The Mesoamerican Reef is a natural wonder and hosts an insane amount of marine life. If you love scuba diving as much as we do, you’re going to be blown away by this top 3 dive destination in the world. It’s the second largest barrier reef and is located in the Caribbean Sea (also known as the Great Mayan Reef). This large reef extends for more than 1,100 km (700 miles) past Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.

The best diving in the Mesoamerican Reef can be done in Mexico, Belize, and Honduras so we are going to focus on those countries in this article.

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Top reasons to go scuba diving in the Mesoamerican Reef

There are many reasons to dive the Mesoamerican Reef system – it’s hard to narrow down. This reef is home to over 65 species of coral, 500 species of fish, and 5 species of turtles – on top of whale sharks.

Best Reef Dives

The best reef dives in Mexico include the Manchones Reef in Cancun. This tropical reef is home to many tropical fish, colourful corals, sea turtles, and nurse sharks. Some of the best reef diving in Mexico is at Cozumel Island. The most popular reef diving spots in Mexico include the Columbia Reef, Punta Sur, and Palancar Gardens Reef (between Cozuel and Tuum).

If you’re looking for reef dives in Belize, Half Moon Caye is the place to go. The Mesoamerican Reef in this area has a wall dive that drops more than 900 meters (3000 ft). You’ll see many corals, sponges, and sea fans as well as a wide range of fish, turtles, and sharks.

Utila, in Honduras Bay Islands, has many great reef diving areas such as La Chimenea, La Poza, and El Faro. You’ll be able to experience everything from turtles to sharks to manta rays, even some rare black coral trees. If you’re up for exciting diving there are narrow canyons, swim-throughs, and tunnels in this area.

Best Wreck Dives

If you are looking for wreck diving you have a few great options.

In Mexico, you have the famous Cancun’s C58 Minesweeper shipwreck, a WWII navy boat that sunk in 2000 when a hurricane swept through the area. It lies 25 meters (85 ft) below sea level and has lots of old gun turrets and cabins to explore.

Near Tulum Mexico, you can also dive the Mama Viña wreck, an old shrimp boat that sits 27 meters (90 ft) below sea level. This boat sunk in 1995 and is a great place to see octopuses.

Off the coast of Mexico nearby Belize you will find the Chinchorro Reef. This is an 800 square km (300 square miles) epic dive spot for advanced divers looking for a unique area. There are more than 70 wrecks in this protected biosphere reserve. You’ll also see a diverse marine system of reefs, turtles, sharks, crocodiles, and a large array of tropical fish.

If you are diving in Honduras El Aguila in Roatan is a 70 meters (230 ft) cargo boat that sunk in 1997 when it was hit by a hurricane. The boat lies 30 meters (100 ft) below sea level and is split into 3 sections: the cargo holds, engine room, and bridge.

Another wreck dive in Roatan is The Odyssey. This is a 91 meter (300 ft) cargo ship that sunk in 2002 and is one of the largest wrecks in the Caribbean. It lays on the bottom at 33 meters (110 ft) below sea level and you can swim through the impressive wreck to explore all the life that has flourished here.

Best Shark Dives

whale shark

Scuba diving with sharks is one of the best, most unique, and ethical animal encounters you can have. The Mesoamerican Reef is home to many different species of sharks including nurse sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, tiger sharks, bull sharks, and whale sharks.

  • If you’re wanting to dive with whale sharks, you’ll be happy to know that this reef is full of them. The best place to do so is in Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancun. Whale shark season is between June and September.

  • If you’re visiting in the winter and want to try diving with bull sharks, you can do so in Playa del Carmen between November and March.

Why the Mesoamerican Reef is popular for scuba diving?

The Mesoamerican Reef is a system of reefs that extend from the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, around Isla Mujeres, to the Bay Islands in Belize. This area is world renowned for its large concentration of whale sharks and diverse coral reef systems. Spanning through this area are many reefs and protected parks.

Quick facts about diving in the Mesoamerican Reef

underwater statue while scuba diving

Diving season in the Mesoamerican Reef

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef’s tropical location makes it an epic year round dive site. Due to tropical storms rolling through, the best diving season is between the months of November and May when the water is warm and clear.

Cost of diving in the Mesoamerican Reef

The cost of scuba diving in the Mesoamerican Reef depends on which of the 4 countries you choose to dive. In general, scuba diving in Mexico will be more expensive than diving in Belize and Honduras. It also depends on your level of Scuba diving certification. It’ll cost more if you’re getting your Open Water Scuba Certification than if you already have it and are looking for fun dives to explore the reef.

Scuba diving in Mexico typically costs around $150 CAD ($110 USD) for a 2 tank dive for experienced divers. A Discover Scuba Diving course for those who want to try diving for the first time costs around $110 CAD ($80 USD) from the shore and $200 CAD ($150 USD) from a boat. A PADI Open Water Certification costs around $610 CAD ($450 USD) which doesn’t include accommodation.

