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 fantastic thing about the South Pacific. Combining years of my very own firsthand information with options from different divers I’ve met alongside the way in which, these are 20 of the best possible locations on the planet to SCUBA dive:
1. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Simply one among my favourite locations on the planet to dive, Raja Ampat ranks excessive not solely due to the menagerie below water, however for the wealth of lovely islands, untouched lagoons, and sweetness which you could expertise once 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. The most effective methods to expertise diving right here is on a liveaboard dive ship (examine my expertise right here). Most of them final for about 11 days, however there are additionally native islands that provide shore diving as properly.
One of the best diving season runs from October to Could (the alternative to Komodo’s finest dive occasions listed under). It’s finest to be Nitrox licensed for longer dive occasions. Take into account currents could be robust and expertise is suggested.
2. Komodo, Indonesia
I’ll all the time consider Komodo once I think about probably the most colourful, vibrant reefs on the planet. 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 bought fortunate and noticed Mandarin fish on an evening dive!
I dived right here as a backpacker on a price range in 2013 with Depraved Diving, and thought the expertise was unbelievable.
Be forewarned that Komodo is extra superior diving the place you’re going to expertise robust currents. That is finest undertaken after you may have a minimum of 40+ dives below your belt. The diving season runs all yr with March to October providing the driest situations. One of the best Manta viewing is within the wet season, working from December to February, though I noticed them in July, as properly.
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 informed that Chuuk (aka Truk) Lagoon in Micronesia provides among the finest for wreck diving. That is one other one which requires a liveaboard to get to to the very best spots.
Throughout World Conflict II, Chuuk Lagoon was the Empire of Japan’s major naval base within the South Pacific, and after some heavy shelling by US forces, it’s now residence to over 60+ World Conflict II wrecks, making it the biggest underwater ship graveyard on the planet. Some wrecks are deep, which makes Chuuk well-known for technical diving. It’s finest to have a minimum of your Nitrox certification to dive right here.
4. Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Cocos is the prime spot for a shark lovers! If you happen to’ve been hoping to see large faculties of hammerhead sharks, Cocos Island is likely one of the finest locations on the planet to get that probability.
Cocos is finest recognized for the massive stuff, particularly sharks. The largest draw back of diving right here is that it may possibly solely be reached through a liveaboard dive boat and it takes a minimum of 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 finest in the course of the winter months (December to Could, additionally the dry season). Nonetheless Manta rays and whale sharks are extra incessantly noticed from June to November. Currents could be robust, so it’s finest to have expertise earlier than making an attempt Cocos.
5. Darwin and Wolf Islands, Galapagos
Talking of faculties of sharks, the Galapagos islands in Ecuador are one other nice diving spot that gives prime big-animal viewing, together with education hammerheads. Throughout July and August, it’s an amazing spot to dive with whale sharks as properly.
Darwin and Wolf islands are solely accessible through liveaboard dive boat, and generally visibility could be considerably poor (plus the water is chilly!). If you happen to’re attempting to keep away from liveaboard dive ships and wish to mix your journey with different actions, contemplate doing a land and snorkeling cruise across the Galapagos, and take day dives from the native islands, together with the well-known Gordon rocks and Kicker (sail) rock. Currents could be very robust within the Galapagos, so some expertise is normally required by diving operations taking visitors to Gordon Rocks.
6. Caye Caulker, Belize
Belize is residence to the second largest barrier reef on the planet, 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 which you could see when you descend. You’ll want a minimum of 40-50 dives for a good dive firm to take you to this one. Fact be informed we had solely simply gotten licensed, so we requested round till we discovered an organization keen 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, plenty of reef sharks, and beautiful corals.
7. Purple Sea, Egypt
Simply one of the well-known diving spots on the planet, Egypt’s Purple Sea is thought for wonderful corals, dolphins, shipwrecks, sharks, colourful fish, and Dugongs, when you’re diving in the best spot! The Purple Sea could be skilled with day dives or a liveaboard.
The Purple 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
Talking of Dugongs, the Bazaruto archipelago in Mozambique is a good place to identify them.
It’s also possible to 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 in addition one of the rewarding. Cease by Tofo as properly 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 positive they as soon as had been, the Manta evening dive out of Kona on Hawaii’s Huge Island continues to be value doing when you love Mantas. It’s also possible to snorkel this one as a substitute, holding onto a lighted raft that draws their meals supply.
10. Socorro, Mexico
Mexico generally provides unbelievable diving alternatives from coast to coast. The underwater variety 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 good spot 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 approach to entry this space.
11. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
French Polynesia has among the most unbelievable diving and reefs I’ve ever seen. If you happen to love reef sharks, rays, wish to see lovely corals, and luxuriate in a very wholesome reef, look no additional.
Most diving could be completed immediately out of your resort or island. The water visibility is unbelievable, and relying on the time of yr (late July to October) you could even spot a Humpback whale – I’ve on a dive earlier than!
Though you’ll be able to drive at any time of yr in French Polynesia, the wet season runs from October to April and may deliver more difficult situations. Observe that talking a minimum of some French is a big assist, notably when 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 wonderful diving spot with the alternative wet season.
Though tropical fish and dazzling corals are a part of the draw, you may as well dive with whale sharks and Mantas on this space, too. Take shore dives out of your resort (or my private favourite, the native islands), or take a liveaboard to hit all the very best spots.
13. Fuvahmulah, The Maldives
Talking of the Maldives, when you’re a real diving aficionado, you’ll be able to’t depart with out stopping by Fuvahmulah to dive with pelagic sharks. That is actually one of many hands-down finest locations on the planet to dive with Tiger and Thresher sharks.
The lodging is considerably fundamental, and it is a native island the place you received’t be capable to put on a bikini on the seashore, nevertheless it does provide a chance for native interplay that many who go to the Maldives don’t get to have.
14. Sipadan, Malaysia
Sipadan in Malaysian Borneo is legendary for a motive – the protected marine space is unbelievable for giant faculties of fish, the occasional hammerhead, and HUGE turtles.
It is a widespread 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 potential to make sure a allow, ideally throughout Malaysia’s dry season from April to June. I liked diving with Scuba Junkie off of Mabul island and suggest reserving a number of days of diving across the space, all of which is spectacular. It’s also possible to do a liveaboard to take all of it in!
The water is pleasantly heat, currents are light, and the water visibility is great.
15. Apo Reef, The Philippines
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 (listed below are extra choices), however you may as well use Coron as a leaping off level.
You’ll additionally possible cease by the Barracuda Lake, a mix of recent and salt water that makes for some attention-grabbing diving as you cross from one into the opposite.
One of the best time to dive on this space is in the course of the Philippines’ dry season, from October to Could. You’ll want to do some island hopping within the space as properly, 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 provides among the most spectacular kelp forests on the planet. For individuals who would like to know what it’s prefer to swim with pleasant and curious harbor seals, this is likely one of the finest spots!
You may take dive excursions, get licensed, or simply hire gear and dive by yourself off of Catalina. The best approach to get there may be to take the Catalina Flyer from Lengthy Seashore.
One of the best visibility is from September to November. Convey an 8mm wetsuit for this spot!
17. Nice Barrier Reef, Australia
Though the Nice Barrier Reef in Australia has fallen sufferer to coral bleaching and might not be the unbelievable dive website that it as soon as was, it’s nonetheless the biggest barrier reef on the planet value a go to when you’re in that neck of the woods.
The Nice Barrier Reef enjoys a protected standing and provides the chance to see marine life that’s distinctive to the realm. The outer reefs are among the finest spots lately, 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. Learn extra right here.
Bonaire is likely one of the finest locations to dive at any time of yr, and for any ability degree. You may simply do dives from boats and the shore – actually it’s often known as the shore diving capital of the world. For the reason that space is protected against most main marine currents and provides principally shallow diving, it is a excellent place to study, as properly.
Anticipate heat water (as much as 80 levels F), calm situations, and visibility as much as 100 toes. The world provides beautiful corals, wreck dives, sea turtles, faculties of grouper, barracuda, and sea horses as properly.
19. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
This reef has been protected for over 20 years, and it exhibits. Solely 1200 persons are permitted to dive the Jardines de la Reina every year, an uninhabited marine sanctuary that’s solely accessible through liveaboard.
The world is properly protected against most currents, so it is a dive journey that’s appropriate for divers of all ranges. It additionally provides 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 properly.
20. Purple Sea, South Sudan
As talked about above, unbelievable Purple Sea diving will not be restricted to simply Egypt, and even simply Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Liveaboard dive ships have began exploring the South Sudan a part of the Purple Sea as properly, the place faculties of hammerheads and different sharks are the primary occasion.
It’s also possible to anticipate to see spectacular corals and wrecks. What’s extra, only a few individuals enterprise out every year, so that you’ll take pleasure in among the most wonderful but least-crowded dive websites the Purple Sea has to supply.
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Drawing from my very own expertise and the options of others, these are the very best dive websites that I’m conscious of around the globe. However I’m all the time open to studying about extra! Do you may have any wonderful locations that you’ve dived? Share them within the feedback under!