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One of the biggest regrets you hear from people who have completed their gap year is that they wish they had something to show for it, some kind of achievement. Now we know that a gap year is all about enjoying yourself and exploring the world, but we have the perfect solution for those of you wanting to achieve something while on your adventures. Why not gain a PADI qualification in the Caribbean ?
The Caribbean is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, above and below the water. The archipelago is made up of islands that are all unique and distinctive in their own rights with different landscapes and individual cultures and histories. One thing that they all have in common is that the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea surround them. The whole area is rich in marine life and offers some of the best diving in the world. All of the islands offer dives of varying degrees of difficulty making it the perfect place to learn, and then progress with your new-found diving skills. Not only will you feel a sense of pride and satisfaction for having done something worthwhile with your gap year, as opposed to constantly bumming around on the beach, but if you enjoy diving then you can use your PADI qualification on future holidays without having to waste precious time off work learning the skills first. The benefits of diving on your gap year are numerous.
Here is a look at what we think are the best three locations to gain your PADI qualifications in the Caribbean.
Variety and choice
If you're looking for a wide choice of dive sites with an impressive mix of difficulty levels that are all easy to reach, then Grenada is the island for you. The island's waters contain wrecks, reefs in abundance, a volcano and even an underwater sculpture park. When you are learning to dive the last thing you want to do is spend hours aboard a boat travelling to and from dive sites. To make the most of your valuable diving time, and to spend the maximum amount of time actually in the water, give Grenada a go.
A choice of shallow sites such as MV Veronica, Dragon Bay, Flamingo Bay and the underwater sculpture park at Molinere Bay mean that you will never get bored as a learner diver. There is also a huge range of dive schools to choose from. The majority are based on the island's famous Grande Anse Beach.
The island of Bonaire is blessed with an almost continuous reef surrounding it. In many places this reef is only a few yards from the shore meaning you can simply wade out to experience some fantastic shallow diving. Bonaire is also well set up for visiting divers. Yellow markers along the coastal road indicate where the dive sites are. All you have to do is park up and walk out to the relevant site.
As you progress with your diving skills there are also some great off shore sites to be reached by boat as well as the uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire which also falls under the protection of the Bonaire National Marine Park.
There are many Caribbean islands to choose from and you can find one that is just right for your vacation and budget. Apart from going on a vacation, any person interested in theatredeals can also dream of living in the Caribbean and they can find an island paradise that they can relocate to. These are wonderful islands that have a lot to offer. The following is a list of some of the best islands that you can find in the Caribbean. 1. St. Martin If there is any complaint about this island that is filled with resorts, restaurants and nightclubs is that there is too much of everything. However, the construction boom has slowed down because of global economic meltdown. The activities that a visitor can enjoy include going on a hike and diving in the marine park. 2. Aruba Luxury hotels, designer boutiques and glitzy casinos are concentrated in the western edge of this island. Spectacular sunsets can be enjoyed and even if you are not a morning person, you can rise up early to enjoy a street party called Carubbean Festival that is held every week. 3. Bahamas This island is ideal if you would like some bit of solitude. Proximity and peace are directly related and the further one travels, the quieter it becomes. 4. US Virgin Islands There are three islands to choose from and they include St. Croix, St. John and St. Croix. The most remote island is St. Croix and it is also less developed compared to the other two. If you are a sports enthusiast, this is a perfect getaway for you. 5. Puerto Rico The Vieques National Wildlife Refuge is very impressive and it is not as crowded as the other beaches in the island. The laid back personality of the island is what draws tourists and even celebrities. 6. Bermuda In the Atlantic Ocean, you will find this island sitting all alone. Its architecture, customs and foods are more British colonial that a tropical paradise. Even though the island is pricey, visitors can find reduce golfing fees, lower airfares and cheaper hotels. 7. Cayman Islands These islands are synonymous with wealthy pursuits and they are offshore banking and deep sea diving. It is rare to find an affordable hotel in these islands. However, a hotel that is recommended goes by the name Sunshine Suites. 8. Dominican Republic Affordable, all inclusive packages are available especially in Punta Cana. The Residencial Casa Linda Villas are more like your local neighborhood as opposed to a resort. Daily housekeeping services are available and a two bedroom villa can cost $100. 9. Jamaica This is an island that caters for every kind of traveler. A honeymooner can find an ideal package while the island is also family friendly. Ocho Rios is an ideal location for a cruiser. 10. Trinidad and Tobago Tobago is just like the backyard of Trinidad. This 116 square mile haven is just a twenty minute flight from Trinidad. You can find restaurants and nightclubs here and you can find peaceful accommodation at the Gloucester Place Guest House.
In gorgeous garden settings or by the pool or in air conditioned restaurants you can find time to let time pass. A good place to watch the sunset is in the west end village in Roatan there head for sundowners or the blue marlin.
Those who do not wish to go diving can relax on the beaches and enjoy the nice warm sun a plenty otherwise there are many land based activities like horse riding or ziplining. A good idea would be to first look up the internet to get an idea of some exclusive resorts and hotels at the island you wish to visit. You will find a list of a number of recommended hotels and resorts where the best of accommodation, drinks and food is served.Check The Weather Chart Online To get an idea of the climatic or weather conditions at the preferred Bay Island, you can always look up the weather chart on the internet before planning a trip to the islands. If you are looking for particular resorts only then you could even look up rankings of various resorts on the web and accordingly make a decision on the type of resort you want to stay in on reaching the Bay Islands. Once you make the first trip to any of the islands in the Caribbean you are sure to make many more annual trips to the beautiful island in the future too. With increasing numbers getting attracted to the region, there are now many hotels and resorts of your choice to access at the Bay Islands and that too at rates you can afford.