Top Ten Scuba Diving Destinations
There are many amazing places that you can dive now, so we’ve consolidated our favourite 10 for you to add to your ever-growing travel list.
Mexico – Cozumel
The Island of Cozumel, off the Mayan coast, is surrounded by gorgeous reefs and pristine clear water; perfect for scuba diving.
It takes nearly 25 hours to fly here from the UK, with flights costing approximately £950. Accommodation ranges in price, from 3-star hotels averaging about £60 going up to £140 for 5-star hotels.
On a good day visibility can be up to 200 feet. Gentle currents running parallel to the reef are a drift diver’s dream. There are 19 popular scuba diving reef areas, including dramatic swim-throughs teeming with marine life.
Cozumel is very friendly for the foreign tourist, has affordable accommodation and buzzing night life. Cave divers will enjoy a trip to the mainland to scuba dive the cenotes freshwater caves. There are dozens of excellent dive shops to choose from in the main town of San Miguel.
Fiji Islands – South Pacific
Fiji offers an incredible scuba diving experience. It is the Soft Coral Capital of the World, the home of the Great White Wall, the Yellow Tunnel and other famous underwater marvels.
An amass of over 300 islands, Fiji is full of gorgeous landscapes and beaches lined with palm trees.
Scuba diving conditions and visibility are unrivalled year-round. Because of its clear water and dazzling coral Fiji is a favourite hangout for professional underwater photographers.
Another long flight from the UK, you are looking at approximately 28 hours costing roughly £1,100. Accommodation ranges from £60 for a 3-star hotel and approximately £330 for a 5-star.
Cayman Islands – Grand Cayman
The largest Cayman island, it takes just over 14 hours to fly to, with flights averaging around £900. Accommodation ranges in price, starting at approximately £150 for a 3-star hotel and £480 for a 5-star hotel.
Visibility averages 80 feet to 150 feet in this tropical paradise revered by scuba diving enthusiasts.
Rising like a mountain plateau in the Caribbean, the Grand Cayman’s shallow reefs provide maximum downtime, next to massive drop-offs in the surrounding 12,000-foot abyss.
It is extremely common to dive surrounded by stingrays here too, with many experiences available to get up close and personal.
USA – Florida
Florida offers the best scuba diving opportunities on the North American continent and takes nearly 12 hours to travel to ranging from £650 – £1200 with accommodation ranging between £80 – £250.
Dive shops proliferate along the entire Gulf coast and Atlantic coast, and within a short boat ride of the nearest beach you will be submerged alongside giant turtles, manatees, sharks, tropical fish, rays and dolphins.
For ease of travel Florida is a perfect vacation destination for scuba divers. The convenience and economy of Florida travel is often the deciding factor in choosing Florida for scuba diving.
The Gulf coast generally has better visibility, the Atlantic Coast has a wealth of reefs and wrecks and the Florida Keys offer beautiful warm water and tropical fish.
Boasting some of the world’s best preserved marine ecosystems, but undiscovered by excessive tourism, Belize is a natural destination for scuba divers.
Taking just under 25 hours to fly from the UK from £1,100 (with two stops!) and accommodation ranging from £70 – £280.
Visibility can be poor except along the leeside of atolls where it can reach 100 feet. The Belize Barrier Reef offers a stunning variety of marine life. This signature dive, The Blue Hole (pictured above) is more than 1,000 feet across and almost perfectly round with a depth of 450 feet and is the highlight of most diver’s holidays in Belize!
Australia – The Great Barrier Reef
Heron Island is literally a coral island rising above the famous Great Barrier Reef.
With excellent scuba diving just steps from the shore, you can strap on a snorkel and stay under 20 feet for hours on a scuba tank. Heron is a quiet island, devoid of industry or day trippers, which is ideal for the scuba diver who wants to bask in a relaxed casual lifestyle during surface intervals.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on the earth and is visible from outer space!
The nearest international airport is Cairns which takes just over 24 hours from UK with flights roughly costing £1,075. Accommodation varies, starting at £60 up to £170 approximately, with the reef being 45-90 minutes depending on your island destination of choice.
East of Australia, suspended between New Zealand and Southeast Asia, Vanuatu is prized by scuba divers primarily for its incredible diversity.
Amid clear warm water and abundant marine life scuba divers can experience caves, swim-through, walls, lava towers, fantastically elaborate wrecks, coral mazes, grottoes and overhangs, plus more.
Another long journey, it takes nearly 30 hours to get to from the UK costing over £2,000 with accommodation ranging between £40 – £180.
Turks and Caico’s – Grand Turk
Located along the southern tip of the Bahamas, Grand Turk stays sheltered from heavy currents and visibility is excellent year-round for scuba diving.
Grand Turk is a summer gathering place for gentle manta rays and inquisitive scuba divers. Grand Turk is surrounded by walls covered in sponges and corals starting at 25 feet and rising to 30 feet and plunging 7000 feet straight down.
Flights start from £520 and takes just 12 hours from the UK with accommodation ranging between £800 – £2100.
Scuba diving in Hawaii is big. Giant sea turtles, enormous stingrays, sharks and whales gather near Hawaii to live in its fertile volcanic ecosystem. Though lacking the clear visibility of a sheltered island, Hawaii makes up for clarity with grandeur.
Flights take between 18 and 19 hours from the UK and are upwards of £700, with accommodation ranging between £100 – £250.
Thailand – Koh Tao Island
Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand is a tourist-friendly resort island that caters especially to scuba divers.
Surrounded on all sides by colourful reefs the island is also well known for opportunities for close-encounters with elusive Whale sharks and Grey Reef Sharks.
The scuba diving is excellent, but despite desperate marine conservation efforts shark hunting is offered as a tourist diversion and many people travel to Koh Tao just to kill the local fauna.
Flights take approximately 15-16hours starting at £700 and accommodation ranges between £40 – £150.
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