The 20 Finest Scuba Diving Spots within the World

June 9, 2022

SCUBA diving has been a love of mine for over a decade now, inspiring journeys all around the globe from the coral triangle of Southeast Asia to the great thing about the South Pacific. Combining years of my very own firsthand data with strategies from different divers I’ve met alongside the best way, these are 20 of the very best locations on the earth to SCUBA dive:

1. Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Does it get any extra lovely than this?? Raja Ampat

Simply one in all my favourite locations on the earth to dive, Raja Ampat ranks excessive not solely due to the menagerie underneath water, however for the wealth of lovely islands, untouched lagoons, and sweetness that you could expertise if you’re not diving, too.

Plan on seeing reef sharks, octopus, large faculties of jack fish and barracuda, Manta rays, and wholesome coral reefs, together with some spectacular followers. Among the best methods to expertise diving right here is on a liveaboard dive ship (examine my expertise here). Most of them final for about 11 days, however there are additionally local islands that supply shore diving as effectively.

The most effective diving season runs from October to Could (the other to Komodo’s greatest dive instances listed beneath). It’s greatest to be Nitrox licensed for longer dive instances. Bear in mind currents may be sturdy and expertise is suggested.

See all liveaboards available in Raja Ampat here.

2. Komodo, Indonesia

I’ll at all times consider Komodo after I think about probably the most colourful, vibrant reefs on the earth. That is additionally a hotspot for Manta rays, large faculties of fish, sea turtles, and plenty of colourful little nudibranchs. The water readability is wonderful, and the temperature is good, too. I even received fortunate and noticed Mandarin fish on an evening dive!

I dived right here as a backpacker on a finances in 2013 with Depraved Diving, and thought the experience was improbable.

Be forewarned that Komodo is extra superior diving the place you’re going to expertise sturdy currents. That is greatest undertaken after you’ve got at the very least 40+ dives underneath your belt. The diving season runs all yr with March to October providing the driest circumstances. The most effective Manta viewing is within the wet season, working from December to February, though I noticed them in July, as effectively.

See all liveaboards available in Komodo here.

3. Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia

Whereas on my liveaboard in Raja Ampat, I requested the opposite divers what their favourite locations are for diving around the globe, and was instructed that Chuuk (aka Truk) Lagoon in Micronesia gives among the greatest for wreck diving. That is one other one which requires a liveaboard to get to to the very best spots.

Throughout World Battle II, Chuuk Lagoon was the Empire of Japan’s fundamental naval base within the South Pacific, and after some heavy shelling by US forces, it’s now dwelling to over 60+ World Battle II wrecks, making it the biggest underwater ship graveyard on the earth. Some wrecks are deep, which makes Chuuk well-known for technical diving. It’s greatest to have at the very least your Nitrox certification to dive right here.

4. Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Cocos is the prime spot for a shark lovers! In the event you’ve been hoping to see large faculties of hammerhead sharks, Cocos Island is likely one of the greatest locations on the earth to get that probability.

Cocos is greatest identified for the massive stuff, particularly sharks. The most important draw back of diving right here is that it could actually solely be reached via a liveaboard dive boat and it takes at the very least 36 hours of crusing to get to Cocos (and 36 again, too)! Most liveaboards board from the port metropolis of Puntarenas in Costa Rica.

Visibility is greatest throughout the winter months (December to Could, additionally the dry season). Nevertheless Manta rays and whale sharks are extra regularly noticed from June to November. Currents may be sturdy, so it’s greatest to have expertise earlier than trying Cocos.

5. Darwin and Wolf Islands, Galapagos

Talking of faculties of sharks, the Galapagos islands in Ecuador are one other nice diving spot that provides prime big-animal viewing, together with education hammerheads. Throughout July and August, it’s an incredible spot to dive with whale sharks as effectively.

Darwin and Wolf islands are solely accessible through liveaboard dive boat, and generally visibility may be considerably poor (plus the water is chilly!). In the event you’re making an attempt to keep away from liveaboard dive ships and need to mix your journey with different actions, think about doing a land and snorkeling cruise across the Galapagos, and take day dives from the local islands, together with the well-known Gordon rocks and Kicker (sail) rock. Currents may be very sturdy within the Galapagos, so some expertise is often required by diving operations taking friends to Gordon Rocks.

