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Swimming with turtles and sharks in St. Maarten: Advanced Open Water Diver Certification

Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten, Sint Maarten
2 Kudos
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I received my PADI open water diver certification 2 years ago in Dominican Republic and have been meaning to get under water again. Living in Michigan my diving options are pretty limited. When my boyfriend and I finally decided to go to St. Maarten for a trip, I decided that it's finally time to get back in the water and also get my Advanced Open Water diver certification. I did a lot of research and finally found Ocean Explorers dive shop. The staff there was absolutely amazing. I have seen some amazing creatures during my dives: giant lobsters, sea turtles, eagle rays, stingrays, lots of colorful fish and even SHARKS!!! this was my first time seeing sharks and they were amazing!! Also there was a turtle called Lilly, who LOVES divers, and every time she sees a diver under water, she comes to snuggle with them. I was even able to hand feed her!! Overall i couldn't think of any other place to get my Advanced Open Water Diver certification.
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Points of interest

Kim Sha Beach
Great beach to relax on after a day full of diving. Close to all bars, restaurants and shopping. There is also plenty of vendors offering water related activities.

Restaurants

Top Carrot SXM
Great place for a relaxing and healthy lunch or dinner. tends to get busy, so make sure to get their early
Avantika
Interesting Thai food restaurant for dinner at night. They have an outdoor sitting in the patio and an indoor sitting available. I would recommend getting their early so you can get a good spot on the patio
The Taste Factory
Great place to get some coffee and croissants in the morning before dives. Make sure to give yourself extra time, as they are extremely slow
Sunset Beach Bar
Great place for a casual drink and watching planes on the famous Maho beach. Make sure to check the planes schedule in advance.
The Greenhouse
Amazing place right on the beach!! best way to end the day of diving with a margarita in your hand

Special activities

Ocean Explorers Dive Center
Ocean Explorers Dive Center
The best time dive shop on the island. They gave me the best memories that will last a lifetime.
Ocean Explorers Dive Center
Ocean Explorers Dive Center
The best time dive shop on the island. They gave me the best memories that will last a lifetime.

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