Tropical destinations aren’t just for couples sipping piña coladas on the beach—they are adventure hot spots complete with zip lines, volcano hikes and, of course, incredible SCUBA dives just off shore.
At first, these activities might seem too adventurous for families, but kids will love the rush of flying through the air on a zip line or diving to check out a nearby coral reef and the surrounding marine life.
According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), children as young as eight can start learning the basics of SCUBA. 10-year-old kids can be certified as junior divers (not allowed below 40 feet in open water) and when they are 12 they can dive as deep as their skills allow.
SCUBA diving is a perfect activity for the whole family, with many stunning locations around the world offering dives for every skill level. Here are a few of the best family friendly dives.
Stingray City—Grand Cayman
The Cayman Islands are a diver’s paradise that offers a surprising amount of SCUBA opportunities for the whole family. Stingray City is one of the safest and most fascinating dives in the area. This series of shallow sandbars is home to tons of southern stingrays that divers can touch and feed with the help of a guide.
Stellar coral formations, big fish sightings and 25 miles of barrier reef sitting less than a mile offshore make Ambergris Caye a fascinating dive location for the whole family. Spot sharks, rays and turtles from more than 100 feet away in the clear, temperate waters surrounding the island.