The first article in the active travel destination series took us to the tops of mountains across the globe, thousands of meters above sea level. By hand and foot, we’ve scaled their rocky terrain and developed our sense of adventure. However, all that comes up must come down eventually, and what better way to balance time spent above the clouds than to explore some of the earth’s depths… especially when they’re brilliantly blue, glittering and full of colourful life!
With that being said, we have assembled a short guide for those looking to explore destinations that support their sense of adventure and love for water sports! Check out our guide to active travel destinations: water sports edition to get motivated, inspired and ready to set sail!
While sailing is accessible in beautiful locations all over the world, many of us don’t have access to a sailboat or the funds required to purchase one ourselves. For this reason, when we plan boat trips, cruises tend to be the most well-known and sought-after at-sea accommodation. However, for those looking to spice up their nautical adventure, sailing across the sea is one of the most picturesque and exciting ways to do it! This can be done through a variety of websites, where each traveller can pick a boat and crew that best suit their level of comfort and experience.
Additionally, there are also fantastic job opportunities aboard, where a traveller can exchange their time, work and energy for free food and lodging. This website is a wonderful resource for finding safe and professional accommodations.
Freediving & Scuba Diving
After a long day of sailing and baking in the summer heat, nothing is more refreshing than plunging below the water’s cool blue surface. And when it comes to exploring the ocean in a hands-on way, nothing beats diving. Diving—freediving in particular—offers the greatest amount of freedom and mobility when it comes to sightseaing! It gives us the opportunity to witness incredible animals and underwater ecosystems, and immerse ourselves in a different world.
Again, while diving can be done just about anywhere in the world, the following list features some of the world’s greatest diving attractions: Riviera Maya in Mexico, Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, Roatan, Sri Lanka, Cape Town and Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas. Each of these locations has beautiful water conditions for diving, as well as diverse and unique flora and fauna.
Since each location is different, familiarizing yourself with each one is essential before choosing your ideal diving site! For those that are curious about diving in South Africa, the documentary My Octopus Teacher does a wonderful job at capturing the underwater ecosystems in Cape Town.
Lastly, for those looking to practice their freediving and scuba diving, Deep Dive Dubai is a diver’s indoor paradise! Located in Dubai’s Nad Al Sheba neighbourhood, this pool has been verified by the Guinness World Record as the world’s deepest swimming pool. It holds 14 million litres of water and is 169.9 feet deep.
Hanli Prinsloo’s travel company I Am Water Ocean Travel is another option for freedivers of any level. These organized trips always include freediving training and guided, responsible interactions with local wildlife.
Above all else, it is always important to remember to dive with someone… never alone. We must always remember to honour and respect the water and wildlife that surrounds us.
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By: Briahna McTigue