10 great destinations for scuba diving adventure (videos)

Dive in and explore the underwater landscapes of some of the world’s most exotic and interesting locales. Whether you’re a veteran scuba diver, or someone who’s always wanted to test the waters, here’s your chance to visit some of the world’s top dive destinations. Experience what it’s like to venture into the deep in this video roundup of 10 great destinations for scuba diving.

Bali, South Pacific
Long hailed as a crown jewel amongst scuba divers for its idyllic location, warm waters, underwater diversity, and plentiful wrecks, Bali beckons with its aquatic spell.

Cabo San Lucas/Sea of Cortez
Dubbed “The World’s Greatest Aquarium” by Jacques Cousteau for its lushness of life, the waters off the Baja California peninsula are bursting with adventure. Veteran divers will not disagree.

The Red Sea, Egypt
Labyrinthine canyons, calm grassy flats, and deep water reefs have assured The Red Sea’s place as an underwater Eden.

Kona, Hawaii
Night diving with schools of manta rays off the Big Island is near the top of every diver’s “To Do” list. Here’s why.

Cozumel, Mexico
Home of the second largest barrier reef in the world, unparalleled drift diving and a 3000-foot vertical drop into “The Abyss,” Cozumel is a diver’s paradise.

The Cayman Islands
Often called “The Birthplace of Scuba Diving,” the Cayman Islands boast an abundance of magical waters and unique undersea topography.

Cocos and Malpelo Islands/Costa Rica and Columbia
What do these two remote Central American dive sites share in common? Plenty of beautiful underwater vistas and hammerheads… lots of hammerheads.

The Great Blue Hole, Belize
A true geographic marvel! Explore the depths of this unforgettable dive featuring underwater stalactites and brilliant coral gardens.

The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the largest superorganism on earth is like nowhere else on earth.

The Bahamas
Gin clear waters and sandy shallow seas are a recipe for shark-laden encounters in this pristine Caribbean island chain!


Scuba diving is not only a fun, relaxing recreational activity, it’s also a great way to learn about fish, coral, and the ocean — three things our planet can not live without.

National Geographic ranks 133 destinations

National Geographic Traveler has released the results of its 6th annual survey of authenticity and “destination stewardship”. The survey, ranks 133 places on earth according to how well (or how poorly) the local governments, businesses and residents are protecting the area from degradation, along with other factors like risk of natural disasters.

437 panelists scored each destination according to: environmental and ecological quality, social and cultural integrity, condition of historic buildings and archaeological sites, aesthetic appeal, quality of tourism management, and outlook for the future.

The highest-rated place: the Fjords region of Norway, followed by locations like the South Island of New Zealand, Slovenia, Ancient Kyoto in Japan, the Bavarian Alps and Vermont. Other places listed as “doing well” include Tuscany, Cappadocia, Easter Island, South Africa’s Kruger National Park, and Kentucky’s Bluegrass Country.

There are some places “in the balance” that need work in multiple areas. Destinations such as Costa Rica, the Great Barrier Reef, Prague’s Old Town, Petra and St. Lucia are included here. From there, it gets worse. Places with “troubles” include Ha Long Bay, Giza, Venice and Siem Reap.

The bottom of the barrel: Cabo San Lucas, the West Bank, and Spain’s Costa del Sol.

More interesting than the rankings are the reasons behind them. For example, Costa del Sol rates so low because it’s a “textbook example of mass tourism run amok”, overdeveloped, unattractive and straining local water resources. And what makes the Fjords so great? Few visitors, environmental quality, and a tourism industry that benefits the local people yet allows them to preserve traditional ways of life.

Ave Maria or Hava Nagila? No Need to Choose at Cabo Azul

Planning a wedding is the final test of a relationship. If a couple can survive this gauntlet of vendors and family members, the marriage has a real shot. It’s even more taxing when you’re putting together a destination wedding (definitely not my favorite kind). The only thing that could make this experience worse is the emotional toll exacted by interfaith struggles. If you’re dealing with this challenge, cross the border. At Cabo Azul Resort, the chapel is uniquely equipped to execute your compromise.

In my experience, at least (limited though it is), interfaith squabbles have more to do with the parents and less with the couple. Two people meet, fall in love and decide to take the plunge. By that point, they know the religions involved and either don’t care or develop the appropriate coping mechanism. The parents, however, may feel differently. Even if there’s no bigotry involved, choices have to be made … starting with the opening to so many jokes: priest, minister or rabbi?


Ultimately, the power of the purse wins the day. The person writing the checks makes the final call – that’s the beauty of capitalism! Of course, there are alternatives to the tyranny of the fiscally endowed. Compromise can be achieved, and this is where the Cabo Azul Resort is ready to jump in.

Located along the beach in Los Cabos, Mexico, Cabo Azul offers an airy, open (but covered) chapel with a view of the only chunk of shoreline in the area on which you can swim. Natural sunlight illuminates the space, but careful design minimizes the glare. Guests in the pews can stare out at the water instead of paying attention to the service … perfect. While scenery and sunshine do alleviate the tension of interfamily, interfaith tension, Cabo Azul has taken the concept a step further.

Two for the price of one!

Without undue effort, the religious space at Cabo Azul can be converted from church to synagogue. The cross suspended from the ceiling can be retracted and a Star of David lowered. The need to choose is obviated, and you can focus on what matters most – avoiding your in-laws!

Disclosure: The Los Cabos Tourism Board picked up the tab for this trip. But, if you know me, you know I don’t do anyone favors. The opinions are definitely my own.

