Did you know? Kids as young as 8 can be introduced to the world of scuba diving in the safety of the pool and 10 year olds and up can get their open-water PADI certification.
If you have little adventurers who dream of finding Nemo and his friends, it is never too early to start them on the road to become qualified divers. We’ve rounded up the top family-friendly resorts that offer the best dive programs for kids and the best facilities to enjoy in between dives.
The Turks and Caicos are surrounded by some of the best dive sites in the world and the kids diving programs at Beaches Turks & Caicos are second to none. The Bubblemaker Experience introduces little ones as young as 8 to scuba diving in the pool and the action-packed Seal Team program teaches little explorers to dive with flashlights, master underwater photography and float like an astronaut. There’s a resort course for 10 year olds and up if you’re short on time and if you’re already qualified, you dive for free! Nervous kids and younger ones can try snorkeling in the shallows or you can drop them off in the kids’ club so you can enjoy the endless facilities on offer.
Enjoy the ultimate Florida Keys diving experience for the whole family at Hawks Cay. Mini adventurers as young as 8 can enjoy an introduction to diving in the confines of the pool, while 10 year olds and up can get their open water certification or they can do a resort course. There’s also SNUBA, a combination of snorkeling and scuba, if your youngsters are keen to jump straight away. There’s a host of facilities to enjoy in between dives, a Dolphin Connection program and a great kids’ camp for age 5+.
Family-friendly The Ka’anapali Beach Club, which lies on Maui’s western shore in Hawaii, is ideal if you and your family are interested in exploring the archipelago’s clear waters and incredible dive sites. The resort is home to Tiny Bubbles Scuba, a dive school with a comprehensive program for kids and adults alike. Kids under 10 who are not quite ready to take the plunge will love the the Guided Beach Snorkel Tour. Meanwhile, the non-divers in the family can take advantage of the impressive facilities and enjoy some R&R!
For a fun-filled family holiday in the Bahamas where your kids can learn to scuba dive, check in to the all-inclusive Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The warm, clear waters are ideal for beginners and the resort offers PADI scuba diving programs for young guest as well as Snuba and snorkeling. Toddlers as young as 3 can enjoy a marine life discovery adventure of their own with the resort’s Sea Squirts program and there’s a hands-on dolphin encounter program. There’s endless fun to be had out of the water for tots, teens and grown-ups, too!
Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort in Mexico is an awesome spot if you’re looking for a low-key holiday the whole family will enjoy, with a smorgasbord of underwater adventures. Aspiring junior divers can do a resort course, or get properly qualified if they wish. There’s an amazing snorkeling program for tots aged five and above which lets little explorers ‘power-snorkel’ in the Sea of Cortes using water scooters. When you’re not in the sea, there’s an array of facilities to make the most of including a spa, two pools and tennis courts, plus there’s a kids club (for 4 to 12 year olds).
If you have a budding Jacques Cousteau in your crew then head to Wyndham Reef Resort in the beautiful Cayman Islands, one of the world’s top diving destinations. The warm, clear waters of the Caribbean are teeming with fish and offer ideal diving conditions for beginners year round (check diving conditions using one of 2019's best dive computers). The dive program includes snorkeling for younger ones, resort courses and open-water certification. As well as all beachfront accommodation and a laidback vibe, there’s a weekly activity schedule, tennis courts and three pools.
For families wanting an exclusive island hideaway with unparalleled diving, Petit St. Vincent Resort is the perfect spot. The resort is set on a beautiful 115-acre private island in the Caribbean accessed by plane from Barbados followed by a short boat ride. The state-of-the-art scuba diving center, opened by Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, has a hand-picked team of diving instructors and a wide range of diving programs for tots, tweens and teens as well as snorkeling and SNUBA.