Scuba dive in paradise – 13 travelers tell it all!
Scuba dive around the world from Asia to Europe.
Scuba Dive in paradise
Animal watching and scuba diving tours are a some of the best activities that focus on the preservation of the marine Eco-system. With scuba diving and snorkeling trips becoming more mainstream, they will hopefully replace some of the fishing/hunting or caging of certain wild animals used for human entertainment.
A group of international travel writers share with us, the best scuba diving in the world, covering different countries and continents. Grab your mask and enter a brand new world!
JAMES OF ESCAPING ABROAD
Cenote (Cavern) Scuba Diving in Yucatan, Mexico
The Yucatan is home to countless cenotes, many of which are available to adventurous divers looking for something new to try. Unlike cave diving, no extra certifications are needed for a cenote cavern dive. I did my first cavern dive in the popular beginner cenote Dos Ojos 2 years ago. I’ve since dove in 2 more of the Yucatan’s cenotes and am hooked! Using a flashlight to guide yourself through the dark yet crystal clear waters is exhilarating.
Each cenote offers it’s own unique experience.. some have blurry areas called haloclines, green algae changing the water color, and others have amazing rock formations.
There are no corals growing here – but some cenotes do have small fish, pockets of air with bats, and even small cayman.
Respect marine wildlife. Enjoy viewing marine mammals and wildlife from a safe distance. Don’t chase or grab any animal. Remember, you are the guest, the sea/ocean is their home.
JUSTIN CARMACK OF TRUE NOMADS
For the last eight months I have been doing nothing but diving in the beautiful Dahab, Egypt. I am a full time travel blogger, and until I arrived in Dahab, have been on the move constantly for the last four years. Dahab turned out to be one of those places that sucks you in and never lets you leave. How does it do this? It isn’t the amazing desert landscape and scenery, or the extremely laid back and relaxed atmosphere that keeps me here so long, even though that helps too, its the amazing diving all over the area.
The best dive sites around Dahab are The Canyon, Lighthouse (my two favorite), Eel Garden, Rick’s Reef, The Islands, Three Pools, The Caves and of course the famous Blue Hole. Each one is unique, but they all offer an abundance of amazing flora and fauna. You will definitely regret not having an underwater camera on these dives.
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“A lot of people attack the sea, I make love to it.”
— Jacques Yves Cousteau, Oceanographe
BRET LOVE OF GREEN GLOBAL TRAVEL
Diving in Caño Island, Costa Rica
Located less than an hour’s boat ride (around 15 km) from the Osa Peninsula, the Caño Island Biological Reserve offers the best Scuba diving we’ve found in Costa Rica. Swimming between 20-30 feet tall coral reef walls, we rounded a corner to see 7 White Tip Reef Sharks huddled close together, with hundreds of Grass Eels waving gently in the sand behind them.
A Panamic Green Moray Eel peered out from a hole in the reef, while a Bullseye Electric Ray did its best to camouflage itself against the sandy ocean floor. At one point I found myself surrounded by thousands of fish– yellow and silver-striped Grunts, huge Amberjacks, vivid Striped Snapper, cautious Horse-Eye Jacks, and dozens of other species I couldn’t identify– swimming in huge schools. It was just like a scene straight out of Finding Nemo, and it’s one of my favorite memories from our time in Costa Rica
MARGHERITA RAGG AND NICK BURN OF THE CROWDED PLANET
Scuba diving in Madagascar
Madagascar is not a budget-friendly country when it comes to diving. Most diving outfits are located around the island’s upmarket resorts such as the island of Nosy Be in the northern part of the country and come with a top-dollar price tag.
For budget-minded divers, the best option is heading to Anakao, a great laidback resort in the southern part of the country, not far from the city of Tulear. Anakao offers some great dive sites for all levels. Il Camaleonte is a great diving centre, owned by Andrea, an Italian expat.
Beginner divers (such as myself) will enjoy the shallow waters in the reef near the tiny island of Nosy Ve, easy to reach with a 15-minutes pirogue ride. Advanced divers will love Atlantide, the most spectacular site in the Anakao area, offering opportunities for cave diving.
Anakao is also a great (and affordable!) place for whale-watching; whales are so common between July and Octover that you are likely to spot one on your way to the dive site!
