As a person who loves to scuba dive, I find myself looking for the best nearby places to dive whenever I travel. I have even searched for amazing scuba diving locations that I can just pick up and visit the next time that I want to enjoy some time under the water. You can see all types of animals, unique caves and grottos, and even shipwrecks under the blue waves of the sea. Where are the best places to scuba dive? Let’s find out!
The Great Barrier Reef
No matter who you are, you must have heard of the Great Barrier Reef, which is located off of the Australian coast. This reef is the largest in the world, and it is full of life. The entire area is nearly 344,000 square kilometers, which is why images of the reef are often seen from space. That amount of space on land would be about 70 million football fields, so it truly is a massive area. The best time to check out this area is between June and October. Since it does not rain much during this time of year, the water will be clearer, which will make it easier to see the wildlife. Some of the wildlife that can be seen in this collection of reefs include clownfish, butterflyfish, sharks, and sea turtles.
If you are looking for a tour company that will take you out to see the reef, then Tusa Dive is a great option to consider. There are multiple day options that you can choose from, and there are even SCUBA and PADI courses that you can take to get instructions while you are in the water. For a longer trip, there are three to seven-day diving expeditions that you can inquire about as well.
The Blue Hole
The Blue Hole is a diving site that is located in Belize. It is a trendy destination for divers who are traveling, and I believe that it is worth stopping by if you are in this part of the world. It is actually a large hole that is 1,000 feet wide and nearly 500 feet deep, which means that it is plenty for a diver to explore for a while. It was first discovered by Jacques Cousteau, and since that time it was called one of the best diving sites in the world. When you visit here, you will see hammerheads, reef sharks, and even bull sharks. This site is actually an underwater sinkhole that formed during that last glacial period. The best time to visit the area is between April and June because visibility for whale sharks is optimal.
If you are interested in a diving tour of the Blue Hole, thenFrenchies is a great option to consider. However, there is no trip that only includes the one dive; the company offers a day trip that stops at the Blue Hole as well as Half Moon Caye and Long Caye Aquarium. Deep in the hole there are limestone caves and rock formations that you can also explore.
This is a location in Malaysia, and it is so breathtaking that it is often considered to be one of the top five diving locations in the world. When you dive in this location, you will be able to see plenty of hawkbill turtles, sharks, dolphins, barracuda, and bright schools of tropical fish. The island is a volcanic island that goes straight down, and there are more than 3,000 species of fish that live in this unique ecosystem. This location has plenty of dive sites, some of the places to visit include:
- Barracuda Point: This is a classic dive wall where you will be able to find strong currents, so it’s recommended for advanced divers that have a bit of experience. There will often be barracudas, reef sharks, lionfish, eels, morays, and octopus in this area.
- South Point: This is on the south side of the island, so it is an area where currents sweep past, making it a great spot to see some reef sharks and turtles.
- Turtle Cave: This is a giant cavern where turtles make their home. There is a resident barracuda that also lives here; he is about two meters long.
If you are looking for a tour to take you diving in this area of the world, then Scuba Junkie is a great option to check out. The park only permits 120 visitors to enter each day, so planning your diving trip in advance is recommended. If you are new to diving or you have not been in the water in a while, there are refresher courses and packages that offer a PADI license as well.
Fernando de Noronha
Off the coast of Natal, Fernando de Noronha is a group of volcanic islands that cover nearly 220 miles. It is a protected area, so only 420 individuals are permitted on the island at once, which will make it more secluded and private for beach days and exploring under the sea. In the area, you will be able to see a lot of turtles and dolphins, but one of the most popular dive sites in the area is the Corveta V 17. At this site, you can see a Brazilian warship that sunk to the bottom of the sea in October 1983. The ship is located 210 feet below the surface of the water, and it is a beautiful sunken garden with plenty of wildlife swimming around it.
If you would like to explore the area with a diving group, you can plan your trip by contacting Trip Noronha. There are trips available for divers that have different experience levels, so finding one that suits your needs should be simple. There are also other dive sites that you can inquire about in the area that are teeming with plenty of tropical fish and things to explore.
Egyptian Red Sea
The Red Sea is a location that is perfect for diving because the water is so clear and filled with reefs. These reefs are a lifeline of the sea, which means that there is a lot of wildlife living in the space. In fact, there are over 220 species of coral alone. In this area of the world, you can see whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and schools of brightly colored fish. In the summer months, hammerhead sharks can be found in the water as well.
There are even some shipwrecks in the area that are quite fun to explore. You can find the S.S. Thistlegorm, which was a military ship for WWII, in these waters. The ship went down in 1941 when bombed by the Germans, and today, it lies about 100 feet from the surface. Some of the treasures that you can find here include weapons form the war, motorbikes, and even armored cars. Other ships such as the Giannis D, the Carnatic, and the Chrisoula K, are all other ships that are currently under the Red Sea in the area.
To book dives for this area, you can contact the Red Sea Diving College. Here, you can plan a trip that is three to five days in length. There are also PADI courses available that you can take through them.
