We use many words to describe scuba diving: addictive, challenging, freeing, peaceful, serene, exciting… and, as those who dive with their partner can attest, it can be incredibly romantic. The couple that dives together stays together, as they say, and certainly, there are few things more rewarding than sharing diving adventures with your sweetie. Perhaps it’s the thrill of shared discovery, or the mutual support that buddying with your partner requires. It could simply be that many of the world’s best dive sites are found in tropical idylls that lend themselves perfectly to romance. With Valentine’s Day upon us, we’ll take a look at five romantic dive destinations that provide unparalleled diving and the ultimate romantic escape.
Images of the Maldives’ perfect islets and atolls often grace the covers of honeymoon brochures, and for good reason. An archipelago nation whose name translates as “The Realm Of The Thousand Islands,” this destination practically screams romance. White, sandy beaches lined with whispering palms provide equal opportunity for seclusion and relaxation, while those in search of pampering can find it aplenty at any of the islands’ luxury resorts. The diving is spectacular, too, with highlights including thriving coral gardens, and the abundance of marine life attracted to the Maldives’ nutrient-rich waters. Here, once-in-a-lifetime experiences happen every day — from swimming alongside the nation’s famous manta rays to watching the sunset in a blaze of glory over the Indian Ocean.
Indonesia is the adventurous couples’ dream come true — a country where dramatic scenery, rare wildlife and a fascinating culture combine to make every day extraordinary. Comprised of over 17,000 islands, it’s also a destination that perfectly suited to liveaboard diving, and what could be more romantic than a week spent at sea discovering Indonesia’s world-famous dive sites? From the unparalleled macro diving of Lembeh Strait and Sulawesi to the big creature encounters of Komodo National Park and Raja Ampat, Indonesia is a dive destination that truly has something for everyone. Its beautiful beaches and stretches of untouched wilderness are perfect for romance, too, while Bali’s legendary spa resorts offer opportunities to relax and unwind with the one you love upon returning from your liveaboard trip.
Considering that one of the Fijian Tourism Board’s favorite slogans is “600 proposals last year, 600 yeses,” it’s safe to say that this is a country that revels in its well-deserved romantic reputation. Fiji’s remote location and plethora of picture-postcard beaches makes it the perfect getaway for couples seeking some together time. A nation of islands, Fijian diving is as diverse as it is impressive, as should be expected from a country that boasts 4,000 square miles of coral reef. A wealth of unforgettable experiences await those couples that visit Fiji, including exploring the world’s fourth largest barrier reef off Kadavu, mingling with sharks and rays while drift diving in the Bligh Water, the famous Beqa shark dive, and marveling at the incredible soft corals of Taveuni.
There are few things more romantic than waking up in one of Bora Bora’s iconic overwater bungalows, surrounded on all sides by the sapphire expanse of the South Pacific. This tiny French Polynesian paradise offers couples the chance to escape from real life for as long as you stay, to focus on nothing but each other, and the natural beauty of the island itself. Best of all, Bora Bora’s azure waters are even more spectacular when viewed from beneath the surface. This is an excellent destination for those couples with a shared love of marine megafauna, from the mantas that frequent the island’s lagoon, to the bevy of shark species that inhabit its dive sites, to the humpback whales that migrate past Bora Bora between July and November.
As one of the highlights of the famed Coral Triangle, the Philippines are another excellent destination for scuba-loving couples. Here, the memories you make together are guaranteed to last a lifetime, from searching for thresher sharks at dawn off Malapascua Island to exploring the magnificent World War II wrecks of Palawan’s Coron Bay to muck diving in Dauin. Romance is a permanent feature of life in the Philippines, too. Perhaps you’ll experience it while watching the sun rise after a night spent partying on the beaches of Boracay, or as the sun sets over the fascinating formations of Bohol’s Chocolate Hills. Whatever your interests, the 7,000 islands of the Philippine archipelago are diverse enough to ensure that your personal definition of romance is realized every single day.