The 10 Best Scuba Diving Locations in the World

There is no better way to explore the underwater world of marine animals, shipwrecks, fascinating coral towers, limestone formations and schools of colorful fish than scuba diving. Whether you are a beginner or an expert with decades of experience, the amazing underwater world you can discover around the planet is absolutely mind-blowing. From hammerhead sharks to manta rays to ancient cenotes; these 10 locations around the world are the best of the best.

10. Cozumel, Mexico

Divers will certainly have their choice of dive operators on this island as there are more than 100 offering everything from deep dives, wreck dives, night dives, and underwater photography dives. This world-class diving site offers everything from swim throughs to tunnels to walls of coral to cenotes to sharks to rays. It is best to dive here in the summer when the water temperature is warmer and the hotel prices are cheaper. Cozumel is also known for its incredible visibility and deep dives. Divers can expect up to 100 feet of visibility. There are plenty of dives both for the beginner and advanced but visitors should be aware that the current can be especially strong in some sites and diving experience is recommend for these. With the 600-mile long Maya Reef that stretches from Cozumel to Central America, and boasts an abundance of colorful fish and coral, it is easy to see why Cozumel is a premier diving spot.

Cozumel, Mexico

9. Hawaii, U.S.A

This Pacific paradise attracts divers from all over the world, both beginners and experienced. The remoteness of Hawaii means fewer fish species than waters like the Caribbean, but offers the chance to discover marine life found nowhere else on earth. One of the most popular dives in the world occurs off the island of Kona, the manta ray night dive. Divers descend into the darkness while giant manta rays swim overhead, most describe it is as truly magical. Diving off Lana’I is popular amongst those looking to discover new fish and rare invertebrates while Moloka’i offers divers the chance to catch a glimpse of the rare Hawaiian monk seal and hammerhead sharks. Kaua’i is home to an abundance of collapsed lava tubes and huge green sea turtles that aren’t afraid to get their pictures taken. Divers who are in the water from December to April may be able to hear the song of the humpback whales as they migrate through these waters.

Kauai Sea Turtle

8. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is so large that one can actually see it from space and has been known over the years for being one of the world’s most premier diving spots. It stretches 1,430 miles along Australia’s northeastern coast and offers over 4,000 separate reefs, cays and islands. It could truly take more than a lifetime to explore this entire reef which features over 1,500 species of fish and shipwrecks. It is the world’s largest and healthiest coral reef system that teams with biodiversity and an array of species you won’t find anywhere else. Divers here will come face to face with large sea turtles, reef sharks, sea snakes, barracudas and dolphins. The size and variety of this reef makes it perfect for any type of diver and visitors won’t be hard pressed to find an operator in one of the many seaside towns.

Great Barrier Reef

7. The French Polynesian Islands

It has long been known as a destination for honeymooners and other species of lovebirds, but besides the gorgeous white sand beaches over the water bungalows and framed palm trees lays a world to discover under the water. There are over 118 islands and atolls throughout this vast area and with 11 of them offering diving centers; it is easy to be overwhelmed with choices on where to dive. Fortunately there is an array of varied dives, from the shallow lagoons for beginners to the drop-offs and passes for the advanced divers. Moorea Island is also known as ‘Shark World’ and is famous for its hand-fed shark and stingray dives. The atoll Rangiroa is also known for both its calm lagoon that teems with marine life and it’s thrilling passes that feature sharks, big fish species and turtles. These waters explode with colorful coral, fish, sharks and other marine species that proudly show themselves off. No matter where you dive, this promises to be unforgettable.

Diving French Polynesia

6. Roatan and The Bay Islands, Honduras

This popular diving spot has been attracting divers for decades as it feature amazing shipwrecks and endless colorful coral. It is here that the world’s second largest barrier reef is located and divers will be privy to swimming with eagle rays, schools of colorful fish and the all mighty whale sharks. Utila is where divers will head if they want to swim with these majestic creatures and it is one of the only places year round that the whale sharks can be seen. This destination is inclusive for all levels of divers and whether you are just getting your feet wet, or you have been diving for years, there is an experience here for you unlike anywhere else in the world.

