Where to Go Diving - Palau, Ecuador Receive Awards

Travelers looking for a diving vacation may want to check out two locations that have just received new distinctions. Palau’s Rock Islands have just been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, and Red Mangrove Dive Center in the Galapagos Islands has received the PADI / National Geographic Dive Center award.

UNESCO listed Palau’s Rock Islands Southern Lagoon as a mixed site for both cultural and natural properties. The Lagoon contains 445 uninhabited volcanic limestone islands in unique mushroom shapes and a reef system with over 385 coral species, diverse marine life and 13 shark species. The Lagoon also has the highest concentration of marine lakes – isolated bodies of seawater separated from the ocean by land barriers – in the world, which continue to yield newly discovered species.

Red Mangrove Dive Center is the first resort in the Galapagos and Ecuador to receive the PADI / National Geographic dive center award, the second accolade the Center has received in the past few months. Last spring, it was recognized with the PADI Five-Star Dive Resort designation, the organization’s highest rating standard.

“The National Geographic rating goes hand in hand with Red Mangrove’s commitment to sustainable tourism and providing the most rewarding visit to the islands possible,” said Caleb Hayes, dive resort project manager and PADI master scuba diver trainer, in a written release.

The Red Mangrove Dive Center is set to open a new academy in the fall of 2012, with over 15,000 square feet of space now under construction. When complete, it will be the largest dive training center in Ecuador and one of the largest in South America.

Visit www.visit-palau.blogspot.com and www.redmangrove.com

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