A 2 tank dive in Belize costs around $200-270 CAD ($150-200 USD). Discover Scuba Diving costing around $340 CAD ($250 USD) and PADI Open Water Certification costing around $760 CAD ($560 USD).

The cheapest place to scuba dive the Mesoamerican Reef is in Honduras. A 2 tank dive will be around $122 CAD ($90 USD) with a 10 dive package costing about $488 CAD ($360 USD). Discover Scuba Diving training will cost about $375-440 CAD ($275-325 USD). Open Water Certification costs about $475-610 CAD ($350-450 USD).

Where to get certified in the Mesoamerican Reef

scuba dive shop

There is no bad place to get scuba dive certified in this area. If you’re looking for the best deal, Honduras will be your best bet. Utila, Honduras is one of the cheapest places in the world to get scuba diver certified. The PADI Open Water Certification costs between $540-610 CAD ($400-450 USD). A SSI Certification is always a bit cheaper at around $475-540 CAD ($350-400 USD).

Diving conditions in the Mesoamerican Reef

The exceptional diving conditions in the Mesoamerican reef are a huge reason so many people love diving in this area. The reef is spread out over a large area and the diving conditions are pretty amazing no matter where you choose to go.


Water visibility will vary based on the area and time of year you visit. On average you will have an underwater visibility of between 15-30 meters (50-100 ft) or more. This makes for exceptional snorkeling and scuba diving.

Water temperature

The water temperature will vary depending on the time of year you visit. Between December and February, the water will get as cold as 25℃ (77℉) while summer months, between July and September, will have water temperatures of around 30℃ (86℉).

What you’ll see diving in the Mesoamerican Reef

The Mesoamerican Reef is famous for a wide array of large marine life including:

  • Sea turtles: Green, Loggerhead, Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Olive Ridley sea turtle
  • Whales: Humpback, Minke, Whale Sharks, and Sperm Whales
  • Rays: Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Spotted Eagle Rays, and Stingrays
  • Manatees
  • Crocodiles
  • Dolphins: Bottlenose, Spinner, Spotted, Rough-Toothed, and more)
  • 20 different species of sharks.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is world renowned for its large concentration of whale sharks. These gentle giants have their annual migration through this area between mid May to mid September. One of the best areas to snorkel and scuba dive with whale sharks is in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. You can book a snorkel trip to have an ethical encounter swimming with whale sharks.

Where to dive in the Mesoamerican Reef

The Mesoamerican Reef is one of the most diverse and spectacular coral reef systems in the world. It stretches for over 1,000 kilometers along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert diver, you’ll find something to suit your interests and skills in this amazing region.


The Great Blue Hole is one of the most popular and recognizable dive spots in the world. It’s a circular sinkhole that plunges to a depth of over 120 meters, where divers can admire ancient rock formations and encounter various sharks. Advanced divers who can go much deeper will see lots of cool looking stalactites and stalagmites as well as sharks (reef, giant hammerheads, and bull sharks).

Ambergris Caye (Isla Bonita) is another popular dive area home to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the area’s oldest. It’s the largest island of Belize and its history dates back to the Maya civilization.

Turneffe Atoll has lots of great dive sites with patch reefs and vertical walls and is known for its large concentration of sharks, turtles, and dolphins. It’s the largest atoll in Belize and the Mesoamerican Reef System. Its history includes being inhabited by the Maya and pirates.

An atoll is an island that is shaped like a ring with a lagoon in the center.

catamaran boats with a nice sandy beach and storm


The beautiful Bay Islands include 3 islands famed for amazing scuba diving: Guanaja, Roatán and Utila. Each island has its own charm and attractions, and you can find a variety of dive sites, from reefs to wrecks, from caves to walls, and from shallow to deep. You can also encounter amazing marine life, such as whale sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, and more.

Utila is the smallest island of the three and is one of the cheapest places in the world to get scuba diving certified (around $400 CAD/$300 USD). It also has some of the most amazing diving in Coco Seamount. This is a submerged volcano that attracts large schools of fish, tuna, barracudas, manta rays, and whale sharks (February to April is whale shark season). Halliburton Wreck is great for those who want to explore a sunken cargo ship.

Roatán Island is home to some of the best diving in Honduras. This is the largest and most developed of the Bay Islands and offers more facilities and services for tourists. It also has some of the most diverse and spectacular dive sites in the region.

  • Mary’s Place, where you can dive in narrow canyons and crevasses filled with corals and sponges
  • El Aguila Wreck, where you can swim around a 230-foot long ship that lies on the sandy bottom.
  • Other top dive sites include Hole in the Wall and Half Moon Bay Wall

Guanaja is the least visited island in the Bay Islands, and it offers a more secluded and pristine diving experience. It has over 50 dive sites, many of which are unexplored and untouched. You can dive sites like Black Rock Canyon, where you can see huge black coral trees and walls covered with colourful sponges, or Jado Trader Wreck, where you can see a 240-foot long freighter that sank in 1988.


Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is home to stunning turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea. Its east coast is lined with the stunning Mesoamerican Reef system making it one of the most popular dive regions in the world. This is just one of the many draws to the tourist hotspots of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel. This region is famous for its whale shark migration and colourful coral reefs with an abundance of marine life.


The tourist hotspot of Cancun Mexico is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico. It has some of the best diving year round with peak dive season between May and September. Expect to see lots of marine life including moray eels, barracudas, and sea turtles. This is also whale shark season in Cancun and nearby Isla Mujeres.

beach with canopies

The most popular dive spots in Cancun include:

  • MUSA Underwater Museum (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site) has over 500 sculptures submerged to swim through.
  • The Manchones Reef, a great place to see turtles, rays and moray eels.
  • C58 Shipwreck is a sunken navy vessel that is home to barracudas, groupers and lobsters.

If you don’t have your scuba diving certification but want to give it a try, you can book a beginner scuba diving class. You’ll get some instruction before doing a 2 tank dive at both the MUSA Underwater Museum and the Manchones Reef.

If you’re already dive certified, you can book a scuba diving day trip from Cancun to see the top diving sights in the area.

If you don’t have your scuba diving certification but want to give it a try, you can book a beginner scuba diving class. You’ll get some instruction before doing a 2 tank dive at both the MUSA Underwater Museum and the Manchones Reef.

Playa del Carmen

Another popular Mexican tourist destination is Playa del Carmen. It’s located south of Cancun and is one of the best places to dive with female bull sharks. They migrate to the area between November and March to have their young.

For those looking to get PADI Open Water Certified in Playa del Carmen is a great place to do so. If you’re looking to try diving for the first time a Discover Scuba Diving is a great option. If you’re already certified and just want to enjoy all the best of Playa del Carmen scuba diving, a 2 tank dive is for you.

One of the most famous dive sites in Playa del Carmen is Mama Viña, a shrimp boat that was sunk in 1995 and acts as a stunning artificial reef, home to lots of octopuses.

Tortugas is another popular Playa del Carmen scuba diving site, especially for beginners, where you can see lots of different sea turtles.

Playa del Carmen is also a great place to go cenote scuba diving. Cenotes are natural sinkholes filled with freshwater. Some can be hundreds of feet deep and filled with stalactites. This should be reserved for scuba divers who are certified, advanced, and comfortable in tight spaces.

swimming in a cenote


For a small island, scuba diving in Cozumel packs a punch with 40 epic dive sites around the island. Cozumel Island has made a name for itself as one of the top snorkeling and scuba diving destinations in the world. You can dive year round with December to April being peak dive season. You can expect to see a large concentration of tropical fish, eagle rays, sea turtles, and sharks (nurse and reef sharks).

The most famous dive site here is the Columbia Reef, a wall dive with cliffs, tunnels, and drop offs. Palancar Reef and Santa Roas Wall are other popular dive sites.

Top Cozumel scuba diving sites include:

  • Palancar Caves feature tunnels, caves and arches you can swim through. It also comes with the chance to see rays, turtles, and nurse sharks.
  • Santa Rosa Wall is one of the most famous dive sites in Cozumel. This area features a steep wall that drops from 15 meters (50 feet) to over 60 meters (around 200 feet). There are also huge sponges, coral formations and overhangs.
  • Columbia Reef is the largest reef and has a shallow, normal and deep section making it great for any level of scuba diver.

The C-53 Shipwreck is an old navy vessel that was intentionally sunk in 1999 to create a reef. It sits on the bottom at 25 meters making it a great place to scuba dive.

How to dive in the Mesoamerican Reef

scuba diving boat

Much of the Mesoamerican reef lies along the coastline of Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. Visiting any one of these countries, especially the islands just off the coast, will give you access to all the best dive sites in a small area.

If you want to scuba dive the Mesoamerican Reef, the most popular option is to book day dives. Typically you’ll do a 2 tank dive where you are out on the water for a few hours with 2 dives at different sites. These can be either shore dives or boat dives. Some places, especially if booking through resorts, will offer larger dive packs of 10+ dives for a better deal.

Looking for the best diving experience? You can book an overnight liveaboard dive excursion where you can have a multi day scuba diving adventure.

Snorkeling in the Mesoamerican Reef

If you’re still not sure about scuba diving you can get your feet wet with snorkeling. It’s a great starting point for those interested in diving but don’t want to commit to a full dive certificate.

One of the best ways to start snorkeling is by doing it while you’re on vacation. This is where Samara’s love for everything water and ocean began. You can rent snorkel gear for cheap almost anywhere and go at your own pace.

snorkeling in mexico

If you’re on a Mexico vacation in the Yucatan Peninsula Cancun is a great place to snorkel. Many hotels and resorts will even include snorkel gear in their packages.

  • Manchones Reef is a shallow option that is great for beginner snorkelers. You’ll be able to see corals, sponges, and fish with an opportunity to see turtles, rays and moray eels.
  • The Cancun Underwater Museum has 500+ underwater sculptures that you can see from the surface of the water. Or you can be brave and dive down to try to get a closer look.

