16 Best Dive Sites in the World

By Seema Nande on Feb 02, 2017
* Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and book something (there is never any extra cost to you for using these links).

As if a parallel world beneath us, the deep, dark, blue waters possess some of the most irreconcilable experiences. As Wyland once stated  "The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul" I would say, every word stands true. Vividly diverse flora and fauna, species of marine life beyond your imagination, sunken crafts, gorgeous corals, reefs drilling into infinity and most of all the calm; diving is one experience one must have in their lives.


If the thought of diving ever crosses your mind, hold on to it, and check out these 16 best dive sites in the world that promise one matchless escapade!  

1. SS Thistlegorm

SS Thistlegorm - Best dive site in the world

Image source: wikipedia.org

Located in the Red Sea, towards Israel, the SS Thistlegorm is one site considered to be one of the best diving in the world. Essentially a sunken British armed Merchant Navy ship, this spot is a discovery of Jacques Cousteau, a French naval officer. The region started garnering attention in the 1990’s on the opening of a diving resort called Sharm el-Sheikh. It is then when this place gained recognition and soon became one of the best dive sites in the world. 

Today, the wreck requires a dive of about 32 meters, with strong currents, making the dive pretty challenging. You can encounter some magnificent marine life species including Barracudas, amusing batfishes, brilliant snappers, lots of resident turtles, apart from several schools of the usual Red Sea species.

2. Blue Hole

Blue Hole - one of the top ten dive sites in the world

Image source: flickr.com/Martin Lopatka

As appealing as the picture looks, the dive allures seasoned divers and first timers alike, with its spectacular depth and terrific marine life. Perched in the Red Sea again, in Belize, divers flock here to dive the superb Caribbean Reef Sharks. The deepest part of the Blue Hole dive lies at 354 feet. However, high caution needs to be practiced while undertaking this. The site has derived names like "World's Most Dangerous Dive Site" and "Diver's Cemetery" in the recent time given the effect of nitrogen narcosis, missing the tunnel, dim lighting, and many such factors.  

3. Akumal Scuba Diving

Akumal Scuba Diving - a hidden diving location

Image source: flickr.com/Serge Melki

Diving should be undertaken for many reasons. One of the main being overcoming your fears! And Akumal in Mexico is just perfect for a first dive. Uncommercialized and uncrowded Akumal can be easily classified as one of the best-hidden dive sites in the world. Home to the longest coral reefs in the Western Hemisphere, this site is abundant with breathtakingly colorful marine life, striking coral developments and depressed Spanish Galleons.

Make The Best of Your Vacation
Trip PlannerTours and ActivitiesBook Hotels

4. Little Cayman

Little Cayman - top scuba diving destnation

Image source: flickr.com/SF Brit


One of the best places to scuba dive in the Caribbean, Little Cayman draws crowd especially for scuba diving, as compared to the other two islands of the Cayman Islands. Bloody Bay and Jackson's Bight are where divers head to for a good dive. Situated on the northern side of the island, these sites are rough compared to the ones on the south. Seasoned divers can plan a good dive of up to a whopping 100 feet. Look out for the Bloody Bay’s sections that are highly sheer as to be effectively vertical, which is a very a rare site. 

5. Barracuda Point

Barracuda Point - diving in Malaysia

Image source: flickr.com/Bernard DUPONT

The Barracuda Point Sipadan Island Malaysia is no less of a meditational experience. The current is usually favorable for you to spot schools of the exquisite red tooth triggerfish as well as the stunning bannerfish. Practice caution, as predators in the form of gray reef sharks are always on the hunt for food. Avoid diving towards the very strong current sites of the north, as doing so may lead you to drift away from the island. The total dive is about 40 meters deep, with good visibility maintained only up to 30 meters.  

6. Yongala Dive

Yongala Dive - get adventurous in Australia

Image source: wikimedia.org  

The Yongala Australia situated in the brilliant Great Barrier Reef , is one of the best dive sites in the world for more reasons than one. Essentially flocked by diving enthusiasts from around the world for its S.S.Yongala shipwreck, this dive is a blend of stimulating history, a good dose of adventure, an unparalleled beauty of marine life and unmatchable professional diving services. Day trips and lots of courses are arranged by many diving service providers here, for you to choose the best that suits you.  

7. Shark and Yolanda Reef

Shark and Yolanda Reef - breathtaking wreck dives

Image source: pixabay.com 

Egypt and the Red Sea sure seem to have some of the best dive sites in the world! The best time to visit the Shark and Yolanda Reef is the summers when the underwater pelagic flora and fauna come alive like no other time of the year. Currents can, however, get a little too strong sometimes. Undertaking this dive also gives you the opportunity to dive at another good diving spot adjoining this dive, the Anemone City. The name of the dive is derived from a ship that sunk here in the 80’s. You can encounter the beautiful wreck towards the west side of the site.  

