As an experienced dive instructor who has been diving and travelling around the world for many years I am sharing my personal opinion, photos and comparable information about dive destinations and dive centers. Compare dive sites to your own interest and experience level and explore some great snorkeling and surface interval adventures.Click on the icons in the map below or scroll down for links to read about the destinations. Learn more about comparing dive destinations here.
Hairy crab, ghostpipefish, candy crab, pygmy seahorse, flamboyant cuttlefish, frog fish, whip coral shrimp, ribbon eels - if any of those stunning creatures is on your list - book your SCUBA dive trip to Anilao now! Find them in between all the nudibranchs as Anilao is the nudibranchs capital of the world!
Did you know Pattaya is the wreck diving destination of Thailand? Even if you do not like wreck diving, this is where you will find schools of fish and countless marine life species! Discover the wrecks of the Pattaya's near and far islands by day trip.
The island closest to Bangkok is Ko Si Chang or Koh Sichang. It's tropical, has coral reefs and still has an authentic Thai island vibe. Ocean lovers, SCUBA divers and snorkelers should not miss these 3 things to do on Ko Si Chang!
Ko Si Chang is the place to go if you want to squeeze in a day of local Thai vibes and SCUBA diving before you leave Thailand. Visit coral reefs in the making supported by the DMCR (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources), enjoy the anemone gardens and search for nudibranch at Hin Sampayu.
Shore diving in The Netherlands, Europe. It is less tropical as the Dutch Caribbean and you might need two wetsuits - but is it fun and the marine diversity as well as the quantity might just blow your mind. Get ready to explore Dutch diving, including climbing dikes with cows!
With easy access from Tokyo it is no surprise the famous Izu peninsula and Izu islands are a hot spot for SCUBA diving lovers. With a high marine diversity reachable by shore diving you can expect busy days. SCUBA Diving at Izu Oceanic Park, often mentioned as THE BEST of Izu, and how to avoid the crowds!
The ama 'women divers' have been around for 3000 to 5000 years. While skin diving (free diving) these women collect seafood and pearl oysters. You can experience this hoped-for UNESCO intangible cultural heritage at various places, pick your favourite or visit them all.
The scenic Fuji Five Lakes area holds breathtaking sceneries of Mount Fuji. Why conquer the mountain if you can explore it's depths?! Let's SCUBA Dive in one of the Fuji Five Lakes. From volcanic rock formations to a spooky dive area that looks like straight from a horror movie and if you like Japanese folklore, try to find Mossy - the lake monster of Lake Motosu.
Shikoku island is all about exploring nature. From stunning hidden valleys and seemingly endless mountain ranges to rugged Pacific coastlines with natural whirlpools. Time to see what's hidden beneath the waves.
Fukuoka is one of the major cities of Japan although it is not on the list of many tourists. It's more local and personal, just like SCUBA diving around here. Experience local culture, learn some Japanese and a bit of glamping!
Tropical Japan in the far South offers undiscovered paradise, stunning beach escapes and turquoise blue waters. Maybe you have heard of Okinawa as a popular dive and holiday destination, but there are countless more remote islands to discover above and below. Ishigaki 'Manta island' and it's coral reef reviewed by a pro.
The name crab farm might raise an eyebrow but in this case it does not represent farming crabs for eating. This is an ecology experience center where you can learn all about the local crabs in a beautiful facility build with love from recycled materials by a local Hwangto artist.
Do you think swimming pools are boring and only for training dives? Think again! Some swimming pools are deep enough to log as a real dive. In South Korea there is even a pool that goes down to 26 meters / 85 feet. Fun diving in the deepest swimming pool of Asia: K-26!
South Korea's East coast is the most popular dive area as it's only a few hours driving from Seoul. While on a mission to dive all the coasts of South Korea this SCUBA diving area turned out to be another mission impossible - even in high season. Finally I succeeded - but was it worth it?
The Haenyeo (women divers), some in their 80s, dive to collect seaweed, shellfish and other seafood in a unique way (Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO). You can still see some of these sea mermaids 'at work' and learn all about their history and culture in the Haenyeo museum on Jeju island. Continue reading for impressive facts and practical information.
South Korea's favourite holiday destination and one of the new 7 wonders of nature has a great adventure for you down below the surface. With possible strong currents, not the best visibility and some rock climbing involved - it is not for the faint-hearted - but a MUST DO experience in many ways!
