11 Destinations for the Best Scuba Diving in the World

For those who love exploring the underwater world, scuba diving is the ultimate adventure. From colorful coral reefs to sunken shipwrecks, the oceans and seas around the globe are filled with fascinating marine life and breathtaking sights. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, there are countless destinations around the world that offer some of the best scuba diving experiences imaginable. 

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As avid scuba divers and full-time travelers, we’ve had the pleasure of diving in many of the destinations known for the best scuba diving in the world. In this article, we’ve gathered a list of our all time favourites as well as many other best scuba diving destinations to create a complete guide to the best scuba diving in the world. 

Let’s dive in!

Cozumel, Mexico

When to Go: November-June
Certification Level: Open-Water
Water Temperature: 25-29°C (77-85°F )
Depth of Dive Sites: 10 – 40 m (33 – 131 ft)
Visibility: 24-30 m (80-100 feet)
Currents: Low Current

Cozumel shoreline
Cozumel, Mexico
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Cozumel’s beautiful blue waters, good people and diverse marine life make it one of the best scuba diving destination in Mexico. 

The region’s dry season runs from December through April, making for calmer, clearer waters. You can expect dive sites to be busier during these months, with tourist crowds starting to thin out in March. If you’d rather avoid the crowds, but get in before the rainy season really starts up, the months of March through June are optimal for diving.

There are wall sites, caves, and reef sites for all levels of experience, with over 250 species of fish and a variety of other sea creatures, such as turtles, moray eels and bull sharks and nurse sharks.

Best scuba dive sites in Cozumel:

Columbia Deep: With a depth range of 50-90 ft, this wall dive site is popular with intermediate and advanced divers. This is a great spot to see beautiful coral formations, turtles, and schools of colourful fish. Colombia Deep dive site is easily accessible by boat and starts with an abrupt drop-off just after Devil’s Throat.

Palancar Reef: Said to be one of the best scuba diving locations in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, this dive site definitely makes the list of the best diving sites in the world. Palancar Reef can reach depths between 15-35 m (50-115 ft) and is suitable for all experience levels. There are five different dive sites in Palancar, with opportunities to see eagle rays, nurse sharks, and turtles.

Chankanaab Reef: Located in Cozumel’s National Reef Marine Park, this dive site is perfect for beginner divers due to its maximum depth of 40 feet. You can access this site from the shore, and its mild current makes for an easy dive with rays, amberjacks, turtles, and other wildlife.

Diving in Cozumel
Scuba Mau boat on our surface interval in Cozumel
best scuba diving in the world
Loving our dive in Cozumel!

Cozumel diving coral reef

best scuba diving in the world

Where to stay in Cozumel:

Alaya Tulum: The perfect option for those who want to explore the ancient city of Tulum while having access to diving sites in Cozumel. You can quickly get to Cozumel’s scuba diving locations by bus and ferry or rent a bike from the hotel to roam around Tulum. Focused on sustainability, the hotel is built entirely of locally-sourced materials, and the onsite restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients.

Iberostar Cozumel: This all-inclusive beachside resort has its own diving center, offering scuba tours of the second-largest coral reef in the Americas. Its bungalow-style accommodations are situated in a tropical forest, with access to nature walk paths to view the wildlife and onsite gardens. The hotel has eliminated all single-use plastics, and is working towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Onsite restaurants offer meals created with sustainably sourced seafood and local produce.

Allegro Cozumel: A great option for families with children, this resort includes a waterpark and gaming area for teens. Onsite daycare services are available if you want to go scuba diving with Allegro’s own instructors and dive boats. The hotel has banned the use of single-use plastics, drastically decreased unnecessary paper usage, and has installed water refill stations for reusable water bottles. 

READ NEXT: Scuba Diving In Cozumel, Mexico

Sipadan, Malaysia

When to Go: April-December
Certification Level: Open-Water
Water Temperature: 26 – 30°C (79 – 86°F)
Depth of Dive Sites: 5-40 m (16-131ft)
Visibility: 15-30 m ( 60-100 ft)
Currents: High Current

Sipadan Island
Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia

Sipadan is a small island located off the east coast of Malaysian Borneo, and is a destination known for the best scuba diving in the world. One of the main attractions of diving in Sipadan that its home to over 3,000 species of fish, hundreds of kinds of coral as well as large schools of barracuda, jackfish, and other pelagic species.

