Some of us are naturally attracted to water. We are the kind who love beaches and lakes and all water bodies in between. Scuba diving is a sport that gives you the opportunity to explore the engaging waters of the deep seas.
Before you go for Scuba Diving you need to be a certified scuba diver. Here are the multiple certification choices that you have!
Professional Association of Diving Instructors has the largest pool of divers. This certification is most prevalent in India. However, they have drawn some flak for expensive course material and also allowing instructors to teach independently.
Scuba Schools International is another popular organization but it doesn’t allow its instructors to teach independently. However the flip side is, it doesn’t charge heavily for online course materials and doesn’t force students to buy the course materials. They are more thorough and it takes longer to clear the levels. Your certification with SSI can easily be checked online.
National Association of Underwater Instructors is mainly based out of the USA. The training program is stringent but allows you to conduct your own sessions once you clear.
Pocket-friendly Scuba Diving destinations across the world
1. Conzumel, Mexico
This island is quite accessible from the United States and has some really good street food to boast of. The marine life you would see here while scuba diving includes Queen Triggerfish, Hawkesbill Turtles, Green Moray Eel, Smooth Trunkfish, Grey Engelfish and even the Electric Eel! Stay options can be had between INR 2,000 to 4,000 a night. Hotel Caribo is one such Bed and Breakfast place provding stay options from Rs. 2500 onwards.
2. Koh Tao, Thailand
Coral reefs and Turtles are the main attractions. You are bound to get a good deal as there are more than 50 dive shops on the island, making for a good bargain. Anemon fish, Angel fish, Banner fish, Barracuda are some big fish that make up for a good adventure. Stay options here too start from around Rs. 2500 per night. Koh Tao Montra resort offers stay options from Rs. 2800 onwards.
3. Lake Baikal, Siberia
Lake Baikal is a UN Heritage Site and one of the best cold water dive sites in the world. A different experience from diving in tropical areas, here you can scuba dive below the lake’s frozen surface. Two species of bullheads, the yellow-fin and the black-crest, inhabit the water depths. The Golomyankas (oil fish) – the big and the small species – live only in Baikal. Stay options start at around Rs. 3000. Victoria hotel, a locally owned hotel, offers stay options from Rs. 3,100 onwards.
4. Red Sea, Egypt
It’s not just about mummies and cats. The Red Sea in Egypt is a great location for divers too. Dive locations are plenty- Pharoah’s Island, Giftun Island, Ras Mohamed Nation Park, Seven Pillars and Straits of Tiran. Sightings include puffer fish, lion fish, moral eels, blue spotted rays, and if you’re lucky, whale sharks. Stay options start from arounf Rs. 2500. Sultan Garden resorts provides stay options from Rs. 2700 onwards.
5. Havelock Islands, Andamans
Full of pristine marine life, Havelock Islands in the Andamans in India are one of the best scuba diving destinations. Here, you will also find Rajan, the ocean swimming elephant of India. You can also see Scorpion fish, Octopus, Angler fish, Sharks and Coral reefs. If you need other reasons to go – consider the cost: You could get decent diving fun and stay all in Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 – based on the type of accommodation you choose and proximity to the beach. Scubalov, run by a diver couple, provides some reasonable good packages starting at Rs. 23,000. One night packages including stay and diving start around Rs. 5,000.
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