6. Caye Caulker, Belize

Belize is dwelling to the second largest barrier reef on the earth, and the water was so heat and clear, I didn’t even put on a wetsuit! That is the journey I took that impressed me to get dive licensed again in 2010.

Though the Blue Gap is likely one of the most well-known dive websites out of Caye Caulker, having dived it myself, I can’t report that we noticed a lot. Its declare to fame is the deepness of the dive at over 45 meters into an underwater sinkhole, and the stalactites that you could see when you descend. You’ll want at the very least 40-50 dives for a good dive firm to take you to this one. Fact be instructed we had solely simply gotten licensed, so we requested round till we discovered an organization prepared to take a bunch of newbies, in order that they do exist.

That stated, the reef dives following the Blue Gap had been what impressed me probably the most. We noticed noticed eagle rays, a lot of reef sharks, and lovely corals.

7. Crimson Sea, Egypt

Simply some of the well-known diving spots on the earth, Egypt’s Crimson Sea is thought for wonderful corals, dolphins, shipwrecks, sharks, colourful fish, and Dugongs, in the event you’re diving in the precise spot! The Crimson Sea may be skilled with day dives or a liveaboard.

The Crimson Sea covers an enormous space, spanning will past simply Egypt. Phrase on the road is Saudi Arabia has even higher dive areas, although I haven’t met anybody but who has dived them.

8. Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

vilanculos mozambique

Talking of Dugongs, the Bazaruto archipelago in Mozambique is a good place to identify them.

You too can anticipate to see beautiful reef, and pure white sands above with child blue water. The close by city of Vilanculos, the place I stayed, was a dream with the tides going out and in, exposing vibrant white sandbars all through the day.

Mozambique is likely one of the hardest international locations I’ve been to when it comes to getting round, but additionally some of the rewarding. Cease by Tofo as effectively for whale shark encounters between June and January!

9. Kona, Hawaii’s Manta Night time Dive

Whereas Hawaii’s reefs aren’t the image of well being and sweetness that I’m certain they as soon as had been, the Manta night time dive out of Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island continues to be value doing in the event you love Mantas. You too can snorkel this one as a substitute, holding onto a lighted raft that draws their meals supply.

10. Socorro, Mexico

Mexico usually gives unbelievable diving alternatives from coast to coast. The underwater range is spectacular, together with Cabo Pulmo in Baja California, the wall dives in Cozumel, and naturally, the one and solely Socorro.

That is one other great place to see the massive stuff, from Manta rays, to 7 completely different species of sharks, Humpback whales, and generally even whale sharks. The season for diving in Socorro is winter (November-Could) when the seas are the calmest for liveaboard dive ships, the one method to entry this space.

11. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

French Polynesia has among the most unbelievable diving and reefs I’ve ever seen. In the event you love reef sharks, rays, need to see lovely corals, and revel in a really wholesome reef, look no additional.

Most diving may be completed instantly out of your resort or island. The water visibility is unbelievable, and relying on the time of yr (late July to October) you might even spot a Humpback whale – I’ve on a dive earlier than!

Though you possibly can drive at any time of yr in French Polynesia, the wet season runs from October to April and may carry more difficult circumstances. Observe that talking at the very least some French is a big assist, notably in the event you enterprise to any of the extra distant islands.

12. Ari Atoll, The Maldives

Talking of clear water and wholesome coral, the Ari Atoll within the Maldives is one other glorious diving spot with the other wet season.

Though tropical fish and dazzling corals are a part of the draw, you may also dive with whale sharks and Mantas on this space, too. Take shore dives out of your resort (or my private favourite, the local islands), or take a liveaboard to hit all the very best spots.

13. Fuvahmulah, The Maldives

Talking of the Maldives, in the event you’re a real diving aficionado, you possibly can’t go away with out stopping by Fuvahmulah to dive with pelagic sharks. That is actually one of many hands-down greatest locations on the earth to dive with Tiger and Thresher sharks.

The lodging is considerably primary, and it is a native island the place you gained’t be capable of put on a bikini on the seashore, however it does provide a possibility for native interplay that many who go to the Maldives don’t get to have.

