Exotic Escapes to Dive with Sharks
With Shark Week kicking off on July 22nd, why not use it as the inspriation to plan an exotic escape where you can swim with some of these ancient and impressive creatures in person? While many choose to stay as far away from these legendary fish as possible, for more daring adventurers, we have pulled together some of the top locations for shark diving, as endorsed by our global travelers. All of these ocean-bound getaways offer the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with at least one type of shark. So whether you want to take the plunge and do some cage diving or are content to simly snorkel away in more shallow waters, there is something for every adrenaline level!
Malapascua Island, Philippines
Malapascua Island is the only place in the world where you can dive with thresher sharks. While these magnificent creatures can occasionally be seen in other locations, there is no other place in the world that allows you to see them up close like you can in the Philippines. Malapascua boasts a diving school that specializes in trips to head out to see these endangered creatures, which are normally not a threat to humans. Other than being one of the best endorsed spots for diving, travelers have also rated Malapascua Island for its stunning beaches and tranquility.
Where to Stay: Tepanee Beach Resort provides rooms that all come with their own private balcony, as well as a private beach for exclusive use by the resort's guests. After a day of diving, you can enjoy dinner right at the resort prepared by the resident Italian chef.
Umkomaas, South Africa
This small coastal town in the province of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, is world renowned for its amazing diving. Umkomaas offers thrill seekers the chance to experience both wreck diving and cage diving with sharks, with local dive schools offering the opportuhity to try baited shark diving and the chance to see as many as 50 sharks in a single dive. With diverse species of tropical fish and flourishing coral reefs, there’s plenty to get your teeth stuck into.
Where to Stay: La Mer holiday apartments are perfectly located for your shark-inspired trip, just a short walk from the beach and with beautiful balcony views and barbecue facilities so you can relax and unwind after your deep sea adventure.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora lies deep in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and while it may be small, it offers an enormous amount to do during your trip. If you fancy diving beyond the sandy beaches and into the clear blue waters, you’ll be met with beautiful fish and corals in their natural underwater park. Shark dives in this area grant travelers the chance to see eight species of shark, with a shallow dive or snorkel providing the potential to encounter a blacktip reef shark.
Where to Stay: Le Meridien Bora Bora provides kayaks, canoes and pedal boats free of charge for those days when you fancy staying above the water. After a day on the water, relax in the beautiful on-site restaurant which overlooks the lagoon and serves delicious Asian cuisine.
Santa Catalina, Panama
The fishing village of Sana Catalina remained relatively unknown until its discovery by some keen surfers in the 1970’s. However, it is still an incredibly peaceful and secluded spot. Panama is the indigenous name for “abundance of fish” and it certainly lives up to its name with amazing scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. Whale sharks can regularly be sighted during late December, however Reef Sharks are a common sight for divers all year round.
Where to stay: Villa Coco is a boutique hotel located just steps from the beach with outdoor showers and hammocks in the garden for a true summer escape. After a dip in the sea, there are plenty of nearby spots for walking and horseback riding.
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Fernando de Noronha is one of 21 islands off the Atlantic coast of Brazil and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a highly protected eco system and the few travelers that manage to visit will be met with unrivalled beaches and one of the world’s best diving destinations. A visit to this paradise can’t be done without a dive to Cabeco da Sapata, an underwater mountain that is inhabited by turtles, fish and, of course, sharks. While this site is only for highly experienced divers, heading out on a shallower dive might still mean sighting both hammerhead and basking sharks.