marvellous evening (if we say…

macro diving

Summer Escapes

The Great British Summer: burnt barbecues, questionable tan lines, extreme pollen forecasts and endless drivel on the TV (we're looking at you, Love Island). It's a surprise anyone wants to go abroad really… For those who are looking to escape though, there is still some last minute…

Wakatobi house reef, Indonesia

Shore Diving

They (read: we) say the best things in life are but a few fin kicks from the beach. And here at Original Diving, we believe there are some pretty marvellous sights to be seen in the shallows. From some of the world's most beautiful coral reefs to magnificent wrecks, marvellous macro critters…

red sea in egypt reef

Family Diving

There are few better ways to bond with your children than while diving. Obviously you can't natter away on the dive itself, but when you're back in the boat or on the beach, reliving the dive with a wide-eyed youngster can be a magical experience. The good news (and something a lot of…

clownfish coral reef fiji

Just The Two Of Us

If 'Before Sunrise', 'Lost in Translation' and 'Casablanca' have taught us anything, it's that all great romances happen abroad. And it's no coincidence that most of the best dive destinations are in some of the most beautiful corners of the world. Whether you're celebrating a special…

diving off the grid

Get Off The Grid

Are you a slave to your smartphone? Can't get through a meal without checking your emails? Fingers twitch if you're not scouring through social media? We're sorry to tell you, but you're addicted to the internet. Luckily for you, we've got the remedy. Whether setting sail to new horizons or…

diving philippines

The Philippines Top Dive Sites

Contrary to popular belief, Alex Garland's iconic 'The Beach' was actually based in the Philippines, not Thailand. And while the beaches are nothing short of heaven on earth, the diving is out of this world. From eerie Second World War wrecks to freshwater lakes, healthy coral reefs to…

Gozo’s Top Dive Sites

Malta's been hogging the headlines of all the travel features this year, from romantic regaling of Valletta's butterscotch streets (which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, don't you know) to poetic prose on the archipelago's eternal sunshine. But we think a rather large,…

Galapagos wildlife

Sun's Out

After somewhat questionable weather over Easter (for us Brits, anyway), the skies have finally cleared and a few brave souls have even stepped out in shorts. And with the faintest whiff of warmth in the air we're stuffing clothes into our suitcases faster than a millennial can text. But…

Great Barrier Reef

Reasons Australia Should Be On Your Radar

When we say Australia, no doubt images of kangaroos, didgeridoos and, er, Neighbours spring to mind. But Australia has so much more on offer. From emerald tropical rainforests and red outback sands to glistening white coastlines and, of course, some of the world's most iconic diving; if…

shoal of fish scuba diving

The Gift Of Time

Ever wish you could magic up a few extra days of holiday? Well, actually in May you can. And no, we're not suggesting there are now 375 days in the year or that we've secretly located the DeLorean from Back to the Future. With two Bank Holidays, if you take 14 days of holiday in between, you…

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