8. Manta Ray Night Dive

Manta Ray Night Dive

Image source: wikipedia.org 

Diving certainly is a lot about doing something you never did in your life. Speaking of which, when it comes to the Manta Ray Night Dive, this is not your average day dive but a dive that you got to take at night! Insisting more on why you should do this dive is to experience what it would feel like to be an inch or two away from a marine creature that weighs up to a ton! The night is when these glorifying creatures transform the sea into one playground. To get here you will need to reach Kona from Oahu.  

9. Liberty, Bali

Liberty - best wreck dive in the world

Image source: flickr.com/chuck.miser  

Overlooked merely as a popular honeymoon destination, a place of ancient temples and beautiful ruins, Bali is an absolute delight speaking of the best dive sites in the world. The wreck at this site along with some marvelous dives adjoining the Tulamben, the Liberty Dive is much looked forward to by divers. Tale has it that, it was 1963 when this Japanese ship was whisked by a Japanese torpedo. Stretching at a distance of 130 meters this wreck is an absolute joy for a good dive. Early mornings are the best to undertake this dive, as afternoons generally get crowded. All this and much more make this place one of the best dive sites in Asia.

10. Cocos Island

Cocos Island - a marine national park

Image source: wikimedia.org  

Set at a distance of 550 kilometers from mainland Costa Rica, the Cocos Island floats in the waters of the Golden Triangle. It’s attractive marine life and isolated beauty draws divers, first-timers as well as seasoned alike. Indeed, Cocos Island is one of the best places to scuba dive for beginners. The island accommodates some 20 odd diving sites which are a spectacular mélange of shallow to deep walls. Another reason why this is an absolute must on the list is its declaration as a marine national park.  

11. Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye - another diving location in Belize

Image source: wikimedia.org  

Another gem from Belize, the Ambergris Caye boasts of one gigantic wall offering one of the best diving experiences. If you are contemplating a diving destination in Belize, minus the crowd, this is where you must head. Tunicates, stunning gorgonians, breathtaking shellfish and of course the beautiful sea fans, are what you can expect to see on a dive here. The sites that you must go while here include Turneffe Islands and the Lighthouse Reef. These places also have the best conditions to dive, including a comfortable warm temperature.  

12. Kimbe Bay

Kimbe Bay - best places to go scuba diving for its marine life

Image source: wikipedia.org  

Located in the northern waters of New Britain, Kimbe Bay is one reason why there is a sudden rise in the number of Papua diving resorts. On a dive, here, you can look forward to some of the world’s exceptional mangroves, stunning seamounts, and supremely picturesque coral reefs. According to statistics, there are about an odd 900 species of marine life here. Another statistic has that the worlds 76% pf coral reef species also have found their home in the waters of the Kimbe Bay. The Bradford Shoal have remained to be the highlight of this site for the longest time.  

13. Blue Heron Bridge

Blue Heron Bridge - swim with lots of fish around you

Image source: flickr.com/amanderson2

If your motive of a dive is mere to swim with a lot of fish, then the Blue Heron Bridge is as good but as real as a dream.  A superb place for shore and muck diving, this site is a good place for someone just venturing the fields of diving. If you happen to visit Florida, diving here is a must on your list. Coming back to swimming with a lot of fish, a dive here will have you amidst pipefish, unique seahorses and the highlight of this place being the Atlantic long arm, a type of octopus along with several other schools of fish.  

14. Nakwakto Rapids

Nakwakto Rapids with the strongest currents

Image source: pixabay.com

Canada is ought to be on a list of best dive sites in the world. Why so, you ask? After being stated as a site having strongest currents in the world by The Guinness Book of World Records, this site became a popular destination for divers quenching adventure. Some parts, carved by glaciers make a dive here only more audacious. Add in the real low temperatures, and you have one of the coldest dives in the world. Definitely not for the faint-hearted, this site is home to some of the insanely striking "Nakwakto Rapids gooseneck barnacles".  

15. USS Vandenberg 

USS Vandenberg

Image source: wikimedia.org  

Given the number of artificial reefs Florida is coming up with in its Panhandle region, the USS Vandenberg is the new wreck on the block. Set at the bottom in the year of 2009, this reef has drawn diving enthusiasts from all of America, if not the world. It’s easy accessibility from the shore, makes it a good dive for first-timers. A dense layer of coral now covers this wreck, amplifying its beauty. Seasoned divers can explore the deeper parts of the wreck, which still have many parts intact. A thrilling experience on its own, the USS Vandenberg is fabulous!  

16. Cabo Pulmo Baja

Cabo Pulmo Baja

Image source: wikimedia.org  

And lastly, on this least, we have the Cabo Pulmo Baja! If we could sum up any and every reason on why one must dive, this is one of the biggest. Live coral reefs, breathtaking flora and fauna, and premier marine life is what has flocked divers to the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park for a while now. Sprawling across an area of a massive 7,000 hectares measured in terms of coastal waters, this place is beyond imagination! As you venture the waters you will have the Devil Rays welcoming you with their astounding allure among many others!  

If you are looking for something more particular geographically check out our list of Best Scuba Diving Spots in India and Best Places to Go Scuba Diving in Thailand too. Happy diving to you! 

Featured image source: pixabay.com  

Related Articles