Aching to getaway this winter but anxious about blowing your travel budget? We’ve got you covered. Having scoured the rate sheets for the Southeast Asia and South Pacific regions, we’ve put together the 4 Best Value Dive Trips to book right now, where you can spend a week diving for less than $2000.
1. Munda and Gizo, Western Province, Solomon Islands
With short flights from Brisbane and a choice of budget accommodation, The Solomon Islands Western Provinces offer one of the most affordable places to dive in the South Pacific, with packages starting at just over a $1800 for a week’s diving and accommodation in both Munda and Gizo, and an amazing array of dive sites to explore, including WWII wrecks, beautiful coral walls to drift along and mysterious caverns to explore.
2. Tulamben Bay, Bali, Indonesia
If you haven’t dived the USAT Liberty wreck in Tulamben Bay, you really need to add it to your dive bucket list – the biodiversity at this one dive site alone will have you strolling from the many nearby dive resorts four or five times a day, not to mention the other great coral and macro diving on Bali’s north east coast. A week’s diving and accommodation here will set you back around $1000 at dive resorts such as Tauch Terminal Dive Resort at Tulamben Bay, or Lotus Bungalows in Candidasa.
If it’s big stuff you prefer, hop across the Lombok Strait to Nusa Lembongan to dive with Mantas and, perhaps the world’s weirdest marine mega-fauna; Mola Mola. A week’s diving at one of Lembongan’s resorts with 12 dives starts at just under $2000.
3. Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Less than three hours flight from Australia’s east coast, Vanuatu boasts some of the Pacific’s most famous WWII wrecks including the SS President Coolidge and Million Dollar Point on the island of Espiritu Santo, and incredibly varied diving off the coast of the island nation’s Port Vila. A week’s diving will set you back somewhere between $1500 to $1990.
4. Bunaken and Lembeh, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
North Sulawesi is a bit of a double whammy, its east coast famous for the macro wonders of the Lembeh Strait and west coast for the beautiful coral walls of Bunaken National Park (Manado) and pristine coral gardens of Bangka Island. Some dive resorts such as Thalassa, Bastianos and Murex offer 2-resort or even 3-resort packages which allow divers to sample two or three of these North Sulawesi dive experiences, taking care of all transfers making the trips between locations seamless.
There are several resorts to choose from on both east and west coasts, with a week diving at Bunaken costing around $1500, and at Lembeh, $1800.
*NB: All pricing based on per person twin share/double bookings, with 10-12 dives, using exchange rates at time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional costs maybe incurred such as marine park fees and nitrox. Airfares not included.