10 most (seemingly) dangerous things we’ve done

Danakil Depression tours military escortAtlas & Boots

Six years after we quit our jobs to travel around the world, we revisit some of the riskiest things we’ve done on the road

Peter and I have a long-running joke that I have fallen off my bike in the most beautiful places in the world – among them Bora Bora in French Polynesia and Isabela in the Galápagos. I only learnt to ride at the age of 28 and my lack of experience has led to numerous falls. 

Things to do in Bonaire: our top 12 picks

things to do in bonaie

We explore the best things to do in Bonaire, from pink lakes to secluded beaches and first-rate diving and snorkelling

Bonaire, a Dutch municipality in the Leeward Antilles of the Caribbean Sea, is known for its rich marine life, exceptional dive sites and desert landscape interior.

Bonaire is surrounded by a fine coral reef that lies meters from the shoreline, making it a snorkeller’s dream. The reef is a designated national marine park and is easily accessed via numerous entry points clearly marked on shore.

5 best dive sites in Aruba according to divemasters 

Grunt fish duel for mates at one of the best dive sites in ArubaJames Dvorak/Shutterstock

From a ship scuttled in World War II to a fiercely guarded secret spot, we share the best dive sites in Aruba as chosen by local divemasters

When it comes to choosing dive sites, we are yet to find a perfect solution. Official rating apps are often skewed towards popular spots, meaning that a mediocre dive site with lots of visitors will trump a less-visited but better site based on the weighting system.

Scuba diving movies: 21 of the best underwater flicks

scuba diving movings best flicks

We list the best scuba diving movies of all time, from thrilling underwater epics to Hollywood blockbusters featuring incredible subaquatic scenes

With the dark depths of the ocean as a backdrop, the threat of a turbulent sea and an ever-dwindling air supply, scuba diving should be ripe for spectacularly tense movie plots.

Sadly, the underwater realm has struggled to get a foothold in the glitz, glamour and special effects of the modern Hollywood blockbuster. Whether it’s the latest superhero reboot, science fiction thriller or historical epic drama, the effects-driven juggernaut that powers the modern film industry seems to continually overlook subaquatic cinema.

Diving the Sonesta plane wrecks in Aruba

Diving the Sonesta plane wrecks in Aruba

Diving the Sonesta plane wrecks in Aruba was eerie and surreal, but ultimately thrilling

I’m hopeless at fish identification. My memory is awful and I don’t like diving with a fish ID slate – it just becomes a piece of clutter to add to the essentials (pressure gauge, regulators, dive computer and my camera). As such, unless it’s a lion fish, grouper, clown fish, whale, dolphin or shark, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to identify it.

Wall diving in the Turks and Caicos: a glimpse at the abyss

Peeking into the blue while diving in the Turks and Caicos

Diving in the Turks and Caicos will no doubt lead you to its famous wall. There you will stare into a literal abyss that dives 2,000m to the bottom of the sea

There’s a moment in the Jude Law film Black Sea where a deep-sea diver falls off a murky underwater ridge and careens into the pitch-black depths of the ocean. For someone who struggled to learn to dive, the idea was pretty bloody terrifying. 

Of course, in recreational diving, this sort of thing doesn’t happen – especially when you dive no deeper than 18m. Nonetheless, I was reminded of this scene when wall diving in the Turks and Caicos on the ninth day of our Caribbean cruise.

Eye-opening moments from our Caribbean cruise

After a busy year of trekking and writing, we decided to treat ourselves to a touch of indulgence

I’m not going to lie: I was in two minds about our Caribbean cruise. We had initially planned a cruise in Alaska but it clashed with commitments around my book. We pushed back our dates to December and were left with one obvious destination: the Caribbean. 

Things to do in Oman: our top 12 picks

Rub' al Khali sand dunesDavid Steele/Shutterstock

We explore the best things to do in Oman, from modern Islamic architecture to the jagged peaks of its wild interior

Oman is an intriguing blend of the modern world and old Arabia. Unlike some of its neighbours, overdevelopment is yet to saturate the country. Lying on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world, sharing borders with the UAE, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

12 things to do in the Faroe Islands

interesting facts about the Faroe Islands The sea is never far away in the FaroesAtlas & Boots

Our selection of the best things to do in the Faroe Islands, from searching for puffins on Mykines to strolling scenic streets

Four days were never going to be enough. Lying adrift in the North Atlantic, the far-flung Faroes were once reserved for only the hardiest travellers. However, much has changed and today the 18 wild and windswept isles are drawing more and more visitors each year.