If you want to try snorkeling in Belize, we’d recommend checking out Silk Cayes. This is a marine reserve full of beautiful coral gardens that are full of life. Snorkeling in Silk Cayes will have you swimming with nurse sharks, lobsters, sting rays, and sea turtles and costs around $200 CAD ($150 USD) for the day trip.

Planning your trip to the Mesoamerican Reef

The Mexican part of the Mesoamerican Reef is outstanding. All the best places to sleep and eat, and top things to do are in Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Thanks for stopping by!

Some of the most sought after dive sites in the world are found throughout the Mesoamerican Reef is one of. This barrier reef sits in the tropical Caribbean waters meaning warm, clear water that is full of life. You’ll find everything from thriving colourful coral reef systems full of tropical fish to beautiful sharks, turtles, and rays. The Mesoamerican Reef offers something for every diver.

This huge reef system is great for first time divers who want shallow reefs to experienced divers looking for deep walls and sunken shipwrecks, you’ll find it here. The Mesoamerican Reef is one of our favourite places to scuba dive in the world and we highly recommend it to anyone who loves diving.

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scuba diving the mesoamerican reef
scuba diving the mesoamerican reef
scuba diving the mesoamerican reef

Thailand is ranked as one of the top vacation destinations in the world. It features world-class white sand beaches, big beautiful temples and historical sites, scuba diving and adventures that will remain memories forever. There are large bustling cities like Bangkok (Thailand’s Capital city) and quiet mountain towns like Chiang Mai.

This Southeast Asian hotspot is one of the most popular backpacking destinations in the world. Despite having been there multiple times, we dream about returning every time we feel the travel bug. Thailand is one of the easiest and fun places to travel. Adventure seems to be around every corner and won’t break the bank along the way.

There are some tips and tricks you should know before you travel to Thailand. Let us walk you through the basics of the country and some expert travel tips that will make you feel like a travel pro!

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Top 8 Places to Visit in Thailand

Thailand has so many amazing sites to visit, that you may have some trouble deciding on where to spend your time. The Thai word for island is Koh which is the name of many of their tropical islands. Below we’ve listed our top must-see places in Thailand:

1. Koh Pha Ngan / Ko Phangan

First on our list for a reason, this tropical paradise is our favourite island in Thailand. Koh Pha Ngan (pronounced Ko-pun-yun) is most famous for its full moon parties and luxury wellness retreats. This island is the ideal size for renting a scooter. The island’s north end has a boho vibe with tons of yoga retreat centers and vegan restaurants. If you are looking for a party, head to the south of the island, near Haad Rin beach where the nightlife is palpable. This is also the home of the infamous Full Moon parties.

2. Koh Tao

If you’ve been itching to try scuba diving, Koh Tao is one of the cheapest places in the world to get your open water diving certification. This is the smallest of a 3 island series in the area with neighbouring islands Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui located close by. We recommend bringing a snorkel along with you to this island as there are many spots to snorkel from the many beaches on the island.

Koh Tao is a great place for hikers or those looking for a quieter beach experience. With most of the roads on this island being made of dirt and hotels often being in the form of thatched-roof bungalows, you will feel a world away visiting here. If basking on a beach and watching warm turquoise waters splash up on white sandy beaches sounds good to you you’re sure to love it here.

3. Koh Samui

This is the third island (Koh/Ko in Thai) in the Gulf of Thailand that sits just south of Ko Phangan. It’s the largest of the 3 and has a lot to offer. An international airport allows you to fly directly to this island.

Spend your day visiting the famous Big Buddha, soaking in stunning waterfalls or simply lazing at the beach. There is also great shopping on the island. Koh Samui is quite a large island so the best way to get around and see the sights is to rent a scooter to explore.

4. Bangkok

Thailand’s capital is a lively metropolitan city that is full of life. This inland destination offers tons to do and see. Once your feet are burning from walking the city, take a needed rest aboard a boat and float your way down the city’s floating market. If you are looking to immerse yourself in culture, stroll the grounds of the Grand Palace or head to either of the nearby temples Wat Arun or Wat Pho. Backpackers will want to head to Khao San Road where they will feel right at home with many hostels and a lively party scene.

5. Phuket

One of the largest tourist hubs in Thailand, Phuket is a must see destination. You can expect the perfect blend of busy city life and lazy beachfront resorts in this area. It is located on the east coast near the southern tip of the country. There is a large international airport that you can use to arrive and depart. Some places (like Patong) are super popular, and therefore busy, but you can scooter to a number of less busy beaches in the south.

6. Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a great place to visit in Thailand, especially for adventure lovers. This inland village requires a bus or train ride to get to but is well worth the visit. This is a great place to visit for street food. Chiang Mai’s affordable prices are bound to impress you. As you’d expect in this jungle paradise, there are tons of great waterfalls that you can visit in the area.