Looking for something to do when you need to off-gas? Maybe not everybody is diving or just not diving every day? Book a trip to Luxor and explore the Valley Of The Kings (three tombs), Karnak Temple, Al-Deir Al-Bahari Temple (Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut), a Nile cruise and more. Learn a lot about Egypt of the past, today and the future by leaving your resort and jumping in this surface interval adventure from Marsa Alam or El Quseir!
The South of Egypt is popular for experienced SCUBA divers due to its incredible marine life just off-shore and stunning dive sites like Elphinstone reef reachable by boat during a day trip. Luckily this SCUBA diving area is easy to reach and getting more and more affordable. The El Quseir area offers dense coral cover and larger marine life like dugongs, dolphins, turtles and rays. Discover diving around El Quseir in 50 photos and get lots of tips for your next dive vacation.
Divers know the thrill of exploring a new world below! With so much big blue ocean to see, where do you even begin? Whether you’re an experienced diver or you’re just getting started, these are the best places to go diving in 2018!
If you are looking for great dive spots in the Caribbean - do not look any further. These five locations should be on your dive bucket list for the Lesser Antilles, the Eastern and Southern islands of the Caribbean.
Do you like history and diving? Than this is a must visit when you are in the Murcia area of Spain. The ARQVA or Museo Nacional de Arqueología Subacuática offers treasures found underwater from up to 2500 years ago. From amulets of the Roman world to golden snuff boxes... explore it all.
Close to the harbor of the incredible historic city of Cartagena, at a popular weekend spot for locals, you can snorkel and dive. Cala Cortina offers easy shore diving with mesmerizing sea breams, you can look for critters and flounders in the sand and see if you can spot fish that cause hallucinations when eaten.
Arguably this is one of the best dive areas of Europe, for sure the best of Spain. This spot has wrecks, deep drop offs, exciting underwater pinnacles and large quantities of fish and mammals including Mola Mola's. Islas Hormigas marine park, or the Cabo de Palos / La Manga area in Murcia, has it all.
The area around Cabo de Palos, the Islas Hormigas Marine Reserve is incredible below the surface. Close to the shore the bottom drops to more than 1 km / 3280 ft, creating an interesting sea bed. From shipwrecks to sea horse reproduction program, all is explained at the Visitor Center or Center of Interpretation of Cabo de Palos.
If you are looking for cuteness overload, go snorkeling or SCUBA diving with sea lions. They are incredibly playful and curious like a puppy. In Mexico you can dive with them in warm water, no dry suit needed.
Do you want a truly unique dive experience off the beaten track? Make sure to visit the hidden gem Cabo Pulmo. It is no surprise marine biologists, oceanographers and film makers like to come here. The story of this fisherman's village is incredible and the diving is mind blowing.
There are a few places in the world where you can go on a scheduled hammerhead shark dive. Along the West coast of Mexico you have several options to spot these magnificent creatures, with a day trip or liveaboard. Mission Hammerhead Sharks: ON!
Right in the South of the Baja California, where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet, whales, sharks and dolphins are often seen. La Paz, the capital of this area, even has a whale museum (Museo de la Ballena) to learn more about the giants of the sea. A must do for divers and snorkelers!
With countless dive sites, even separate dive areas and some impressive seasonal marine life creatures it might take a bit of planning when you are coming to Cozumel. When looking for the 'better' dive sites for experienced divers around Cozumel a few things became clear...
Isla Mujeres might not be the most famous dive area in the Yucatan area, but there are some great dive sites around for sure! How about diving with eagle rays in the current or World War 2 wreck diving?
How about swimming with a whale shark up close? How about swimming with a few hundred? It is totally possible in Mexico. The highest number of Whale sharks in the world can be spotted off the coast of Mexico.
How about having a turquoise lagoon surrounded by a ring of corals teeming with marine life all to yourself? One of the three coral atolls of the Caribbean, one of the best dive areas in the Dominican Republic and for sure my favourite.
Hidden close to the border of Haiti, along the North coast of the Dominican Republic, you will find a town without resorts, souvenirs or banana boats... Culture, nature and lots of history you can get - especially below the surface. From countless ship wrecks to endless coral banks, Monte Cristi has it all!
Along the North Coast of the Dominican Republic you can find a beautiful coral reef and even cenotes (caves) to dive in. Sosua Bay is a hidden gem regarding reef life and corals and the community is working hard to keep it that way with their coral project. Of course I had to see this with my own eyes!
At the end of the Samana peninsula you will find a beach town called Las Galeras. From here you have access to most dramatic seascapes of the Dominican Republic. The highlight is The Tower or Piedra Bonita, an underwater pinnacle that drops down to 55 meters.