The diving in Sipadan is suitable for divers of all levels, but it’s particularly popular among experienced divers who are looking for a challenging and rewarding diving experience. The island is protected by a marine park, which means that only a limited number of divers are allowed to dive there each day, helping to preserve the natural beauty and biodiversity of the area.

It’s worth noting that a permit is required to dive at Sipadan, and these permits are only granted to divers who purchase a dive package from one of the certified dive schools in the area. Luckily, there are many other great dive sites in the area worth exploring!

Best scuba dive sites in Sipadan:

Barracuda Point: Barracuda Point is ranked among the world’s top 5 best dive sites making it one of the best diving spots. It takes its name from the barracuda shoal (thousands) that you can often see in a tornado-like formation during your dive. This site has a maximum depth of 40 m and is highly recommended for those who like to drift dive. 

The Drop-off: Is a 600 m tall wall filled with marine life. The dive site is the perfect place to see turtles, sharks, and invertebrates such as ribbon and garden eel, cuttlefish and octopuses. It is very easy to access the site, as it’s located only 10 meters from the beach. 

South Point: This site is great for spotting sharks, eels, and bright coral gardens, located just 15 minute boat ride from Sipadan island. Beware of the strong currents are typical for this site, so it’s not recommended for beginners.

Oksana swimming with jack fish in Sipadan Island. Diving. Sabah. Malaysia. Borneo
Oksana swimming with jack fish at Sipadan island
Green turtle. Diving in Sipadan Island. Sabah. Malaysia. Borneo
Green turtle in Sipadan
Oksana diving in Sipadan Island, best scuba diving in the world
It didn’t feel crowded at all!

Where to stay in Sipadan:

Perfect Hub: This hotel is perfect for those who want access to everything without the price of a resort stay. Located in Semporna, this hotel has private rooms and shared common areas, including a kitchen. While it does not have the amenities that come with an all-inclusive resort, it is close to markets, restaurants, and ferry services to dive sites.

Hua Qiao HomeAnother hotel located in Semporna, Hua Qiao Home offers private rooms or complete villas with private kitchens and terraces. This property has a high sustainability rating, limiting dependence on electricity and eliminating waste where possible. It is very close to the coast, and the hotel can arrange car rentals for guests to explore the area.

READ NEXT: Diving at Sipadan Island in Sabah, Malaysia

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

When to Go: December-May
Certification Level: Advanced Open-Water
Water Temperature: 21-30°C (70-86°F) 
Depth of Dive Sites: 21-34 m (70-114 ft)
Visibility: 12-33 m (40-100 ft)
Currents: High current

ethical wildlife experiences, off the grid vacation, best scuba diving in the world
Birds eye view of the Galapagos Islands.

With over 28 species of sharks (e.g., hammerhead sharks), penguins, humpback whales, marine iguanas, sea lions and the red-lipped batfish (that you can only see here), Ecuador offers a unique experience and one of the world’s best diving.

Even though Galapagos Islands offer dive sites for beginners and intermediates, it’s best suited for those more advanced divers because of the strong current and challenging diving conditions.

While it is possible to take day trips from some of the inhabited islands of the Galapagos to nearby dive sites, many divers choose to embark on a liveaboard diving trip to Wolf and Darwin Islands to experience the incredible underwater world of the Galapagos fully.

Liveaboard trips typically range from four to ten days, and they offer divers the opportunity to explore some of the more remote and pristine dive sites around the islands. The liveaboard dive boats are fully equipped with diving gear, experienced guides, and comfortable accommodations, making it an ideal option for divers who want to spend as much time as possible exploring the underwater world of the Galapagos.

sea lion in Fernandina Island
A sea lion posing for a picture on Fernandina Island in Galapagos

Best Scuba Sive Sites in Galapagos Islands:

El Arco, Darwin Island: You can expect to see schools of hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, and eagle rays at this hectic dive site. While it is a highly rated site, but is only accessible by a liveaboard. 

El Arenal, Darwin Island: With maximum depths of around 36 m and strong currents, this site is best for more advanced divers. The dive site is a habitat for a wide range of beautiful species of marine life, including dolphins, whale sharks, eels, rays and turtles. Accessible only by a liveaboard. 

