When do you think you’ll get around to ticking that scuba diving on your bucket list? Probably, you now have so many plans and a new motivation to see them through after this pandemic, right? If you’re finally going to do it, then it’s only right that you do it in the most spectacular waters in the world.
We’re going to help you with that. We explore a list of the best places to scuba dive in the world, so you can finally go on that underwater safari. You can explore shipwrecks in Bermuda and experience just how unperturbed by humans the marine life is.
For all you know, you may discover your love for scuba diving while you’re at it and decide to embark on another bucket list to see all these beautiful places. Once you submerge yourself in this whole new world, there is truly no going back.
1. Mainland Mexico
If you want a vibrant and exciting diving experience, this is the place to be. Mexico is one of the best diving destinations in the world, and it has so much to offer. You can have fun at the Yucatan Peninsula, where you’ll find the second largest barrier reef on the planet and a variety of marine life.
If you want to see whale sharks, Isla Mujeres, just off Cancun, is a nice spot, and if you crave some dramatic diving, you absolutely need to head to Cozumel. The corals are vibrant, the fish life is a thing to behold, and you may get to see some nurse sharks as well. Yucatan’s sinkholes are just as incredible, and to see some California sea lions, you can take a dive at the Sea of Cortez.
2. Jardines De La Reina, Cuba
Even the name itself, which means Garden of the Queens, is alluring. This is a marine park that’s home to the best-preserved and possibly the largest coral reef system in the world. The place is home to an awesome array of animals, including several shark species like the hammerhead, silky, nurse, lemon, blacktip, and Caribbean reef.
Beyond that, you’ll get to enjoy over 200 sponge species and over 50 coral species, and if you would like to get up close and personal with the American saltwater crocodile, this is where you need to head first.
3. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The marine life and large species in this location are simply divine, making this one of the best places to scuba dive in the world. The Galapagos Islands are located off the west coast of Ecuador and offer such unique biodiversity unlike anywhere else on the planet. This is where you get to see some of the rarest species, both above and under the waves such as large pelagics and marine iguanas.
4. Southern Line Islands, Republic of Kiribati
The Southern Line Islands are some of the best places to scuba dive in the world, especially for bucket list tickers and biology nerds. These are some of the most isolated atolls in the world sitting on both sides of the equator. Malden, Starbuck, Flint, Vostok, and Caroline sit on the southern side and are referred to as the line.
In these remote waters, the coral is thriving, unlike most in the world that are bleaching and dying. The Southern Line Islands have some of the most pristine coral environments, and Christmas Island is one of the best dive locations. Here, you will get to see the larger marine life, which includes eagle rays, manta rays, and spinner dolphins.
5. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
The marine in this location is mind-blowing, to say the least. Raja Ampat is a remote island with a rich marine diversity and perhaps one of the best photography locations. You will be awestruck by the sheer variety of sharks and fish in both the vibrant soft and hard reefs. There are two locations that offer the best diving experience, which is Cape Kri and Misool Island.
6. Anilao, Philippines
This location is more macro than you would initially imagine, and if you’d like to experience the ultimate muck-diving, then this is one of the best scuba diving places in the world.
If you fall in love with scuba diving, this is the one location you can’t miss out on. You’ll get to enjoy some extraordinary macro species and critters. It’s a great place to see cuttlefish, small squid, shrimp, crabs, pipefish, and seahorses.
Fiji is the soft coral reef capital of the world, and all 300 islands or so are a total thrill. The vibrancy of this reef is like nothing you have ever seen, and you will get to experience the most exquisite backdrop with each dive.
The lush reef and abundance of marine make it a scuba diving haven, and you can expect to see butterflyfish, anthias, hawkfish, moray eels, and ameone fish. The Beqa Lagoon is home to a large variety of sharks, and Rainbow and Mellow Yellow reefs make this the ultimate destination.
8. The French Polynesia
Lovers of large animals or warm water go here for their scuba diving expeditions, and every dive is always rich and diverse. The one thing that sets the islands apart more than anything else is the concentration of large animals.
Tahiti has about 16 different shark species, and you get to see eagle rays, schooling barracuda, turtles, dolphins, and reef fish. The Island of Moorea has some fascinating topography, and it’s among the best shark diving destinations in the world.
9. The Red Sea
This is home to exceptional and bountiful marine life. The reefs are nothing short of stunning, the diving conditions are comfortable, and a large percentage of the fish here is unique to the Red Sea.
There are two incredible scuba diving locations here, one of which is Hurghada, and the other is Dahab. The dive sites south of Hurghada are super spectacular, and you really must see the Daedalus and Elphinstone reefs.
10. The Blue Hole
This list would not be complete without the Blue Home in Belize, which is to die for. This is an incredibly famous location and one of the best scuba diving places in the world. It’s a peculiar site with a massive sinkhole, crystal clear water, and a chance to see a wide variety of sharks.
Thailand offers some of the best scuba diving sites, and the best part is, you get several sites in one location. Phuket, Similan Islands, Koh Tao, and the Surin Islands are some of the best sites, and while you can have a great diving experience anywhere in these waters, Koh Tao is a gem.
One of the best parts of diving here is that they have many dive shops too, and you can just get some gear here. You don’t have to drag a huge suitcase with you to Thailand, so only get some essentials, like the full face scuba mask.
The Best Places to Scuba Dive in the World
These are some of the best places to scuba dive in the world, and when the time comes, any choice will not disappoint you. Of course, once you discover how amazing the experience can be, you’ll be hitting more than one location. So, happy scuba diving!
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