8 of the best dive sites in the Great Barrier Reef

interesting facts about Australia Great Barrier ReefAtlas & Boots

We spent seven days diving in the world’s largest reef system – and loved every minute. Below we share some of the best dive sites in the Great Barrier Reef

As travel bloggers, we are at times guilty of hyperbole. When it comes to diving in the Great Barrier Reef, however, there is no overstating. The coral reef here is simply magnificent.

We spent seven days aboard the 35m catamaran Coral Expeditions II, a small ship that accommodates a maximum of 44 passengers (our trip had 22).

Diving Steve’s Bommie in the Great Barrier Reef

Diving Steve’s Bommie in the Great Barrier Reef coral moorish idol 1Atlas & Boots

A first-hand report of diving Steve’s Bommie in the Great Barrier Reef including information on when to go, how to get there and what to expect

It started with a whisper, as if he were revealing a state secret or the coordinates of Atlantis. His shoulders eased into the buttery leather of his seat, his stance loose and casual, as if this were any other drink on any other evening of our small-ship expedition across the Great Barrier Reef. His tone, however, betrayed something different: a low and certain intensity, alerting us to the fact that this dive would be like no other.

He would need special dispensation from the captain, said Colin, our dive instructor on the expedition. We’d have to leave early and take the dinghy and be back before breakfast. Nothing was guaranteed, but he’d talk to the captain and we’d wait and see.

Swimming with whale sharks in Djibouti

interesting facts about Djibouti whale sharks in djibouti close upAtlas & Boots

Swimming with whale sharks in Djibouti promised to be the highlight of our trip – but would it live up to the hype?

I’m a pessimist and Peter’s the opposite, so while he was brimming with anticipation at the prospect of swimming with whale sharks in Djibouti, I sat dolefully in a corner wondering if a) we would even see a whale shark and b) if I would be able to keep up with it.

Diving in Djibouti: my first wreck

We get comfortable in the water while diving in Djibouti

Diving in Djibouti doesn’t appear on many bucket lists, but as we learn on our trip to the country, it can be even better than Mauritius or Tahiti

Djibouti, it is said, is the Dubai of the Horn. Its port location and peaceful nature in an otherwise restive region has made it a prime location for foreign interest. The country is home to Africa’s largest US army base and France’s biggest Foreign Legion deployment. China, Japan, Italy, Germany and Spain among others also have soldiers stationed there.

Diving at Blue Bay in Mauritius

Diving at Blue Bay in Mauritius gave us our first experience of scuba diving in strong currents with some tricky tunnels to navigate for good measure!

After our first dive in over a year and our appetites whetted, we were keen to get underwater again in Mauritius. Having moved from the north of the island to the quieter and relatively undeveloped area around Blue Bay in the south, we organised our second dive through our hotel.

Diving at Trou aux Biches in Mauritius

a turtle seen Diving at Trou aux Biches, Mauritius

Diving at Trou aux Biches after a year’s break reminds us why we fell in love with scuba in the first place

We’ve arrived. In Mauritius. To hike and dive. For a month! What an absurd set of sentences for an ex-teacher and jobbing writer.

We’ve tooled together our month-long stay through a local contact and so here we are on the extraordinary island of Mauritius amid soaring volcanic mountains, yawning valleys and of course some of the best beaches in the world.

10 newbie diving mistakes

Being a good diver involves so much more than the basics. We asked expert divers to name their top newbie diving mistakes. Here’s what they said

At Atlas & Boots, we’ve dived in some incredible places, from Vanuatu and Samoa to Tonga and the Galápagos. Alas, it has been a whole year since our last dive and I fear making newbie diving mistakes the next time we head out.

I was a nervous first-time diver and I’m conscious of losing what confidence I built up after completing my PADI Open Water Diver course in Colombia. Sadly, there aren’t many opportunities to dive in London (especially in March) so I’m keen to brush up on my skills as soon as we head to Africa in August.

PADI ReActivate: How to refresh your diving skills

I’m usually the weakest diver in the group. After nearly backing out of my first dive in Vanuatu and quitting the PADI Open Water Diver course altogether, I eventually certified in Colombia five months after my first attempt – and that wasn’t easy. I threw up into my regulator five metres down and then again back on the boat. By the time I got back to our room, I was so tired I fell asleep in my wet bikini and woke up two hours later in a daze.