Whether you are a fledgling scuba diver or someone hoping to find the perfect location for learning to dive, there are so many options available to you. Once you plant the seed in your mind and you have decided to learn to scuba dive, the world becomes your oyster. Whether you travel near or far, there are always adventures to be had under the waves.
Here are the Top 10 Dive Sites Around The World…
Shark and Yolanda Reef, Red Sea, Egypt
If you’re new to diving and want to experience your very first drift dive, then this would be the perfect location for you. Egypt’s red sea is known for it’s epic dive sites and ‘Shark and Yolanda Reef’ certainly does not disappoint. There are medium currents at this site, which means that you’ll get to see large pelagics including large schools of Barracuda and so much more.
This reef consists of a wall that has a sheer drop, making this is ideal place to practice your buoyancy. The end of this dive finishes up over the top of the Yolanda wreck, which was previously used as a cargo ship for toilets. It was sank in 1980 still carrying its cargo, meaning that you can quite literally see hundreds of toilet bowls scattered over the ocean floor. This wreck is like nothing you will ever see, so make sure you take advantage of this amazing photo opportunity. When approaching the toilet bowls, make sure you check inside them before sitting on one, as you never know what might have made that area it’s home.
Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Diving around Santa Cruz Island will not fall short of your expectations. This is where 3 main currents meet, and with that brings a truly unique diving experience. This is not a dive site to see corals, however it is certainly the dive site to see large marine animals and a huge variety of marine life including Hammerhead Sharks, Marine Iguanas, Rays, Turtles and even Sea Lions.
The waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands is quite cold and can be challenging, so it is always good to have a reputable dive company on hand to help you with anything you might need when planning your dives and once you embark out onto the open ocean.
The best time to scuba dive around the Galapagos is pretty much all year round, however the best time to enjoy the weather is between the months of January through to May.
The Visayas, Philippines
Located in the middle of the Coral Triangle, the Philippines are known for having the largest variety of marine life found anywhere else on the planet. There are more than 5000 species of mollusc, snails and clams alone.
The Visayas are a collection of central islands in the Philippines that are totally surrounded by coral reefs and are the perfect location for all levels of diver. Apo Reef is a great dive spot for beginners, where the waters are crystal clear and the currents are low.
If you’re planning a trip to The Visayas, the best time to go is between November through to June as this is dry season and the water temperature is warm with excellent visibility.
North Male Atoll, Maldives
The Maldives are on almost all divers bucket lists, not only for the crystal clear waters but also the sheer number of marine life. There really isn’t a bad dive site found around North Male Atoll. Coral at this location is quite healthy, which is surprising despite coral bleaching that’s happening all over the world. The warm waters and great visibility are other reasons why this location is so appealing.
If you get a chance to travel to North Male Atoll, make sure to visit Manta Point, Banana Reef and Kuda Haa.
Diving conditions are great all year round, however the currents calm around November to April, so if you’re a fledgling diver, this would be the best time to go.
Buddy’s Reef, Bonaire
Bonaire is a great location if you’re learning to dive or just starting out in your diving career. Found on Bonaire’s south west coast, this great dive site starts by running down a very steep slope, down to sand at around 100 feet below. Around 30 feet away, you’ll find the drop off wall. This wall is covered with the most stunning corals and reef life, including black crinoids, squid, turtles and even octopi. House tarpons are known to weave in and out of the corals along the wall, so make sure to keep an eye out for them.
There’s minimal current at this location so practicing your buoyancy is a must and with it’s thriving collection of soft and hard corals, this provides the perfect environment for seeing reef critters.
Central Atolls, Maldives
As a budding newbie, who wants to immerse themselves in all things ‘diving’ why not try a liveaboard trip to the Central Atolls of the Maldives? Diving in the Maldives never disappoints, however choosing a liveaboard may be just the thing you need to ensure you get the best out of your experience. The Maldives offers a tropical climate, with paradise islands and warm, crystal clear waters. You may get to see plenty of large marine life including hammerhead sharks, manta rays and even the gentle giants the whale shark. The waters surrounding the Central atolls are calm with little to no current at all, providing the perfect environment for beginners to test out their skills.
The best time to take part in a liveaboard around the Maldives is between December and April.
Pickles Reef, Key Largo, Florida
Pickles Reef is a large, shallow reef that lies around 15-25feet below the surface. This is a great place for divers and snorkelers alike. The name ‘Pickles Reef’ comes from the cement-filled pickle barrels that were sunk here during the Civil War. You’ll find the largest pillar corals found throughout the Keys, attached to these pickle barrel. Keep an eye out for the occasional lobster passing through the corals.
Amphitheatre, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
This dive site is quite literally an amphitheatre under the water. With a wall that descends to 26m below the surface, at the base, you’ll see a rock formation that resembles an amphitheatre. This location is great to see a diverse variety of coral and marine life including black corals and huge, colourful sponges. Waters in this area are warm, with little to no currents at all. The visibility is good and can range up to 30m. This is a great spot for all levels of diver.
Manta Ray Night Dive, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
This dive site often features on top 10 lists all over the world, and is an experience like you’ve never had before. Even if you are a professional diver, make sure you visit this top location.
At this dive site, huge lights have been fastened to the ocean floor, which attracts huge numbers of plankton to the area, and with plankton comes Manta Rays. When observing these gentle giants, make sure that you watch your surroundings as usually they don’t know quite how close they are to you until they’ve knocked you flying, so make sure to duck when you see them coming close. If you get chance to visit Hawaii, then make sure you don’t miss this unbelievable experience off your list.
Koh Tao, Thailand
Koh Tao is one of the best locations for scuba diving, especially if you’re looking for a dive trip that won’t leave you bankrupt. The waters surrounding Koh Tao are crystal clear and teaming with marine life and healthy coral.
If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie and would like to see the giants of the ocean up close, this would be the perfect location to see whale sharks, bull sharks and leopard sharks.
The underwater topography and landscapes surrounding Koh Tao are just beautiful and the colours are spectacular. When travelling to this top dive site, make sure to visit between the months of January to August.
This is a guest post by Torben Lonne – Editor in Chief at DIVEIN.com