Top 10 Scuba Diving Locations in the World

Though scuba diving locations exist all over the world, divers have a number of favorite spots. Interesting formations, marine life and shipwrecks continue drawing underwater viewers.

Here is a list of the world’s best diving locations for enthusiasts and divers of discriminating taste.

1. Great Blue Hole, Belize
Divers find this natural phenomenon near the middle of Lighthouse Reef. Measuring around 400 meters in diameter, the sink hole has a depth of approximately 145 meters. Here, divers explore a vast underwater cave system.


2. Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia
Though the site serves as home to numerous species of tropical fish, the array of shipwrecks attract divers from all over the world. Once the site of a Japanese naval base, the United States attacked the base in 1944, sinking dozens of planes and ships.

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3. Manta Ray Village, Hawaii

Located off the coast of Hawaii, divers travel here for the opportunity of participating in unique night dives. Dive guides shine high-powered lights into the water, which attracts plankton. The mass of tiny organisms in turn attract the manta rays.

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4. Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea

The island lies off the southern tip of New Guinea. The murky, silty waters serve as home to schools of colorful pipefish and various species of nudibranches.

5. Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia

This small island lies in Darvel Bay off the east coast of Sabah. The waters here remain one of the popular scuba diving locations for the abundance of sea turtles, barracudas and parrotfish.

Photo credit: David Loh/Reuters

6. Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Situated 600 kilometers from the Costa Rica coast, the island gained popularity as a filming location for Jurassic Park. However, divers repeatedly choose this scenic spot for the chance to swim with hammerhead and white-tipped sharks.


7. Gansbaai, South Africa

This fishing village off the southern tip of the Western Cape attracts adrenaline junkies desiring a close-up look at the many great white sharks that frequent the waters here. Donning scuba gear and entering a steel cage, divers get the thrill of a lifetime as the behemoths circle.

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8. Cocklebiddy Cave, Australia

The popular diving spot lies 10 kilometers north of the Cocklebiddy community and off the western coast of Australia. Divers flock to the area for the chance to explore the massive Cocklebiddy cave system that spans four miles in length.

9. Rainbow Warrior, New Zealand

The French government sunk the Greenpeace vessel in Auckland Harbor in 1985 to prevent nuclear testing interference. Now coated in colorful algae, anemones and sponges, the ship serves as home to a variety of fish and eels.

10. Cozumel, Mexico

Besides having some of the most popular vacation resorts in Mexico, the waters off the coast also attract diving enthusiasts. The area has over one dozen reefs and depths extend up to 3,000 feet. The location features amazing caves and tunnels.