Whether it’s bottled-up energy or a new lease on life amidst the post-pandemic era, the world is ready to dive into new experiences headfirst in 2023 – and travelers are seeking unique vacations that shock, surprise and delight. With 79% of Singapore-based travellers looking forward to experiencing ‘out of comfort zone’ travel that pushes them to the limits,* what could be more thrilling than scuba diving or cage diving with sharks?
Booking.com has selected four of the best destinations for shark diving, as endorsed by its global travelers,** all offering an ocean-bound escape and the opportunity for adventurous travelers to get up close and personal with these legendary creatures. What’s more — Booking.com is sharing Early 2023 Deals to start the new year with new adventures!
|Discounts start at 15 percent at participating properties indicated by the “Early 2023 Deals” badge, and are valid for stays with check-in from 1 January 2023 and check-out on or before 31 March 2023.|
This idyllic island off the north coast of Cebu is the only place in the world where travelers can dive with thresher sharks all year round. While these graceful and wide-tailed creatures can occasionally be seen in other destinations, Malapascua boasts a diving school that specializes in trips to see these endangered creatures up close. Besides being one of the best endorsed spots for shark diving, travelers also recommend Malapascua Island for its stunning beaches and tranquility; compared to other popular islands in the Philippines, this off-the-beaten-track destination retains authenticity with its bona fide vibe, making this tiny island all the more inviting. The south is fringed with gorgeous sandy bays, and travelers can book exhilarating motorcycle tours to explore the island.
Where to stay: Tepanee Beach Resort provides rooms that come with their own private balcony, as well as a private beach for exclusive use by the resort’s guests. After a day of diving, guests can enjoy a dinner prepared by the resident Italian chef, or relax in the spa that offers blissful massages and a therapeutic hydromassage pool. This intimate and welcoming resort is a Booking.com Travel Sustainable property, serving locally-sourced and organic food whilst offering island hopping tours and water activities organized by local guides and businesses.
Here’s what makes Sharm El Sheikh a scuba-diving paradise: The crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea, incredible variety of exotic fish, world-famous shipwrecks and vibrant coral reefs. To top it off, there are plenty of diving schools for those wanting a chance to spot a shark or two. The Red Sea is home to several shark species, including hammerheads and whale sharks, and its warm waters make it the perfect place to see these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. The city of Sharm El Sheikh on the east coast of the Sinai desert in Egypt has developed from a small fishing village to a family-friendly tourist destination in the last few decades, thanks to its amazing underwater scenery that appeals to novices as well as seasoned explorers – with all the best dive sites accessible by boat. Back on land, travelers can head into the desert where a variety of exhilarating and unique activities await at dusk, from highly-recommended*** Camel Ride Experiences to Sunrise Quad Bike Safari trips.
Where to stay: The all-inclusive Albatros Palace Sharm – “Aqua Park” resort is located on the seafront, and offers a private sandy beach with its own beach bar and six swimming pools connected by lakes, waterfalls and flume rides. Children are fully catered for at this family-friendly resort which comes fully-embellished with a kids club and playground, and it couldn’t be closer to the underwater action with an onsite diving center where visitors can organize diving and snorkeling excursions and courses for all ages and levels. For the adults that want to try their hand at a shark diving experience, the resort is situated along the shore of the Red Sea with plenty of experienced diving schools to guide you to the right spots. After an adrenaline-fueled day, guests can relax at the spa or sit poolside and enjoy the live traditional entertainment.
Located in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand, this palm-fringed island takes its name from the abundant sea turtles that reside on its shores. Boasting a fabulous selection of dive sites, coral reefs and a handful of rock formations and shipwrecks, marine life such as whale sharks, blacktip reef sharks and hawksbill turtles is abundant. For non-divers, shallow sites such as Shark Bay offer fantastic snorkeling opportunities with reef shark and turtle sightings early in the morning and late in the afternoon, while free divers can push their limits with cavern swim-throughs at Green Rock. For a spot of adventure on dry land, travelers can take a vigorous hike up to one of Koh Tao’s dramatic hilltop lookouts for bird’s-eye views of its golden beaches and tropical forest.
Where to stay: Perched on a hillside, the Koh Tao Relax Freedom Beach Resort offers traditional wooden cabins with verandas and sea views. With its own private white sandy beach, it’s a stone’s throw away from the John Suwan Viewpoint and Freedom beach for a wide array of water activities. The onsite restaurant serves delicious Thai food from Tom Yum (hot and sour lemongrass soup) to Pad Krapow (spicy basil chicken). The Booking.com Travel Sustainable stay makes efforts to reduce food wastage and offers diving, snorkeling and fishing activities organized by local guides and businesses.
This city at the tip of Africa, crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain National Park, has a long-standing reputation for adrenaline-fueled outdoor activities. Cape Town delivers with lots of options: cage shark diving, bungee jumping and paragliding – all exhilarating ways to experience the city. Between June and September, experience cold-water diving with cow sharks and seals in the kelp forest, while the nearby fishing town of Gansbaai – known for its dense population of great white sharks all year round – is an easy day trip away. Every day brings a new adventure in Cape Town: travelers can soak in the view from the summit of Table Mountain with a Mountain Hike, which according to local travelers is the best place to watch the sun set***, take a boat to Robben Island for an insight into the country’s history and explore the beaches, forests and verdant mountains along the majestic Garden Route. Push your out-of-comfort-zone travel to the max with an Atlantic Seaboard Scenic Helicopter Flight for fantastic bird’s-eye views of this diverse port city.
Where to stay: Nestled in the foothills of the majestic Twelve Apostles Mountain range, the Auberge du Cap Guesthouse offers suites and apartments with stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean. Guests can enjoy the salt water, solar-heated pool, and sip sundowners or a glass of South African wine on the well-positioned terrace to enjoy spectacular sunsets across the palm-fringed Camps Bay. The guest house is close to many watersport activities and shark cage diving centers, while its garden backs into the Table Mountain National Park where guests can enjoy invigorating walks.