Top 32 Best Scuba diving in the World
Scuba dive is one of the most prevalent activities in the world, which is why it comes as no surprise that divers are on the lookout for new destinations.
Every year, we discover new diving destinations around the globe and people scramble to make their way to these places. The best diving locations in the world are not only great for underwater exploration, but they also offer a unique experience in the water.
Many of these destinations offer stunning landscapes and natural beauty that make your dives even more memorable. There is no better way to start this list than with tropical islands and clear waters.
What is scuba diving?
Scuba meaning is a process in which individual breaths underwater using a self-contained breathing apparatus device (scuba). What do scuba divers breathe? They use their breathing gas, compressed air, which allows them to move freely underwater and travel for extended periods without resupply from the surface. They breathe a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, and helium. The higher the pressure, the deeper you go, and that pressure requires you to use the proper mixture of these gases so your lungs can breathe comfortably. The combination is determined by how far you intend to travel.
There is proper training and certification to dive for divers to follow safety procedures, but most people get this training before they dive on their own.
Underwater diving without breathing apparatus is possible using other methods, but scuba provides the greatest freedom in movement. The most important aspect of scuba diving is the location and traveling is the new trend and if you want to travel in luxury, then plunging underwater is the best choice.
So, the next question is, are you an experienced diver who is looking for a new location to dive? If so, then this article will interest you.
The 31 Best Places to Scuba Dive In The World
Many divers have a dream of exploring the most famous, exotic locations in the world. This year is going to be a special one for you! Let’s look at our dive guide of the Top 31 Diving Spots in the World!
Table of Contents:
- Blue Corner Wall, Palau, Micronesia
- The Yongala, Australia
- Thistlegorm, Egypt
- Shark and Yolanda Reef, Egypt
- Manta Ray Night Dive, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
- Great Blue Hole, Belize
- USAT Liberty, Bali, Indonesia
- Navy Pier, Western Australia
- Wolf And Darwin Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
- South Pass, Fakarava, French Polynesia
- Anemone City, Alor, Indonesia
- Richelieu Rock, Andaman Sea, Thailand
- Tiger Beach, Grand Bahama, Bahamas
- Roca Partida, Socorro, Mexico
- Blue Heron Bridge, Florida, USA
- Cape Kri, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
- Rapid Bay Jetty, South Australia, Australia
- Apo Island, Dumaguete, Philippines
- Los Islotes, La Paz, Mexico
- Barracuda Point, Sipadan, Malaysia
- Mellow Yellow, Vatu-I-Ra, Fiji
- Bajo Alcyone, Cocos Island, Costa Rica
- The Boiler, Socorro, Mexico
- Magic Mountain, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
- Dinah’s Beach/Lauadi, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea
- Batu Bolong, Komodo, Indonesia
- Big Brother, Egypt
- The Similan Islands, Andaman Sea, Thailand
- Cenote Angelita–Tulum, Mexico
- Sardine Run–Agulhas Bank, South Africa
- Silfra Fissure–Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
Now that we named these islands, let’s see more of the details!
The Top 9 Best Diving Spots In Asia:
Diving in Asia presents several unique opportunities for underwater exploration. Asian waters are home to some of the best diving destinations in the world. Although it’s possible to dive in almost any body of water, some areas offer divers more opportunities for exploration than others.
Amazing coral reefs, beautiful oceans, exotic marine life, and plenty of water sports are only some reasons to make Asia your next scuba diving destination.
1. Liberty Wreck–Bali, Indonesia
The USS Liberty wreck dive location is about 40 meters from the shore, with its bow pointing north. This wreck is roughly three meters deep at its shallowest point, and nearly 30-meters deep at its deepest point, where parts of the superstructure and debris can be found scattered on the sandy bottom. Some of the Liberty’s port side and hull have been buried by sand in the shallows, but the vertical remains of the deck and structural system, as well as parts of the engine room, hold, and bow section, can all be traversed.
This place is well known by both professional and amateur divers because it is an easy dive for beginners and advanced divers alike.
Because of its large presence, Liberty is one of the most crowded diving sites in Bali. This is best dived by staying in or near Tulamben and arriving early in the morning when visibility is usually better and day-trippers from the south of Bali have yet to arrive. By 10 a.m., Liberty is crowded, so it’s best to dive one of the other sites in the area before returning for a late afternoon or night dive once the site has quieted down. Be careful when navigating the wreckage as some areas are very dark.
2. Anemone City, Alor, Indonesia
Anemone City is a shallow reef located in Alor, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. This dive location is only recommended for experienced divers due to the current and surge. The topography varies from sand patches to rock formations. Fish life is abundant, with schools of fish, rays, and turtles scattered throughout the area. If you are lucky you may see a Napoleon Wrasse or even a Mola Mola that comes up to the surface to feed off the plankton attracted by the lights at night time.
This site is about 25 meters deep, with visibility ranging from 10 to 20 meters, and is famous for being home to thousands of anemones. Rhinopias, the holy grail of fish, is also found in Alor. Something about the conditions in this area makes it one of the best places in the world to see this rare fish.
