If you’re celebrating an engagement, there’s a good chance you’ve already started thinking about your honeymoon. In fact, it’s probably the part of the wedding you’re most excited about. After all the excitement (and stress) of the ceremony itself, a honeymoon is your chance to make the first memories of your new life together. And we propose (see what we did there??) that there’s nothing better than scuba diving honeymoons.
Top Four Scuba Diving Honeymoons
Scuba diving honeymoons have become increasingly popular in the last few years. And for good reason — many of the most romantic destinations also boast world-class dive sites. If you’re already avid divers, indulging in a shared passion is a fantastic way to celebrate your new union. If one or both of you have yet to try diving, getting certified together is an amazing bonding experience. Here we’ll take a look at four of the best spot for scuba diving honeymoons.
Big Island, Hawaii
Long considered one of the world’s most romantic destinations, Hawaii’s Big Island offers something for everyone. Those in search of adventure will love its famous surf breaks, plunging waterfalls and soaring volcanic peaks. Those looking for a little pampering will revel in the island’s luxury resorts, most of which offer their own spas. Best of all, the Big Island has long stretches of coastline blessed with powdered-sugar sands and crystal-clear waters.
Hawaii’s volcanic origins also make for thrilling diving. The Big Island’s underwater landscape includes sheer walls, lava tubes, arches and craters. All of these offer a home for a dazzling array of marine species. Dive Au Au Crater, a submerged volcano known for hammerheads, or come face to face with endangered turtles at Turtle Pinnacle. Discover the secrets of the deep with a nighttime black-water dive off the Kona coast, or sign up for a manta night dive at Keahole Point and watch as the giant rays arrive by the dozen.
The Exumas, Bahamas
There are more than 700 islands, cays and islets in the Bahamas, almost all of which make wonderful honeymoon spots. For divers, however, one of the most romantic ways to experience the Bahamas is on a liveaboard trip. You’ll fall asleep to the sound of the ocean lapping against the hull and wake up to the sight of the sun rising over a brand new dive site. Some of the best Bahamian liveaboard itineraries focus on the Exuma Cays, a group of some 365 islands in the middle of the archipelago.
The sheer number of dive sites in this part of the Bahamas is staggering. Topography includes drop-offs, coral gardens, wrecks and pinnacles. Exumas diving is known for pelagic sightings, and in particular for the sharks that are commonly seen during high-octane drift dives in the channels that separate the scattered islands. Liveaboard highlights include the stunning Angelfish Blue Hole, the spectacular drop-off at Pillar Wall, and the 1996 wreck of the Austin Smith.
Rangiroa, French Polynesia
Rangiroa means ‘long sky,’ and this French Polynesian island is every bit as dreamy as it sounds. It’s the second largest atoll in the world, with a vast turquoise lagoon some 42 miles long. With just one 5-star resort and a handful of dreamy beach bungalow options, Rangiroa is the perfect destination for couples that are looking to get away from it all and revel in the simple pleasures of sand, sea and sky. It’s an ocean-lovers’ fantasy, with unlimited opportunities for diving, snorkeling and sailing.
Above all, Rangiroa is famous for its legendary dive sites. These are made better still by dizzying visibility that hovers around the 100-foot (30 m) mark. The outer walls of the atoll create plunging drop-offs, where encounters with pelagic species including rays, dolphins and gamefish are common, while lagoon sites offer a relaxed option for new divers. Rangiroa’s best dive sites are the two passes that connect the lagoon to the ocean, Tiputa and Avatoru. Here, strong currents rich with nutrients attract large aggregations of sharks, including silvertips, grey reefs and great hammerheads.
Ari Atoll, Maldives
The pristine white sands and slender palms of the Maldives’ Ari Atoll have graced the front pages of many magazines and honeymoon brochures. Comprised of around 105 idyllic islands, the atoll is commonly split into two sections, north and south. Each holds a profusion of beautiful resorts, many of which occupy their own private island. Most high-end resorts on Ari Atoll have their own spa and dive center, making it easy to relax and explore in equal measure.
Ari Atoll arguably offers some of the best diving in the Maldives. Pinnacles, or thilas as they’re known locally, are a highlight of Ari Atoll diving. Another don’t-miss are the narrow, nutrient-rich passes between the islands. These topographical features attract hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, and of course, mantas. Manta cleaning stations are scattered throughout Ari Atoll, but for the best sightings, time your honeymoon to coincide with the December to April northeast monsoon.