Resist the temptation to collect shells, rocks or other underwater artifacts, because they provide homes for sea creatures.
JEAN CARMELA OF HOLY SMITHEREENS
Scuba diving in Iceland
Scuba diving may be the last thing you’d want to do in Iceland in October. After all, we dove on waters that were 2 degrees (celcius) cold!
I’m deathly afraid of the cold. I was hesitant to do this at first. In fact, while I was struggling to put on my dry suit (outside the freezing cold weather, no less!), my teeth were chattering and I had thoughts of “it’s not too late to back out!”
But I’m so glad I persisted. Because Lake Silfra is the cleanest and clearest waters one can dive in. The lake is composed of freezing and sweet glacial water. Yes, I know it’s sweet because I took a couple of gulps
While there were no creatures or any marine life we encountered while diving, what makes this dive so significant is the fact that you are diving between two continental plates (European and American).
The visibility is unbelievably clear, and there were more than 50 shades of blue underneath Lake Silfra for sure.
For someone who is afraid of the cold, I’d still do this over again in a heartbeat!
SAVANNAH GRACE OF SHIHPROMATUM
Scuba diving in the Mauritius
My Scuba diving experiences started when I was certified with PADI open water at age 16 in Dahab, Egypt’s Red Sea. One of the most spectacular places my certificate has allowed me to dive in is Mauritius, an island country off the coast of Southern Africa. I was instantly stunned by the islands beauty, before I even set foot on it’s sandy shores.
In Mauritius you can dive with pods of wild dolphins, and explore the bountiful coral reef life. The most spectacular underwater moment I ever had was swimming with this pod of over 300 wild dolphins, just off the Mauritius’ palm-lined beach.
The luckiest part is, you don’t even need a certificate or to struggle with all the scuba gear in order to enjoy this! Highly recommended.
Once you finish your dive, make sure to carry away any trash you – and others – may have left behind. Beach litter poses a significant threat to the health and survival of marine organisms, which can swallow or get tangled in beverage containers, plastic bags, six-pack rings and other debris.
MATT BAILEY OF LIVE LIMITLESS
Scuba diving in the Galapagos
Whether its having a school of Hammerhead Sharks swim next to you or a playful Seal nibble at your fins, the Galapagos is an underwater dream. Famous for its unique look into evolution, the Galapagos is often named one of the top scuba-diving destinations in the world. While the strong currents and cold water are certainly not for the beginner, the Galapagos is something to strive for.
My wife and I participated in a week long live-aboard diving cruise with Aggressor, which is really the best way to see everything you’d want to see. While I certainly loved having Hammerhead Sharks to the right of me and a pod of dolphins swimming overhead, I found a child-like joy swimming with marine iguanas, which can only be found in the Galapagos.
Rather than a lot of coral, the Galapagos is mostly made up of volcanic rock and although it’s famous for the big creatures, it was pretty special having penguins dart by me as well.
When diving, be very aware that strong strokes with your fins can damage coral and sensitive organisms. If your diving on very shallow waters, make sure you move gently to avoid harming the co-system.
BRENDEN OF WORLD VIEW
Scuba diving in Cuba
I once had to opportunity to go scuba diving in Holguin, Cuba and it was an incredible experience.
I had never gone scuba diving previous to that so it was my first time. I am now hooked on diving. Funnily enough I don’t really care much for snorkelling, but diving is another experience entirely for me. Since I had never dove before I first had to go through a lesson in shallow waters where I was taught everything I needed to know to go for a slightly deeper dive.
I ended up loving it so much that I went diving a second day to a depth of 10 metres. The marine life and coral in Holguin, Cuba is not the best in the world, but it was a nice introduction for me into the world of underwater life and diving in general.
Scuba diving in Koh Tao, Thailand
I headed to Thailand in 2008 to become a dive master, little did I know a brand new world was opening to me.
I’ve lived and studied in the southern Island Called Koh Tao, the mecca for diving students. During those intensive 3 months of daily dives, I was fortunate to swim with whale sharks, manta rays, barracudas, banner fish, and all sorts of beautifully colored fish and corals.
Koh Tao is a great place for beginners if you want to learn to scuba dive. The waters are warm and the visibility is great.
My other favorite diving spot are the Andaman Islands archipelago, in India.