14. Sipadan, Malaysia

Sipadan in Malaysian Borneo is known for a purpose – the protected marine space is unbelievable for big faculties of fish, the occasional hammerhead, and HUGE turtles.

It is a fashionable dive website and there are strict limits on how many individuals can dive every day, so plan this one as far forward of time as attainable to make sure a allow, ideally throughout Malaysia’s dry season from April to June. I beloved diving with Scuba Junkie off of Mabul island and advocate reserving a number of days of diving across the space, all of which is spectacular. You too can do a liveaboard to take all of it in!

The water is pleasantly heat, currents are light, and the water visibility is superb.

15. Apo Reef, The Philippines

coron island hopping
Barracuda Lake – LOVED this one

For wrecks, turtles, good corals, and faculties of tropical fish, Apo Reef is the very best dive space of the Philippines. I joined a liveaboard boat to discover the very best of the realm (here are more options), however you may also use Coron as a leaping off level.

You’ll additionally doubtless cease by the Barracuda Lake, a combination of contemporary and salt water that makes for some attention-grabbing diving as you cross from one into the opposite.

The most effective time to dive on this space is throughout the Philippines’ dry season, from October to Could. Make sure to do some island hopping within the space as effectively, as Coron is stuffed with beautiful islands and lagoons.

16. Catalina Island, California

Though the water is admittedly a contact above freezing, Catalina island off the coast of California gives among the most spectacular kelp forests on the earth. For individuals who would like to know what it’s wish to swim with pleasant and curious harbor seals, this is likely one of the greatest spots!

You possibly can take dive excursions, get licensed, or simply hire gear and dive by yourself off of Catalina. The simplest method to get there may be to take the Catalina Flyer from Lengthy Seashore.

The most effective visibility is from September to November. Deliver an 8mm wetsuit for this spot!

17. Nice Barrier Reef, Australia

Though the Great Barrier Reef in Australia has fallen sufferer to coral bleaching and will not be the unbelievable dive website that it as soon as was, it’s nonetheless the biggest barrier reef on the earth value a go to in the event you’re in that neck of the woods.

The Nice Barrier Reef enjoys a protected standing and gives the chance to see marine life that’s distinctive to the realm. The outer reefs are among the greatest spots today, together with the Ribbon Reef’s Gotham Metropolis, the far northern reefs for sea turtles, and the coral sea reef’s Bougainville Reef for some larger creatures. Read more here.

18. Bonaire

Bonaire is likely one of the greatest locations to dive at any time of yr, and for any talent degree. You possibly can simply do dives from boats and the shore – actually it’s generally known as the shore diving capital of the world. For the reason that space is protected against most main marine currents and gives principally shallow diving, it is a excellent spot to be taught, as effectively.

Anticipate heat water (as much as 80 levels F), calm circumstances, and visibility as much as 100 ft. The world gives beautiful corals, wreck dives, sea turtles, faculties of grouper, barracuda, and sea horses as effectively.

19. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba

This reef has been protected for over 20 years, and it reveals. Solely 1200 individuals are permitted to dive the Jardines de la Reina annually, an uninhabited marine sanctuary that’s only accessible via liveaboard.

The world is effectively shielded from most currents, so it is a dive journey that’s appropriate for divers of all ranges. It additionally gives heat water and nice visibility year-round. Though there’s one thing for everybody within the space, most individuals are attracted as a result of promise of seeing sharks, together with giant Caribbean reef sharks and silky sharks. Throughout July to November, you may even see whale sharks as effectively.

20. Crimson Sea, South Sudan

As talked about above, unbelievable Crimson Sea diving is just not restricted to only Egypt, and even simply Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Liveaboard dive ships have began exploring the South Sudan a part of the Crimson Sea as effectively, the place faculties of hammerheads and different sharks are the primary occasion.

You too can anticipate to see spectacular corals and wrecks. What’s extra, only a few individuals enterprise out annually, so that you’ll get pleasure from among the most wonderful but least-crowded dive websites the Crimson Sea has to supply.

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Drawing from my very own expertise and the strategies of others, these are the very best dive websites that I’m conscious of around the globe. However I’m at all times open to studying about extra! Do you’ve got any wonderful locations that you’ve got dived? Share them within the feedback beneath!

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