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20 Amazing Destinations With the Best Scuba Diving in the World

Wonderful underwater life of Raja Ampat the last paradise
Wonderful underwater life of Raja Ampat the last paradise( Source : instagram )

Top Scuba Diving destination includes Misool Boo Rocks, Apo Reef, Tiger Beach, and 1000 Steps. Diving is best with coral reefs and turquoise water.

Discover the mesmerizing underwater world and embark on thrilling adventures in some of the most remarkable scuba diving destinations across the globe.

These enchanting locations offer a gateway to a world brimming with vibrant marine life, captivating coral reefs, and awe-inspiring underwater landscapes.

Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of renowned spots like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, home to a kaleidoscope of marine species. Explore the mystical cenotes of Mexico, where submerged caves and caverns unveil hidden treasures. 

Delve into the exotic depths of the Maldives, teeming with colorful coral gardens and graceful manta rays.

Get ready for an unforgettable exploration as below we have cited details regarding the best scuba diving places in the world.

1. Misool Boo Rocks - Indonesia

Misool Boo Rocks is situated on the eastern side of Misool in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. It is a renowned and favored dive site distinguished by the presence of "Boo Windows."

Being a rock island, this dive site stands out as one of the most photographed and easily recognizable destinations for scuba diving in Raja Ampat, primarily due to its picturesque windows.

Under water life image captured at Misool Resort in March 2022
Under water life image captured at Misool Resort in March 2022( Source : instagram )

Boo Island, within the breathtaking expanse of Raja Ampat, offers an exceptional diving experience. Despite the vastness of the region and the multitude of islands, some parts of Boo Island remain unexplored.

Within a short 15-minute distance from the resort, there are more than 25 dive sites of exceptional quality. These include Boo, Fiabacet, Yilliet, Wobbegong City, and Magic.

2. Tuamotu Archipelago - French Polynesia

Best place to scuba dive in the world also includes the Tuamotu Archipelago. It is located in French Polynesia and is a highly sought-after destination among scuba diving enthusiasts.

Among the various diving spots in the Tuamotu, Fakarava and Rangiroa hold the highest reputation and are widely renowned.

The vast lagoons of Rangiroa, Tikehau, Manihi, and Fakarava are home to an extraordinary array of marine life, making them the ultimate destinations for diving and snorkeling within the Tuamotu Archipelago.

French Polynesia enjoys international recognition for its exceptional diving opportunities, with each archipelago providing unique experiences for divers.

Exploring the Tuamotu Islands through scuba diving offers a remarkable encounter with diverse marine creatures such as fish, sharks, manta rays, and dolphins.

3. Cayman Islands - Caribbean

Cayman Islands scuba diving comprises three main islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. These islands offer exceptional diving opportunities with their pristine, crystal-clear waters, fascinating shipwrecks, and breathtaking wall dives.

Scuba Dive in Caribbean has gained global recognition as a premier dive destination, thanks to their incredibly deep drop-offs, exhilarating wreck dives, and the proximity of vibrant coral reefs.

Likewise, the Islands experience peak activity during winter, while April and May are particularly favorable for diving. From June to November, the region enters the hurricane season, which may result in rougher seas.

The water temperature in the Cayman Islands typically ranges from 78 to 82°F (26-28°C), and divers can revel in the beautiful visibility, averaging between 60 and 100 feet (18-30 meters).

4. Dos Ojos, Playa del Carmen - Mexico

Scuba diving in Playa del Carmen includes Dos Ojos. It is a renowned and widely recognized cenote.

As one of Mexico's most famous cenotes, Dos Ojos provides an excellent opportunity for the first two cenote dives. It is particularly suitable for beginners, offering a perfect introduction to cenote diving.

Picture of diver diving in Playa del Carmen on May 16, 2022
Picture of diver diving in Playa del Carmen on May 16, 2022( Source : twitter )

The Dos Ojos Scuba Dive Shop provides vast cavern and cave diving services. Their offerings include guided dives and training programs like the IANTD - Cavern to Full Cave Diver and PADI - all recreational courses.

5. Ningaloo Reef- Australia

Ningaloo Reef dive is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Exmouth, Western Australia. It offers a remarkable opportunity to swim alongside whale sharks.

Additionally, this reef is teeming with diverse marine life, including manta rays, green turtles, and abundant other species.

