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Colombia Travel / Cartagena Travel / CTG / South America Travel / Beach Travel / Scuba / Swimming / → All Tags
Cartagena's so hot right now. New flight routes and a fresh focus on safer tourism in Colombia means more international visitors are arriving to this city of colonial charm and coastal allure. This week we're exploring how to reach and enjoy this city, nicknamed "Door of the Americas."
The primary metropolitan area of Cartagena does have its share of worthwhile Caribbean beaches, but if your visit is 3 days or longer then they why not go further afield to a tropical island? To be specific, we're talking about the Rosario Islands, located just off the coast of Cartagena but still within the length of a 45-minute boat ride from Marina Santa Cruz in the harbor district.
Isla Grande is the largest of the Rosario Islands, as its name implies, and is home to Hotel San Pedro de Majagua. Spending the day on Isla Grande requires a per person one-day tour fee of about $72 per adult/$49 child if you're not staying overnight.
Bermuda Field Trip / Bermuda Travel / Island Travel / Snorkeling / Sports Travel / Active Travel / SCUBA / → All Tags
During the height of summer, all we want to think about are islands. All this week, Jaunted's transatlantic attaché Kai MacMahon will fill us in on what's up with Bermuda lately.
The Bermuda Triangle remains one of the world's most enduring and intriguing legends. For those who haven't caught a History Channel documentary on it, the triangle is an area around Bermuda where hundreds of ships and planes have disappeared over the years, all under darkly mysterious circumstances. These disappearances have been chalked up to everything from aliens to paranormal activity, and even blamed on leftover technology from the lost island of Atlantis!
To quote Wednesday Addams, “nobody gets out of the Bermuda Triangle, not even for a vacation. Everyone knows that.”
Summer Travel / Sports Travel / Lists / Surfing / Scuba / → All Tags
1. Surfing: If Lady Gaga can learn it, then surely you can too. To surf, you're got to be hitting awesome breaks, places that likely also come with stunning sunsets, seafood barbeques and sand in between your toes.
So how long does it take to learn to surf? Not that long, actually, especially if you head to a surfing boot camp, like Surf Simply in Costa Rica. Wanna start a little lighter, a little closer to home? There's also stand-up paddleboarding, at these three prime Cali locations.
Strange Scuba Spots / SCUBA / Scuba Dives / Snorkeling / Active Travel / Texas Travel / Water Sports / → All Tags
For quite some time, Aquarena Springs was home to an amusement park in San Marcos, Texas, but unfortunately that’s no longer the case. However, the place is now run by Texas State University and they’re happy to show you all of the treasures found under the sea.
To keep things preserved for future divers you are not just allowed to jump right into the water here, as you need to take one of the monthly dive authorization courses. Hit the water with conservationists and dive experts to learn the dos and don’ts diving in this area—like when to keep your hands to yourself. Just be prepared to shell out around $230 for the pleasure to do so.
Strange Scuba Spots / SCUBA / Scuba Dives / Snorkeling / Active Travel / Alabama Travel / Water Sports / → All Tags
We understand that it’s hard to get the money together to head to the Caribbean to dive, but there’s always plenty of underwater options here in the good ol’ nifty fifty. If you’re looking for something a little more unique and affordable there’s always “The Pelham Keys” in Pelham, Alabama. It might be a strange scuba spot, but all that means is that the diving fun is just a little different.
The place is just around 20 minutes south of Birmingham, and it’s an over 26-acre limestone quarry that has now been filled in with over 850 million gallons of spring fed water. Expect clear waters as you swim through and explore some of the park’s undersea treasures. No coral reefs here, but there is a school bus, sailboat, and two different fire engines.
The weather outside might be frightful, but the water temperature within this strange scuba spot is always delightful. Homestead Resort and Spa is located in Midway—not too far from Salt Lake City—and that’s where you’ll find The Crater. It’s a beehive-shaped limestone formation which Mother Nature has sculpted throughout the years, and inside, a huge natural pool of water sits at a toasty 90-ish degrees year-round.
A tunnel takes adventurers inside the 55-foot tall mini-mountain, and that’s where you’ll be able to do a cannonball into the clear warm water. Local outfitters run all kinds of scuba classes, and some will even allow you to hone your skills or to finally get that dive certification that you’ve been putting off. Sure, there’s no fish or other underwater creatures, but you can head around 50-feet below the surface. Even better, there’s no need for a wetsuit.
