Top 5 Dive Destinations for 2012

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Top 5 Dive Destinations for 2012

Make 2012 the year to try something new, dive somewhere different, or tick off one of the world’s best-known dive sites. Whether it’s shark diving near an uninhabited island, wreck diving from a Red Sea liveaboard or a historic dip in the North Sea, we think you should get at least one of these unique dive destinations under your weight-belt this year…

The shark dive: Cocos Island, Costa Rica

The world’s largest uninhabited island is located around 300-miles off Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline, and is only accessible via a liveaboard holiday. The deep waters surrounding the island are crammed with marine life, so much so that Cocos Island was awarded World Heritage Status for the sheer quantity of its underwater inhabitants. Blessed with an abundance of shark species, you can expect to see some of the biggest schools of hammerheads on Earth, and even the occasional whale shark. Giant manta rays, bottlenose dolphins, schools of jacks, tuna and stunning reef fish also concentrate here.

The undiscovered dive: Togean Islands, Indonesia

These little-visited islands take a bit of getting to, but the reward is one of the calmest bays in the world, pristine coral, more than 800 species of fish and, due to its remote location, a distinct lack of other divers. Kadidiri Island, in Tomini Bay, is particularly well set up for scuba, with an impressive dive school and a team of international instructors. Located in the epicentre of the Coral Triangle, expect to dive fringe, atoll and barrier coral reefs, and experience dramatic drop-offs, canyons and a near-perfect WWII B24 Bomber wreck.

The wreck dive: Thistlegorm, Red Sea

If wreck-dives are your thing, then Red Sea diving doesn’t come much better than this. The Thistlegorm – Gaelic for Blue Thistle – should be on every diver’s ‘to do’ list. Sunk in 1941, this WWII British Merchant Navy ship is minus its roof, allowing divers a spectacular view of its interior. At 131 metres long, exploring the ship thoroughly requires endless re-visits, giving you the perfect excuse to book a Red Sea liveaboard adventure, so you can spend a full week surveying this spectacular piece of history.

The UK dive: Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands

Okay, so submerging yourself in the North Sea isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but diving in the UK waters holds a special appeal for some, and the Orkney Islands hold some of our most fascinating underwater treasures. Scapa Flow has been used as a natural harbour since Viking times, and acted at the UK’s main naval base for both WWI and WWII, which means that its sandy bottom is littered with close to 80 German ships, some lying as shallow as 20 metres. Visit this summer, or if you’re chomping at your reg already, get your hands on a dry-suit before you descend!

The muck dive: Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Every diver should try muck diving at least once in a lifetime. For some, it’s a one-off, but for others, that first muck dive can trigger a lifetime obsession. If you’ve never tried it before, the Lembeh Strait is the place to start, and if you’re already an addict, it shouldn’t take much persuading to encourage you to visit the ‘critter capital of the world’ this year. The appeal of muck diving here is in the profusion of nudibranch and critter populations. Expect to see hairy frogfish and long-nosed trumpet fish amongst the sea slugs and pygmy seahorses.

Tags: Red Sea Liveaboards, Red Sea Live Aboards, Maldives Liveaboards, Maldives Live Aboards, Red Sea Diving, Maldives Diving, Egypt Diving, Egypt Dive