The Galapagos archipelago is an excellent area for diving, especially if you are interested in seeing a variety of marine life during your dive. In this area, you will be able to spot seals, sea lions, hammerheads, whale sharks, mola mola, and more. There are even marine iguanas and Humboldt penguins that can be seen here on occasion. Some of the dive sites to consider here include:
- Daphne Island – There are plenty of caverns, walls, and platforms to swim through in this area, and there will be sea turtles and hammerhead sharks as well.
- Shark Point – This is a location that is positioned right off of Wolf Island. In this area, there will be plenty of sharks, bluefin tuna, and dolphins. There are strong currents here, so it’s not the best place for a beginner.
- Gordon Rocks – If you are interested in seeing hammerhead sharks, this is one of the best places to find them. The current here is strong, but the visibility makes for an amazing dive.
- The Bartolome Point – This is where the Galapagos Penguins can be found. They like to play in the waves and swim the waters to find their food. There are also barracudas stingrays, turtles, and white-tip sharks in the area.
- Tortuga Island – This is a great dive site, regardless of your skill level. It is a location where you can find mantas, white-tipped reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, yellowtail surgeonfish, blue chin parrotfish, and barracuda.
If you are interested in exploring the Galapagos Islands, then contact Royal Galapagos for some diving options. These are trips that last several days, so make sure that you choose an option with some of the best diving locations on the itinerary.
Fiji consists of more than 330 small islands and inlets, so it only makes sense that this area would be full of coral reefs and great dive locations. The water conditions are perfect for a lot of different types of marine life, and there are plenty of soft coral reefs for them to live in. When you dive here, you are likely to encounter sharks, no matter which dive site you visit. Some of the must-see dive spots in Fiji include:
- Mantaray Island – This is a great location to catch manta rays feeding between May and October of the year.
- Bligh Water – This dive location will have plenty of colorful coral and plenty of wildlife.
- Rainbow Reef- Underwater, this area looks like a rainbow that is full of anemones, sharks, barracudas, and clownfish.
- Kadavu – This is the location of the Great Astrolabe Reef. Here you will see coral pinnacles, manta rays, tuna, marlin, and sharks.
- Namotu Wall – At this site, you will be able to see sea turtles, reef sharks, batfish, angelfish, barracudas, and more.
If you are interested in booking a tour where you can check out some of these dive sites, take a look at Captain Cook Cruises for day trips and longer excursions.
The Maldives is a beautiful place with a lot of lush tropical plants, but the marine life and the coral that can be found near the shore is one of the reasons that many divers visit the area. It is a place where you will be able to see plenty of tuna, eagle rays, sharks, and barracuda. Whale sharks can even be seen in large schools in this region of the world. Some of the top dive sites in the Maldives include:
- Ukulhas Thila – This is a location that is filled with Mantas from December to April, but because of the strong current, it is not good for beginners.
- Broken Rock – This dive site has a canyon in the middle that divides the area into two different spaces. There are a lot of angelfish, pufferfish, morays, and large napoleon wrasse.
- Miyaruga Thila – This area is full of caves, terraces, and overhangs. It has a rock formation that is amazing, and there is plenty of soft and hard coral. It has a strong current, so be careful if you are not that experienced.
- Kuda Rah Thila – There is a coral reef arch that is full of turtles, anthias, fusilier, snappers, groupers, turtles, triggerfish, and pufferfish.
Mexico is a vast area, but the diving opportunities in this part of the world are fantastic. Near Cancun, there is a sinkhole cavern that is filled with fish and other marine life. The Mesoamerican Reef is located in Mexico, and it is one of the most visited reefs in the world. If you love exploring caves and underwater formations, Mexico is a great place to explore. Some of the best dive sites include:
- Cenote Dos Ojos – This is an area with a 50-mile cave that can be dived through. It has plenty of passages and rooms that you can explore.
- Discovery Bay – This is one of the best locations in the world to see great white sharks up close. This area is only about 150 miles from the Baja Peninsula, and there are cages that you can get lowered with so that you feel safer in this environment.
- Bull Shark Dive – This is located in Playa del Carmen, and it is an annual migration of the bull sharks that will allow you to be extremely close to them in the water.
- Manchones Reef – This is located in Cancun, and there are statues under the water that serves as a catalyst for new coral to start growing. It is a great site to visit if you are interested in taking pictures under the water.
- Gordo Banks – This space, which is located in Los Cabos, is about the size of two full football fields. Here, you will be able to see jacks, snappers, eagle rays, mackerels, hammerhead sharks, and silky sharks.
- Palancar Reef – This is a great spot for a beginner to check out. There is plenty of coral and fish in the water, and you may even spot a nurse shark.
For a look at some of these tremendous underwater paradise options,Dressel Divers may be an excellent option to consider. They offer a number of different trip options as well as courses so that you are better prepared in the water.