The weather is getting warmer, and if there’s no room in the budget for a tropical vacation this year, you can always hit up one of our strange scuba spots. Lake Rawlings in Southern Virginia offers a full-service scuba solution—including non-strange diving trips—but they also have a spring-fed lake with crystal clear water. Visibility usually runs between 30 and 60 feet, but in the winter when the algae finally kicks the bucket, it can often exceed 100 feet.
There’s plenty of fish in the lake including large-mouth bass, and there’s even some freshwater clams that call the lake home sweet home. However, this underwater life isn’t worth a trip to the lake. It’s all the sunken junk that makes the lake famous.
It’s been a little bit since we last investigated a strange scuba spot, but there’s one in Illinois that deserves some attention. The folks at Mermet Springs Scuba will be happy to teach you all about underwater exploration, but the best thing that they offer is some of their underwater attractions.
The place is an abandoned quarry lake, but the owner has taken great care of the place and with a little planning has ensured things stay extra clean and clear. After all, it’s important to keep things clear in order to view the school bus, ambulance, and Boeing 727. That’s right they’ve got an airplane in the water, and it’s actually the one that was used in the movie US Marshals—if you’ve never seen the Tommy Lee Jones classic just watch TNT on any weekend afternoon. Divers can swim right through the main cabin and can sit in the cockpit to simulate the dreaded tarmac delay. And is that Pan Am livery we spy?
Dubai Travel / Dubai / Aquariums / Scuba / → All Tags
Dubai's Burj Khalifa's 124th-floor observation deck may have shut down, but college students have another excuse to travel to the city: a highly sought-after internship at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Oh, to be frat-age again.
To be eligible, students have to be at least 16 years old and the preference will go to those studying marine science, teaching or a tourism-related subject. Students from all over the world are encouraged to apply.
St Lucia Field Trip / SCUBA / Scuba Dives / Jetblue St Lucia Inaugural / St Lucia Travel / Caribbean Travel / Beach Travel / Water Sports / Amy Winehouse / → All Tags
Now that all the hubbub surround Jetblue's inaugural flight to Saint Lucia is over, we're free to focus on the important things, like getting on the beach and into the warm Caribbean waters, and that's exactly what we did yesterday afternoon during a scuba dive at the northern tip of the island, from the Cariblue Beach at the BodyHoliday LeSPORT resort.
It's weird to think that we've been diving for over 11 years now, and yet we learn new things each time we let out all the air and sink beneath the surface. And so for all you seasoned and wannabe divers, we'll let you in on a few things you've just got to know about diving here in the southern Caribbean, but specifically Saint Lucia because duhwe've got the recent firsthand experience.
Our top tips for free and easy SCUBA in Saint Lucia, after the jump.
The Mexican government has a creative new idea for getting tourists to stop overwhelming and destroying the coral reefs around Cancun: distract them with something shiny. So they're building the world's largest underwater museum and filling it with art work, hoping that the new attraction will take some pressure off the regional ecosystem.
There's little environmental risk to the area as the concrete will be PH-neutral. Exactly the opposite in fact: the new rocks will allow algae and small invertebrates to flourish, adding rather than subtracting from the local ecosystem. The construction of the museum itself will probably take a bite out of the local environment, but we assume it'll be done in a minimalist way. Can you imagine the headache if it came out that their Green Tourism museum was, well, not?
We’ve shed some light on strange Scuba spots across the globe, but we’ve never seen a strange Scuba contest before. However, that’s exactly what you’ll find if you’re headed down to the Florida Keys around Halloween this year. Amy Slate’s Amoray Dive Resort has been running an underwater pumpkin carving contest for a few years now, and this year’s competition is set for October 25.
Divers will do their best to carve out the most creative designs while avoiding reef fish and other critters at the bottom of the sea. Contestants will get pumpkins that have already been hollowed out and are just waiting for some creative carvings. Of course there will be prizes awarded to the top three jack-o'-lanterns, so plan something good. We’re thinking that designs inspired by the ocean probably have a good chance of winning. After all nothing screams Halloween more than a spooky dolphin or ghoulish fish.