Whale Sharks -Honduras

5. Malaysia

It is blessed with some of the richest waters and diving here offers experiences unlike any other in the world. Sipadan, the little island off the east coast of Borneo is what most divers come to experience. It lies in one of the richest marine habitats in the world and boasts an extremely high number of turtles, grey and whitetip reef sharks, and large schools of bumphead parrotfish, barracuda and trevally. Layang-Layang is another reason to dive in these waters as this little speck of an atoll is fringed by some of the best coral fields in the world along with its huge schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks. Where you want to dive and what you want to see will determine the best time of year to visit these waters as different seasons bring different water conditions.

Diving in Sipadan

4. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

It is where Charles Darwin came up with his theory of evolution, a place where countless mammals, reptiles and birds thrive and its waters are some of the most pristine areas left to dive in this world. These waters work best for experienced divers as currents are strong and conditions are often choppy. The tiny Darwin Island is an excellent choice for divers as the waters are full of fur seals, sea lions, whales, marine turtles, marine iguanas and schools of sharks. Isabela Island, the largest island in the Galapagos is home to penguins that shoot by you, sea lions, sea turtles, and a challenging underwater volcano that is swarming with Galapagos sharks, along with schools of hammerheads and barracudas. July to November is when divers choose to head here as the sharks tend to be the most active and plentiful. These waters deserve at least two weeks to explore and promise to surprise you at every twist and turn.

Diving Galapgos Islands

3. Turks and Caicos

It boasts some of the clearest water in the world and with so many islands that are uninhabited; it makes for a perfect place to escape the crowds of the Caribbean. Turks and Caicos is not only known for its brilliant turquoise water but also for its incredible wall diving. It is here you will dive into the world’s third largest coral reef system and find drops that plunge hundreds of feet into the deep. The Columbus Passage, a 35-kilometer channel that separates the Turks Islands from the Caicos Islands is a water highway for migrating fish, rays, turtles, dolphins and Humpback whales from January through March. With incredibly calm waters and an abundance of marine life, every dive here promises to be thrilling.

Turks and Caicos

2. Belize

Belize is most widely known for its famous dive spot the Blue Hole, an underwater sinkhole that descends over 400 feet. To dive the Blue Hole it is recommend that you are an experienced diver and you are well prepared for this magical experience. The Blue Hole doesn’t teem with colorful fish or coral; in fact the only marine life you might see deep in the depths of this hole is a hammerhead or reef shark. Instead you will dive into an ancient geographical phenomena complete with an array of limestone formations and bizarre stalactites. If you want colorful fish and coral, Belize offers plenty of that along the reef and is home to many species of sharks, rays, barracudas and many species of fish. Belize is known as a destination for the more adventurous divers and you will certainly benefit if you have some experience under your belt before you travel to this country.

Pete Niesen / Shutterstock.com
Pete Niesen / Shutterstock.com

1. The Red Sea, Egypt

For many people, Egypt is known for its incredible above the water attractions and although one should not discount the ancient monuments and pyramids, it is below the water that is the real jewel of the country. Divers here are privy to hundreds of miles of coral, millions of fish, warm water, great visibility, sheltered reefs, walls, coral gardens and wrecks. This destination is also known for having an excellent availability of instructors which makes the Red Sea a perfect spot for learning how to dive. Drift dives are quite common in the Red Sea due to currents as are night dives amongst towering coral and schools of fish. Whale sharks, moray eels, barracudas and tuna are all spotted throughout these waters. The warm water temperature year round makes diving here at anytime an unforgettable experience.

Diving Red Sea, Egypt

10 Must-See Attractions and Landmarks in Africa

Africa is unlike any part of the world you’ve ever experienced. And that’s why more and more adventurous travelers are itching to explore this untapped part of the world. Africa offers something for every type of traveler— archaeologist, history buff, safari enthusiast, mountain climber, and beach bum– Africa promises wild adventures for all.