This northern town is a popular starting point for many of Thailand’s great overnight treks. There are many jungle tours in the area that vary with activities from rafting down rivers, zip lining and more. Overnight you can stay in huts in the hills and get the opportunity to mingle with local hill tribes such as the well known Karen Longneck Tribe.

Just be sure to not book a tour that offers elephant riding. If you’d still like an up close and personal experience with them you can do so ethically at sanctuaries such as the Elephant Nature Park.

7. Pai

Located just northwest of Chiang Mai is the backpacker/hippie paradise of Pai. If lush jungle, natural hot springs, cascading waterfalls and quaint markets are your thing, head north to the city of Pai. One of the best things to do in Pai is to lazily float down the Pai river on an inner tube (you can rent them there). In the evening, the city comes alive with a night market that has some delicious street food. While you can do adventurous cave exploring and white water rafting in this area, it is more known for eclectic cafes and swinging in a hammock as the sun sets.

8. Koh Phi Phi

Much like Ko Pha-Ngan, Koh Phi Phi is another place to experience the nightlife. Our first island on the list on Thailand’s west side, this island is commonly reached through nearby city Phuket. A ferry will take you across stunning clear waters weaving past other small islands to get you to the Phi Phi islands. You may have seen this island popping up all over your Instagram for their gorgeous viewpoint you can hike to and get some beautiful views.

Partying is undoubtedly the biggest pull here, you can’t walk the beaches at night without having a bucket drink (literally sand buckets full of drinks), trying laughing gas balloons and taking in an impressive fire show on the beach. The clear ocean waters make for great snorkeling and nearby islands allow for many island-hopping tours leaving from the island.

Top Activities To Do In Thailand

1. Scuba Diving

Thailand is one of the biggest scuba diving destinations in the world. Ocean water temperatures sit around 30℃ (85℉) and offer a very inviting turquoise colour. Under the water, you’ll be treated to near perfect diving conditions with impressive 30m+ visibility in some areas. Once diving below the water you will be welcomed by impressive schools of fish and colourful coral reefs.

Thailand is one of the biggest scuba diving destinations in the world. Ocean water temperatures sit around 30℃ (85℉) and offer a very inviting turquoise colour. Under the water you’ll be treated to near perfect diving conditions with impressive 30m+ visibility in some areas. Once diving below the water you will be welcomed with impressive schools of fish and colorful coral reefs.

2. Rent a scooter

It’s no secret that we love to ride around Thailand on scooters. We find them to be one of the best activities in Thailand. You can find scooter rental shops almost everywhere for a reasonable price. Find more about renting scooters in Thailand here.

3. Beach life

A tropical vacation isn’t complete without time spent on the beach. One of the most famous things about Thailand is its many white-sand beaches. The southern part of the country has some of the nicest beaches you’ll find anywhere in the world. Keep in mind that some will have an admission fee but this is usually because they’re a maintained beach meaning they will be free from garbage.

4. Snorkelling

Many beaches in Thailand are perfect for snorkelling. The more popular beaches will usually have places to rent snorkels allowing you to see the magical world under the surface of the water. Marine life in Thailand is abundant and you are sure to see fish and coral in the warm tropical waters.

5. Jungle adventure

There are many places to adventure in the Thai jungle. Mainly found in the northern part of the country, jungle treks are a great way to see a different perspective of Thailand.

6. Temples

Thai temples are found all over the beautiful country. Renting a scooter in Thailand will allow you to get to these historical sites on your own terms and not have to spend money on a guided tour. Just be aware that there is usually a dress code to enter these spiritual places.

How Much Does It Cost To Travel Thailand?

Thailand is known for being an inexpensive travel destination. You will get huge value for your money no matter where you travel in this country.


There are different types of accommodations in Thailand. Different types of rooms will have different price points.

If you’re comfortable sleeping in a room with other people, a dorm room in a hostel will typically be the cheapest option for a single traveller. The more people are in a room the cheaper it will cost. These types of places range from 150 THB to 400 THB.

Smaller towns away from the tourist areas will be the next cheapest place to stay in Thailand. Rooms in these areas will typically start around 400 THB to 700 THB.

A fancier night in a hotel will be more expensive, but still much cheaper than you’re used to at home. You should expect to pay around 1400 THB for a room with a fan and a double bed.

Resorts will be the most expensive option to spend the night in Thailand. Starting around 2300 THB a place on the water will cost around the same as a regular hotel back home.


Thailand is known for their cheap and unbelievably delicious food. There are food choices that will fit anyone’s budget. You will have many different options for great eats wherever you travel in Thailand.

Street Food

Street food is by far your cheapest option, in Bangkok, you can even find a plate of Pad Thai for 25 THB. When eating street food in Thailand you can expect to spend less than 50 THB a meal.

Sticking with the local street food will likely cost you between 120-170 THB a day. The street food is safe and arguably much more delicious than restaurants, not to mention much cheaper.


Restaurants serve western food but at a higher price point. If you are craving a hearty pasta dish or a good burger expect to pay closer to 150-300 THB per plate.

