Whether you’re an avid diver, or prefer snorkeling, it’s no secret that fascinating creatures and unparallelled beauty lie beneath this planet’s waters. The destinations below are some of the best diving destinations in the world, and feature stunning coral, diverse tropical fish, enchanting shipwrecks, and majestic sharks!
1. The Maldives
While the Maldives is famous for its pristine beaches and enormous array of paradise islands, it also features some of the world’s best diving. Boasting exotic underwater flora and fauna, breathtaking coral reefs, and rich marine ecosystems, the Maldives offers fantastic diving opportunities. One particularly amazing dive site in the Maldives is the Maaya Thila, which is often referred to as the “White Tip Reef Shark Capital of the Maldives.” At the Maaya Thila, you can enjoy a diverse range of exotic creatures including wahoo, tuna jacks, dogtooth tuna, butterfly fish, Napolean Wrasse, whale sharks, anemones, eels, manta rays, and turtles.
When you think of Bali, you may think of delicious food or fascinating culture, but Bali’s location in the Coral Triangle also provides for some amazing diving! Aside from stunning exotic biodiversity, the waters of Bali include the nearly 400 foot Liberty wreck. Towed to the area by the Dutch in 1942 after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, the Liberty sank into the black sand off the Balinese coast after the violent eruption of the Gunung Agung Volcano. This ship wreck offers terrific and safe diving oppportunities, which include watching the invertebrates and flashlight fish zoom in and out of the wreckage.
3. Great Barrier Reef
Widely recognized as one of the top diving sites on the planet, and frequently sited as one of the natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. Viewable from outer space, the Great Barrier reef is the world’s largest single structure composed solely of living organisms, and is composed of over 2900 individual reefs. While all of the dive sites in the Great Barrier Reef offer awe inspiring biodiversity and views of the underwater world, Cod Hole, which is mere minutes away from Lizard Island by boat, is a particularly fantastic dive site. At Cod Hole, you can get up close and personal with enormous human-sized potato cod. These cod have been fed by humans for more than 20 years, and are especially friendly. While at Cod Hole, you can also check out green turtles, angelfish, and black spotted puffer fish!
Known as the Soft Coral Capital of the World, it is unsurprising that the islands of Fiji offer some of the world’s best dive sites! Teeming with lively tropical fish, brightly colored coral, and exotic underwater flora and fauna, Fiji offers an unparallelled glimpse into a pristine underwater world. Perhaps the most famous of Fijian dive sites is the Beqa Lagoon, which features unique underwater topography, stunning rock formations, blue ribbon eels, and diverse tropical fish. Another fantastic dive site in Fiji is the Great White Wall, which is just a short boat ride from Taveuni Island. At the Great White Wall, you can discover an underwater cave, a shocking white hill of coral (which is actually made of lavender coral), batfish, and barracuda!
With over 100 diverse islands scattered across the tropical Indian Ocean, the waters of the Seychelles are teeming with beautiful tropical fish, and provide many top notch diving opportunities. In the Seychellois waters, you’ll find stunning corals, tuna, parrot fish, eagle rays, , octopi, and eels, among other sea creatures! While the Seychelles features numerous fantastic dive sites, the Ennerdale Wreck is a particularly great place to dive. Just 1.5 miles northeast Male, the Ennerdale Wreck features grouper, nurse sharks, tuna, kingfish, octopi, and crayfish.