There are several scuba dive locations where they are likely to be found. Kalabahi Bay is one such area. This bay is where you will find Alor’s fantastic muck diving. Along with Rhinopias, we’ll be looking for octopus, frogfish, ghost pipefish, squid, cuttlefish, strange and wonderful shrimps, and nudibranchs galore! Inside Kalabahi, the dive spots are Mucky Mosque, Rocky Church, and Pertamina Jetty.
It’s the perfect place to get up close and personal with one of the ocean’s most beautiful creatures.
3. Richelieu Rock, Andaman Sea, Thailand
The Richelieu Rock is one of the top 10 dive locations in Thailand. It’s a small rock of the Andaman Sea, about 4 hours south of Phuket, close to the border with Malaysia. And with the formation is a part of the Phi Phi Islands in Krabi, Thailand. Richelieu Rock is home to beginner and intermediate-level divers.
There are two dives locations at Richelieu Rock. The first one is about 1000 meters east of the rock, near the border of Malaysia. Secondly, the one is much closer to the rock itself, and it’s a brilliant spot for inexperienced divers. A few minutes from the shore, you’ll find a beautiful reef inhabited by a lot of tropical fish, eels, and even turtles.
Thailand is more of a wide-angle location, showcasing vibrant reefs and migratory action. However, if you delay things, you’ll be shocked at what macro life you may find. At any given time, Richelieu appears to have a combination of exquisite harlequin shrimps, as well as highly patterned baroque ghost pipefish. Another common sighting is tiger tail seahorses, and a resident gigantic frogfish has made Richelieu it is home for the whole 2020–21 season. Tiger cowries can always be found on gorgonian corals, peacock mantis shrimp can be found scuttling around, and a vast variety of nudibranchs, provide enough life to keep most macro fans satisfied.
4. Magic Mountain, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Diving at Magic Mountain in Raja Ampat, Indonesia is one of the most incredible experiences in the world. The dive location is a small island with a mountain rising from the center.
On the north side of this mountain, several caves and tunnels drop from the surface to over 90 feet deep. Here are several large underwater caverns that form between these tunnels and caves which are home to many types of marine life, including sharks, rays, and eels.
Raja Ampat, which translates to “Four Kings” in Indonesian, is a globe marine park known for being the epicenter of marine biodiversity. This park spans a huge area, with a distance of around 170 nautical miles between its northern and southern boundaries. It would be feasible to dive for weeks on end and not see the same locations.
The North, Central, and Southern Sections of Raja Ampat can be separated into three sections. This heritage region is one of a kind, with spectacular beauty both above and below the sea, making it a must-see for divers and nature enthusiasts alike.
As long as you swim through these caverns, you can see all three creatures in their natural habitat.
5. Batu Bolong, Komodo, Indonesia
Almost every diver who travels to Asia dreams of diving in Komodo. The experience here is unlike practically anywhere else on the planet. Mother Nature’s work, with the rich marine life and terrain of the 50 or more dive spots, is the cause for this. Not to mention the magnificent Komodo Dragons, which are frequently seen on a half-day hike on your Komodo diving liveaboard safari.
Diving at Batu Bolong is a unique experience. It is a beach dive, and the water visibility is great. The seabed has a magnificent array of corals and marine life, including many species of nudibranchs, octopus, shrimp, and crabs, some of which are only found here.
There are more colorful fish to see, and the coral garden is very healthy. This is a place where the coast drops into a deep canyon and you can dive to a depth of 40 meters or more. They cover the walls of the canyon with soft coral and colorful fish, and you can see sharks swimming around.
Everything you see insight is excellent! There are two main reasons for the region’s seismic and volcanic activity, as well as the nature of the topography above and below the surface. The Ring of Fire is located in this portion of the Earth, and the earth’s plates have been shifting for millions of years, triggering earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
As a result, energy-rich rock and sediment are abundant, allowing life to thrive. And, as previously said, the surrounding deep water on either side of the canal in which Komodo is located means that large amounts of cool deep seawater pass through daily. This opens up even more opportunities for aquatic life to thrive and diversify.
6. The Similan Islands, Andaman Sea, Thailand
The Similan Islands (or “Similan” as it is also known) is a chain of 9 islands in the Andaman Sea, located off the coast of Thailand’s Phang Nga province, about 70 kilometers northeast of Phuket. These world-renowned islands, 30 miles off the coast of southern Thailand, run north-south in the Andaman Sea. Mu Ko Similan National Park encompasses the nine islands of the archipelago, as well as Ko Bon and Ko Tachai to the north, and covers an area of around 87 square miles.
The manta rays and whale sharks that frequent the warm seas from December to April each year are the true draws. Outside of these months, however, the diving remains fantastic, with medium-sized species patrolling the busy reefs and abundant macro hidden amid the gorgeous hard corals. Liveaboards in the Similan Islands provide an incredible experience.
Similans are the best-known scuba dive spots in Thailand and one of the world’s top ten diving destinations. These Islands comprise limestone and granite and house 36 hard corals, and many species of fish such as Manta Ray, whale shark, and barracuda. And, the water temperature is about 28°C and has good visibility.
