What’s a better way to spend your next vacation than to scuba dive? From encountering exotic species to seeing the most chilling wreckage, scuba diving is the key to experiencing the mysterious depths of the underwater world like you’ve never done before.
However, you probably don’t want to waste your time looking up places that are worth checking out, so here are the top locations for the best scuba diving in the world.
Best Scuba Diving in the World in 2023
1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
How can we talk about world dive sites without opening up with the world’s largest coral reef system? The Great Barrier Reef makes up 10% of the world’s coral reef ecosystems and stretches over 133,000 square miles. It’s so big that you can see it from outer space.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of 2,900 colorful individual reefs and is home to many vulnerable and endangered species such as cetaceans, dugongs, green sea turtles, and more. In addition, it has around 600 soft and hard corals and 4,000 types of mollusks.
If you’re interested in coming face to face with large pelagic species, visit the Great Barrier to see species like jacks, triggerfish, Maori Wrasse, barracudas, and coral trout. Either way, you’ll encounter a variety of species of sharks, seahorses, turtles, whales, cephalopods, and more.
Not a thousand articles can come close to telling everything that you’ll find in this magnificent place, so why not see it for yourself?
2. Great Blue Hole, Belize
As the name suggests, it’s a very large blue hole almost in the middle of Lighthouse Reef that is so large you can see it from space. The Great Blue Hole blows experienced scuba divers away with 403 feet of depth, although very few go deeper than 130.
As the world’s largest marine sinkhole and Belize’s most fascinating tourist attraction, it attracts many scuba divers and explorers looking to unlock its secrets. It’s also a part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It mesmerizes you with ancient limestone stalactites and stalagmites that prove that they once existed above the water and help estimate the foundation of the hole at around hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Also, it has a variety of fauna, such as turtles, angelfish, parrotfish, groupers, Caribbean reef sharks, nurse tip sharks, lemon sharks, black tip sharks, hammerhead sharks, and bull sharks. Plus, the hole is edged with corals of all kinds, including brain and Elkhorn corals.
3. Thistlegorm, Egyptian Red Sea
Wreck diving is beautiful, exciting, chilling, and haunting. If you have a taste for the eerie and spooky, consider this must-dive. SS Thistlegorm was a British Merchant Navy vessel that sank in 1941 in the Egyptian Red Sea after being attacked by the Germans.
The 419-feet long war grave lies at only 100 feet, meaning that you can dive in without special equipment. However, it’s still prone to strong currents, so bear that in mind. Its superstructure has remained in good condition, thus attracting seas of scuba divers, no pun intended.
Its impressive cargo that you can still find in its hold includes motorcycles, army trucks, tanks, jeeps, rifles, Westland Lysander wings, Wellington boots, and more.
Besides, this vessel is perfect for underwater photography, thanks to being overtaken by hard and soft corals, sea fans, prawns, giant moray eels, batfish, nudibranchs, and so much more. It’s insane how much life has breathed into such a haunting location.
4. Brothers Islands, Egyptian Red Sea
Made up of Big Brother and Little Brother, these Egyptian Red Sea islands are the perfect place for highly experienced scuba divers who love the taste of danger and enjoy the privilege of seclusion. Also, the islands are 5 minutes away from each other.
Little Brother is known for being a hotspot for sharks, namely oceanic whitetip sharks, gray reef sharks, and hammerhead sharks. Other species that you may encounter are dogtooth tuna and barracudas. Plus, this island enjoys a colorful variety of hard and soft corals.
On the other hand, Big Brother is abundant in the most beautiful soft corals and has a lot of anthias, sweepers, glassfish, and more. Like its younger sibling, Big Brother is home to numerous sharks, maybe with an even wider variety.
One of the reasons why Big Brother is popular is the fact that it has two wrecks: Numidia and Aida. S.S. Numidia was a steam cargo ship that sank in 1901 and fell victim to nature’s artistic soft and hard corals.
On the other hand, Aida was a transport supply ship that sank in 1957 and became a picturesque wreck that wreck divers would die to see in real life.
5. Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island, Malaysia
Barracuda Point is a dive spot that lies on the northeastern part of Sipadan Island, Malaysia’s only oceanic island. It goes along a wall that is more than 131 feet deep.
As you can tell from the name, this spot is known for barracuda shoal, where thousands of them travel in tornado-like formations that are worthy of carrying the underwater photography industry.
However, barracudas aren’t the only thing that this spot has to offer. In fact, it’s pretty diverse down there, and it houses more than 400 species of fish and sea animals, such as bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead sharks, buffalo fish, nudibranchs, batfish, coconut crabs, reef sharks, sea turtles, groupers, and much more.
In addition, it has hundreds of soft and hard coral species that nestle beautifully along the wall, so prepare to be amazed. Note that the currents may be strong for you if you’re a beginner.
Hopefully, our article on the best scuba diving in the world has helped choose your next diving destination. Regardless of what you pick, each location stands out either in its diverse marine life or historical importance. Enjoy your time diving!