The Bayahibe area is known for the best diving on the Caribbean coast of the Dominican Republic. With wrecks, coral reefs and incredibly beautiful tropical islands it is worth a trip. Read all about our private trip to Saona, dolphins included!
In the Les Saintes (Îles des Saintes) archipelago of Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean you can find a dive site beyond expectations. Sec Pâté is often mentioned as one of the best dive spots in the Lesser Antilles. Expect some deep diving, pumping currents and incredible marine life!
Dominica is often mentioned as one of the best dive spots in the Caribbean. Volcanic rock formations, pinnacles and walls full of corals and sponges create a dramatic reef. Find out more about two top spots: SCUBA diving at Scotts Head Drop Off & Soufriere Pinnacles!
Dominica is THE hot spot in the Caribbean to watch whales. Sperm whales, pilot whales, false killer whales and even humpback whales can be spotted. You have a high chance of success year-round and it does not cost a fortune.
Experience an unique SCUBA dive in golden champagne! Rich volcanic soil provides a wonder you can experience while snorkeling or SCUBA diving: BUBBLES, BUBBLES, BUBBLES!
How about a relaxing day at the beach with some wrecks just off shore? Need more? How about a dozen of turtles on top of that? Read why snorkeling with turtles and exploring the wrecks of Carlisle Bay should be included in Barbados trip and how to organize it.
Barbados is the most Eastern Caribbean island, known for an amazing number of wrecks and great visibility. What you might not know it that there are some beautiful coral reefs as well, with the G-spot as one of the highlights. It is called the G-spot for a reason!
One dive, an incredibly strong current and the most beautiful Japanese Gardens ever! Get ready for a fast underwater adventure in Tobago and explore a different type of diving in the Caribbean!
With often strong tidal currents the nutrient rich dive sites Divers Dream and Divers Thirst are the most spectacular dive sites in the South of Tobago. Discover what is so special about these dive sites in the Caribbean!
The north-western part of Curaçao offers the healthiest and dense coral cover, time to explore some of the best dive sites around here! Watamula by boat and Playa Kalki (Alice in Wonderland) by shore diving!
Imagine yourself diving in a psychedelic rave party underwater. Searching for fluorescent critters and mind-blowing corals! UV night diving explained + simple photography tips.
There is an ongoing underwater monitoring project in the Dutch Caribbean which you can join. The only thing you need to do is count some fish! How cool!
One of the things you have to do when you are on Bonaire is mangrove snorkeling. It is a perfect way to end your dive holiday. Kayak to a secluded bay to explore future marine life generations!
A few days after full moon a phenomena happens underwater in the Caribbean Sea. This is something every SCUBA diver should experience ones in his life! Read more about Ostracods and how to organize this special dive!
Four times a year dive center Dive Friends Bonaire organizes an underwater clean-up and you can join them! It is FREE, it is FUN, you are helping the local ecosystem and you can even win sponsored prizes afterwards in a RAFFLE.
Bonaire is often awarded as the best shore dive destination in the Caribbean, let me tell you why this really is Divers Paradise. Plus 10 Bonaire shore dive tips and 10 dive site recommendations to get the best out of your trip.
The Florida Keys offer a beautiful landscape of islands connected like a pearl necklace by a highway. The water is blue, the weather is hot and you will find at least 50 dive shops between Key Largo and Key West. Find out where to dive, what to see and how much it costs.
The Blue Heron Bridge is supposed to be the best shore dive site in Florida. While it is basically a sandy area under a bridge, there are countless marinelife species to discover. If you have a critter bucket list, make sure to visit this spot!
Imagine yourself swimming with sea cows. They are round, big and super sweet. The West Indian Manatee is the official name for the sea cows that swim around the Caribbean and Florida. The most amazing trip!
Sunny Malibu Beach, along the South Pacific highway and close to Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Hollywood, offers some very interesting diving! If you are on a holiday around here, try something different and go fun diving in a kelp forest!
Diving in Samoa, previously called Western Samoa, is quite unique. There are only a few dive centers in this small country in the South Pacific, there are no dive centers in American Samoa. How interesting is diving in Samoa compared to other countries in the South Pacific?
If you search for the best wrecks in the world, the SS President Coolidge is on the list! In the country Vanuatu, somewhere in the South Pacific, you can dive a huge WWII troop transport wreck and previous cruise ship!
