Must-see attractions come in all shapes and sizes. There are monuments to climb for fantastic city views, museums to explore in order to uncover the culture of a destination, and thrilling theme parks that provide hours of fun. However, there are also a number of interesting activities that are not immediately visible, at least not from the land.
Whether you love to scuba dive and explore the deep or you want to see what’s happening beneath the waves without getting wet, here are some unique underwater attractions from around the world.
Cancún Underwater Museum (MUSA)
Who says that art has to be placed in long corridors and giant halls? Not Roberto Díaz Abraham and Jaime González Cano, the creators of this fascinating underwater museum. On the seabed, off the coast of Cancún, you will find more than 500 permanent sculptures that were created by English artist Jason deCaires Taylor. They were specially crafted from materials that promote the growth of coral so that they can form part of the ecosystem and extend the environment in which the fish can live. There are three different ‘galleries’, which can be viewed whilst snorkelling, scuba diving or inside a glass-bottomed boat.
Yonaguni Monument, Japan
Discovered by Kihachiro Aratake whilst looking for the best place to see hammerhead sharks, this submersed monument is the subject of a number of theories. Some say that it is entirely manmade and possibly evidence of an ancient civilisation, whilst others believe it to be a natural phenomenon carved by the tides. The most popular conclusion, though, is that humans created the monoliths and other structures from the natural landscape. Situated about 12 metres below sea level, the monument lies off the coast of Yonaguni, in Japan’s Ryukyu Islands. You can visit it on private diving or snorkelling tours or hop inside the semi-submersible vehicle.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Aquariums are a great way to see life below the surface without having to get wet and this is one of the world’s largest. Inside Dubai Mall (itself one of the largest shopping centres in the world), this attraction is home to sharks, rays and other creatures of the deep. The main tank holds over two and a half billion gallons of water and has the world record for the largest panel of glass in the world. If walking through the aquarium’s tunnel isn’t enough of a thrill, you can choose to get closer to the action in the Shark Scooter – a one-man mini-submarine that will guide you through the water.
Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park, Caribbean
In a similar way to the Cancún Underwater Museum, the sculptures in this submerged park are there to promote the formation of coral reefs, as well as providing an insight into the culture of Grenada. You will find the dive site off the west coast of the island and there are a number of dive operators in the area that can take you there. Individual sculptures include ‘Vicissitudes’, a ring of children holding hands; ‘La Diablesse’, a she-devil based on Caribbean folklore; and ‘The Lost Correspondent’, a man using a typewriter at a desk.
Under Restaurant, Norway
Sadly, Europe’s first underwater restaurant will not open until 2019, but that gives us plenty of time to save up for a visit and to get excited. Plans to build ‘Under’ on the south coast of Norway, close to the village of Båly, were announced recently and early concept art shows it looking a bit like a concrete shipping container that has washed up on the surface. Half submerged in the water, the dining venue will offer a unique view of the marine environment as it changes through the year and will double as a research centre. The menu is set to feature cuisine that highlights Norway’s coastal ecosystem. Other underwater restaurants can currently be found in the Maldives.
If you would like to visit any of these amazing attractions, we can help you plan your holiday. From beach breaks to rail holidays, we can offer a wide range of travel experiences. Call us on 0800 021 3237 to speak to the team.