Sharks such as blacktip and whitetip reef sharks, zebra sharks, and leopard sharks can all be found here. Schools of barracuda, giant trevally, and Napoleon wrasse are all common visitors, as are blue-spotted ribbon tail rays and spotted eagle rays rushing across the beach.
The waters around the Similan Islands are home to four different kinds of marine turtles, with the beaches of Ko Huyong, Ko Phayang, and Ko Payam (also known as Islands 1, 2, and 3) being important turtle nesting locations for the leatherback and olive ridley turtles. When exploring the outer atolls, divers are frequently accompanied by green or hawksbill turtles. With rainbow nudibranchs, pipefish, scorpionfish, and small octopuses, the critter life is no less interesting. If you want to know more about the Thailand islands you can follow this link.
7. Apo Island, Dumaguete, Philippines
Apo Island or Apo Reef is a Philippine island in the middle of Leyte Gulf. It is part of the municipality of Apo, in the province of Negros Oriental. It is one of the three principal islands in the Apo Reef Natural Park, which is administered under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. As part of Dumaguete, also known as “the City of Gentle People,” is a tiny town in the Philippines with a population of roughly 120,000 people. This welcoming resort is suitable for those looking to combine outstanding muck diving with the opportunity to learn about Filipino culture.
Dumaguete is famous for its muck diving and critter life, but it also has beautiful reefs and passing pelagics such as barracuda, turtles, sea snakes, schools snappers, and jacks.
Apo Reef is one of the best dive locations on Apo Island. It is a drop-off that will make this diving destination more interesting. It has a high diversity of marine life and coral because there are different levels in the reef. You can see sharks, turtles, groupers, barracudas, cuttlefish, and octopuses here.
The water temperature is usually 27.5C/81F, however, it can decrease to around 25C/77F in January and February. A 3mm complete wetsuit with boots is recommended for diving. After several days of recurrent diving, many divers choose to wear light gloves and, on rare occasions, a hood. Bring a light rain jacket and plenty of sun protection.
Visibility: 30-40 feet near Dauin, 60-80 feet at Apo Island
The weather of Dumaguete is divided into two seasons: dry and wet. Meanwhile, the average maximum temperature is 34.3 degrees Celsius, with a minimum temperature of 22.9 degrees Celsius.
8. Cape Kri, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Cape Kri is a beautiful diving spot located in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. It is often called “The Wall” because it has a steep wall dropping down to around 150 meters in depth. The wall is covered with soft corals and large sponges, some of them reaching up to 2m in diameter. It’s wide-ranging, it’s teeming with fish, and the visibility has been excellent on the majority of dives here (even in the off-season). Simply go here!!!
The coral garden is a marine life dream and features Manta Rays, Sharks, Barracudas, and giant trevallies. It has a record-setting of 374 different species of fish. Even though we had a light current, the changes in direction are difficult and require a lot of concentration. Bumphead Parrotfish and reef sharks, as well as an amazing bed of colorful soft corals and Redtooth Triggerfish, were the reward.
Cape Kri, which holds the world record for the most referenced species in a single dive, has earned a spot on many divers’ bucket lists. The diversity and abundance of fish at Kri Island’s easternmost point must be seen to be believed. It is so immense that it is incredible, with uncommon and unusual underwater species in every direction. Many new species have been identified throughout the archipelago in recent years.
The convergence of many currents on the island of Kri’s tip has resulted in an incredible diversity of wildlife and flora. This diving location in Raja Ampat will not disappoint its tourists.
9. Barracuda Point, Sipadan, Malaysia
The Barracuda Point near Sipadan Island is a spectacular diving location with an abundance of marine life and coral reefs. This name generally gives you a hint, and you are not going to be let down. It is well known as the ‘tornado’ of swirling barracuda frequently witnessed at the spot, which is located on a reef point close to the jetty, is well-known.
As you dove into the water between the reef and what could only be described as a barracuda curtain. Tropical fish swim in large schools and you can observe them even at 10 meters depth. You may also see some manta rays, which usually hang out on top of the water. Touching a stingray is one of the most unforgettable feelings for diving enthusiasts who have had the chance to be close to one.
This dive location is out of the way and a little difficult to get to. There are only a handful of dive resorts on the island, and no hotels. We stayed at Mabul Resort, which has an excellent dive operation.
The coral reefs are divided into two areas – upper reef and lower reef and both are teeming with marine life. As you go deeper, you will discover that the colors of their inhabitants become more vivid, just like in a kaleidoscope. You’ll find a multitude of macro-life, from nudibranchs and hairy-squat lobsters to lionfish and moray eels, if you can pull your gaze away from the blue for a few minutes and stare at the wall. At Barracuda, you can regularly see octopus in the channel, as well as scorpion leaf fish in the shallows near South Point. Sipadan, in short, has something for everyone, from coastal divers to comparatively tiny hunters.
The best time to see them is from April to October when they come here to mate.