Here are ten must-see attractions and landmarks that await you in Africa…

1. The Pyramids, Egypt

The Great Pyramids, near Cairo, are world renowned Egyptian icons, pictured in various Hollywood movies. However, these massive tombs are literally the resting places of the mummified remains of Egypt’s dead pharaohs, the sacred resting places leaders of history can continue to receive prayers, food, and other offerings in the afterlife.  The most recognized tombs at this location are that of Pharaoh Khufu (or Pharaoh Cheops) and the great Sphinx, the half-human half-lion monument.

pyramids-egypt-600x360

2. Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Rallying the magnificence of the Grand Canyons in the USA, Fish River Canyon is made up of a 160-kilometer ravine that stretches 27-kilometers wide, with the racing Fish River ravine flows through the heart. The canyon is idyllic for hiking as well as for spotting zebra, wild horses, Kudu antelope, and over 60 different species of birds.

Fish River Canyon, Namibia

3. Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Reaching up a hulking 19,340-feet in the sky, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the entire world. Luckily, tourists can get an exhilarating view of the countryside, wildlife reserves, and glaciers below quite accessibly from Uhuru peak, the mountain’s highest point.

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

4. Victoria Falls, Zambia

Bordering the lush riverbeds on either side of Zambia and Zimbabwe, “Mosi-oa-Tunya,” which translates to “smoke that thunders” is the largest body of falling water on earth. Victoria Falls is something to behold, as is the diverse wildlife that surrounds them. You can even take a refreshing dip in the natural pools on the Zambian side of the falls.

Victoria Falls, Zambia

5. Valley of the Kings, Egypt

Near Luxor, on the west bank of river Nile, lies 63 tombs, containing priceless Egyptian antiquities, known as the Valley of the Kings.  The valley dates back to 500 years between the 16th and 11th centuries BC. It’s most known as the final resting place of Tutankhamun, who was discovered there in 1922.

Tutankhamun, Egypt

6. Okavango Delta in Botswana

A labyrinth of languid lagoons and dreamy lakes, something out of science-fiction-fantasy, can be found stretched out along the Okavango River in Botswana.  The purity and tranquility of the Okavango Delta draws a berth of wildlife that seeks sustenance from this unique water feature in the midst of virtual desert.

Okavango Delta in Botswana

7. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest unspoiled, dry volcanic caldera. It stretches 19-kilometers across and plunges 600-meters deep from rim to floor. Ngorongoro acts as a protective enclosure for over 25,000 of large animals—including black rhinoceros, hippopotamus, wildebeest, zebra, eland, and gazelles—who live on the 260-kilometer crater floor.

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

8. Plains Migration, Maasai Mara to the Serengeti

Those who have witnessed the wildebeest and zebra migrate across the sprawling plains of Maasai Mara in Kenya to the Serengeti in Tanzania, dub it the “greatest wildlife show on earth”. The natural event sees thousands of wildebeest and zebra disembarking to new living quarters before the seasons change between July and September (it differs each year). Safari tours can be purchased to witness the extraordinary, natural event firsthand.

Migration-Serengeti

9. Omo River, Ethiopia

For a real cultural shock, take a tour to the remote Omo River, located in Southwestern Ethiopia. This experience will introduce you to more than 50 indigenous tribes who call this region home. Many of the people’s here remain true to their traditional beliefs and tribal customs and live in primitive African tribal camps.

Omo River, Ethiopia
Dietmar Temps / Shutterstock.com

10. Mountain Gorillas, Virunga Mountains

The Virunga Mountains stretch along the borders of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). But it’s the forests in the area that house a true natural treat! These mountains are home to the endangered mountain gorillas, which you can see perched among the countryside and active volcanic surroundings as you hike up the mountain’s major peaks—Mounts Karisimbii, Nyirangongo, and Nyiragira.

Gorillas, Virunga Mountains