Exploring the Ningaloo Reef at Three Islands Whale Shark Dive
Exploring the Ningaloo Reef at Three Islands Whale Shark Dive( Source : instagram )

Situated in one of the most remote regions of Australia, over 1000 miles away from Perth, the Ningaloo Reef stands as an ideal destination to engage in the unusual activity of swimming with whale sharks, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Scuba diving in Australia includes names like The Great Barrier Reef, Townsville, Whitsunday Islands, Portsea Pier, and many more.

Navy Pier dive is a truly unique site located beneath the Jetty of the Australian Navy. It is a paradise for photographers with a wide variety of marine species that can captivate divers of all types.

Dive Ningaloo is the sole operator licensed to conduct scuba diving tours at the Navy Pier. However, dive schedules are subject to the ebb and flow of tides, weather conditions, and the operational requirements of the Navy.

This pier stretches an impressive 110 meters from the shore and spans a length of 300 meters. It is one of the best places to scuba dive in the world that offers a beach dive experience, with divers entering the water through a giant stride from a platform as high as three meters above the water's surface.

Exiting the water involves climbing a twenty-degree ladder three meters above sea level.

7. Palancar Bricks, Cozumel - Mexico

Scuba dive in Cozumel offers a snorkeling tour that includes Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo reefs. Palancar Bricks is located in the southernmost section of the renowned Palancar Reef.

Playa Palancar Beach Club provides exceptional tours in the Cozumel reefs for those interested in snorkeling. It is conveniently situated just a 10-minute from the stunning sandbank known as "El Cielo" and the Colombia and Palancar reefs and promises an unforgettable experience.

Underwater life's image posted during 2020 World Oceans Day
Underwater life's image posted during 2020 World Oceans Day( Source : twitter )

Furthermore, Palancar Reef is a captivating underwater ecosystem positioned at a depth of approximately 80 feet. As a popular diving destination, it teems with fascinating marine life, including turtles, nurse sharks, and many other species.

8. Apo Reef - Philippines

Philippines scuba dive Apo Reef Natural Park is the world's second-largest single coral reef. It is situated approximately 30 meters off the western coast of Mindoro Island.

Notably, this area is highly renowned for scuba diving. It is one of the most sought-after destinations in the vicinity of Mindoro and Pandan Island, which lies in the middle of the Mindoro Strait between Coron, Palawan, and Occidental Mindoro.

Philippines’ healthy coral reefs face pelagic life at Apo Reef
Philippines’ healthy coral reefs face pelagic life at Apo Reef( Source : twitter )

Apo Reef has been officially designated as a Protected Area and classified as a Natural Park. The surrounding waters have been declared a buffer zone, covering an expansive area of 27,460 hectares. This zone encompasses three small islands: Apo Island, Apo Menor, and Cayos del Bajo.

9. Richelieu Rock - Thailand

Richelieu Rock is a magnificent horseshoe-shaped Andaman Sea reef near Thailand's Surin Islands Marine National Park.

Situated approximately 200 kilometers northwest of Phuket in the Andaman Sea, Richelieu Rock proudly ranks among the top 10 dive locations worldwide. It has hoarded a reputation as one of the finest dive sites in Asia.

This isolated pinnacle stands about 10 kilometers east of the Surin Islands and approximately 100 kilometers north-northeast of the Similan Islands. While it is not a direct section of the Mu Koh Surin marine park, it is roughly 18 kilometers east of Surin Islands.

10. Great Blue Hole - Belize

Belize scuba dive, The Great Blue Hole, is a great underwater sinkhole that attracts scuba divers worldwide.

Situated near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a tiny atoll located 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the mainland of Belize City, the Great Blue Hole boasts a circular shape with a diameter of 318 meters and a depth of 124 meters.

Great Blue Hole is located in the middle of Lighthouse Reef
Great Blue Hole is located in the middle of Lighthouse Reef( Source : instagram )

This awe-inspiring site is top-rated among recreational scuba divers who are enticed by the opportunity to explore crystal-clear waters and encounter a variety of fish species.

Divers can often observe fascinating marine creatures such as midnight parrotfish, Caribbean reef sharks, and numerous juvenile fish species, making it a captivating underwater experience.

11. Alcyone, Cocos Island - Costa Rica

Bajo Alcyone is one of the best spots for scuba diving in Costa Rica. It is situated approximately 550 kilometers from the Costa Rican Pacific coast.