MARYSIA MACIOCHIA OF MY TRAVEL AFFAIRS
Scuba diving in the Easter Islands and Oman
I love scuba diving, I’m totally addicted to it. From the very first breath underwater scuba diving manage to inspire, challenge and surprise me.
I have my own little theory, that I experience ‘perfect defect’(theory about Universe expanding) the very first few seconds of every dive.
I’m not one of those divers who madly note every dive in the log book and always brag about numbers. I have dived few times with a man who said that after about 10 thousand dives he stopped counting because it is not the numbers that matter and I tend to agree with him.
Counting not counting I’m always looking for unique diving destinations to check out. I think that two unusual places I have dover are Easter Island and Oman.
Easter Island was super unique, even though there is not much corals and fishes (for those go to Jordan) there the clarity of the water, visibility
and the depth that you could dive where are spectacular. It was like there was no water between me and other divers, you could see that clearly!
Big attraction of sites in Easter Island are numerous caves and labyrinths you can explore, of course you need to be experience enough or go with an instructor not to stuck somewhere unexpected. That would be super dangerous. Oman is one of the best divings I have ever done in my life. I have read somewhere on some diving forum that it is famous for diving! And I was like: What? I have to go there. And I did. I organized a special diving trip in Daymaniyat Islands Nature Reserved, please note you need permits as it is national park and it takes a while to get them, so always think upfront.
Oman is for people who love big creatures. Turtles, huge manta and sting rays, barracudas and sharks. The diving sites are not too deep, max 40m so if you are fun of that you better go to Egypt, Australia or Turkey.
DJ YABIS OF DREAM EURO TRIP
Scuba diving in Italy
I dived on Ponza island, Italy with Ponza Diving Center. It was my first time diving in Europe and it was pretty exciting. What I loved the most, the rock courtyards. These are spaces where you dive inside a rock tunnel and come out in the hollow, middle part of the rock where the sun is magically shining on it. Imagine rays of sun like you see in movies. The visibility was great, the water was very clear and clean.
There weren’t as many fish in the dive site we went to, but the underwater landscape is gorgeous. It was a site for beginners, but I heard there were more fish on other dive sites. It also wasn’t as cold as I expected it to be. In fact it was actually quite warm.
Appart from diving in Ponza, you can stay longer and explore the island. It’s really beautiful and definitely one of my favorite islands in the Mediterranean. There are alot of things to see and do in Ponza, you won’t regret it.
TALON WINDWALKER OF 1 DAD, 1 KID
Scuba diving in Honduras
Utila is an island located in Honduras in the Caribbean Sea. It’s well known on the backpacker trail for those wanting to learn scuba diving for a much cheaper rate. While it does offer cheap diving, the island and its surrounding ocean are definitely an attraction in their own right. It’s the Caribbean the way it used to be, unlike other islands that have built up to accommodate cruises and other types of tourism.
Utila is part of the second largest barrier reef system in the world, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Naturally, there is abundant sea life, including sea turtles, nurse sharks, eagle rays, and during parts of the year the world’s largest fish—the whale shark.
Diving here is wonderful because the water is warm, visibility is astounding, and there is rarely ever a strong current.
It’s a great place to see various types of hard and soft coral as well.
Carmen Allan-Petale from Double-Barrelled Travel
Scuba diving in Dominica
The island of Dominica is one of my favorite places in the world and it was here my husband and I were fortunate enough to get PADI certified.
We never learned to scuba dive by dipping our heads into chlorinated pools – it was jumping straight off the rickety wooden jetty and into the clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea where we first breathed through a regulator.
Skinny-nosed trumpet fish, bright yellow and blue damsel fish, big-toothed parrotfish and stripy small-mouthed grunts swam around us, coloring the waters with flashes of rainbow.
The corals shone in the sunlight and underneath the odd reef shelf you could pop your head and perhaps sight a nurse shark, as we did more than once.
If you’re lucky enough to get the opportunity to dive at this first-class fish destination, make sure you spend time along The Wall, in The Coral Gardens and at Scott’s Head – some of our favorite dive spots on the island.
These are some examples of best scuba diving in the world. There are many more amazing destinations and marine Santuaries around the world. If you have visited an amazing scuba diving spot, tell us about your experience on the comment section.