Roca Redonda, Isabela Island: Located off the northwest tip of Isabela Island, Roca Redonda is a dive site famous for the fumaroles obtained through volcanic activity. During scuba diving, you might encounter sea lions, Galapagos sharks, manta rays and scalloped hammerheads, to name a few.

sharks in galapagos, best scuba diving in the world

galapagos turtles, best scuba diving in the world
Galapagos turtles
best scuba diving in the world
A spotted eagle ray in Galapagos
ethical wildlife experiences
Sea Turtle in the Galapagos

Where to Stay in Galapagos Islands:

Hotel Fiesta: Independently certified for sustainability, this hotel is just 500 ft away from diving centers and a quarter mile from Tortuga Bay. There are beautiful tropical gardens all throughout the property, along with a pool and outdoor lounging and open-air dining areas.

Ikala Galapagos Hotel: This beautifully appointed hotel has an intent focus on sustainability, with rainwater collection systems, energy efficient designs, and dependance on solar energy. During construction, the builders took care to preserve the massive mango, acacia, and coconut palm trees that are still on the grounds today. The onsite restaurant sources ingredients from local producers and offers vegetarian options. 

READ NEXT: Best Time To Visit The Galapagos Islands

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

When to Go: October-May
Certification Level: Open-Water
Water Temperature: 27-30°C (80-86°F)
Depth of Dive Sites: 10- 40 m (33- 131 ft)
Visibility: 9-21 m (30-70 ft)
Currents: Strong

Our spent on raja ampat diving
Aerial view of Raja Ampat

With over 1500 small islands that form the Raja Ampat archipelago, the dive site is one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. One of the highlights of diving in Raja Ampat is the opportunity to explore the area’s stunning coral gardens, which are home to an incredible array of marine creatures. Divers can also explore underwater caves, swim-throughs, and steep drop-offs, making for a thrilling and unforgettable diving experience.

Diving in Raja Ampat is suitable for divers of all levels, although some of the dive sites may have strong currents and other challenging conditions. Dive operators in the area typically offer a range of diving packages, including liveaboard trips and day trips, making it easy for divers to choose the option that best suits their needs and budget.

Overlooking the islands of Raja Ampat, Indonesia, off the grid vacation
Overlooking the islands of Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Best Scuba Dive Sites in Raja Ampat:

Cape Kri: Cape Kri offers one of the most diverse diving experiences globally and holds the record for the most fish species you can see in one dive. We think that the beauty of Cape Kri will show you why Indonesia is one of the best scuba diving destinations.

Misool Island: Home to colourful soft corals, Misool Island is a paradise for underwater photographers. The mandarin fish, crinoid shrimp, and arrowhead crabs are just a few of the marine life you can spot during a single dive, making Misool Island one of the best dive destinations for beginners and experienced divers.

Melissa’s Garden: This dive site gets its name from the abundance of hard and soft corals, and the vibrant coral reefs also host an extensive array of small marine life.

Asia Indonesia Raja Ampat diving 0150503
Diving in Raja Ampat

Asia Indonesia Raja Ampat Papua Paradise diving 00821

Diving at Papua Paradise Eco Resort, Raja Ampat

Asia Indonesia Raja Ampat diving 03477

Where to Stay in Raja Ampat:

With so many islands and dive spots only accessible by boat, divers can maximize their experience by staying on a Liveaboard. With expert divers, trained naturalists, and all necessary equipment on board, a Liveaboard excursion is the best way to get the most of your visit to Raja Ampat.

Papua Paradise Eco Resort is a boutique resort located on Birie Island, one of the many beautiful islands in Raja Ampat. The resort features 16 comfortable bungalows set amongst lush tropical gardens, all with stunning views of the ocean. It also offers a range of diving packages, with access to some of the best dive sites in the region, as well as a variety of other activities, including kayaking, birdwatching, and cultural tours. Papua Paradise Eco Resort is also committed to sustainability and conservation, with eco-friendly practices and a focus on responsible tourism.

Alter Native Stay: Owned and operated by PapuArts, this traditionally built homestay offers diving, birding tours, trips to nearby villages, and more. Built with responsibly sourced and recycled materials, this all-inclusive resort offers meals created with organic produce from an onsite garden and other ingredients sourced from local village farmers.

READ NEXT: Guide to Raja Ampat Diving in Indonesia

Komodo Island, Indonesia

When to Go: April-November
Certification Level: Open-Water
Water Temperature: 27-28°C (81-82°F)
Depth of Dive Sites: 10-30 m (32-98 ft)
Visibility: 20-30 m (66-100 ft)
Currents: Strong

Indonesia Komodo Liveaboard 5148 1

Komodo is an archipelago located in Indonesia, consisting of three main islands: Komodo, Rinca, and Padar. The area is famous for its population of Komodo dragons, the world’s largest living lizard species. 