With more than 700 islands making up the Bahamas, this area is known for having some of the best shark diving locations in the world. You will be able to see hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, tiger sharks, and more. Most of the reefs are relatively shallow in this area, but there are plenty of tunnels, caves, and holes to explore. Some of the best diving sites to check out here include:
- Tiger Beach – It is located on Grand Bahama, and there are shallow wrecks here that are fun to explore. You will be able to see dolphins at this dive site, but the one animal that you should expect is the tiger shark. On any given day, there will be dozens of these sharks as well as reef sharks because of the shallow water, which attracts them as a place to eat.
- Runway Wall – If you are looking for a shark experience, this is where you will find it in Nassau. Around the island, there are also blue holes, caves, and shipwrecks to explore.
- Lost Blue Hole – This is a great location for divers of all experience levels to explore. You will see stingrays, nurse sharks, and blacknose sharks. This hole is very accessible for most fish, so you are likely to encounter a wide variety of species in the hole.
- Cathedral – This is an amazing place to explore, especially if you enjoy taking photographs under the water. There are a lot of swim-through features that look amazing when the sunbeams through the water from above.
If you are thinking of exploring the Bahamas, then think about contacting Stuarts Cove. It is a great location to start exploring the area, and there are shark dives and other dives that you can enjoy. There are also PADI courses offered so that you feel more comfortable in the water.
The Solomon Islands, which is a span of almost 900 volcanic islands, is a breathtaking place to go diving. This is actually an unspoiled diving opportunity that will offer quite a bit of opportunities for exploration. There are pristine coral gardens, World War II shipwrecks, and underwater volcanoes that can erupt easily. Here, you will see plenty of marine life, which can even include seahorses, clownfish, sea slugs, and other tropical fish that live in these warm waters.
Here, you can check out the Twin Tunnels, which are two vertical lava tubes. There are often nurse sharks at the bottom of the tubes, but for a diver, this is a site worth visiting. Another site to visit is White Beach, which is a military site that was used during WWII. When the area was abandoned, everything was pushed into the sea. Today, jawfish, mandarin fish, and harlequin shrimp can be found amongst the mangroves. Other sites to check out include Leru Cut, Mary Island, and the Wreck of the Ann.
For more information about the dive sites in the Solomon Islands, Blue Water Travel has a lot of tours that you can book to fully explore the areas.
When it comes to sprawling vistas, the beautiful island archipelago of Cuba has a fair share that is sure to bedazzle visitors. As a result of diplomatic tensions, the island country has been a bit of a mystery when it comes to tourism, but the recent reduction of tensions has really started to open the country up. Like some other paradises, Cuba is known for its keys and islands, so if you’re going to be visiting, make sure to set aside a good amount of time for exploration! Here’s a breakdown of the local dive sites:
- La Habana – Groupers are the name of the game when it comes to the aquatic life of La Habana; these massive fish will dwarf most divers and are known for being relatively friendly. In addition, tarpons also are plentiful here; these fish are ray-finned and mysterious.
- Cayo Largo Del Sur – If you love sunken wrecks, this part of Cuba will be right up your alley. In addition to the undersea shipyards, you’ll also find plenty of grottoes that are rich with ocean life.
- Playa Giron – Playa Giron is known for its cavern diving and its friendly population of nurse sharks that travel across the ocean floor. You can even see the line where the island’s freshwater meets the salty seawater.
- Playa Larga – Sawfish call Playa Larga home, and if you love reefs, then there are plenty of native species like sponges, clownfish, and red shrimp to experience here.
Wondering where to start? Cuba has plenty of diving opportunities, andBlue Water Dive Travel can help you find your next Cuban diving vacation.
Indonesia is a beautiful area of the world that is known for its particularly island-rich vistas; in fact, the paradise is comprised of over 17,000 islands. You’ll absolutely love this area since its underwater reefs are truly multicolored and rich with various species of fish and crustaceans. A swim through the areas here may actually have you a bit overwhelmed due to the richness of colors underwater; not only will you see various hues of fish, but the corals themselves are virtually saturated with vivid shades. When you’re ready to check them out, here are some top-notch dive sites:
- Raja Ampat – This part of Indonesia is the most popular place to dive in Indonesia. Love sea turtles? This archipelago of more than a thousand smaller islands is known for hawkbills and other sea turtle species.
- Togian Islands – This is the place in Indonesia to experience species like whale sharks and napoleon fish -both of whom swim abundantly in this area. Like many other locations in Indonesia, the Togian Islands are rich with coral species.
- Bunaken Islands: If you want to see barracuda in the wild, the Bunaken Islands are a place to check out. The typical Indonesian coral can also be found here and at least five species of sea turtle.
- Pulau Weh, Sumatra: It’s easy to find at least three ray species in Pulau Weh, and there are hundreds of colorful fish species to check out under the waves.
If you’re looking to check out Indonesia,Zublub Diving definitely has you covered. They have packages that will help you explore the deep regions of this island. They even offer training courses for those who are less experienced when it comes to diving.