Whilst we are not deep-sea divers we do love to explore the unknown and care deeply about the welfare of our planet and its oceans. Below you can find the nine of our favourite destinations for visiting the world’s biggest oceans.
1. Pacific Ocean – Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Watch the Pacific Ocean surf roll into the endless beach from Manuel Antonio National Park whilst monkeys swing around in the tree tops. The haze stretching up the coast from the National Park as far as you can see truly echoes the Costa Rican saying ‘Pura Vida.’ Languish on the beach whilst watching the waves of the world’s largest ocean beating against the sand in this tranquil corner of the country. There are fabulous diving opportunities in Manuel Antonio and almost everywhere else along the Costa Rican Pacific coast. Why don’t you go and see it for yourself?
2. Indian Ocean – Sri Lanka
The Indian Ocean is the warmest of the world’s oceans and home to some of the best colourful tropical islands, atolls and coral reefs. Sri Lanka is one of those islands, boasting pristine coral reefs and excellent whale watching opportunities.
3. Pacific Ocean – Galapagos Islands
These uniquely biodiverse volcanic islands stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are on every traveller’s bucket list, for good reason. With a busy calendar of wildlife events above and below water there is always something amazing to experience in the Galapagos Islands. Humpback whales migrate with the Humboldt current, arriving in June and July. Sea lion pups make their way into the water in late September and Green Sea Turtles start to lay their eggs in February. Nowhere else on our planet have iguanas evolved to swim underwater and feed on algae. A trip to the Galapagos offers the chance to leave land behind and embrace life on the ocean.
4. Pacific Ocean – Hawaii
Beautiful Hawaii is synonymous with its legendary surf culture. Needless to say the ocean is a big feature of these islands. Visitors can see humpback whales from Maui between January and March. They can watch lava flow into the ocean all year around (the Kilauea Volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983) and snorkel with sea turtles on Molokini. Obama made sure to safeguard the ocean around his homeland by expanding Hawaii’s ocean reserve to cover 582,578 square miles. This protects more than 7,000 marine species, a quarter of them found nowhere else on earth.
5. Atlantic Ocean – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
No need to choose between the city or beach, Rio de Janeiro is both with a whole load of Brazilian personality to boot. Catch a cable car up to the top of Sugarloaf mountain for panoramic views over the Atlantic. Those with more time should explore the surrounding area or take a trip to Ilha Grande.
6. Indian Ocean – Zanzibar
The short boat ride from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar on a calm day is thrilling (pack seasickness pills in case you are not blessed with still conditions). The bright, cobalt coloured waters slip past with the ferry’s effortless transit as the tropical island of white sand and palms reveals itself. Zanzibar conjures myth with every street corner. It is a centuries old trade route with traditional dhows still sailing past daily. The island is truly in tune with the ocean that surrounds it. Visitors can enjoy dhow sailing, dolphin spotting and first-class diving and snorkelling. As tides ebb and expose the shallow shore of the northern beaches, you can walk through rock pools exposed by the low tide. There is so much ocean to discover on this tiny island.
7. Indian & Atlantic Oceans – Cape Town, South Africa
Cage dive with great whites or take the ferry to Robben Island. The South African coast offers something for both adrenaline junkies and those keen on contemporary history. Cape Point, the south western tip of the African continent, is where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet. South Africa also has a wealth of dive sites. If you have been on safari, now it’s time to explore South Africa’s underwater wildlife.
8. Pacific Ocean – Panama
We couldn’t leave this off the list. This tiny Central American nation joins both North and South American continents and the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea. Panama is famed for it’s manmade feature and it’s easy to see why. The Panama Canal is more than 100 years old. It remains one of the world’s most impressive engineering feats. Approximately 14,000 vessels transit the Panama Canal each year. Take a tour of the Miraflores or Gatun locks!
9. Southern – Antarctica
The Southern Ocean is the most formidable of our 5 oceans. Navigating across Drake’s Passage is not for the faint hearted. Even those with strong sea legs may find it a challenge to manage the large swells. It’s worth it when you get to Antarctica and see marine animals thriving in the frozen wilderness. Want to see Antarctic penguins and orcas for yourself?
About the Author: Laura is on the Marketing team at Tucan Travel. She has travelled independently and on group tours through South America