Aside from being home to a famous population of Komodo Dragons, the archipelago is also known to have some of the best scuba diving in the world. 

The Komodo National Park is home to over 1,000 species of fish and 260 species of coral, as well as a variety of large marine animals such as manta rays, sharks, and turtles. There are more than 50 dive sites in Komodo National Park, each offering a unique underwater experience. These dive sites range in difficulty from beginner-friendly to advanced and are home to a diverse range of marine life and underwater landscapes. 

Divers in Komodo can also take part in liveaboard trips, which offer the opportunity to visit multiple dive sites and explore the beautiful islands and beaches of the Komodo National Park. It is also possible to arrange day trips to dive in Komodo from the port town of Labuan Bajo.

Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Best Scuba Dive Sites in Komodo:

Manta Point: located in the southern part of the park, this dive site offers visitors the chance to observe the majestic manta rays. The dive site is characterized by a deep, sandy bottom with a few scattered rocks and coral heads. Manta Point is known for its strong currents, which in turn attracts manta rays. The manta rays can be seen all year round, but the best time to visit is between December and February when the water is cooler, and the plankton density is higher.

Batu Bolong: another popular dive site in Komodo National Park, known for its stunning underwater topography and diverse marine life. The site features a towering rock pinnacle that drops down to a depth of more than 70 meters. The strong currents here attract a wide variety of marine life, including schools of fish, sea snakes, reef sharks, turtles, and even manta rays. The site is suitable for experienced divers due to its strong currents and depth.

Tatawa Besar: The site is characterized by a sloping reef covered in colorful soft and hard corals, home to many small critters such as nudibranchs, shrimp, and crabs. Divers can also expect to see larger marine life such as reef sharks, turtles, and schools of fish. The site is suitable for divers of all levels, making it a popular destination for both beginners and experienced divers.

Max & Oksana diving in Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia

Batu Balong, Komodo National Park
Batu Balong, Komodo National Park
Indonesia Komodo 4782
Batu Bolong, Diving in Komodo National Park

Where to stay in Komodo:

The best way to experience Komodo is on a liveaboard scuba diving trip, but those with limited time or budget can still enjoy the highlights of Komodo by staying on land. In addition to dive tours, these packages offer land excursions, kayaking, paddle boarding, and even spa services.

Plataran Komodo Resort & Spa: This luxury resort is located on a secluded beach in Labuan Bajo, offering stunning views of the ocean and nearby islands. It has its own PADI-certified dive center and offers a range of diving packages and courses.

Ayana Komodo ResortThis resort is situated on Waecicu Beach and has its own private pier, providing easy access to dive sites. It offers spacious rooms and suites, multiple restaurants, and a spa.

Komodo Resort: Considered to be one of the top 10 dive resorts in the world, Komodo Resort offers seafront bungalows, a large fleet of excursion boats, and highly experienced dive guides. The resort was built with a focus on sustainability and harmony with the island, relying on solar power and using responsibly sourced building materials. 

READ NEXT: Diving In Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize 

When to Go: April-June
Certification Level: Advanced Open-Waters
Water Temperature: 26 – 28°C (79 – 84°F)
Depth of Dive Sites: 5 – 40m (16 – 130ft)
Visibility: 25 – 30m (82 – 100ft)
Currents: None

Lighthouse Reef Atoll 1
Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 as part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, the Lighthouse Reef Atoll is a world-class diving destination located off the coast of Belize, in the Caribbean Sea. It’s highly famous for the Blue Hole, a large underwater sinkhole that is approximately 300 meters across and over 120 meters deep, with crystal-clear water that provides excellent visibility for divers.

The walls of the sinkhole are covered in unique and colorful coral formations, and divers can expect to see a wide variety of marine life, including sharks, rays, and other colorful fish. 

Best Scuba Dive Sites in Belize:

Blue hole: This site is located on the eastern wall of the Great Blue Hole and features stunning vertical formations that are covered in colorful sponges, corals, and sea fans. 

One of the highlights of diving in the Great Blue Hole is the opportunity to see the unique geological formations that can be found on the walls of the sinkhole. Divers can also encounter a variety of marine life, including Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, giant groupers, and a variety of colorful tropical fish. We also heard about some really cool manta ray night dive experiences here. 

