Aquatic Adventure Vacations
Are you in the market for a new type of adventure travel? Do you love the ocean? Do you love marine life? Do you love physical activity in the great outdoors? Then these ideas might just be right up your alley. Adventure travel companies are becoming a big business industry and there is no shortage of destinations from which to choose. Perhaps one of the following may be just what you’re looking for if you want something completely different.
Seaventures Dive Resort
Seaventures Dive Resort is not a resort in the typical sense of the word. You won’t find any 4 star accommodations or world-renowned chefs here, but if you’re looking for something unique this might just fit the bill. Scuba divers and snorkelers will be drawn to the fabulous location in the Celebes Sea, 20 miles off the coast of Borneo which boasts gentle sea-turtles, barracuda clouds, corals and countless species of colorful fish. The resort itself has been fashioned from an offshore oilrig that is no longer used. The rooms here are admittedly cramped. The food is not exactly gourmet, but you will receive tasty, generous portions. There is no spa, no pampering and no professional entertainment to speak of. But that is not why divers come. They come for the unparalleled diving experience of this amazing place. Getting here itself is an adventure. First you must fly to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and then on to Tawau. Then you will drive about an hour and spend the night in Semporna, before heading out by boat for an hour ride to the Seaventures Dive Resort. Seaventures is one of the few resorts that is able to receive permits for divers and snorkelers, as nearby Sipadan Island has been designated a national park. If you are a diver seeking a new and different experience, this resort might be just what you’re looking for. The marine life is exquisite and because the area is not highly traveled, you’ll feel at peace on this unique excursion. For more information visit their website at www.seaventuresdive.com.
The Blue Hole – Belize
No SCUBA enthusiast's resume is complete without a dive in The Blue Hole. The Blue Hole is a sink hole in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll about 60 miles off mainland Belize. It is 1000 feet in diameter and 480 feet at its deepest point. Beneath the surface, stalactites of 25 to 50 feet in length grasp the underwater caverns and shark sightings are not uncommon. Coral abounds in this hole and is so plentiful and healthy that it actually spikes through the surface at low tide. Water temperatures are comfortable, maintaining at about 76 degrees Fahrenheit as deep as 130 feet. Marine life is best seen at lesser depths as the dark, still waters do not support much marine life nor make that which is there clearly visible. The dive is not recommended for the novice diver because of the decompression times required (10 to 15 minutes at 20 feet). If you are interested in this, I would recommend contacting the tour company prior to making arrangements to assure that you are well-suited to the trip. Check out http://ambergriscaye.com and click on the picture of the great blue hole for more information.
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Shark Diving in Fiji (Aqua Trek)
Aqua Trek has been operating shark dives in Fiji since 1987. Their Pacific Harbor location also offers soft coral diving, shipwreck dives and diving courses. The trek’s pioneer, Brandon Paige created a dive that has become known as the number one shark dive in the world. Shark sightings are common on his dives and species include bull sharks, both white tip and black tip reef sharks, nurse sharks, lemon sharks and even tiger sharks! There are plenty of other marine life sightings as well. Divers watch as the many sharks begin circling for their meal in a feeding area called, The Arena. There are plenty of opportunities to take photos and video during the 50 minute dive. Pay a visit to www.aquatrek.com for more information.
Baja Sea Kayaking & Whale Watching
Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. operates sea kayaking tours in a number of diverse settings. Kayakers that choose the Baja tour will frequently encounter blue, gray and fin whales and sea lions. The islands of the Sea of Cortez are incredibly scenic with their high cliffs and sandy beaches lining the incredibly clear green/blue sea. The gorgeous weather and scenic, favorable conditions make Baja one the most popular winter sea kayaking destinations in North America. Kayakers must be at least 12 to 13 years of age. These trips are recommended for beginners and intermediate paddlers. For more information visit www.seakayakadventures.com.
