You don’t have to spend long around a group of travelers before someone brings up scuba diving. It’s the perfect activity for romantic getaways, adventurous backpacking trips, family holidays, and everything in between.

Learning to dive was something I always wanted to do; it opens up a whole new world of exploration. Exploring the mysterious depths, you’ll find coral reefs teeming with life, exotic fish and plant life, amazing wrecks, and a whole new appreciation for the fragility of our oceans.

10 Best Places to Go Scuba Diving in 2021

Whether you’re just a newbie looking to get started or a veteran searching for new places to explore, here’s a list of some of the best places in the world to go scuba diving:

Best Places to Go Scuba Diving

The Blue Hole

The Blue Hole Scuba Diving

The Blue Hole in Belize is one of the most famous dive sites in the world, and you can probably see why. This peculiar site is actually a massive marine sinkhole. It was popularized by the famous explorer Jacques Cousteau who actually declared it to be one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. The hole itself is around 300m in diameter and around 125m deep. The waters here are crystal-clear, offering up a chance to see reef sharks, as well as bull sharks and hammerheads.

Learn more about traveling to Belize and scuba diving the blue hole!

Thailand

Thailand Scuba Diving

Thailand offers a number of awesome dive sites: Phuket, Ko Tao, Similan Islands, and the Surin Islands to name a few. While you can pretty much go scuba diving anywhere here and still have a blast, the best diving is found near Ko Tao and up near the Similans. Moreover, Ko Tao is a cheap place to learn to scuba dive if you’re a newbie. There’s a plethora of dive shops on the island for both beginners and experts, so you’ll definitely be able to find a company that suits your needs!

Learn more about traveling to Thailand and scuba diving these excellent sites!

Gili Islands

Gili Islands Indonesia Scuba Diving

The Gilis in Indonesia have become massively popular in recent years — and for good reason! The reefs and waters here provide a gorgeous backdrop to your dives. The islands are surrounded by a huge reef system that is better preserved than others in the area. And with the island being much cheaper than its neighbor, Bali, there is even more reason to come here and explore.

Learn more about traveling and scuba diving to the Gili Islands!

Sipadan

Sipadan Malaysia Scuba Diving

Located in Malaysia, Sipadan is arguably one of the best five dive sites in the world. The place is teeming with life. You will see turtles, cave systems, sharks, dolphins, schools of fish, bright coral, bright fish, and everything in between. Not only will you get to see these, but you’ll see them in incredible abundance and variety. It was my favorite place in Southeast Asia so definitely don’t miss it if you’ve never had a chance to dive here!

Learn more about traveling and scuba diving Malaysia!

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Scuba Diving

The Great Barrier Reef needs no introduction. Located off the coast of Australia, the world’s longest reef has all the tropical sea life and coral you could ever imagine. The reef itself is almost 350,000 square kilometers; it’s so big you can see it from space! Over 2 million people visit the reef every year, though unfortunately climate change is having a disasterous effect on the reef, so don’t miss your chance to see the reef while it’s still there!

Scuba Diving the great barrier reef was one of the best things I’ve ever done, despite the fact a fish pooped in front of me!

Learn more about traveling and scuba diving Australia!

Hawaii

Hawaii Scuba Diving

Hawaii has some great scuba diving. The islands are ringed with reefs and wildlife, so it’s pretty hard to come to Hawaii and not dive. Being one the world’s most remote archipelagos, it’s no surprise that there’s just so much going on under the water. Seals, mantas, and turtles are all very common, though it’s definitely possible to also spot humpbacks or whale sharks if you visit from December-May. The area north of the islands has been made into the largest marine reserve in the United States, ensuring great scuba diving for years to come. With so many Americans traveling abroad to dive, Hawaii is actually an underrated choice. Don’t pass it up!

Learn more about traveling and scuba diving Hawaii with my guide!

Micronesia

Micronesia Scuba Diving

Tropical islands as beautiful as Micronesia always have one thing in common: they are encircled by vibrant coral reefs. Dive sites like the Blue Wall make Micronesia one of the top destinations in the South Pacific when it comes to diving. There are also plenty of WWII wrecks that you can explore, too. If you’re looking for somewhere less visited, inexpensive, and pristine then you need not look any further!

Boracay

Boracay beach

Located in the Philippines, this tropical paradise is also (not surprisingly) a scuba diving paradise. You’ll find all the usual suspects here, including eels and clown fish, as well as abundant reef systems. It’s the most popular place to dive in the Philippines and for good reason. When you’re tired of swimming below the sea, you can kick back and relax on the picturesque beaches. Double win!

Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha Scuba Diving

This place may not be well known by travelers, but it’s a world famous dive destination and the best diving site in Brazil. In recent years Fernando de Noronha has definitely grown in popularity, which isn’t surprising. Here you will find lots of life among the blue waters that circle these islands. You’ll be able to swim with turtles, dolphins, and much more.

There is even one of the best wreck sites in the world, the Corveta V 17. Not only is this one of the best dive sites in South America, it’s one of my favorites in the world. Plus, the islands are only allowed to host a limited number of visitors so you won’t be sharing this paradise with lots of other people!

Learn more about traveling to and scuba diving these islands with my guide to Brazil!

Egyptian Red Sea

Red Sea Scuba Diving

The Red Sea offers stunningly clear turquoise waters. The reefs are vibrant and full of life, never failing to disappoint. The consistent water temperatures year round make this a diver’s paradise. From Sharm El Sheikh to the wrecks at Sha’ab Abu Nuhas to the Thistlegorm and Ras Mohammed, you’ll find excellent scuba diving all over the Red Sea.

Regardless of whether you are a beginner or an expert, these dive sites offer up some of the most amazing sights and experiences in the world. From expansive reefs to epic wrecks, these amazing dive destinations will remind you why you started diving in the first place!

P.S. – Want some more islands to dive around? Here are some of my favorite tropical islands in the world.

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight

Find a cheap flight by using Agoda or Aviasales / Jetradar. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation

You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels and also Hotellook

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are: Cherehapa

2 Comments

  1. […] Although both backpackers and tourists travel to different countries, there is a big difference between backpacker and tourist. The key difference between backpacker and tourist lies in the purpose of their tour or travel; backpackers travel to new places to experience the local culture and way of life that is different from their own whereas tourists go to new places for pleasure and relaxation. […]

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