Thai dishes in a restaurant on average start at around 65 THB depending on how fancy the restaurant is.


If you’re looking to have a beer at a Thai restaurant you can expect to pay around 60 to 80 THB. Cocktails and mixed drinks will be around 300 to 450 THB.

Tips To Save Money

Like travelling anywhere in the world there are some ways to save your hard-earned money. Thailand is unlike any other travel destination and even if you’re a seasoned world traveller you may be surprised by some of these tips and tricks.

Don't Book Ahead

Some things you should not pre-book before you leave. We typically try to book our first night or two of accommodation in a city and then don’t book any more nights until we get there. This allows us to ensure we are staying in a good area as well as ultimate flexibility.

We’ve found that if you walk into a hotel you can usually get a better rate than going through a booking service.

This is also the case with transportation around Thailand as well. Booking ahead of time can sometimes cost more than double the price of booking in person. Renting a scooter to drive you to tourist sites will be far cheaper than booking organized tours and allow you the freedom to see the sites at your own leisure.

Happy Hour

If you time your meals right you can get a huge discount. Happy Hour is alive and strong in Thailand, especially in larger cities like Bangkok and Phuket. You can expect a discount on alcohol and even possibly some lower prices on special dishes.


7-11 is one of the best places to get everything from Toasties to Chang’s (the beer of choice in Thailand). This is a one-stop shop for many tourists as this Thai convenience store has stocked everything you will need.

You can drink alcohol while walking the streets in Thailand. If you are on a budget, try buying your alcohol at a local 7-Eleven rather than at a restaurant. Having a Chang, the local beer, at 7-Eleven costs about 35 THB rather than the 100-150 THB it costs in a restaurant. If you do go to a bar, take advantage of the many happy hour deals around.

7-11 also sells food, medical supplies and toiletries (among other things) as well. Toasties and chips are among the most popular travel food found here. They even heat up the toasties!

How to Get Around Thailand?

Thailand is one of the most tourist friendly places in the world. With many travel agent offices scattered throughout all tourist areas in the country, getting from point A to B is safe and stress-free. There are many different ways to get around the country:


One of the cheapest ways to travel around Thailand is by bus. Affordable prices draw in a strong backpacking crowd to this form of travel. Complex route systems allow you to travel anywhere and everywhere.

Most places will have the option of either daytime or overnight buses to take you to popular tourist destinations. These buses are a bit of a gamble, some offer new comfortable lounging chairs while others look like they’re held together with duct tape. Buses have bathrooms on board and most routes include a rest stop along the way to stretch your legs.

Pro Tip: Try to not get a seat near the bathroom!


Thailand taxis are just as you’d expect in terms of accessibility. You will undoubtedly rely on this transportation when leaving airports, although this is the most expensive place to rent them. When hiring a taxi, make sure that your driver uses the meter or settle on an agreed price before you start driving. If you don’t you could end up paying significantly more.

Also, be cautious with your bags. Only put your bag in the trunk of the taxi if you absolutely have to. If you do, make sure one person stays in the car while the bag is retrieved as there’s a chance the driver may drive off with it.

Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuks are some of the most famous ways to get around Thailand. As these are privately owned, you can expect the prices to vary dramatically not only from city to city, but from driver to driver. We recommend taking a ride on this iconic Thailand experience only when travelling short distances. You can expect your Thailand Tuk Tuk to cost around 100-300 THB, depending on how far you’re riding.

Tuk Tuk’s are not equipped with the meters that you would expect from a taxi. Be sure to agree on a price with your driver before leaving for your trip.


With many of the top places to visit in Thailand being islands, you will likely be taking a boat or ferry while travelling through Thailand. There are many different types of boats and ferries ranging from longtail boats to huge car ferries. You will usually always have more than one option to get to your destination.

Note that ferries range in price, and their prices are directly reflective of what you can expect. The less expensive ones will usually be older boats with fewer amenities.


A comfortable and affordable way to get around the country is to take a train. 5 major train lines allow access to many areas throughout the country. Trains in this area offer 3 travel styles, all with their own pricing points. While first-class riding will be the most comfortable offering private air-conditioned cabins with comfortable sleeping. Second-class train tickets are split into categories: air-conditioned and fan-cooled cabins.


While this is going to be the most expensive form of travel, the many airports located throughout the country make travelling by air an easy way to see the country. Bangkok (BKK) is one of the biggest travel hubs in the area with over 63 million passengers passing through a year (2019).

  • Chiang Mai International Airport allows accessibility to the country’s northern area.
  • Phuket International Airport is located in the southern end of the country allowing tourists easy access to the country’s stunning beach life.
  • If you are looking to jump right into island life, Koh Samui is home to another international airport that has easy access to the popular island chain in the Gulf of Thailand.


If you’re staying in an area for a couple of days, renting a scooter will allow you to see the area from a unique perspective. Scooter rental companies are readily available in all areas of the country and are incredibly affordable. Driving around Thailand on a scooter is one of our favourite things to do.

