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Great Scuba Diving Destinations

Ask five scuba divers to give you the best dive location in the world and you’d probably get five different answers!


With such a massive array of wonderful dive experience available for scuba divers of all experience levels, choosing just five is a challenge.


But we’ll give it a go! Here’s our guide on five great dive destinations.

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Our top 5 great dive destinations

1) Palau – Micronesia

While it may not be a country that’s a household name in the UK, Palau is a huge attraction for divers. Made up of a series of islands, the archipelago is located in the Pacific Ocean.

Said by some to be one of the most biodiverse and unspoiled dive destinations in the world, it is home to over 1,500 species of fish alone.

For the 41,000 divers who visit each year, the options are almost endless. WW11 ships and aircraft wrecks, stunning coral formations, lakes, drop offs, blue holes and caverns.

Popular dive sites include Blue Corner Wall and the Ulong Channel both with visibility of over 30 metres and a rich diversity of marine life. Less well known but equally exciting is Peleliu Express, Blue Holes and Devil Fish City, all with large numbers of sharks, manta rays and turtles.

Great Scuba Diving Destinations

2) Belize

The former British colony of Belize in Central America has the perfect blend of beauty, adventure and world class diving! Its stunning turquoise waters attract divers seeking beautiful natural reef features and abundant marine life.

That’s probably not surprising when you learn that Belize boasts the largest barrier reef in the Northern hemisphere and the second largest reef system in the entire world.

Protected as a UNESCO World heritage site, it’s most famous dive site is the Blue Hole, a vertical cave some 300 metres wide and 125 meters deep. It’s believed to be the world’s largest feature of its type.

A particular attraction is the arrival of whale sharks that arrive in the south of the country between April and June.

scuba diving in Belize

3) The Red Sea

The Red Sea has some of the best and most diverse diving in the world. Whether from Egypt, Jordan or even Saudi Arabia, there are a number of great spots.

Probably the best known red sea dive resort is Sharm El-Sheikh from which you can dive a number of interesting sites. These include Ras Mohammed, a headland overlooking the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba which is rich in coral and marine life. Here take a drift dive to Shark Reef, or visit the wreck of the Yolanda.

Elphinstone Reef is some 6.5 miles offshore, 300 metres long and has sheer sides. In the middle of the reef the depth is a mere one metre before plunging into the depths.

The Red Sea also has a number of wrecks to explore, the most famous of which is probably the 131 metre long Thistlegorm. This British vessel was sunk from the air in 1941 with its cargo of war supplies including rifles, motor bikes, train carriages and trucks.

scuba diving in the Red Sea

4) The Galapagos Islands

For unspoiled natural habitats, the Galapagos Islands is probably without peer. For divers it also offers some spectacular opportunities. A part of Ecuador, the islands famously captured the heart and mind of Charles Darwin inspiring his famous research.

As a protected marine reserve the archipelago is home to wonderful species such as marine iguanas and with its position on the equator is the only place in the world where you’re likely to see penguins and turtles at the same time. That’s before we mention the sharks, including Hammerheads along with dolphins, playful sea lions and rays.

It’s most famous dive sites include Darwin Island, the remains of an extinct volcano. The upwelling of water rich in nutrients brings large numbers of sharks, rays, turtles and other species. Wolf Island, Gordon’s Rock, and Darwin Arch are also known for their great visibility and abundance of marine life.

scuba diving in The Galapagos Islands

5) Australia

Australia needs no introduction as a holiday destination, perfect for its beaches, cities and yes, scuba diving.

Australia has five marine World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in the world. Of course, unless you plan on travelling around, you’ll need to pick your location more carefully as there are great sites all around this vast country.

Probably most famous for the Great Barrier Reef, Australia has some other magnificent sites including Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea. Some 125 km from the Great Barrier Reef it towers from the sea bed some 2,400 metres down to just below the surface. It’s home to a vast variety of abundant marine life including reef sharks.

Famous wrecks include the Yongala in Queensland. She sank during a cyclone in 1911 with the loss of 122 lives. The wreck is protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act and is argued by some to be the best dive in the world.

There’s also a great shore dive at Navy Pier in Western Australia which extends some 300 metres from shore and is rich in life including sharks and octopus.

scuba diving in Australia

A word on scuba diving insurance

If you’re planning a scuba diving trip to these or other dive locations around the world, you’d be wise to ensure that you’re properly protected with insurance cover.

While standard travel insurance policies may not cover you for scuba diving, you will be able to find more specialist travel policies that do include it. You’ll just need to read your policy document to see if it is included at no extra cost, or if there is an exclusion, in which case you may need to pay an additional premium to upgrade your policy.

Be careful though, not all scuba diving is equal in the world of travel insurance!

Read the small print carefully before signing up, a number of policies may have a depth limit of 30 metres, which may be insufficient for the most experienced divers.

Given many dive sites are in exotic and often isolated parts of the world, you should also look to make sure that your policy has adequate medical cover. Not only could this cover you for emergency medical treatment but could also be tailored to also include repatriation home should it be necessary.

Check other aspects of your travel policy to ensure you are happy with conditions around items such as lost and stolen possessions, flight cancellations, personal accident cover and liability cover.

That’s a lot of aspects to consider!

An easy way to compare travel insurance is right here, right now with comparethemarket.com. We make the whole comparing process really simple. Find out how simple by starting a quote today.

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