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Sea Trek: Underwater Fun in the Tropics

If you honeymoon in a tropical destination, there's a good chance that you might have the opportunity to try one of the most unique underwater activities we've found: Sea Trek. With locations in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Hawaii, this activity is a great way for non-divers (and even non-swimmers) to enjoy life underwater for a little while.

Wonder what it would be like to walk on the moon? You might never get closer than a walk on the ocean floor in an old-fashioned dive helmet, an adventure you can do through Sea Trek. Travelers with asthma can’t participate either due to the pressurized air that’s used.

We’ve done Sea Trek in Aruba twice and it was great fun, an experience we continue to talk about. How does it work? You’ll take a short “course” on the helmet, what to expect, signaling underwater, etc.; plan on about 20 minutes for the briefing.

John and Paris off DePalm Island in Aruba.
A guide feeds yellowtail snapper along the walk.
A Cessna was sunk at the Aruba site to provide a home for marine life; today it makes it easy for Sea Trek visitors to spot all types of fish (and to have a convenient place to pose for photos.)

Next, you’ll put on an optional wet suit (since you’ll be underwater for nearly half an hour, it can get a little cool, even in the Caribbean) and line up at the ladder to enter the water. One at a time, you’ll go down the ladder until the water’s chin deep. When just your head is out of water, a high-tech dive bell that weighs 70 pounds will be lowered onto your shoulders; don’t worry about supporting the weight because you’ll lower yourself on down the ladder as the helmet goes onto your head. From that point on, the helmet’s just about weightless due to the water’s bouyancy.

Slowly, you’ll step down the ladder with the help of scuba divers who will remain with you throughout your time underwater. At the foot of the ladder, you’ll find a rope outlining the walkway you’ll follow.

Single file, behind the other “divers,” you’ll walk along this walkway as if in slow motion. The only sound is your own breathing, echoed inside your helmet. The surface is never more than a signal away (one gesture and the certified divers who are accompanying you will whisk you to the top.)

What’s neat about the experience? You don’t have to have any dive experience to do it; you don’t even have to know how to swim. Anyone who wears glasses can wear their glasses as usual because everything (including your hair!) remains dry under the helmet.

Best of all, the experience gives you the feeling of being just another fish in the sea. Fish will come right up to you and you’ll have a look at the sea in a way no one but a scuba diver has the opportunity to do.

Where to Sea Trek:

Mexico:

  • Xcaret Park, Riviera Maya
  • Xel-Ha Park, Riviera Maya
  • Chankanaab Park, Cozumel
  • Garaffon Park, Isla Mujeres

    Hawaii:

  • Sea Life Park, Oahu

    Caribbean:

  • Doctor's Cave Beach, Montego Bay
  • Coral World: St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. (you can even marry underwater here!)
  • DePalm Island, Aruba

For more on Sea Trek:

Related Pages:

Photos courtesy Sea Trek, De Palm Island, Aruba