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A Guide to Scuba Diving Abroad

A little red crab once told you that everything is better “under the sea.” Turns out, he wasn’t lying. You may not realize it now, but there IS music everywhere below the surface. Scuba diving abroad will take you beyond human limitations, transport you to a new universe, and provide you with the epitome of adventure travel. The oceans of the world are a stirring, a slow-motion wonderland is welcoming you, and there is water waiting for you – no matter where you travel abroad. Isn’t it about time you dive in and get your scuba diving certification, so you can sing along?


From the crystal clear waters of Iceland’s silfra fissure to the colorful expanse known as the Great Barrier Reef, when it comes to scuba diving, the world is your oyster. Scuba diving can be found anywhere there is coastline, but no two scuba adventures will be the same.

Southeast Asia is practically the capital of overseas adventure travel. It is also a region that boasts a splendor of reefs and wreckages that will be leave you breathless (the good kind of breathless). You can glide through the 26 Japanese naval ships sunk by U.S. air raids during WWII within the Calamian Islands of the Philippines. If history really isn’t your thing, try Sipadan Island in Malaysia; it has been voted one of “The Top Dive Destination in the World”, so you can’t go wrong, right? ARound Sipadan Island you can enjoy some of the greatest biodiversity found on Earth. No matter where you decide to scuba dive in Southeast Asia, your underwater selfies will have everyone talking.

The Caribbean is home to warm, turquoise waters and some of the ocean’s largest characters. Dive deep inside the iconic Great Blue Hole in Belize, where a shallow marine playground meets a sudden 400 foot abyss. Alternatively, the Cayman Islands offer over 160 popular dive sites including a city of stingrays and the Bahamas are known for letting you get up close and personal to all your favorite shark species. How many of your friends can say they’ve high fived a shark? So, leave your fears on the white, sandy shores and plunge into the Caribbean’s vibrant waters though scuba diving ASAP.

Scuba Diving Abroad

Whether you wish to dip beneath the waves for only a day or give Jacques Cousteau a run for his money, there are scuba diving lessons perfect for your next adventure.

You’ll find that day trips are the most popular option for scuba diving abroad, especially among travelers who like to go with the flow. Dive shops around popular scuba diving locations usually allow for short-notice reservations and equipment rentals for two tank boat dives. These scuba diving lessons are commonly in larger groups, less technical, and perfect for those wishing to escape gravity for an afternoon then move on to the next adventure.

Many of these dive shops offer multi-day excursions, where you’ll return ashore in the evenings. These are great options for those who want to hone their scuba diving skills and get comfortable in the water, without missing out on those unforgettable seaside sunsets.

Private scuba diving tours are always an option too, offering tailored scuba diving lessons for you and your fellow travelers. Just be prepared to hand over any buried treasure chests you find if you go this route.

For the adventurers who wish to swim against the current then stay there for awhile, liveaboard programs will take you to the world’s most remote dive sites, in style. Lasting anywhere from one to three weeks, you’ll rack up the nautical miles by living aboard a vessel with other divers who share your seafaring nerve. It’s like the aquatic equivalent of the road less traveled. You’ll spend your days exploring the open water and all its wonders, then spend your evenings swapping stories before the ocean sways you to sleep. You don’t have to be a master diver to embark on a liveaboard scuba diving program, just know you’ll be earning those sea legs.

The beauty of scuba diving is that you can splash around the seven seas (although we don’t particularly recommend the Arctic) during any season. Well, that and you won’t receive any work emails underwater! Weather does play an integral role in the ocean and its behavior, so do yourself a favor and don’t flounder about during any storms and never enter the water without a master diver.

Tips & Advice for Scuba Diving

Scuba diving abroad will leave you smiling for hours, even after you dry off. It’s difficult putting in words the sheer awe of scuba diving adventures that few get to experience, so you’ll just have to see it for yourself.

Unlike ziplining, you can’t just show up: a scuba diving certification is a must, as most dive shops around the world will require an open water diving certification. This will teach you the basic principles and skills of scuba diving, either in a classroom or online. Did you know you can even receive college credit for earning your scuba diving certification? See ya later, underwater basket weaving.

Scuba diving certification is important as it teaches you how to relax, communicate, and navigate the water safely. You’ll also learn that scuba is an acronym, for you trivia buffs out there. Scuba diving certification costs about $200 to $250, but don’t worry, no one has ever regretted it.

When embarking on your first scuba adventure, choose a location that matches your interests. If you would rather dance with marine life in the sunny tropics, then it’s okay to forego that nighttime wreck dive. Even though you’ll never get bored of swimming in your niche, the best adventure travelers aren’t afraid to mix it up. Oh, and don’t forget an underwater camera; it’ll help during those times when the ocean leaves you absolutely speechless.

Benefits & Challenges

Being underwater is an unmatched experience of serenity. Scuba diving provide a quiet exploration of a world where your surface problems simply don’t exist. That being said, scuba diving can be adrenaline-filled, even in those peaceful moments. Learning how to stay calm and collected despite the constant excitements is a balance you’ll have to embrace during your scuba diving lessons.

Scuba diving may appear daunting, even for the most seasoned thrill seekers. Before you opt out and trade in the wetsuit for a snorkel, know that scuba diving is actually pretty easy. With the right instruction, anyone over the age of 10 can do it! All it takes is some deep breaths and knowing where to go next. If only life on land was that easy...

Most scuba diving certification requirements include several open water dives to apply the skills from your coursework. For those who live far away from large bodies of water, this may require some travel prior to receiving your certification. Open water dive training can be found all over the world. From the crystal lakes of the Rocky Mountains to the inland quarries of the United Kingdom, we trust you can turn finalizing your scuba diving certification into one epic weekend.

Arguably the most challenging thing about scuba diving is that you’ll never want to stop. The salty kiss of sapphire waters, the bond between animal and sea, and the friends you’ll make along the way make scuba diving a lifelong activity.

To see the world but ignore the seas is downright irresponsible. Scuba diving is a change of pace, the experience of a lifetime, and a chance to one-up all those engagement photos on your timeline. The ocean is wild, free, and everything a true traveler strives to be so go explore it.

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A Guide To
Scuba Diving Abroad


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