However, during the rainy season, spanning from June through November, Bajo Alcyone truly showcases its splendor. During this time, extraordinary sightings occur as massive schools of 500 or more hammerhead sharks create a breathtaking underwater spectacle, forming a seemingly endless "wall."

Portrait from Parque nacional Isla del Coco captured by Darrin Disley in April 2023
Portrait from Parque nacional Isla del Coco captured by Darrin Disley in April 2023( Source : instagram )

Divers may also have the opportunity to encounter whale sharks, manta rays, silkies, and Galapagos sharks.

Cocos Island, also known as Isla del Coco Costa Rica, holds special significance as it is a national park designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

12. Tiger Beach, Grand Bahama Island - Bahamas

Tiger Beach Bahamas is a captivating dive site with a shallow reef and sandbank located approximately an hour by ferry from the West End of Grand Bahama Island.

The closest point of land to this area is the Old Bahamas Bay Resort + Marina.

Renowned as one of the finest destinations globally for diving with tiger sharks, Tiger Beach has gained its reputation since its discovery in the 1980s by Captain Scott Smith.

For those interested in visiting Tiger Beach, various transportation options are available. According to the Tiger Beach Bahamas map, individuals can travel by ferry, private boat, or plane from nearby Florida locations.

13. 1,000 Steps - Bonaire

1,000 Steps is undeniably one of the most renowned scuba dive sites in Bonaire, captivating divers with its natural beauty and diverse marine life.

This site is celebrated for its vibrant coral gardens that showcase a kaleidoscope of colors, as well as the presence of abundant schools of fish. Additionally, 1,000 Steps is home to several permanent residents, including graceful turtles and fascinating moray eels.

1000 steps picture from October 6, 2020 in Kralendijk
1000 steps picture from October 6, 2020 in Kralendijk( Source : facebook )

To access the dive site, divers descend a staircase consisting of 67 steps, which gives rise to its name, 1,000 Steps. Located on the northern coast of Bonaire, approximately 6 kilometers north of Kralendijk, the spot can be identified by two yellow stones on the road's left side.

An enchanting world awaits within the reef, where parrotfish, grunts, chub, and sea turtles gracefully navigate through thriving patches of staghorn coral, gorgonian fans, and other captivating marine formations.

14. Poor Knights Islands - New Zealand

The Poor Knights Islands have gained a well-deserved reputation for offering exceptional sub-tropical diving experiences worldwide.

Underwater visibility at these islands can vary between 15 to 30 meters throughout the year, providing divers with clear and immersive views of the marine environment.

Situated 15 miles (24 kilometers) offshore, reaching the dive sites requires approximately an hour of travel time. However, the voyage is well worth it, as the dive sites at the Poor Knights Islands offer a diverse range of depths and experiences.

From shallow dives to explore vibrant coral reefs to deep walls and intricate caves to discover, there is something for divers of all grades.

The marine life found at the Poor Knights Islands is truly captivating. Divers can encounter various fish species, graceful rays, and majestic sharks.

15. Viti Levu - Fiji

Viti Levu is the largest island in the Fijian archipelago and holds a special place as a sought-after destination for scuba diving in Fiji.

Fiji is a paradise for divers, encompassing over 300 islands and boasting thousands of square miles of magnificent coral reef systems. The underwater landscapes in Fiji are nothing short of breathtaking.

One of Fiji's most renowned dive areas, Bligh Waters, is on the northern coast of Viti Levu. This area attracts divers from all corners of the globe thanks to its exceptional diving opportunities.

Diver at Vatu-I-Ra Channel in Norther Division, Fiji in Feb. 2020
Diver at Vatu-I-Ra Channel in Norther Division, Fiji in Feb. 2020( Source : facebook )

Another stunning diving location near the southern coast of Viti Levu is Beqa Lagoon, characterized by its soft coral bommies and pinnacles. Beqa Lagoon is widely recognized as one of Fiji's premier scuba diving destinations.

Fiji scuba diving scene is particularly acclaimed for its vibrant and colorful soft corals. Exploring the underwater realm in Fiji unveils a mesmerizing display of hues and textures, creating an unforgettable experience for divers of all levels.

16. Red Sea - Egypt

Red Sea scuba diving has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the finest diving destinations worldwide, offering exceptional diving opportunities throughout the year.

