1. Great Barrier Reef – Queensland, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef always comes on top of dream diving destinations by scuba divers around the world and for good reasons. It’s the healthiest and largest coral reef system in the world! Spanning over 2,000 kilometers along the eastern coast of Australia, The Great Barrier Reef is comprised of 2,900 individual reefs, 300 coral rays and 600 continental islands, making it the world’s largest, single structure made from living organisms. Revered for its biodiversity and spiritual significance among aboriginal people, divers from around the world flock to Queensland to discover the hidden beauty of this world-renowned aquatic wonderland.
Amazing coral formations and an eye-popping array of colorful fishes are always great attractions but this marine wonderland also offers plenty of other diving adventures just waiting to be explored! The Great Barrier Reef is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts of the richest ecosystems on the planet making it a must-see diving destination!
2. Tubbataha Reef – Sulu Sea, Palawan, Philippines
Tubbataha Reef, which is located in the middle of the Sulu Sea, 150 kilometers southeast of Puerto Princessa, is a protected marine and bird sanctuary with a total area of 97,030 hectares. The word “Tubbataha” is a combination of two Samal words, which when put together means “a long reef exposed at low tide”.
The Tubbataha Reef boasts of an unusually dense marine species, a nesting site for both birds, sea turtles and one of its most popular attraction, whale sharks, the world largest fish. With over 600 fish species, 360 coral species, 11 shark species and 13 dolphin species calling Tubbataha Reef home, this underwater wonder is regarded as a crucial part of the planet’s marine ecology and is not simply just another dive site, adding to its allure among serious and recreational scuba divers.
Because Tubbataha Reef is isolated in the middle of the ocean, it has since developed unpolluted, unexploited marine resources for decades. Most of the marine species inhabiting Tubbataha Reef are considered endangered. Colorful corals, shallow depths and coral walls and rare species of sharks, whales, moray eels and manta rays are just a few attractions of the Tubbataha Reef.
3. Palau Island – Micronesia
Palau group of island is situated five hundred miles off the east of Philippines in Micronesia. Renowned for its mesmerizing beaches, psychedelic reefs, World War II wreckages and a head-spinning number of fish species, sharks, manta rays and other marine life, Palau Island is definitely a scuba diver paradise! Jacques Cousteau, who is instrumental to the popularity of the island once said Palau Island offers “the world’s best wall dive.”
Regarded as one of the most beautiful diving spots on the planet, Palau Island offers a world of excitement, alluring marine ecosystem and unforgettable diving adventure. Palau group of island boasts of over 1,300 species of fish inhabiting its massive coral lagoons. Shark and barracudas are permanent residents of the neighboring Blue Corner dive spot and manta rays sightings are common at the German Channel.
4. Similan Islands – Phang Nga Province, Thailand
Similan Islands is a group of island off the coast of the Phang Nga Province, southern Thailand. The island, which was turned into a national park in 1982, was named as such because “Similan” is a Yawi word that means nine. As you might’ve guessed Similan island consists of nine islands, named Ko Bon, Ko Bayu, Ko Similan, Ko Payu, Ko Miang, Ko Payan, Ko Payang, and Ko Huyong.
Known for its clear waters, gorgeous beaches and breathtaking views, Similan Islands offers two different kinds of diving. The east side of the island features gently sloping coral reefs with sandy patches while the west side features massive underwater granite boulders, with several swim throughs.
Perhaps the most popular among Similan’s group of island is the east side known as East of Eden. The East of Eden features the Elephant Head Rock, which is Similan Islands’ most famous landmark. The west side of Similan dive spot is covered in a gorgeous blanket of hard and soft corals.
5. Red Sea Reef – Red Sea, Egypt
There’s more to Egypt than the pyramids. Apart from being the cradle of one of the most advanced civilizations in the ancient world, Egypt is also home to one of the most popular diving destination in the world, the Red See Reef. Also known as the Erythraean Sea, the Red Sea features a seawater inlet in the Indian Ocean lying between Asia and Africa. It was once a commercial route of ancient Egyptians to Punt.
Boasting of exotic seascapes, a wide expanse of coral formations and thousands of sea creatures, the Red Sea Reef is renowned for its stunning visibility thanks to the clear, crisp waters. The Red Sea has a rich, diverse marine ecosystem, with more than 1,200 species of fish, 10% of which are unique in the area. The Red Sea reef also has 42 species of deepwater fish, and 2,000 kilometers of corals, that extends along its coastlines. Red sea fish and 44 other species of sharks also visit the reef frequently.
6. Great Blue Hole – Belize
Located at the heart of the Lighthouse Reef, the Great Blue Hole is a submarine sinkhole that measures over 300 miles across and 124 miles deep. Situated off the coast of Belize, the Great Blue Hole was formed during a series of “quaternary glaciations (limestone cave system collapse) when sea levels were much lower.” Several analyses show that the Great Big Hole was formed around 15,000 years ago.
The Great Big Hole is also a part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. This stunning diving spot is a protected World Heritage Site, boasting of an extensive array of fishes, coral reefs, groupers, angelfish and neon gobies.
The Great Big Hole is perhaps Belize’s most popular diving spots for recreational scuba divers because of its pristine, clear waters, sighting of marine species including Midnight parrotfish, Caribbean reef sharks, and occasional visits from bull sharks and hammerhead sharks. Most day trips offered in the area includes one dive to the Blue Hole, a dive to the neighboring Half Moon Wall and the east of Long Caye.