What To Bring To Thailand? - Our Thailand Packing Guide

What you decide to pack for a trip to Thailand will depend on a few factors. The length of time will be one of the biggest factors when packing for your trip. You should also consider how readily available laundry services will be. A good rule of thumb is the more remote a place is, the less likely you’ll be able to find laundry when travelling. Below is a guide to what we always bring to our Thailand vacations.


  • Swimsuit – we like to bring at least two pairs of swimsuits. This way you can wash and let one pair dry so you always have a fresh and clean one. Nobody likes wearing a wet bathing suit.
  • Underwear x12
  • Socks x 12 pairs
  • T-Shirt x7
  • Shorts x5


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste (travel size)
  • Shampoo (travel size)
  • Deodorant


  • Water shoes
  • Walking shoes
  • Flip Flops

First Aid Kit

  • Antibacterial cream – Wounds will not heal in Thailand. Having some of this will give you the best chances of healing your wounds.
  • Bandages – having your own bandages will come in handy in an emergency.
  • Lip Chap – Your lips will definitely take a beating when you’re in the hot sun for long travel days.


  • Lock – Many tourist attractions and hotels will have lockers where you can store your belongings while you’re out and about. Having your own lock will make it way easier and make sure your stuff is safe.
  • Dry Bags / Zip-Lock Bags – Dry bags are great places to keep things you want dry, even in your bag. Zip-Lock Bags will be a great place to keep shampoo and anything else that can leak separate from everything else.
  • Travel Charger Adapter – Thailand uses a different type of charger than the standard North American plug. Be sure to travel prepared with a travel adapter.
  • Ear Plugs – Trust us, you will want a few pairs of these for overnight buses or dorm rooms where it can get a little loud at night.
  • Headphones – great for long flights or overnight buses. Be sure to download your favourite playlists to your phone!
  • Garbage bag x4 – these are great for keeping your dirty laundry separate from your clean stuff
  • Reusable water bottle – We love our Yeti water bottles. They come with clips so you can attach them to your bag so you always have access to a drink. There will be many places you can refill them as well.

When Should You Visit?

Thailand remains around the same temperature all year round. But parts of the year are much rainier than others.

Cool Season: November – February

This will depend on which area and the time of the year you’re planning on visiting. The cool season is between November and March and is the best time of the year to travel to Thailand. It could also be the most expensive (but still cheaper than most places in the world). Temperatures at this time of year will be around 30℃.

Hot Season: March – June

If you want to experience Thailand’s hot season you should plan for days over 35℃. Nights will also be just a little cooler than this. Be sure to pack some protection from the sun. We have been to Thailand twice in June and it was quite warm.

Rainy Season: July – October

If you are the type of person who doesn’t like rain we suggest not going to Thailand during this time. The temperature will still be hot but the nights can drop a little bit especially in the north. It’s considered the “off-season” and could run into some attractions being closed or have reduced hours. Beaches can also be quite dirty due to the more extreme weather.

This is also considered monsoon season. We experienced some flash flooding with huge rainfalls when we were in Thailand in June.

Have you been to Thailand? Let us know if you think we missed anything in the comment section below!

We get asked “Where are you going next?” almost every day. Usually, we respond with “We have no idea!”. But secretly we always have a list of upcoming destinations. We told you — we can’t sit still.

So, we decided to make it a new tradition every year to write down our yearly travel plans. But here’s the kicker: GO OUT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Here is a sneak peak of all the countries we plan to conquer this year. The list isn’t small, but what can I say, we are dreamers. I CANNOT WAIT to review this list in December to see how we make out with this list. Our life is never turns out how we predict. This list will evolve, and more than likely grow, as time goes on. I expect this list to look a bit different in the end.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and get comfortable because I am dreaming big here people!

Spainworld, spain, travel, flight, castle, country side

While I have never explored Barcelona, it has my whole heart. From the salsa dancing, the stunning beaches to the delicious food – I mean SIESTAS PEOPLE… this place literally dedicates a country wide nap… that is something I can definitely get behind!

I have only heard good things about the sights in Madrid. The shopping, the architecture… this whole country just seems like a dream. What I am truly most excited for though is the countryside. I have dreams of renting a bicycle and just exploring the streets (aka, getting ridiculously lost). I am definitely going to have to brush up on my high school Spanish and educate my palate to some Spanish wines.


explore, germany, flight, travel, oktoberfest That is right people, I plan to cross enjoying Oktoberfest in Munich right off my bucket list. Myles went to Germany right after high school and absolutely loved it. He has been dying to go back ever since, and I couldn’t be more on board. Myles is incredibly interested in WWII history so I plan to get a full history tour from him, when we aren’t beer in hand enjoying the Oktoberfest shenanigans. I will admit that I am nervous to be in Germany in winter but I am just thinking LAYERS on LAYERS.


explore, portugal, flight, travel, sand, sun

If you haven’t already, Google beaches in PortugalAMIRIGHT!!! Ya, that is just something I HAVE TO BE A PART OF! The colour in this country looks so vibrant it is a must see for me!

