Diving is a fun, exotic sport. It is also a great excuse to check out some amazing tropical destinations around the world. Any novice or expert diver will be fascinated by what they see in the depths of some of the top dive spots in the world.
Every diver will probably have his or hers own list of favorite dive spots and numerous top 10s can be found on the web (like here and here) that feature different dive sites around the world. Here is our attempt to list some of the best dive spots in the world.
10. Similan Islands[SEE MAP]
The Similan Islands in the western Andaman Sea are considered the best dive site attractions in Thailand. The archipelago consist of 9 islands covered in tropical jungle and equipped with white sandy beaches. The views under the water surface are even more impressive. There are 2 different kind of dive spots around the Similan Islands. East facing dive sites consists of gently sloping coral reefs while west facing dive sites feature massive granite boulders, covered with hard and soft corals. Depths can range from 15 to 40 meters in this area with species that include trigger fish, cow tail rays, and sand animals.
9. Maldives Reefs[SEE MAP]
Although the Maldives are probably best known for its tropical beauty it is also has some of the best dive spots in the world. What is particularly fascinating about diving excursions in the Maldives is not the reef itself, but the wide variety of species you can catch a glimpse of. The reefs around the Maldives are are home to parrot fish, sweetlips, colorful sponges, and a number of invertebrate species. Other local species that live on the soft coral provide the nutrients for large schools of fish to feed in the reefs. But remember to watch out for the barracudas lurking in the water.
8. Bunaken[SEE MAP]
Located at the north of the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, Bunaken is one of Indonesia’s most famous dive and snorkeling areas. The best time for diving in Bunaken is between the months of April and November, although diving is not restricted at any time. Bunaken is part of the Bunaken Marine Park where you can see more than 70% of all fish species that live in the western Pacific ocean. That’s a pretty good deal for a single dive.
7. Great Blue Hole[SEE MAP]
The Great Blue Hole has been named one of the top scuba dive spots on Earth and is one of the top attractions in Belize. This massive sinkhole under the water is near the Lighthouse Reef and creates a perfect circle of deep blue water. The blue hole was created by the collapse of a limestone cave system thousands of years ago. Here divers can expect to see many species including angelfish, groupers, and neon gobies.
6. Cocos Island[SEE MAP]
Cocos Island is located about 300 miles off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. This jungle-covered island is mostly uninhabited and provides an excellent diving escape. Cocos Island is a shark-lover’s dream. Species found in the area include whale sharks, hammerheads, and white-tip sharks. Other species include mantas and tuna.
5. Sipadan[SEE MAP]
Located off the east coast of Malaysian Borneo, Sipadan is a legend among expert divers. The area is full of exotic species including a rainbow of reef fish, sea turtles, and hammerhead sharks. Recenlty, Sipadan has became a protected area and all the resorts on the island are now closed. Diving is still allowed but divers are ferried in and out from the mainland and surrounding islands and only 120 dives are allowed daily. If you are lucky enough to get a dive permit however, you’ll experience some of the best scuba diving anywhere in the world.
4. Palau Dive Spots[SEE MAP]
Palau is a wonderful diving area in Micronesia. It is one those areas where divers become historians. Palau is famous for its World War II shipwrecks. Because the Pacific Ocean was one of the areas where most sea battles occurred at the time, there are numerous artifacts that now serve as home to fish species including lionfish. The wrecks at Palau are recommended for experience divers.
3. Darwin and Wolf[SEE MAP]
The Galapagos Islands are the second largest marine reserve in the world with 70,000 square kilometers (43,496 square miles) of protected water and coastline, second only in size to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This means that no commercial fishing takes place in the area. Unlike most popular diving destinations, reefs are not the primary attraction in the Galapagos. Instead, the big attraction here is the sheer abundance of marine life. Some of the best dive spots can be found around the waters of Darwin and Wolf islands, home to several different species of sharks, including Hammerheads, and Galapagos sharks.
2. Red Sea Reef[SEE MAP]
The Red Sea is one of the most beautiful places in the world to go diving and the holiday resorts along its coast are popular tourist attractions in Egypt. The waters of the Red Sea are renowned for their spectacular visibility and features some of the most exotic seascapes. With its wide expanse of coral formation on the reefs, it is home to thousands of different sea creatures.
1. Great Barrier Reef[SEE MAP]
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. It is the largest system of coral reef in the world, stretching more than 3000 kilometers. It is the only reef on Earth that can be seen from space. The Great Barrier Reef also features a host of wildlife including green sea turtles, dolphins, humpback whale and clown fish.