Diving

Diving Nicaragua’s Corn Islands

Three distinct layers of reef, composed of more than 40 species of coral, protect the north side of Big Corn Island. The diving and snorkeling are impressive, and divers regularly see nurse sharks, eagle rays, and lots of colorful fish. The wilder Little Corn Island’s delicate reef system is unique for its abundance of wildlife and coral formations, including overhangs, swim-throughs, and the infamous shark cave.

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Diving Isla del Coco Marine National Park

The only true oceanic island off Central America, Parque Nacional Marino Isla del Coco is one of the world’s best diving spots, famous for its massive schools of white-tipped and hammerhead sharks, eerie manta rays, pilot whales, whale sharks, and sailfish. Snorkelers swimming closer to the surface can revel in moray eels and colorful reef fish.

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Diving Santuario de Flora y Fauna Malpelo

Santuario de Flora y Fauna Malpelo is the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, making it one of the top places for diving in the world. There are 11 main dive sites, including the most important site, La Nevera, where it is common to see scores of hammerhead sharks. Malpelo is for experienced divers only; to get there you must coordinate with one these authorized outfitters in Colombia.

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Salt Island and the Wreck of the RMS Rhone

Many islands in the Virgins have salt ponds where crystal salt was collected, but no island had a larger or more productive pond than Salt Island. It’s also home to the wreck of the RMS Rhone, the preeminent dive site in the British Virgin Islands and one of its most visited attractions. Learn about the island’s history and how to thoroughly explore the Rhone’s remains.

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Plan a Visit to Bacalar Chico National Park Marine Reserve

Located on and around the northern tip of Ambergris Caye, Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve hosts an incredibly diverse array of wildlife, offers excellent snorkeling and diving, and is rich with history. Here’s your guide to planning a visit, from all about the reserve’s sights to where to stay, what to eat, and how to get there.

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Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Jason Frye

Jason Frye (Moon Great Smoky Mountain National Park)

Raised deep in the mountains of West Virginia, Jason Frye first fell in love with North Carolina as a kid during family vacations to the Outer Banks. In 2002, he swapped his mountains for sand dunes and his river for an ocean when he moved to Wilmington to pursue a master of fine arts in creative writing. There, his love for North Carolina deepened into a longing to stay, settle, explore, and be a part of the people, culture, and history of the state.

Along with his wife, Lauren, Jason has kayaked the marshes and waterways near his home; hang glided off the Outer Banks; explored the cityscapes of Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem; and wandered the woods and wilds around Asheville.

A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Jason has contributed stories to VisitNC.com, AAA’s Go Magazine, Our State magazine, Southern Living, Salt, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, and acts as a culinary critic for the Wilmington StarNews.

Keep up with Jason on Instagram @beardedwriter.