Family Diving - 8 Great Destinations To Visit

Little compares to the feeling you get when you introduce your child to the wonders of the underwater world for the first time! If you have decided to get the entire family certified as Open Water Divers, you are probably looking for the perfect place to take your family diving. Not all dive destinations are suitable for families with certified children. Some of the most popular dive destinations, such as Cozumel, with its deeper reefs and grand wall drop-offs, are best left for more advanced divers. There are, however, plenty of destinations around the globe that offer pristine dive conditions perfect for the younger divers in your family. Read on for our round-up of the top family-friendly dive destinations.

Family diving destinations - What to look for.

The best destinations for family diving include those that are not too remote and have shallow reefs with clear, calm, warm water. It is a good idea to also look for family-friendly resorts, check out topside activities and consider how far you are prepared to travel with your kids.

8 family-friendly destinations you won’t want to leave.

1. Fiji.

If you are looking for an exotic adventure for your family, look no further than Fiji. With their strong family focus, Fijians are famous for their love of children. The locals will welcome your family with open arms and warm smiles. Not only is diving in Fiji fantastic, but children will be kept busy with surfing and exploring waterfalls, sandy beaches, and rivers. Evenings full of traditional song and dance are also sure to entertain the kids. And with many all-inclusive resorts throughout the islands, you will have no shortage of resorts from which to choose.

2. Bonaire.

Family diving in Bonaire is near the top of our list for many reasons. The dive sites are some of the best in the world, the water is warm and clear, and there is abundant marine life. Most of the diving on this small island is also from shore. Boat diving is available, but shore diving is so prevalent that many resorts include a small truck with room rentals. The abundance of shore dives at Bonaire makes diving with children a breeze and allows you to go at your own pace - something that families with kids will fully appreciate. If you do choose to boat dive, the trips are short, and the water is always calm. READ MORE: HOW TO PLAN THE BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY DIVE VACATION.

3. Grand Cayman.

A world-class dive destination, Grand Cayman diving is at the top of every scuba diver's bucket list. With shallow, thriving reefs, clear and warm water, plus long stretches of white sandy beaches, Grand Cayman is the perfect spot for family diving. The famous Oro Verde wreck is even accessible to young divers, sitting in only 60 feet of water. Grand Cayman is also full of fun things to keep kids busy like the local turtle farm, beach bonfires, and the well-known Stingray City, where friendly stingrays get up close and personal as you snorkel among them.

4. The Maldives.

If you are looking for luxury and family fun all wrapped into one, look no further than the Maldives. This string of picturesque islands strewn throughout the Indian Ocean is home to some of the most luxurious family-friendly resorts on the planet. There is no shortage of house reefs just off the beaches, and boat dives are calm and comfortable. Go diving in the Maldives and you can wow your kids with large pelagic sightings like manta rays and whale sharks, while still diving in shallow, calm, and safe conditions. We do have one warning: if you spoil your family with a dive vacation to the Maldives, all other diving they do may pale in comparison! READ MORE: 10 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR CHILD’S DIVE SAFETY.

5. Maui.

Sea turtles are high on any young diver's must-see list and Maui is full of them. Your kids will love following these graceful animals whilst diving in Maui. There are also corals, triggerfish, and butterflyfish galore. Green sea turtles are so abundant that it is not uncommon to see one on every single dive. Topside, Maui offers more family-friendly excursions than almost any other destination on our list. Start your day biking down Mount Haleakala, then hike to spectacular waterfalls, visit impressive blowholes, go surfing, and end your day with a luau. You will never hear the words "I am bored" from your kids on a family vacation to Maui.

6. The Bahamas.

Easy to get to, especially from the United States, the welcoming islands of the Bahamas sit like jewels scattered throughout the Caribbean Sea. Historical tales of pirates and treasure make visiting the Bahamas an exciting adventure for the younger members of your family. Diving in the Bahamas offers busy reefs in shallow warm waters, with an added sense of excitement for kids who think they may find a gold doubloon as they swim along the sandy bottom. Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is especially kid-friendly, with resorts such as the famous Atlantis, where your kids can play to their heart's content at the resort's water park. READ MORE: THE 7 BEST SSI COURSES TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS.

7. Thailand.

If you are looking to immerse your children in a vibrant culture with fantastic diving, look no further than Thailand. An exotic yet affordable destination, diving in Thailand is perfect for families. Your money will go farther here than in some of the other destinations we have mentioned. Added to that, the food is fantastic, and nothing beats the overabundance of sand, sun, and sea. Phuket is easily accessible from around the world with international flights daily and offers plenty of diving. That said, your kids can experience nature at its finest by escaping the city crowds and going diving in Koh Tao. Not only will you have fantastic family dives amongst colorful coral reefs, but you can explore the dense jungle, spectacular waterfalls, or just lounge on the beautiful beaches. Thailand's family dive vacations are what adventure is all about.

8. The Florida Keys.

Taking your family diving in Florida is probably the easiest option if you are traveling from the United States. Daily International flights to Miami put you only a couple of hours' drive away from Key Largo. For those that feel flying with kids is too draining, the Keys are easily accessible by road trip from anywhere in the USA. Diving in the Keys is all about shallow reefs, making it safe and easy to dive with children. After your family is done diving, the Florida Keys are full of kid-friendly activities like bike tours, paddle boarding, jet skiing, parasailing, dolphin interactions, wildlife refuges, and much more. However, do not leave the Keys without trying a slice (or two) of the delicious dessert this area is famous for - key lime pie. Wherever you decide to take your family diving next, be it nearby or on the other side of the globe, keep in mind that the best family dive destinations are not only about calm, warm water and sunny skies. Make sure you do your research to ensure that there are plenty of shallow dive sites, family-friendly resorts, and adventurous topside activities to keep your kids busy when they are not underwater blowing bubbles and chasing fish. FIND ALL IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THESE DIVE DESTINATIONS ON MYDIVEGUIDE.