As a bonus, due to how ‘far away’ Portugal is (in European standards… I am used to driving through Canada though..) it is far less tourist based than other European countries. This means cheaper prices and a rich culture. Ok by me 😉


explore, france, flight, travel, sand, sun

Nearly every single day Myles is forced to listen to me all but beg for us to run away to the south of France. While my love of wine definitely has something to do with it, the warm sun, the delicious food and the stunning coast has much more (well, not MUCH more…). I have this beautiful dream of me enjoying a breakfast on a balcony overlooking the water.

Well, this WILL HAPPEN this year.


explore, italy, flight, travel, sand, sun

I went to Rome when I was in high school and let’s just say it was an absolute whirlwind. From tours through Vatican City and the Colosseum, to enjoying the unbelievable food. I only have good memories. I loved it so much that I can’t wait to explore it with Myles.

Last time I was only there for a couple of days on a layover (yet another reason I recommend extended layovers) which has given me an undeniable urge to go back.

Italy has countless places in which I want to explore. The scuba diver in me is mostly pushing for Sicily. Exploring through these crystal clear tropical waters is an absolute must.


explore, morroco, flight, travel, sand, sun

This one is at the top of the must see list for both Myles and I. Although realistically we know we may have to wait until 2019 to conquer this beautiful land. I truthfully don’t know how I will keep myself from buying everything I see. The rich colours, the beautiful boho style… BOOK ME A TICKET! This is one area where I would love to partake in the full glamping experience in the middle of the Sahara desert.

Well, there you have it. My beautiful, albeit ambitious, travel plans for 2018. This is just a brief update about our plans for this year. Trust us, we are madly researching and putting pieces together to make all of this happen ;).

Alright Myles, let’s get started.. 🙂

What countries are on your to do list for this year? We love hearing about your ideas and suggestions!

If you are anything like me you make some pretty ridiculous purchases when traveling through Bali. Those purple elephant pants that looked so cute on the streets of Kuta don’t carry the same appeal now that I am walking through downtown Vancouver. While I pride myself in practicing minimalism and love that everything important to me fits in one tiny van it is easy to get swept up in the cheap prices of Bali.

Even though I made some questionable purchases while abroad I also made one really great one. While taking a car around town we started chatting with the driver about the popular sites around Bali. He offered to take us for a tourist trip all around the island. For 600,000 IDR (around $55 CAD) we would get a private driver for an eight hour period that would take us anywhere we wanted to go. Did I mention that this car ride was air conditioned? I told you it’s a good buy!

Eager to see the island Myles and I rushed to a coffee shop to acquire WiFi and plan our big day. Planning all the big sites while placing a large priority on heading north to find the best places to scuba dive we had our route planned.

When our driver came to pick us up we threw our bags in the back of his car and handed him a map with a bunch of circles over the places we wanted to visit. All smiles we headed north to Ubud.



The culture in Bali is amazing to experience. In Indonesia 90% of the population recognizes as Muslims with 10% other denomination. On the island of Bali 80% of the population is Hindu. This makes for a rich culture that can be seen in almost every aspect of their life. A visit to the any of the many temples is not to be missed. Doing so with a driver/tour guide is even better.

From getting to sit and help make one of the daily offerings to learning some of the customs and practices made the experience truly unforgettable. Bali is known for wood and stone carvings and even if you are not interested in being a part of the religion the architecture is an experience in itself.



While there are waterfalls everywhere there is nothing quite like splashing in one in the middle of a hot and humid 40℃ day. A beautiful sight we found these waterfalls to be incredibly busy and touristy with a ton of street vendors lined up. While the refreshing dip was well worth it, this was something we would have been fine with missing.

Monkey Forest

I have written about all our crazy adventures with this scary forest before. As scary as it was, it is definitely an unforgettable experience that everyone should do ONCE. Seriously, I would NOT go back a second time.

Rice Terraces

The real reason we decided to hire the car was the lush rice farms. After trekking through rice paddies in Vietnam I knew how cool of an experience it was and had to show Myles. No where else do you get to experience such a deep and pure green. Full of life, climbing through these wet rice terraces was a true experience. With endless beautiful views there are tons of restaurants and coffee shops where you can relax and take in all the beautiful views of this area.

Mount Kintamani

Nearing the end of our day we passed by the famous volcano on the island. With not a ton of time left for our day we only stopped to snap a few photos and stand in awe for a few moments before continuing our long and windy drive north.


We ended our eight hour day being dropped off in the northern town of Tulamben. This small town is far away from the tourist district but has some of the best dive sites in Indonesia. Being recently scuba certified Myles and I couldn’t wait to further explore this city.

Needless to say it was an action packed day and one will be remembered for a while. Eight hours of having a tour guide, driver and get a tour of the entire island, now that was a win! Did I mention the air conditioning?

Been to any of the places that we visited? Let us know your favourite below.