Whitewater Rafting in Jackson Hole, WY
Does a whitewater rafting trip sound like a great adventure? What about a day of rafting topped of with a river side steak or trout cookout? It can be yours if you visit Jackson Hole, Wyoming and book a trip with Mad River Boat Trips. Mad River offers a variety of outings including scenic floats and the ultimate 8-mile whitewater experience. The 8-mile trip is actually accessible to persons as young as 6 years of age and lasts 3 to 3 ½ hours door to door. While the inflatable boats hold as many as 16 travelers, typical outings include an average of only 10 to 12. Trips are taken down the Snake River over rapids that range from Class I to Cass III. Each raft has guides that offer information about the local wildlife and plant life. It is not uncommon to encounter wildlife sightings such as deer, elk, eagles or even bear! It is worth the extra money to throw in a tasty breakfast before rafting or try the steak or trout cookout! Jackson Hole has many great places to stay and the Grand Tetons offer spectacular views and photo opportunities. For more information about the whitewater rafting trips, visit http://mad-river.com.
Dolphin swimming trips off Mozambique
Dolphin tourism in Mozambique is a rapidly growing business. There are pros and cons to this type of trip however, so travelers should be educated about dolphin tourism before they decide whether or not to try it. For many years, humans have reveled in the idea of interacting with these gentle creatures in their natural surroundings. Dolphins are well-known to be playful, intelligent and personable marine mammals. Swimming with dolphins and petting them and even getting an occasional ride as they drag you through the sea would send an exhilarating jolt of energy through any marine tourist. But man must respect nature, despite our almost overwhelming compulsion to interact with it. We must realize that chasing, swimming with, touching and otherwise harassing these magnificent creatures can cause stress in dolphins as well as disrupt their rest and breeding habits. Before deciding upon which tour company to patronize, do your homework. Identify a tour company whose focus is on education and conservation, not simply a for-profit company that does not have established boundaries and guidelines. Those companies that do have established rules will be most reputable. And each tourist will do well to follow the guidelines in order to protect the gentle mammals that we all adore. Check out www.mozambique-direct.com and click on Activities. Swim with the Dolphins is the number 7 activity listed with trips starting at $292 per person.
Snorkeling with Whale Sharks in Tofu Bay
Another activity listed at www.mozambique-direct.com is the opportunity to snorkel with whale sharks in Tofu Bay off Mozambique. These gentle giants are incredible and snorkeling amongst them will have your adrenaline rushing for sure! They look like sharks, are as large as whales, but are actually fish. The largest fish in the sea. Because, like the dolphins, man must respect these creatures, this tour company offers whale shark awareness specialty courses. I would advise taking one so that each snorkeler knows what to expect and is equipped to interact successfully with these giant fish.
Dunn’s River Falls Jamaica
This is a bit more tame, but no less beautiful or enjoyable. Dunn’s River Falls is a top tourist attraction in Ochos Rios, Jamaica. Jamaica is truly one of the top honeymooning destinations on the planet and if you’re on the island for a romantic get-away, this is a not-to-be-missed adventure. The 600 foot falls offer plenty of opportunities for taking a romantic dip in one of the natural shallow pools, standing beneath the refreshing cascades, and taking countless photos of the falls and lush surroundings. Climbers follow guides up the falls and the guides are also happy to take your photographs. Your group holds hands as it ascends, for fun and to enhance safety. As you might imagine, you WILL get wet, so dress accordingly and be sure to wear proper footwear to avoid slipping on the rocks. For more information visit www.dunnsriverja.com.
Surfing the Banzai Pipeline off Oahu
As many surf aficionados will attest, some of the best waves are found off the coast of the Hawaiian islands. One of the most famous is the North Shore’s Banzai Pipeline. The waves here are so massive and the tubes so hollow, that they are almost surreal. This pipeline is for the most elite surfers only. The waves are intense and jagged volcanic reef juts up just inches below the surface making this pipeline a potential death-trap for the novice, but a true thrill ride for the expert surfer. This trip makes the list because even if you don’t surf, the watching the waves and those that try to conquer them is a thrill ride in itself!
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