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Tag: "snorkelling"

Playa Blanca - Cartagena, Colombia - Fabulous Travel Guide

Go snorkelling in Playa Blanca, Cartagena

[ 2 ] April 11, 2011

Planning a trip to Cartagena in Colombia? Dedicate a couple of days to Playa Blanca – a beautiful stretch of sand on Isla de Baru.

The crystal clear water and coral reef is great for snorkelling so make sure you take your own equipment. Most travellers end up staying overnight in hammocks for just 7,000 cops (£2.35) and spending lazy evenings in one of the few candlelit restaurants.

Playa Blanca - Cartagena, Colombia - Fabulous Travel Guide

Playa Blanca - Cartagena, Colombia - Fabulous Travel Guide

What to expect

Locals will try and sell you everything, from full body massages to handwoven hammocks. You will be constantly pestered – and prodded! – so be firm and politely decline.

When you’re not splashing around, try the fresh cerviche for 8,000 cops (£2.70) or treat yourself to a pinacolada  (10,000 cops). It may be a little overpriced but you can’t get much more Caribbean than drinking out of a coconut shell…

Locals selling cerviche on Playa Blanca - Cartagena, Colombia - Fabulous Travel Guide

Locals selling cerviche on Playa Blanca - Cartagena, Colombia - Fabulous Travel Guide

How to get there

Get down to the port for around 8am. Tickets to Playa Blanca cost from 30,000 cops (£10) and include transport both ways.  You’ll also need to pay 12,000 cops in tax.

Make sure you arrange a time and place of pickup and if you’re travelling in a group try and get a discount. Boats usually leave at 9am so hang around until you hear your name called out so you get on the correct boat!

Looking for more places to visit in Colombia? If you like beaches you’ll love Tayrona National Park and Taganga.

Snorkelling trips in Caye Caulker, Belize

Snorkelling trips in Caye Caulker, Belize

[ 7 ] January 27, 2011

Caye Caulker boasts some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. Tours leave the island every day, offering 3-day sailing trips, sunset cruises and countless opportunities for snorkelling.

We loved the Raggamuffin tours, which can be booked on the seafront. The Hol Chan snorkelling trip is one of the best we’ve seen and costs 90 Belize dollars for a full day. Not only will you visit 3 of the best snorkelling destinations in Caye Caulker, all food and drink is included so you can enjoy cerviche for lunch, cocktails at sunset and fruit in the morning.

Raggamuffin tours - Caye Caulker, Belize - Fabulous Travel Guide

Raggamuffin tours - Caye Caulker, Belize - Fabulous Travel Guide

Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of the most popular snorkelling destinations on the island. Since no fishing is allowed, it’s teaming with schoolmaster snappers, blue-striped grunts, moray eels and angelfish. You’ll stop here for about an hour and you’re free to explore as much as you like.

Shark and Ray Alley

Always wanted to swim with sharks? Now’s your chance. Located 3 miles south of the marine park, Shark and Ray Alley guarantees a close encounter. Nurse Sharks swim in and out of the darkness and stingrays hover above the seabed. Keep an eye out for the huge barracudas – they seem to enjoy catching you off guard.

Coral Gardens

The Coral Gardens, 2 and a half miles west of Shark and Ray Alley, are a brilliant way to end the trip. Guides will accompany you as you swim with moray eels, dive into underwater caves and snorkel with schools of fish. Be careful not to touch any of the coral – or kick it with your flippers. You’ll be called ‘Coral Killer’ for the rest of the trip…

Find out how to get to Caye Caulker and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

Black-tip reef shark - Thailand - Fabulous travel guide

Swim with sharks in Thailand

[ 6 ] October 14, 2010

Always dreamed of swimming with sharks? Ko Phi Phi, an island situated just off the south coast of Thailand, is a great place to see your first fin.

Home to the black-tip reef shark, these waters are full of surprises: large schools of blue-lined snappers emerge from the abyss; white banded sea snakes wriggle beneath the coral and leopard sharks lurk in the shadows.

Black-tip reef shark - Thailand - Fabulous travel guide

Black-tip reef shark - Thailand - Fabulous travel guide

Booking a trip couldn’t be easier – you’ll find loads of tour operators in the centre of Ko Phi Phi. Don’t be afraid to barter if there’s a big group of you and shop around for the best deal. Look for companies that offer a refund in the unlikely event you don’t see any sharks!

Tours start early so expect to be on the beach at 6am. Guide will usually provide snorkelling gear but be sure to take plenty of drinking water as you’ll be out on the boat for at least 3 hours.

Swimming with sharks in Thailand | Ko Phi Phi | Fabulous travel guide

Swimming with sharks in Thailand | Ko Phi Phi | Fabulous travel guide

Feeling nervous? Once you’ve seen your first shark you’ll quickly relax. The anticipation is the worst bit! Sharks range in size from 3ft to 6ft – but they rarely come close and will quickly dart off when they spot you.

TOP TIP Don’t splash around – you’ll scare them off. Swim gently keeping your arms tucked in and legs paddling gently in swift movements.

Booking a flight to Thailand? Find out how to bag cheap flights and make sure you get the best exchange rates.

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