Half Moon Caye Wall: This dive site is located near the Half Moon Caye Island and features a series of deep walls that are teeming with marine life, including reef sharks, turtles, and eagle rays.

Long Caye Wall: This site is located near the Long Caye Island and features a series of vertical walls that are covered in an abundance of creatures, including colorful fish, sponges, and corals.

Great Blue Hole Lighthouse Reef Atoll
The Great Blue Hole in Belize

Lighthouse Reef Atoll

Where to Stay in Belize:

Itza LodgeItza Lodge is an eco-friendly lodge located near the Great Blue Hole in Belize. The lodge uses solar energy and offers comfortable accommodations in a natural setting. Itza Lodge also offers guided tours to the Great Blue Hole and other nearby attractions.

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort: Hamanasi is an eco-friendly resort located in Hopkins, Belize, which is about a 2-hour drive from the Great Blue Hole. The resort features sustainable practices, including the use of solar energy and rainwater harvesting. Hamanasi offers a variety of activities, including snorkeling and diving trips to the Great Blue Hole.

Turneffe Island Resort: Turneffe Island Resort is an eco-friendly resort located on a private island in Belize, near the Turneffe Atoll. The also use solar energy and offers a variety of eco-tours and activities, including diving trips to the Great Blue Hole.

Ningaloo Reef, Australia

When to Go: year-round
Certification Level: Open-Water
Water Temperature: 18 -24°C (64-75°F)
Depth of Dive Sites: 15 m (49 ft)
Visibility: 5-20 m (16-65 ft)
Currents: Low

Salis Lodge, Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, WA
Salis Lodge, Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, WA

Located on the northwest coast of Western Australia, Ningaloo Reed is one of the world’s largest fringing coral reefs. The reef is home to a diverse range of marine life, including over 500 species of fish, sea turtles, manta rays, tiger sharks and whale sharks. It’s a destination suitable fore beginners and also those keen to dive with their own gear – shore dives are plentiful here! 

One of the highlights of diving in Ningaloo Reef is the opportunity to encounter whale sharks. These gentle giants are the largest fish in the world. You can see them in the Ningaloo Reef between March and July, during the whale shark season. 

With a maximum depth of 15 m (49ft) and excellent diving conditions all year round, Ningaloo Reef is one of the best scuba diving in the world spots for beginners. In our opinion, the Ningaloo Reef is just as impressive or even more impressive than the famous Great Barrier Reef.

Responsible Guide to Visiting Exmouth, WA

Best Scuba Dive Sites in Ningaloo Reef:

Lighthouse Bay: With a maximum depth of around 12-14 m, this dive site is the perfect choice for a beginner diver. The location offers various fish species and shelters anemones and pink anemone fish, making it the ideal place to discover new wildlife.

Navy Pier: A former naval dockyard that is now a marine sanctuary, Navy Pier is a popular dive site located on the western side of Exmouth Gulf, on the northwest coast of Western Australia. It was originally built as a naval pier in the 1960s, but it’s now a protected marine sanctuary, making it a unique dive site. The pier is home to a diverse range of marine life, including a variety of fish, turtles, octopuses, and sharks. Due to its depth and sheltered location, the pier offers excellent diving conditions year-round, making it a popular destination for divers of all levels.

Muiron Island: Muiron Islands is a group of two small islands located in the Ningaloo Marine Park, off the coast of Western Australia. The islands offer some of the best diving opportunities in Ningaloo Reef, with pristine coral gardens, walls, and swim-throughs. Divers can encounter a wide variety of marine life, including reef sharks, manta rays, turtles, and colorful tropical fish. The dive sites at Muiron Islands are suitable for all levels of divers, with shallow reef tops and deeper walls and caves for more experienced divers. You can reach the islands by boat from Exmouth or Coral Bay. It’s a must-visit destination for divers exploring Ningaloo Reef.

