Overlooking the Indian Ocean, Watamu, Kenya sets itself apart from larger coastal communities through a variety of special experiences. From scuba diving, to exploring ancient ruins, to watching a perfect sunrise on the beach, this destination makes a great choice to get away from it all. Here are 15 reasons you should go to Watamu.
1. Watamu Beach
White sands and blue waters await visitors to Watamu Beach. It is a less crowded place compared to other more popular choices along the coastline and still offers outstanding views of the Indian Ocean.
2. Turtle Rock
Check out Turtle Rock for great views of the turtles that are often found there on sunny days. Scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities are also on hand around the rock for another way to view the aquatic life that thrives near the attraction.
3. Ruins of Gede
The Ruins of Gede are all that is left from a small Swahili town that thrived for centuries. The National Museum of Kenya is in charge of its care and offers tours that include artifacts found at the site.
4. Watamu Turtle Watch
Wamatu Turtle Watch is dedicated to the conservation and protection of turtles. The team welcomes visitors and encourages guests to participate in beach clean up sessions as well as other conservation activities.
5. Watamu Bay
Watamu Bay is the most popular choice of guests that come to experience water sports in the area. Many resorts all call this area home thanks to the charming landscape and alluring views of the Indian Ocean.
6. Watamu National Marine Park
Scuba diving and snorkeling are highlights of a trip to this natural attraction. Visit during low tide for the best views of the coral as well as other aquatic life that calls the park home.
7. Mida Creek
This inlet offers a relaxing atmosphere away from the large tourist groups found in neighboring cities. Take a canoe ride to experience all that the area has to offer or just stroll next to the banks for better views of wildlife.
8. Bio-Ken Snake Farm
The unique attraction actually provides scientific research on local reptiles including over 100 species of snakes. Take a tour of the facilities and learn about their current projects as well as facts about how snake bites have affected humans.
9. Blue Lagoon Bay
Blue Lagoon Bay sits nestled between the larger Turtle Bay and Wamatu Bay. Take time to scuba dive in the bay for coral formations that are unique to the area.
10. Arabuko Sokoke Forest
Catch glimpses of a wide range of African species thanks to its location near Mida Creek. Try to visit during early morning hours to avoid large crowds of tourists who usually visit later during the day.
11. Watamu Treehouse
Wamatu Treehouse presents a different choice in accommodations that focuses on its natural surroundings. Its open air design encourages more contract with wildlife and plants. A yoga retreat program is also available for guests.
12. Mwamba Field Study Centre
This facility presents study and research projects as well as educational opportunities throughout the community. Guests are encouraged to stay on site with all proceeds going to the programs they support.
13. Mangrove Forests
The mangrove forests are a favorite attraction for visitors. Hiking trails provide up close viewpoints of these special trees that provide shelter for a range of aquatic life including turtles.
14. Watamu Market
Take in the sights and sounds of this open air market. Local vendors from town sell a variety of goods ranging from delicious fare to hand crafted ornaments. Merchants are willing to haggle with visitors to gain the best deal.
15. Indian Ocean Paddle Boarding
The Indian Ocean provides just the right amount of waves for paddle boarding. Tour operators present day long packages, and gear can easily be rented in the area.
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This article was originally published on February 24, 2015.