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March 25, 2010 11:52 AM Pacific (GMT -8)
30 destinations found Result pages: 1 2 3
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Anacapa Island, Northern Channel Islands, California
The closest of the Channel Islands to the mainland, this "island" is really 3 tiny islets. Excellent for shallow, easy diving, Anacapa has areas protected from fishing where large lobsters, halibut and the occasional black sea bass can be seen. Bat rays and sea lions are abundant. The island is a haven for sea birds, including the endangered brown pelican (California's only permanent rookery). Most dive boats visiting Anacapa depart from Ventura or Santa Barbara.

Big Island, Hawaii
The Kona Coast of Hawaii is justifiably famous for green sea turtles and giant mantas. Both are almost a certain bet. The fish life is abundant and diverse, with many endemic species. The volcanic activity has created lava tubes that make wonderful tunnels. Bluewater diving is available. You'll find world-class snorkeling, along with surfing, windsurfing, hiking and other activities.

Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico

Catalina Island, Southern Channel Islands, California
Catalina is popular with divers as well as sailors, fishermen and tourists. Despite its proximity to a major metropolis (22mi/35km off the coast of Los Angeles), Catalina's marine ecosystem remains healthy. There are dozens of dive sites around the island, ranging from shallow and easy to deep and advanced (the most popular advanced site is nearby Farnsworth Bank). Catalina is the only Channel Island where shore diving is common, and the only one with land-based dive operators and a hyperbaric chamber. Most dive boats depart from Los Angeles.

Coronado Islands, Baja, Mexico (via San Diego)

Cortes Bank, Southern California

Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Cozumel is the drift diving capital of the Caribbean (great for video, harder for still photos). The currents regularly bring a variety of fish life and invertebrates to the island's colorful reef. Deep dives are available, but you'll generally find safe, easy diving in clear tropical water (visibility normally 100ft/30m or more). The favorable dive conditions, combined with direct flights to the U.S. and proximity to the booming mainland resort town of Cancun, make Cozumel one of the world's most popular dive destinations.

Farnsworth Bank, Southern Channel Islands, California
Farnsworth is one of the most sought-after dive spots in California. Weather conditions have to be just right to reach it, because it's on Catalina's exposed backside, but the marine life here is very rich and includes the rare and beautiful purple hydrocoral. Several different sea mounts actually make up this area, the shallowest coming to within 60ft/18m of the surface. The diving is advanced, due to the depth and current and the need to watch out for fishermen near the surface. Most dive boats depart from Los Angeles.

Islamorada, Middle Keys, Florida Keys
Hundreds of coral reefs (all included in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary). Angelfish, barracuda, butterflyfish, jacks and parrotfish are everywhere. No liveaboards, but all diving is from boats. Many high quality dive operators. Most diving in the 10-50ft/3-15m range (no walls). Excellent snorkeling and beginner/shallow diving. Visibility normally 30-60ft/9-18m. All types of accommodations (including camping), and excellent restaurants, bars and nightlife.

Kauai, Hawaii

Result pages: 1 2 3
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