Swimming with Whalesharks at Ningaloo Reef

Turtle cleaning station at the Labyrinth dive site. Lighthouse Bay. Ningaloo Reef. Exmouth. Western Australia
Turtle cleaning station at the Labyrinth dive site. Lighthouse Bay. Ningaloo Reef
Wobbegong Shark at Lighthouse Bay dive site in Ningaloo Reef. Western Australia
Wobbegong Shark at Lighthouse Bay dive site in Ningaloo Reef
Responsible Guide to Visiting Exmouth, WA
Turtle and a school of fish in Ningaloo Reef

Where to stay in Australia:

Sal Salis: Sal Salis is a luxury eco-camp located within the Cape Range National Park, which is adjacent to Ningaloo Reef on the northwest coast of Western Australia. The camp is situated right on the beach and offers stunning views of the Indian Ocean. Thoughtfully constructed to prevent soil erosion, the resort relies entirely on solar power, restricts water usage, and is committed to limiting non-organic waste. Sal Salis offers a range of activities, including snorkeling and diving on Ningaloo Reef, as well as kayaking, hiking, and wildlife watching.

Potshot Hotel Resort: Located in the heart of Ningaloo, Potshot Hotel Resort is the perfect accommodation for your scuba diving trip. The resort has an outdoor pool that you can relax in after a day of scuba diving and offers both a restaurant and a shared kitchen area for guests..

READ NEXT: Sustainable Guide To Visiting Ningaloo Reef

Red Sea, Egypt 

When to Go: March-May, September-November
Certification Level: Open-Water
Water Temperature: 21-29°C (70- 84°F)
Depth of Dive Sites: 5-30m (16-131ft)
Visibility: 60m (200 ft)
Currents: Strong

red sea, best scuba diving in the world
Red Sea, Egypt

The Egyptian Red Sea is a popular destination for diving, with crystal clear waters, abundant marine life, and colourful coral reefs. Located between Africa and Asia, the Red Sea is home to over 1,200 species of fish and 10% of the world’s coral reefs.

Diving in the Red Sea offers a range of diving experiences, from shallow coral gardens to deep wrecks and drift dives. You’ll probably see hammerhead sharks, giant sea turtles, and dolphins among the sea life during your dives in the Red Sea.

dugong in red sea, best scuba diving in the world
A Dugong in Red Sea, Egypt

Best Scuba Dive Sites in Egypt:

SS Thistlegorm: Offers some of the best wreck diving in the world thanks to a British cargo ship that was sunk by German bombers in 1941. The wreck is in good condition, and you can catch a glimpse of the WWII era cargo that never made it to shore, like military tanks, jeeps, and rifles. 

Abu Nuhas wrecks: With its triangular shape projecting into the shipping channel, Shaab Abu Nuhas Reef brought bad luck to the passing ships. On the ocean floor lie five shipwrecks, also known as the Abu Nuhas wrecks. The dive site is home to octopi and giant moray eels and are famous wreck dives in Egypt. 

Ras Mohammed National Park: The dive site has one of the best diving in the world through its varied marine wildlife. The first national park in Egypt hosts over 220 species of corals, over 1,000 species of fish, and 215 other marine creatures such as starfish, crustaceans and sea urchins.

red sea shipwreck, best scuba diving in the world
Shipwreck in Red Sea, Egypt
red sea, best scuba diving in the world
Coral reefs in the Red Sea
shipwreck in abu nuhas, best scuba diving in the world
Giannis D wreck in Abu Nuhas, Red Sea

Where to stay in Egypt:

Le Meridien Dahab Resort: Recognized for its efforts in sustainability, Le Meridien Dahab is located in the center of Sinai and overlooks the Gulf of Aqaba. The convenient location offers quick access to dive operators and popular dive sites.

Tropitel Dahab Oasis: Another resort known for its sustainable practices, Tropitel Dahab Oasis has its own private beach and is just five minutes away from the famous Blue Hole diving site. The onsite diving center offers lessons and guided dives in popular spots. The hotel has direct access to The Canyon, a dive site with colorful coral formations and a large variety of fish.

Palau:

When to Go: October-May
Certification Level: Intermediate to advanced Open-Water
Water Temperature: 28 – 30°C (82-86°F)
Depth of Dive Sites: 5m – 40m (16-131 ft)
Visibility: 15m – 35m (49-114 ft)
Currents: Moderate to strong

palau from above, best scuba diving in the world
Palau Islands from Above

Palau is a small island nation located in the western Pacific Ocean, known for its incredible scuba diving opportunities. The waters around Palau are home to a diverse range of marine life, teeming with hundreds of species of fish, sharks, dolphins, and turtles, as well as vibrant coral gardens and fascinating underwater landscapes.

