SCUBA diving has been a love of mine for over a decade now, inspiring journeys everywhere in 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 ideas from different divers I’ve met alongside the best way, these are 20 of the very best locations on this planet to SCUBA dive:
1. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Simply one among my favourite locations on this planet to dive, Raja Ampat ranks excessive not solely due to the menagerie beneath water, however for the wealth of lovely islands, untouched lagoons, and sweetness you can expertise while you’re not diving, too.
Plan on seeing reef sharks, octopus, huge faculties of jack fish and barracuda, Manta rays, and wholesome coral reefs, together with some spectacular followers. Among the finest 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.
The very best diving season runs from October to Could (the other to Komodo’s greatest dive occasions listed beneath). It’s greatest to be Nitrox licensed for longer dive occasions. Take note currents will be sturdy and expertise is suggested.
See all liveaboards obtainable in Raja Ampat right here.
2. Komodo, Indonesia
I’ll at all times consider Komodo once I think about essentially the most colourful, vibrant reefs on this planet. That is additionally a hotspot for Manta rays, huge faculties of fish, sea turtles, and many 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 finances in 2013 with Depraved Diving, and thought the expertise was improbable.
Be forewarned that Komodo is extra superior diving the place you’ll expertise sturdy currents. That is greatest undertaken after you’ve gotten at the very least 40+ dives beneath your belt. The diving season runs all yr with March to October providing the driest circumstances. The very best Manta viewing is within the wet season, operating from December to February, though I noticed them in July, as properly.
See all liveaboards obtainable in Komodo right here.
3. Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia
Whereas on my liveaboard in Raja Ampat, I requested the opposite divers what their favourite locations are for diving all over the world, and was advised that Chuuk (aka Truk) Lagoon in Micronesia affords a number of the greatest for wreck diving. That is one other one which requires a liveaboard to get to to the perfect spots.
Throughout World Conflict II, Chuuk Lagoon was the Empire of Japan’s primary naval base within the South Pacific, and after some heavy shelling by US forces, it’s now house to over 60+ World Conflict II wrecks, making it the most important underwater ship graveyard on this planet. 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! If you happen to’ve been hoping to see huge faculties of hammerhead sharks, Cocos Island is likely one of the greatest locations on this planet to get that likelihood.
Cocos is greatest recognized for the large stuff, particularly sharks. The most important draw back of diving right here is that it could solely be reached through 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 continuously noticed from June to November. Currents will 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 amazing spot to dive with whale sharks as properly.
Darwin and Wolf islands are solely accessible through liveaboard dive boat, and generally visibility will 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, take into account 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 will be very sturdy within the Galapagos, so some expertise is normally required by diving operations taking visitors to Gordon Rocks.
6. Caye Caulker, Belize
Belize is house to the second largest barrier reef on this 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 you can 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 advised 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 mentioned, the reef dives following the Blue Gap have been what impressed me essentially the most. We noticed noticed eagle rays, numerous reef sharks, and beautiful corals.
7. Pink Sea, Egypt
Simply some of the well-known diving spots on this planet, Egypt’s Pink Sea is understood for wonderful corals, dolphins, shipwrecks, sharks, colourful fish, and Dugongs, if you happen to’re diving in the proper spot! The Pink Sea will be skilled with day dives or a liveaboard.
The Pink 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 superb place to identify them.
You may as well count on 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 brilliant 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 some 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 certain they as soon as have been, the Manta night time dive out of Kona on Hawaii’s Large Island continues to be price doing if you happen to love Mantas. You may as well snorkel this one as an alternative, holding onto a lighted raft that draws their meals supply.
10. Socorro, Mexico
Mexico usually affords unimaginable 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 large 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 a number of the most unimaginable diving and reefs I’ve ever seen. If you happen to love reef sharks, rays, wish to see stunning corals, and luxuriate in a really wholesome reef, look no additional.
Most diving will be carried out instantly out of your resort or island. The water visibility is unimaginable, and relying on the time of yr (late July to October) it’s possible you’ll even spot a Humpback whale – I’ve on a dive earlier than!
Though you may drive at any time of yr in French Polynesia, the wet season runs from October to April and might deliver tougher circumstances. Be aware that talking at the very least some French is a large assist, significantly if you happen to 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 native islands), or take a liveaboard to hit all the perfect spots.
13. Fuvahmulah, The Maldives
Talking of the Maldives, if you happen to’re a real diving aficionado, you may’t depart with out stopping by Fuvahmulah to dive with pelagic sharks. That is really one of many hands-down greatest locations on this planet 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 to put on a bikini on the seashore, but it surely does supply 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 known for a purpose – the protected marine space is unimaginable for giant faculties of fish, the occasional hammerhead, and HUGE turtles.
This can be a standard dive web site 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 cherished 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 may as well 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 perfect dive space of the Philippines. I joined a liveaboard boat to discover the perfect of the world (listed here are extra choices), however you may also use Coron as a leaping off level.
You’ll additionally possible cease by the Barracuda Lake, a mix of contemporary and salt water that makes for some fascinating diving as you cross from one into the opposite.
The very best time to dive on this space is throughout the Philippines’ dry season, from October to Could. You’ll want to do some island hopping within the space as properly, as Coron is filled 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 affords a number of the most spectacular kelp forests on this 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 greatest spots!
You possibly can take dive excursions, get licensed, or simply lease gear and dive by yourself off of Catalina. The simplest method to get there’s to take the Catalina Flyer from Lengthy Seashore.
The very best visibility is from September to November. Deliver 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 is probably not the unimaginable dive web site that it as soon as was, it’s nonetheless the most important barrier reef on this planet price a go to if you happen to’re in that neck of the woods.
The Nice Barrier Reef enjoys a protected standing and affords the chance to see marine life that’s distinctive to the world. The outer reefs are a number of the greatest spots as of late, 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 greater creatures. Learn extra right here.
Bonaire is likely one of the greatest locations to dive at any time of yr, and for any talent stage. You possibly can simply do dives from boats and the shore – in actual fact it’s often known as the shore diving capital of the world. Because the space is protected against most main marine currents and affords principally shallow diving, it is a great spot to study, as properly.
Anticipate heat water (as much as 80 levels F), calm circumstances, and visibility as much as 100 ft. The realm affords 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 individuals are permitted to dive the Jardines de la Reina every year, an uninhabited marine sanctuary that’s solely accessible through liveaboard.
The realm is properly protected against most currents, so it is a dive journey that’s appropriate for divers of all ranges. It additionally affords heat water and nice visibility year-round. Though there’s one thing for everybody within the space, most individuals are attracted because of the promise of seeing sharks, together with giant Caribbean reef sharks and silky sharks. Throughout July to November, you might even see whale sharks as properly.
20. Pink Sea, South Sudan
As talked about above, unimaginable Pink Sea diving just isn’t restricted to only Egypt, and even simply Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Liveaboard dive ships have began exploring the South Sudan a part of the Pink Sea as properly, the place faculties of hammerheads and different sharks are the principle occasion.
You may as well count on to see spectacular corals and wrecks. What’s extra, only a few folks enterprise out every year, so that you’ll take pleasure in a number of the most wonderful but least-crowded dive websites the Pink Sea has to supply.
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Drawing from my very own expertise and the ideas of others, these are the perfect dive websites that I’m conscious of all over the world. However I’m at all times open to studying about extra! Do you’ve gotten any wonderful locations that you’ve got dived? Share them within the feedback beneath!