Good destinations for OW checkout dives for 15yo?

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nategasser

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Hi all,

I'm just beginning to investigate getting my 15yo son OW certified. In the ~20 years since I did mine, I still feel like the local pool work + tropical checkout dives is the way to go. While I enjoy diving our local quarry, if I had done my checkout there (40 degrees + 20' viz) , I don't think I would have ever bothered to dive again.

Our checkout was in Bonaire, which again, I feel was ideal -- I don't see how you can beat shore diving right from the resort. So much less stressful than being a brand new diver and having to deal with boat dives.

All that said -- are there other (western hemisphere) designations comparable to Bonaire, in terms of diving quality and especially ease/abundance of shore diving, combined with (reasonably) affordable resorts with, reputable on-site instructors doing OW checkout dives?

The Bahamas is attractive because the flights are cheap, but I've never been and don't know that much. Some magazine (can't remember which) recommended Ambergris Caye, Belize as a top first-time destination. Thoughts/opinions/other places to consider?

Thanks so much!
 

arew+4

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Curacao, just like Bonaire, but dives from sandy beaches and more developed metropolitan feel in town. Only draw back is many of the beaches are boardered left and right by high cliffs so be sure not to miss your exit.

We had our kids (13,13,15) do online with pool and check outs on Bonaire, went really well. We had for days to dive without the kids to do deeper dives, then the rest of the time for shallower stuff with the noobs. Can't beat Bonaire and Curacao for predictably calm conditions.

St Croix is also noted for shore diving and is on the top of the list for future trips, the swims are much farther than B or C.
 

arew+4

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Also, Roatan is reasonably priced easy diving, with some good (by reputation) dive shops for training.
 

Jake 10

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FL Keys have several 30' to 60' dives appropriate for OW divers.
 

Fishyhead

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I was in Ambergris Caye in June 2019 and didn't seen anyone shore diving. The sargassum seaweed rotting on the beaches probably scared off anyone who'd want to try! The leeward side of Ambergris (look up Secret Beach) didn't have sargassum but I didn't see anyone diving over there.
 

BoundForElsewhere

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Isla Mujeres. No current. Nothing really deep. Nice coral. Groovy little island. Not as chill as Coz but still good for the family.
 

rick00001967

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another vote for curacao. especially if you liked bonaire.

i think coco view and fantasy island resorts both have shore diving on site in roatan.

grand cayman might be another option. expensive there but very nice shore dives.
 

flyboy08

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my daughter did her OPW at Amberis Caye Belieze 14 years ago...any of the Caribbean destination would suffice...I always lean towards CZM though as it not only a great destination, its EASY!

Check out the Grand Occidental and ProDive

Good luck.
 
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