Places to Scuba Dive

Places to Scuba DiveThere's a wide world out there, full of great places to go diving. With so many spots to choose from, how do you decide? Location is a major factor, but you should also consider the type of diving, availability of other activities, and kinds of marine life or other underwater attractions in a given area. Here's a rundown on some of the most popular locales. (Pictured: Scuba diver observing a Hawksbill Turtle sleeping on a reef in Australia)


Grand Cayman and the Turks and Caicos are perhaps the best-known dive spots in the Caribbean, but Saba, Dominica, Bonaire, Little Cayman, and many others are worth the trip and may be less crowded. There's good diving in south Florida and the Keys, too.


Central America

The second longest barrier reef in the world spans Belize and Honduras, and both have great diving as well as Mayan ruins and many other activities. Similarly, Costa Rica offers diving and numerous land-based attractions.


The Red Sea, between Africa and the Arabian peninsula, is famed for its clear water and colorful fish. The Seychelles offer some of the best diving in Africa. Shark diving and cage diving can be found in Gansbaai, South Africa.

South Pacific and Asia

From Thailand to the Solomon Islands, there's fantastic diving throughout the region. Whether you prefer wrecks or reefs, live-aboards or drift dives, you can find it here. Fiji and Palau are deservedly very popular. but there are great dives in Malaysia, the Maldives, and other areas too.

Australia (pictured above)

The Great Barrier Reef needs no introduction. Cairns and Port Douglas are the center of the diving industry in North Queensland; live-aboards are also popular. Land activities abound as well.


Great diving can be found off several of the Hawaiian islands. Unique features include underwater lava tubes and arches, as well as colorful fish species found nowhere else. Turtles are common at some sites.


The island of Cozumel is a popular destination, given its proximity to the United States and its warm waters and abundant sea life. Most diving in Cozumel is drift diving. Cave diving in the many cenotes that dot the Yucatan peninsula is also popular. There are dive sites on the Pacific coast as well, including the Sea of Cortez in Baja California.

Article Written By Peggy Hansen

Peggy Hansen holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from UC San Diego, Doctor of Medicine from UCLA, and completed postgraduate training at Stanford, Duke and Harvard. An award-winning writer and photographer, her work has been featured in Catnip, Herbalgram, Porter Gulch Review, and many online pieces. She's also a commentator for KQED-FM

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