For most divers, it's not every year that we have the time or money to go on a big dive holiday to the other side of the world. Divers based in the US and Canada often need to fit their dive plans into their limited vacation time and budget. The Coral Triangle may be out of reach, but fortunately there are plenty of excellent dive destinations within easy reach of North America.
Local dive sites are a must for those of us who can't survive out of the water for too long, and if there's water nearby, you'll likely find some die hard divers exploring it. Rivers, lakes, quarries, and even aquariums and pools play host to scuba divers seeking their fix. The best way to discover local diving in your area is to talk to your local dive shop! Dive shops are a great way to meet other divers in your area, learn about and visit local dive sites, and find the latest dive gear to add to your kit.
For those times you want to go on a short holiday out of the country, it can feel like you have to sacrifice something - usually either the quality of diving or the ease of travel. However, there are some destinations nearby or at least with direct flights from the US that can eliminate that sacrifice. It just comes down to knowing where there is good diving, the right accommodation options, and easy flights.
Mexico is an obvious choice for North Americans, and is particularly easy if you are in a hub city with direct flights to the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Mexico. With high quality diving in both regions, you have options depending on the time of year and the type of diving you want. Resort-based diving with easy drifts along reefs? Cozumel is calling! Challenging liveaboard diving to see pelagic life in strong currents? Socorro and the Sea of Cortez are some great options. An unforgettable family trip with non-divers? Why not interact with Pacific gray whales in San Ignacio?
If you're keen to explore a bit further, there are other bucket-list destinations within easy reach of the US. For a complete guide to the best diving in and around the US, check out Bluewater Travel's article here.
For more inspiration, view Bluewater's latest trip reports here.
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