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Overwhelmed by choices of locations. Challenge!

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by Mattjim, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. Mattjim

    Mattjim New Member

    Mar 3, 2014
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    Hi everyone,

    I'm trying to book a dive hol for me and my gf. We are both SSI open water referrals and have a clear idea of what we want but are constrained by several things. I'm not sure I can have my cake and eat it but I'm hoping someone might be able to help.

    A bit of background first (I've already introduced myself but its relevant so I'll reiterate). A while back (8 years ago to be exact...) I was exceptionally lucky and spent some time on an island in lakshadweep (aka the lacadives) whilst travelling around India and, well I've been trying to get back into paradise ever since... Quiet and basic but with pristine corals and beaches and mad biodiversity on your doorstep.
    As I understand it the lacadives are now essentially impossible to get to as a non-Indian now but obviously there are other places that are equally amazing and some of those might offer a similar experience. While I only had a brief dive there it fixed in my mind the things I wanted from diving. They are, as follows (sorry if it seems quite abrupt laid out in this way but trying to be concise :-s):

    No.1 priority is the diving. I'm looking for the most pristine coral reefs, complete with the stereotypical kalidascope of fish. I don't know if its hyperbole but I dread the stories of diving ontop of umpteen other parties, where bits of reef are snapped off left right and center by the careless or the souvenir hunters. Being my first (proper) experience into diving I want to get it right and for it to be memorable for the right reasons. As an extension of that the dive school must be excellent, we need to finish off our open water qualifications and probably fit in some advanced qualifications too so safe, ecofriendly interesting dives with good kit is what we're after.

    No.2 priority is affordability, we aren't well off but we don't mind basic. I'm talking clean and functional, I don't need luxuary. The place in the lacadives had a cold shower a bed and that was about it! That's all I need!

    No.3 priority. We are serious about getting in as much diving as we can, when not diving we would like to relax on a nice beach or snorkle. We don't need clubs, fancy restaurants or other entertainment and in fact would love a low key, quiet location, locals and local food. We don't mind a bit of travel time but also don't want to spend three days getting there...

    We're going in May (ideally). We've looked at Thailand, Belize and Dominican, Maldives which all seem to offer some, but not all of the things we were looking for (very busy, reef quality and price respectively). I think in reality all these places would be amazing but I'm suffering from tripadvisoritis; for example cheap places in the maldives might be exactly what we're after but I'm put off by the bad reviews that I know are by ppl who expected 7* luxuary on a budget. So please help!!


  2. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Feb 4, 2009
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  3. j_b

    j_b Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2010
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  4. Roy

    Roy Active Member

    Jan 18, 2008
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  5. PeteStewart

    PeteStewart Never wrong, but not always right

    Jan 17, 2008
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    Dahab. If you go, see you there
  6. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
    Staff Member

    Aug 18, 2010
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    Wot they said. Try Dahab or one of those Eco camp places.
  7. billy burgess

    billy burgess Active Member

    Dec 10, 2010
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    Dahab, if on a budget try the Bedouin Moon Hotel, good dive centre and great dive sites, it is a diver town with plenty of restaurants.
  8. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

    Sep 11, 2012
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    Dahab, go Coral Coast Hotel cheap and great fun was there last year.
  9. Richard65

    Richard65 Active Member

    Jan 3, 2012
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    I am biased here but as much as I love Grand Cayman for diving I dont think you can beat Little Cayman. The only difficulty I see if it is going to be more expensive.

    Diving on Bloody Bay Wall is absolutely fantastic and Little Cayman itself is like going back in time to the 1930's. Only 150 people live there, its 10 miles long by 1/2 mile wide with a tarmac road one side of the island and a dirt track the other side. The "airport" is a grass strip but there are several bars and dive operators.

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