America’s Cup Sailing: the top attraction in Los Cabos, Mexico

Commands like “forward grind” and “backward grind” are guaranteed to elicit a chuckle, but when you’re deep in the throes of a sailing race, the laughter is pushed to the back of your mind. At the Cabo Adventures America’s Cup Sailing experience, recreation is seasoned with competition. Head out onto the water in Los Cabos, Mexico, and test your mettle against other visitors to Baja California Sur. Don’t worry, experts will be on board to help you along. And, yes, they keep score against each other, so the fix is never in.

Cabo Adventures is among the most interesting attractions in Los Cabos, and the America’s Cup excursion is at the top of the list. Skip the party scene for a little bit to do something for your body. The entire staff consists of experienced race crews who are more than happy to orient you to the tasks of sailing and winning out on the windy seas.

Those interested in watching the hard work can certainly find ways to abstain from the manual labor of cutting across the water, but the real fun is in grabbing a handle and putting your back into the quest for victory.


As you push back from the slip, the first part of the voyage consists of a safety briefing and a general familiarization of what you can expect. In addition to showing you where ropes connect and explaining what your roles will be, the staff picks up a board and diagrams the basic racing tactics you’ll execute when the games begin. A bit of tradition is thrown into the mix, as well, from the countdown to start to the encouragement of trash-talking (all in good fun, of course).

And then, the race begins.

As part of your Cabo Adventures experience, you’ll race twice. The notion that each boat will claim victory once is wishful thinking for some, as the crews do keep score. If one of the men aboard your boat has suffered a recent losing streak, expect him to pull out all the stops to bring that disappointment to a close. Adding a bit of contention, one craft is named for Australia and the other for New Zealand. Old rivalries are perpetuated off the Cabo shore.

Throughout the competition, the staff is pleasant, helpful and understanding. You won’t be pushed; whips are not extracted from below deck to motivate you. The purpose, above all else, is to have a good time, and the team will help guide you through the challenges that await. It’s not easy, but you’ll be able to swap out with other guests during each race.

Once the second race has come to a conclusion, you’ll head back to the marina. Enjoy a cup of bear, stretch your shoulders and listen to the accented memories of the Australian, Kiwi and Mexican crew members. To call them experts is an understatement. Feel free to ask them about their own histories. They’ll talk willingly, but you won’t find boasting in these sea stories – just the untainted facts of professionals recounting the joyful pains of pursuing glory.

Oh, if you want a turn at the steering wheel, just ask.

From start to finish, the America’s Cup Sailing team was nothing short of a pleasure to be around. They are able to deliver a high-touch, insightful experience without even approaching obsessive or overbearing. The point of the excursion is to experience something you wouldn’t back home. They grasp this and make it a reality. Without a doubt, it has the potential to be the highlight of your Los Cabos vacation.

Back on land, check out a few of the other attractions that Cabo Adventures offers. A glass dolphin tank sits right in the lobby, and there are opportunities to swim with them, too. Special programs exist for kids, and there’s a “Dolphin Trainer for a Day” package that allows you to get your hands dirty wet with the staff.

If you’re headed to Los Cabos, this is the first attraction you should add to your itinerary.

Disclosure: The Los Cabos Tourism Board picked up the tab for this trip. But, if you know me, you know I don’t do anyone favors. The opinions are definitely my own.

Budget Travel: Mexico

Spring Break is upon us, and for most college kids, March means two things: basketball and getting your color back on some tropical beach. When I think Mexico, I think drugs and girls gone wild, but there’s something about Mexico that really draws a crowd in March and continues through the summer until late October. As Mexico continues to rank among the top spring break hot spots (this year being no different), what is a Gadling guide to budget travel without a little love the country across our southern border?

According to an MSNBC Travel article published earlier this month, Cancun is the most popular party place, followed closely by . Cancun, oft coined as the “Party Capital of the World,” has long had a reputation of being a hot party-all-night atmosphere, so it’s natural that this year the city is seeing no change in the flock of tourists to its beaches.
The same goes for Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Los Cabos. In fact, according to L.A. Times travel blogger, Jen Leo, roundtrip flights between Los Angeles and Cabo San Lucas are a mere $220 each.

A typically fun Mazatlán is now drawing a record number of spring breakers because it’s now the final destination of the “Maz Party Bus” that leaves from various college campuses in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. For just $299, StudentCity.com is providing an unbeatable package that includes roundtrip transportation to Mazatlán on a luxury motor coach complete with bathrooms, reclining seats, TV’s and DVD players (two nights are spent on the bus), a five-night stay at a resort in Mazatlán, and two free meals per day at participating restaurants. The price is pretty tough to beat.

But Mexico is not just fun and games, you know. Budget Travel and the L.A. Times both love Mexico’s cultural cities like Oaxaca, which rarely see the likes of Cancun partiers, and traveling to this shopping and chocolate haven can be just as cheap as getting to the Mexico’s beaches. Even the neighboring towns of Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta see low numbers of tourists and have some pretty awesome, high-quality silver jewelry for pennies. If you want to escape the rowdy ruckus of Mexican parties and tequila shots, just hop on a local bus, travel along the coast, and you’ll find an untouched beach that you could very well experience all for yourself.

Let’s face it though: Mexico is the type of travel destination best experienced with others. It’s not for the solo traveler, nor for the early to bed, early to rise types. Traveling with friends is both the key to happiness in Mexico as well as the key to saving money, too — lots of it.