The varied marine life of Palau brings scuba divers from all over the world. However, the moderate to strong currents and the depth of the diving spots make the destination more suitable to intermediate to advanced scuba divers.

best scuba diving in the world
Beach in Palau

Best Dive Sites in Palau:

Blue Corner: One of the most well-known dive destinations globally, Blue Corner is home to gorgonian fans, soft coral reefs, anemones, and eels. Towards the bottom depths, you might see some white tip and gray reef sharks.

German Channel: The dive site earned its name from the German miners that created the channel during the early 20th century. Since then, coral formations have made navigation difficult for ships, but provided a habitat for wildlife. During a dive in the German Channel, you’ll see colourful corals, giant manta rays and gray reef sharks. 

Ulong Channel: Because of its strong currents, the Ulong Channel is a popular drift diving site. You’ll see colorful corals, schools of snapper and batfish along with rays and gray reef sharks. With the abundant schools of fish, this site is famous as a shark-feeding spot.

sea anemone in Palau, best scuba diving in the world
Find Nemo!

fishes in palau, best scuba diving in the world

palau, best scuba diving in the world
Manta rays in Palau

Where to stay in Palau:

Palau Royal Resort: This highly rated beachside resort has been recognized for its efforts in sustainability and offers great amenities. The onsite tour desk can arrange diving excursions and sightseeing tours of the area, and is within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and cafes.

Palau Central Hotel: Located at the heart of Koror, this boutique hotel has been recently renovated with responsibly sourced materials. Single-use plastics is not available throughout the hotel. Instead, eco-friendly toiletries are provided. While it is not located directly on the beach, it is still within easy reach of the island’s main dive sites, so you have quick access to dive operators, jungle boat tours, and a lively night market.

Thailand:

When to Go: October-May
Certification Level: Open-Water
Water Temperature: 26-30˚C (79-86˚F)
Depth of Dive Sites: 5 to 40 m (16-131 ft)
Visibility: 30 m (100 ft).
Currents: Strong

koh tao, best scuba diving in the world
Koh Tao, Thailand

Thanks to its warm waters, stunning coral reefs, and abundant marine life, Thailand the last but certainly not least popular scuba destinations on this list. 

With great visibility, beautiful reefs, and abundant marine life, Thailand boasts over 349 named sites and dive locations to choose from. The island offers a range of dive sites suitable for all levels of divers, from beginners to experienced professionals.

similan islands, best scuba diving in the world
Similan Island

Best Scuba Dive Sites in Thailand:

Similan Island: A group of nine islands located in the Andaman Sea, known for its stunning coral reefs and diverse marine life, including whale sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles. Colorful coral gardens and deep rock gorges make for a beautiful diving experience.. The various species of sharks, the hard and soft coral reef and the excellent diving conditions make the Similan Islands one of the top diving destinations.

Koh Tao: A small island in the Gulf of Thailand, famous for its affordable dive courses and an abundance of marine life, including schools of colorful reef fish, barracudas, and reef sharks. This is a popular destination for beginners with plenty of PADI Certified dive schools on the island. 

Chumphon Pinnacle: A large granite pinnacle located in the Gulf of Thailand, known for its diverse marine life, including schools of barracudas and trevally, as well as sightings of whale sharks and manta rays.

Diving, Koh Tao, best scuba diving in the world
Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

diving in koh tao, best scuba diving in the world

Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand, best scuba diving in the world
Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand, best scuba diving in the world

Where to stay in Thailand:

Khaolak Merlin Resort: Khaolak Merlin Resort is a popular hotel located in Khao Lak, which is a great base for diving in Thailand. While Khaolak Merlin Resort is not a dedicated diving resort, it still offers a range of amenities and services that make it a good choice for divers. Deeply invested in eco-friendly practices, this resort has a graywater treatment system, restricts non-organic waste, and works with local organizations to preserve ecosystems surrounding the property. The resort offers jungle tours and spa treatments, and staff will help you arrange a dive excursion.

Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort is a 4-star resort located on the eastern coast of Phi Phi Island. The resort features a private beach surrounded by lush tropical gardens, providing a peaceful and relaxing setting for guests. The resort offers a range of accommodation options, including private villas and bungalows, all of which are designed to blend in with the natural environment.

READ NEXT: Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

Even though this list includes only some of the best scuba diving spots in the world, and the list could go on, we hope that we have sparked an interest in the best places to dive. Whether you go to Mexico, the Red Sea, or Thailand, we hope our article will help you get the most out of your next dive trip and inspire you to dive more often. Did you decide where you will go scuba diving next?

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