Ever wondered what it’s like to stare a great white shark in the eyes or swim with hundreds of jellyfish? Okay – well maybe not, but don’t run away screaming in terror just yet! Underwater adventures range from daring and dangerous to the relaxing and laid back. You don’t even need to know how to swim to enjoy some of them. Here are 12 underwater experiences for you that are sure to leave you with lasting memories of one of a kind adventure.
12 Underwater Adventures for Aquaphiles
1. Dine in an Undersea Restaurant
Lucky vacationers can dine under the waves at the Conrad Maldives Hotel in the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. The restaurant is situated 16 feet below sea level and has 180° views of reef and marine life. Can you imagine how amazing it would be to be watching fish swim overhead while you sip on a glass of champagne – I’m going to do it one day! If underwater dining isn’t enough for you, be sure to also check out the hotel’s three-person mini-sub nicknamed “Nemo”. It takes 2 passengers + a pilot on a 30 minute dive in the Indian Ocean.
2. Spend the Night Underwater
If you search the web you will find a lot of plans for underwater hotels, but many of them have not been built yet. One place you can go if you want to spend the night under water is the Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida. Guests at the lodge get an underwater experience from the very beginning. To enter the lodge they have to scuba dive 21 feet below the surface of the sea.
3. Dive with Great Whites
Having witnessed the terror that is Jaws, I’m not so sure I would have the guts to swim with Great White sharks, but if you are a daredevil looking for the next thrill there are a number of places around the world where you can do just that.
Here are a few businesses that offer dives with great white sharks:
Shark Diver – offers dives in Isla Guadalupe, Mexico and offer a return trip free if there is no Great White shark sighting
The Shark Lady – shark cage diving in South Africa, you can dive or watch from the surface
Rodney Fox Expeditions – offers a number of different expeditions in Australia including an 8 night trip
4. Take a Walk… Under the Waves
Wearing specially designed diving helmets and weight belts, you can take an underwater walk on a lagoon in Mauritius. Captain Nemo’s undersea walk is a great way for non-divers to explore the ocean.
5. Go Deep
Always dreamed of exploring the depths of the ocean. The Substation Curacao, a mini submarine, will take you down 1000 feet near the Caribbean island of Curaçao. Dives show you beautiful deep reefs and marine life and you can even take a shipwreck tour to see the remains of the Stella Mares at around 450ft deep.
6. Swim with Jellyfish
Jellyfish Lake is a lake in Palau (an island about 500 miles east of the Philippines) and is home to two species of jellyfish, moon jellyfish and golden jellyfish. Both species of jellyfish that live in the lake do have stinging cells, but in general they do not cause harm to humans. This means you can swim with hundreds of jelly fish!
I have mixed feelings about this one as the jellyfish are very fragile and visitors are disturbing their ecosystem, but it would be amazing to swim with so many of these beautiful sea jellies.
7. Dive in the Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is an almost perfectly circular sinkhole that lies approximately 60 miles off the mainland of Belize City. The water inside the hole is 480 feet deep and is surrounded by a reef. Jacque Cousteau declared it to be one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world so you’ll be in good company if you decide to dive its depths. Inside the Great Blue Hole is a series of underwater caves and divers can swim past huge stalactites.
Belize Diving Adventures offers two different experiences on the atoll that allow you to see Stalactites and explore marine life.
8. Take an Underwater Photography Workshop
One amazing way to enjoy the world’s waters is to take pictures underwater. While you could easily enjoy yourself by just getting an underwater camera and taking some snapshots, there are workshops and expeditions all over the world that focus on photography. Why not hone your photography skills and have an amazing adventure at the same time?
An impressive company I came across that offers underwater photography workshops and expeditions is Handler Photo. Led by professional marine photojournalist Mauricio Handler (also a former underwater photographer for National Geographic), Handler Photo’s expeditions and workshops include unique wildlife encounters (check out his whale shark expeditions) and private instruction to help you develop your personal vision.
9. Dive in a Cenote
Cenotes are sinkholes that may or may not have any surface exposed water. The water in cenotes is often very clear. They are especially prevalent around the Yucatan Peninsula and some were once used by the ancient Mayans for sacrificial offerings. For a wonderful description of diving in a cenote check out Andrew Evans article Underworld.
10. Ride on an Aero Submarine (and pretend you are Richard Branson)
Want to take a ride on the Necker Nymph, a 3 person aero submarine? Well first you’ll need to rent Sir Richard Branson’s luxury catamaran, the Necker Belle (only $110,000 per week) or stay on Necker Island and then you need to come up with $2,500 for a day. Is it worth it? I can’t tell you, but pretending like your are James Bond while diving 100ft into the ocean sounds pretty fun.
11. Experience Art Underwater
Quite honestly, there are not enough good things that I can say about Jason deCaires Taylor’s underwater sculptures. I find them to be haunting and emotive and that’s just from looking at pictures of them. You can experience them by looking at photos, like me, or better yet by diving down to them.
What is interesting about the sculptures is that they are not static. Jason builds them in a way that encourages the organic growth of coral and other organisms and because of this they are ever changing and evolving.
12. Mail a Postcard from an Underwater Post Office
You can mail waterproof postcards from the world’s only underwater (and official) post office in Vanuatu an island in the south Pacific. There is usually one person on staff when the post office is open (usually about an hour a day), but if you miss them, you can swim down and deposit your card in the drop box.
Have you had an underwater adventure? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
About the Author: Kate is a travel junkie at heart. She lives for exploring cultures, food, history and local life and is currently scheming ways to get enough time free to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Get Trip Logic Updates by Email.