Palau and Yap
A great direction to combine with the Philippine Islands! The time from November to May is the best to visit these places. The incredible visibility, the beauty of the pristine reefs and the diversity of marine inhabitants literally fascinate divers. In Palau, both diving from the shore and dive safaris are possible, while in Yap there is only daily diving. The only thing that requires special attention is the docking of flights and the visa regime in transit countries – both of which significantly affect the tour program.
From November to March, the season continues in the Andaman Sea. This means that the dive sites of Phuket, Phi Phi, Krabi, in Khao Lak are open for divers. For diving, a little less touristy resorts are recommended and, of course, the highlight of Thailand is diving safari to the many-sided Similan Islands. Every year more and more high-level yachts appear in the country, and the only thing that darkens divers with the joy of diving in these amazing places is the abundance of homo sapiens under water. That is why many yachts continue their route to more distant places – the shores of Myanmar (Mergui archipelago) or even India (Andaman Islands). Both destinations are extremely attractive from the point of view of diving, and especially diving safaris.
In Myanmar, the diving season lasts from November to May, and the best time for diving is from December to March. From February to May, local divers have the highest chances to repeatedly meet manta rays and whale sharks.
From December to May, the high season continues on the west coast of the Malacca peninsula, where the Payyar marine park lies an hour from the popular islands of Langkawi and Penang. However, due to the remoteness of the park from tourist places for keen divers wishing to make more than two dives a day, it’s better to target diving resorts around Borneo, including, of course, Sipadan (Mabul and Kapalai), Mataking and Lankayan.
Although the peak season in Malaysia is during the summer months, the islands are highly popular all year round. Diving in these places is available all year round, and in low season, despite the deterioration of visibility, the chance to meet large oceanic inhabitants rises.
If in the summer in Vietnam, divers wait for Nha Trang, then from October to April the right time for diving at the resort of Phu Quoc comes. This largest of the Vietnamese islands has the most picturesque coral reefs surrounded by small tropical fish, including endemics. And although the dives here are designed mainly for novice divers, their more experienced colleagues will be able to get here a unique “specialization” in the numerous and colorful nudibranch mollusks of Vietnam.
From November to April is the high season for diving in the Caribbean, and Cuba is his real treasure. Fascinated divers are shown six-day safari through the archipelago of the Queen’s Gardens – the third largest barrier reef in the world. Interest for divers offers the province of Holguin and Cienfuegos, the city of Trinidad, the resorts of Cayo Lewis and Cayo Santa Maria. Fascinating divers should visit the marine reserves at the resorts of Maria la Gorda, Cayo Largo, see the flooded ships of Santiago de Cuba and, of course, do not miss the shark feeding in Santa Lucia! As a ground-based program, you can choose a combination of several resorts or a tour with a rental car – from a small Skoda to a good minivan. This option allows you to get a maximum of the island and on land and under water.
Of course, Barbados is not the best place for diving in the Caribbean, but it also has something to offer scuba diving. The local wet season, which lasts from April to July, is considered the best time for exploring ocean fish. At this time, visibility drops noticeably due to the blooming of plankton, but then – for the same reason – many large ocean divers, interesting for divers, including whale sharks, feed to coastal waters. The dry season (and with it, good visibility) begins in October. From this month, divers are waiting for coral reefs (one of the “healthiest” in the Caribbean), inhabited by tropical fish, including rare species. You can also see multi-colored sponges, local turtles – byss and, of course, the “highlight” of Barbados – “wrecks”. Among the ten local popular “wrecks”, the most famous is “S.S. Stavronikita ”- a hundred-meter Greek cargo ship in excellent condition, submerged at depths of 25-35 meters. And in the time free from diving, you can take an incendiary boat trip on a practically real pirate ship, which is called “The Jolly Roger”!
The Bay of Carlisle in Barbados has more than two hundred sunken ships from the 17th century – for the most part, the fault of the storm or pirates. Despite the fact that dives are carried out only on a dozen of them, brave divers can try themselves in the discovery of new “racks” suitable for diving and research.