Egypt serves as a gateway to much of the diving in the Red Sea, with its location in northeastern Africa allowing access to both the Mediterranean and Red Seas.

Divers flock to the northern area of the Egyptian Red Sea, where famous dive sites like the Straits of Tiran, Ras Mohammed, and the Thistlegorm await exploration.

Diver at Marsa `Alam, Al Bahr Al Ahmar, Egypt in January 2022
Diver at Marsa `Alam, Al Bahr Al Ahmar, Egypt in January 2022( Source : instagram )

Heading south, the Egyptian Red Sea continues to captivate divers with famous dive sites such as St. John's Reef, Fury Shoals, and the Brothers Islands. These sites offer unique underwater landscapes and encounter various marine life.

Whether you are a novice diver or a seasoned enthusiast, the Red Sea promises unforgettable diving experiences with its captivating coral reefs, diverse marine ecosystems, and a range of dive sites to suit every preference.

17. Sea Tiger, Honolulu - Hawaii

The Sea Tiger is one of the notable destinations for Scuba diving in Honolulu. It was formerly known as Yun Fong Seong No. 303.

Initially a Chinese trading ship, it gained notoriety in the early 1990s when apprehended for smuggling over 90 illegal immigrants into Hawaii.

Later on, it was acquired by Voyager Submarines, who undertook extensive cleaning before intentionally sinking it in 1999 as a segment of an initiative to enhance diving experiences. Today, the Sea Tiger lies submerged and presents a captivating sight, stretching 150 feet in length.

With its deck approximately 90 feet below the surface and the hull resting on the sandy ocean floor around 110 feet deep, divers can enjoy a limited bottom time of roughly 20 to 25 minutes.

Explorers have the opportunity to penetrate the cargo holds and bridge of the Sea Tiger, adding to the allure of this underwater adventure.

18. Big Brother - Egyptian Red Sea

The Brother Islands is renowned as one of the premier dive sites globally.

Situated approximately 60-70 kilometers offshore from Al Qusair in the Red Sea, these two small islands, "Big Brother" and "Little Brother," boast remarkable diving opportunities.

Big Brother stretches about 400 meters in length, while Little Brother, located around 1 kilometer away, is more petite, less than half its size. Recognizing their ecological significance, they were designated natural protectorates in 1983, granting them the esteemed marine park status.

Big Brothers, a popular dive site in Egypt
Big Brothers, a popular dive site in Egypt( Source : twitter )

As uninhabited rocky islets, the Brother Islands provide an unparalleled liveaboard diving experience in the Egyptian Red Sea. Divers are treated to a mesmerizing array of marine life and stunning underwater landscapes.

The island's remote location and protected status contribute to its thriving ecosystems, attracting divers worldwide seeking extraordinary diving adventures.

19. The Florida Keys - United States

Embarking on a remarkable diving adventure along North America's exclusive coral barrier reef is as simple as journeying south from Miami to the captivating Florida Keys and immersing yourself in the azure waters.

The Florida Keys, one of the best scuba diving in the united states, boast an extensive expanse of breathtaking coral reefs, stretching for miles and providing a vibrant habitat for an astonishing array of marine life.

the Christ of the Deep statue in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
the Christ of the Deep statue in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park( Source : instagram )

From the vibrant parrotfish, graceful sea turtles, and enigmatic nurse sharks to the sleek tarpon and darting barracuda, these underwater ecosystems offer a rich tapestry of biodiversity.

As you embark on your diving journey, you'll find numerous reputable dive shops throughout the Florida Keys.

20. Maaya Thila, South Ari Atoll - Maldives

In the Maldives, Ari Atoll is a true diver's paradise renowned for its exceptional underwater experiences.

One of the highlights of Ari Atoll is Maaya Thila, where the pinnacle begins at a shallow depth of around 6 meters and descends to about 12 meters before continuing down to a maximum depth of 30 meters.

This dive site offers breathtaking views of the underwater world, adorned with vibrant colors and beautiful marine life. As you explore deeper, you'll be mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of soft coral reefs that come alive, accompanied by rugged caves and overhangs.

Diving in Ari Atoll allows you to immerse yourself in the rich marine ecosystem and witness the allure of the underwater world. The abundance of colorful coral and the presence of diverse marine species create an enchanting environment that captivates divers.