Most people when taking a holiday in the Caribbean think about relaxing by the pool or sunbathing on a beach, but there is so much more that tourists can do in this area. From diving to kitesurfing, the islands of the Caribbean have it all.
Kitesurfing in the Dominican Republic
The wind conditions in the region making this a great place for activities such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. Head to Cabarete on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The best time of the year for an adventure holiday here is in February and March or May to August.
Scuba Diving in Bonaire
Diving enthusiasts from all over the world come to Bonaire to explore the waters around the island. Diving equipment can be hired on the island and beginners can take classes. The bright corals and fascinating underwater landscape will delight anyone who wants to escape from the world above for a while.
Sailing Holidays in the British Virgin Islands
The waters around these islands are protected and the short trips between the various islands make this area a good choice for sailing. There is a sailing school located in Tortola where novices can pick up a few tips. Charters and flotilla holidays are on offer and this is the ideal way to explore the area at your leisure.
Parts of Haiti are still recovering from the earthquake that occurred in 2010 but this still remains an extraordinary country. Visitors love to see the beautiful buildings and get closer to this unique culture. Visits to Port-au-Prince and Jacmel should be part of the trip in order to give a clear picture of life on this fascinating island. Opt for a trip that includes a guide.
Paddleboarding in Tobago
Try a phosphorescent lagoon for paddleboarding for a truly spooky experience. The water is inky black and the action of paddleboarding will leave a trail of eerie green light. Some people even jump in to swim through the glowing waters. There are instructors that can given lessons in paddleboarding and this can be part of a package deal for a holiday to remember.
Hiking in St Eustatius
This is a Dutch island that is very quiet and very beautiful. The only way to get there is to take a flight from St Maarten. One of the main reasons that visitors come here is to enjoy the tranquillity that they can get from hiking and diving. There are plenty of wrecks in the waters around the islands that have become popular dive sites. Quill is a dormant volcano on the island and the hike up it – almost 2000 feet – can take around two hours. The coastline has been designated as a marine park and there is a great deal of conservation work taking place here.
There are three phases to becoming certified in scuba diving and they all have to be completed before it is possible to go out on unsupervised dives. This applies all over the world.
The first of these is knowledge development. This provides the diver with the basic knowledge that they need. The trainer will explain exactly what should be considered when planning a dive, how the diver should choose the right equipment and diving procedures such as the use of underwater signals. The PADI Open Water Diver Manual is essential for anyone wanting to learn to dive. This can be done online or with an instructor. The end of each chapter is followed with a test to ensure that the reader has understood. A PADI instructor should be on hand to make sure that the learner has understood everything. When the course is ended there will be a final exam. Videos and demonstrations will also help with this part of the training.
The next stage is confined water dives. These are often done in a swimming pool or in calm waters along the coast. This is where all the skills learnt in the first stage of scuba diving training can be put into practice and it gives the learner the opportunity to become familiar with all the equipment required. During this phase the learner will be taught how to set up the scuba equipment, how to remove water from the mask, getting in and out of the water, navigating underwater, the various safety procedures and buoyancy control. The instructor works with the learner until they are comfortable with all of these things.
The final stage is the open water dives. This is where the learner goes out with an instructor and completes a number of dives under supervision. These are usually done over a period of two days. It is a great opportunity to explore the underwater world and the learner can put everything that they have learned into practice. This type of training can be done almost anywhere but many people opt to do it while they are on holiday. The instructor can also explain to you how to transfer to other instructors if you start learning in one location but then decide to finish your training in another.
There are many different types of adventure holiday on offer around the world. These days not everyone is happy to go on holiday and just relax on a beach. They want to be able to go home and tell everyone that they did something extraordinary.
Everyone knows that cycling, hiking, climbing and kayaking are very popular options on adventure holidays around the world, but there are things that can be done that are very different. What about hot air ballooning? Some people have chosen this way to view their holiday destinations from a very different angle. One example is the hot air balloon trips that can be taken across the Serengeti, seeing the wildlife at close quarters but definitely out of reach. Alternatively there are hot air balloon festivals in a variety of other destinations including a number in the USA and Europe at various points during the year.
Ziplining is another option for those who want an adrenaline boost. The ziplines take people from one tree to another or from one high point to a low point and there are many zipline parks around the world. Consider those in Thailand, Canada or Wales for a holiday activity with a difference and one that the whole family can enjoy.
Trekking historical trails is a must, particularly for those who visit South America. The trails to Machu Picchu – known as the Inca Trail – will take visitors to a number of different ancient cities through the Andes. For most trips this will take around four days and you get to camp along the way. Some points along the way will see groups standing at 13,000 feet above sea level.
It doesn’t matter what the skill level, either a well-seasoned diver or snorkeler or just a beginner to the hobby, the Great Barrier Reef offers some amazing dives and the chance to see some of the most beautiful marine life in the world. The reef itself is 2,300km, there is plenty of room to spare for anyone looking to enjoy everything this stunning natural wonder has to offer.
It is only possible to reach the dive sites via boat trip. Those who are beginners or novices to the craft will be taken to the shallower, calmer waters leaving the deeper waters for those who are experienced divers. This doesn’t mean that the dives are any less breath-taking, it is purely for safety reasons. The option to learn how to snorkel is there too for those who do not like putting their head under water. No-one needs to miss out on seeing first-hand the amazing ocean life in and around the reef.
Regardless whether visitors are staying on the coast or on one of the many islands, dive spots are no more than about an hour away, and excursions are offered daily.
Anyone considering an adventure holiday should really think about going to South America. The area alone is so diverse that just holidaying there could be considered an adventure, but for those who really want something different there is a wide range of options.
- The Lost City of Choqueuirao is just as amazing as Machu Picchu, but much less touristy, so it is possible to enjoy the fortress built by the Incans with much less hustle and bustle from crowds. The view of the Vilcabamba Range of mountains is also stunning.
- Angel Falls and Venezuela’s Lost World should not be missed. The Angel Falls are the worlds highest waterfall, and perhaps the best way to see them is by a flight over, either small plane or helicopter ride. The ‘Lost World’ is very dense jungle, like something out of the movies.
- Equador, although small has so much to offer the “adventure seeker” . The Avenue of Volcanoes is not for the faint hearted, the climb takes stamina but the views from the top is well worth it. It is also possible to take a hot spring bath, a great reward for reaching the top.
Scuba diving is one of the most popular activities for holiday makers who want to do something more than just lie on a beach. Millions of people have tried it, with many of them taking courses and obtaining certification. Most people try it just because they are fascinated by the world under the sea.
SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. The air that is used in the tanks is compressed air and it is the same as the air that we breathe outside. It is part oxygen, part nitrogen and also contains some other gases. While many people believe that it is actually oxygen, it is not because that would be dangerous.
Scuba diving is done with a tank of air on the back and use a variety of other pieces of equipment. The idea is that people can dive to reasonable depths and spend a while under the water.
The gases are also one of the reasons why people need to be very careful when they come back up to the surface as they can lead to conditions such as decompression sickness. It can actually be fatal and this is why it is important to be trained to dive before you start diving.
Even though scuba diving is very enjoyable it should never be done alone. Divers should always have somebody with them. For those who are new to diving or only do it recreationally, the depth of the dive should be no more than 40 metres. Further training is needed for those who want to dive deeper.