WRECKS, WRECKS, WRECKS! This incredible place is a dump yard with millions of dollars worth of goods from the US Army in clear South Pacific waters! World class wreck diving in Vanuatu, a country in the South Western Pacific!
Get your adrenaline pumping and dive with countless sharks without a cage in Fiji! See Bull sharks, Tiger sharks, Silvertips and many other shark species in one single dive! It is show time!
Laying in the South Pacific with tropical waters and an amazing Polynesian culture - Fiji is a tropical paradise! Find out about diving Mellow Yellow in the famous Bligh Water after Cyclone Winston!
If you are looking for a more quiet place on Bali with awesome diving, the North - East coast is your spot! Amed is a developing town with a beautiful long coast line with bays of black sand beaches any many great dive spots.
Are you a certified diver and planning a holiday to Bali? Plan a trip to Nusa Penida and dive with manta rays and mola molas! Nusa Penida is an island South-East of Bali. The most famous dive spots here are Manta Point and Crystal Bay.
The Liberty Wreck, or the USAT Liberty, is probably one of the most visited wrecks in the world. It is beautifully overgrown with marine life, easy accessible (shore dive) and laying at shallow depth! And... there is more in Tulamben...
SCUBA diving around Komodo in Indonesia is on many divers wish list as it is known for world class diving. Should you go on a liveaboard or do day-trips here? What are the best dive sites? Dive center recommendation and more!
If you like to look for macro (the small stuff) underwater - go treasure hunting in the black lava sand of Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi, Indonesia! It is definitely world class muck diving here!
Where to start writing about one of the most beautiful places in the world? How to express the beauty and exclusivity of this paradise? It is incredible what you can see on a single dive, countless marine species, colorful fish and soft corals everywhere! WOW!
The best dive spot in Thailand is arguably Richelieu Rock which is accessible with a day trip. Explore what lies beneath at this incredible dive spot in the Surin National Park, just North of the Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea.
If you think Phi Phi is only about partying you are wrong. It is touristy and it can be packed with backpackers but nature is amazing, especially around Phi Phi Leh. Above and below you can find incredible rock formations with stunning cliffs that change in to an incredible seascape full of life.
Diving in the Andaman Sea is awesome! Koh Lipe is the Southernmost island of Thailand, offering over 20 different dive sites in the Tarutao National Marine Park and Butang archipelago. Rock formations with pelagic, impressive amounts of soft corals and macro, all is there for you to discover.
If you are looking for a great place to dive with a large diving community this is your island! Dive centers, dive guides and people doing various SCUBA diving courses and internships are all around. With a large variety of dive spots you can easily enjoy yourself for a holiday or stick around longer...
Sail Rock is a huge underwater pinnacle with only the tip sticking out of the water. With currents swirling around the rock that drops down to 40 meters you can expect an explosion of marine life. This is my favourite dive spot in the Gulf of Thailand!
Have you ever heard of Bamboo and Coral Catsharks? You can find them around Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem Island as well as some incredible nudibranch species. Cambodia offers a different kind of diving in the Gulf of Thailand!
Borneo has some of the worlds most amazing dive spots, filled with schools of fish, tiny colorful creaturs, sharks and so much more! One of those spots you have to see once in your life. Read about how to do it on a budget!
Laying in between the islands Langkawi and Penang on the North-Eastern side of the Malaysian peninsula you can find the Pulau Payar Marine Park. Soft corals, nudibranchs and many clown fish species around. The reef is amazing but the day trip was horrible in many ways.
The Philippines has an amazing number of SCUBA dive regions. If you are looking for a place close to Manila the town Puerto Galera is a great option. This lovely local village is all about SCUBA diving and the dive spots are incredible!
How about combining two bucket list creatures in one single day? At Malapascua you can dive with Thresher sharks around sunrise and Mandarin fish during sunset with another great reef dive in between!
SCUBA diving with countless Jack fish swirling around is like a National Geographic experience in real life. Often a huge group of Big eye Trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus) form a bait ball or tornado underwater at Balicasag island.
From the thrill of treasure hunting for tiny creatures in the sand and rubbish to excellent coral reef diving with tons of fish. Combine those different types of SCUBA dive in Dumaguete, in the Visayas province of The Philippines.
Amazing reefs, abundant marine life, dozens of dive sites and even shoals of sardines in the tropics! Explore the lovely dive town of Moalboal and SCUBA dive around Pescador Island.
Did you ever wonder what it is like to dive in 'cold' waters? Yes, it is cold and can be murky - but there's so much to see down there! Now here's something really adventurous: Staying on a liveaboard in The Netherlands!