Are you a scuba diving beginner, or were you bitten by the scuba bug a long time ago? Actually, scratch that because it doesn’t matter. You still want to know of the best, most beautiful and exciting places for scuba diving, right? The ones with amazing underwater landscapes, sea creatures of all sizes and colors, and fascinating nooks and crannies to explore? That’s what we thought!
And that’s also why we’ve put together this list of our top locations for scuba diving with places from all over the world (how do the Red Sea, the Great Barrier Reef, and Iceland sound?) – add one, a couple, or all of them to your bucket list, and start ticking them off straight away!
Pro Tip: Whether you’re an experienced diver or not, try some yoga! It helps you be in control of your breathing, which is one of the key things when scuba diving.
We might as well start big – or should I say great? Because this coral reef, or rather, coral reef system, really does live up to its name: it stretches for over 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles), and is the only living thing that can be seen from outer space! But that’s not why we’re here. No, we’re here to scuba dive in one of the most gorgeous places on earth; an array of colors, fish, and sharks – you might even spot a humpback! Since it’s so big, there are opportunities not to have to share your astounding experience with other divers. Perfect.
Just around the corner from Australia (well, at least it’s on the same hemisphere) is the Philippines, a stunning bundle of cliffy islands, gorgeous bays, and water so blue you’ll probably feel the need to call Pantone and tell them you’ve discovered a new color. And it only gets better under the surface: at Malapascua, an island just off the shores of Cebu, you’ll see over 500 different species of hard and soft coral, along with manta, hammerheads, jackfish, and barracudas – and there are plenty of shipwrecks! Also, you can go all year round.
Have you heard about cenotes? If not, you’re in for a treat because they are absolutely fantastic! They’re deep sinkholes, granting access to a whole underwater cave system – and they’re stunning! The blue water, matching the jagged stone walls with a hint of green, is incredibly clear. To explore the whole cave system you’ll need technical diving experience, but there are easier caverns, too! In the sea, you can spot bull sharks, turtles, and whale sharks, depending on when you choose to go to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula!
The 50th state is somewhat isolated, meaning that both underwater flora and fauna have been less disturbed than any cousins closer to the mainland – a large area to the north of the islands has been turned into a marine reserve! You can spot seals, turtles, and humpbacks almost anywhere, but if you want to get close (really close!) to manta rays, head to Kailua Kona: underwater lights on the ocean floor attract plankton, which in turn entice the beautiful giants – this is a night dive, if that wasn’t clear!
If you haven’t had quite enough of cenotes – or sinkholes – yet, you should consider heading to this blue hole (not to be confused with the one in the Red Sea, or you’ll be in for a surprise when you’ve booked a room on the other side of the world) in Belize. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a round, deep blue cavity surrounded by coral reef! Despite it not being very colorful, it’s still considered one of the best diving spots in the world (you might see sharks!), but because of its depth (125 meters), it’s not for beginners.
Since we’ve already mentioned it, we might as well do this fantastic body of water next! The Red Sea stretches out rather far, but if you go to Egypt you know you’ll find some of the best places. Not that the whole sea isn’t absolutely stunning, with its sea anemones, vibrant reefs, and beautiful sea creatures. Check out Thistlegorm and Yolanda, both shipwrecks – the latter with a cargo of British toilets, among other things. What else is there in these fantastic waters? Well, everything from nudibranchs to whale sharks!
Bit of a wildcard, perhaps? Yeah, maybe. But as long as you wear a drysuit to stay warm (even during the summer), you’ll have one of the most amazing diving experiences off the shore of this beautifully mysterious and eerie Nordic island. Why? Well, for starters, you’ll struggle to find clearer water anywhere else. You can also seek out geothermal chimneys, pumping hot water directly into the cold ocean – you can’t get that close to such phenomena anywhere else in the world as a recreational diver!
Well, there are some places that you simply can’t overlook when you’re trying to compose a list of great scuba diving destinations, but we can’t go on forever either, so we’ll just give them a quick mention! Like the Maldives, full of color, or the Bahamas, with shipwrecks, sharks, and dolphins – or Bali, or Thailand, or Raja Ampat, Alor, and Komodo in Indonesia! We’d better stop now before it gets too crazy – just one more thing: check out Malta!
So, what do you think? Did we do good, or have we left out some of your favorites? What would you change? Please let us know, so that we can go there too!