So you have finally finished your scuba lessons and all that is left to do now is travel the world to visit all the best diving sites. You could go diving in Sharm El Sheikh, or go diving in Thailand or even in the Great Barrier Reef.
The possibilities are endless. Below are some of the best diving sites in the world, to help you on your way towards picking your next destination.
We have tried to give you some different types of dives, so you can really experience everything there is to see.
Best Dive Sites for Cave and Cavern Diving – The Cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula
The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico offers what is known as cenotes, underground caves and caverns filled with water.
They are known for their crystal clear blue waters and fascinating rock formations. Do make sure you check whether you are allowed to dive in the specific cenote you are picking and whether you need a more advanced diving licence.
Best Dive Sites for Wreck Diving – SS Yongala in Ayr, Australia
If you want to experience why wreck diving is so spectaculair, the SS Yongala should be on top of you bucket list.
It was a passenger ship that sank in a horrific cyclone in 1911. Not only is it a fascinating ship to look at – you may even find some interesting ancient relics – but it is also home to the most amazing marine wildlife, including turtles and rays.
Best Dive Sites for Ice Diving – McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
Ok, so this isn’t the easiest place to reach and if you want to practice you may be better off just going to Finland, but if you have the time and the means, McMurdo Sound has to be the best place in the world for ice diving.
Best Dive Sites for Wall Diving – Blue Corner Wall in Micronesia
Wall dives are absolutely fascinating. Again, do check whether you need a more advanced diving licence, as many walls go down very deep.
The Blue Corner Wall is one of these sites, as it also has very unpredictable currents and you really need to know what you are doing. But what an experience! You may even come across some sharks, which is an experience in itself of course.
Best Dive for Deep Diving – Lighthouse Blue Reef Hole in Belize
For this dive, you will need a more advanced diving licence, as you will be travelling to great depths. The hole is almost completely round and was actually a system of dry caves during the ice age.
Because it is a depth dive, there is little to see but it is a great experience of course.
Best Dive Sites for Shore Dives – Bonaire, the Dutch Antilles
Bonaire is known as one of the most beautiful shore diving destinations in the world. Most of the dive sites can be reached with a short swim from the beach.
The shallow and crystal clear waters offer a beautiful array of colorful fish and fascinating corals. Remember not to touch any corals of course!
Best Dive Sites for Sharks – Gansbaai, South Africa
No diver can truly call themselves a diver without having seen at least one shark. If you want to go for the big one straight away, Gansbaai is the place for you.
You are very likely to come across the legendary Great White Shark, so this is not for the faint of heart! If you would like to get in the water with these guys you might want to do a cage dive with sharks.
Best Dive Sites for Kelp Diving – San Clemente on the California Channel Islands
Kelp diving is fascinating. It’s like being in an underwater forest and you can get slightly hypnotized by the slowly moving kelp plants. Another great thing is that San Clemente is home to sea lions, which you may be lucky enough to encounter as well.
Best Dive Sites for Night Diving – Kailua Kona, Hawaii
A night dive is something to experience in its own right, but the one in Kailua Kona has to top the list. It is home to an incredible array of manta rays that shoal together during the night.
By using an underwater flashlight directed at the surface, a diver can attract plankton, a favourite food of the rays. More than 60 different types of rays have been spotted here.
Best Dive Sites for Coral Reefs – Sulawesi, Indonesia
The world’s most beautiful coral reefs can be found at the Bunaken National Marine Park in Indonesia.
Everything you may want to come across whilst diving is there, the colors are amazing and it quite simply is one of the most beautiful diving locations in the world.
These are but a few of the examples, of course. They are also some of the most unusual ones, to give you a taste of what is truly out there to experience. We know there are a lot more unusual dive sites out there.
What is the most off the beaten track dive site you ever visited? Let us know in the comments below
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Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.