People fall into one of two categories when it comes to the ocean: they either love the water or they hate it. There rarely is someone who is ‘kind of okay’ with going out on the ocean or taking some time scuba diving — they just don’t exist. The people who do love the ocean will no doubt want to throw on their wet suit and explore as much of it as they possibly can. For those people we say: it is time to book the scuba vacation of your dreams. Did you know that you are only a cheap flight and hotel reservation away from experiencing some of the most beautiful scuba diving packages on the planet? Well, you are. We decided to put together nine of the most beautiful scuba diving destinations in the world for your enjoyment. Keep on reading and get ready to travel!
Punta Gorda, Costa Rica.
If you want to get away from the standard Caribbean scuba diving vacation then you should consider making your way to Costa Rica in order to partake in the diving offshore of Punta Gorda. You’ll enjoy all sorts of wonderful natural beauty in this scuba diving Caribbean experience. The maximum depth of this dive will run you at about 70 feet so it is perfect for beginners that are trying to get their feet wet, literally. As soon as you hit the water in this dive you’ll be floored by the array of colorful fish that seem to be everywhere you look. A huge hook for divers at Punta Gorda is the abundance of large sea turtles that linger in the area. You’ll spend most of your time admiring the smaller creatures of the ocean but if you hit the ocean at the right time you might even see white tip sharks hanging around the bottom near the mooring line as they prepare the nightly feeding routine. There is something immensely satisfying about the simple beauty of this dive.
Kailua Kona, Hawaii.
You don’t have to twist our arm to make hotel reservations in Hawaii. While the airfare you buy won’t show up on any cheap ticket Hall of Fame, the scuba diving schools there are top notch. Hawaii itself is essentially one of the largest marine reserves in the world, second only to Australia. Diving at Kailua Kona can be an adventure. You’ll see a full array of beautiful sea creatures that will amaze you while making you aware of your own small size at the same time. You should be ready to sea turtles, stingrays, sharks and even whales. We highly suggest hitting up some of the beginner dives before moving on to the deeper water, more advanced dives. You don’t want to get in over your head, no pun intended, and run the risk of panicking at the site of the beautiful waters of Kailua Kona. When you are done you can enjoy the view from the beach and relax with a nice cold drink. There are no off seasons at Kailua Kona so feel free to visit whenever the time happens to be right.
Yap Island, Micronesia.
Yap Island is one of those hidden gems that people won’t stop raving about as soon as they visit it. Yap Island is only about 6,000 miles away from Los Angeles, California and it is less than an hour’s flight out from Guam. The island is well regarded as a perfect diving spot thanks to the beautiful, clear water and the abundance of natural wildlife in the area. Divers come from all over the world to see the manta rays and colorful schools of fish. Yap Island is actually a collection of small islands under the umbrella of the Federated States of Micronesia. There is a population of just 11,000 people across all of these islands. When you visit here you can rest assured that you’ll be getting a quiet escape to a beautiful tropical experience. The Yap Islands are relatively underrated at this point so you should be able to find cheap tickets and hotel reservations without too much trouble. Take advantage of this hidden gem until everyone else begins to catch on!
Great Blue Hole, Belize.
The Great Blue Hole is located near Belize City, Belize and it is one of the most striking images on the face of the planet. This geographical oddity is in fact a gigantic submarine sinkhole that is almost 1,000 feet wide and 400 feet deep. The sinkhole was supposedly formed over the span of the past 150,000 years during a time when sea levels were at a much lower level. Now it is one of the great scuba diving vacations on the planet — provided that you are an adept diver. In order to go on a tourist dive at the Great Blue Hole you have to have logged at least 24 dives in your career. Once inside the cave you will see a wide variety of different fish species which include the Caribbean Reef Shark, the Midnight Parrotfish, and many others. Hammerhead sharks have been reported around the Great Blue Hole but they are not a common occurrence.
Ras Mohammed – The Red Sea, Egypt
The Red Sea is one of the most unique diving experiences that you can have on the planet. You have excellent visibility throughout the year with crystal clear water. There are numerous reefs dotting the sea and a diverse and teeming marine ecosystem. While all of the diving spots in the Red Sea are going to be fantastic you can step things up with a visit to the Ras Mohammed National Park. This diving trip will leave you completely floored by the beauty that you will see.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Charles Darwin made the Galapagos Islands famous after he cataloged the animals on the island. Now it is well regarded as one of the premier diving spots on the entire planet. Divers who make the long flight over to the Galapagos will find an ocean filled with sting rays, whales, sharks, giant fish, marine iguanas and so very much more. There are so many different species of sea creatures in the area that we doubt you’ll be able to look in any direction without seeing something fascinating. Bring an underwater camera and catalog these sea creatures in a way that Darwin never had the opportunity to. When you are done in the sea you can explore the actual island to see more natural wildlife that will blow you away. The Galapagos Islands are a treasure that every wildlife enthusiast needs to experience.
The Yongala, Australia
If you are going to be diving in Australia then you definitely need to have your training put in place. Australia is home to a ton of sharks and some rough diving conditions. If you can get past those two obstacles, and they are rather large, then you’ll definitely enjoy diving near the Yongala. This ship was traveling from Melbourne to Cairns but was sank by a cyclone that ended up killing 122 people. This happened back in 1911 and today the ship remains in its final resting destination. The Yongala wreck is protected by the Historic Shipwrecks Act and is a beautiful place to dive and engage with the diverse and beautiful marine life.
Mexico certainly has no shortage of beautiful beaches and fortunately for us the off shore diving is up to par as well. Cozumel is a popular summer destination thanks to the seaside resort that brings in so many tourists. The night life is great, the fine dining is wonderful, and the scuba diving is the best of all. There are 19 different reefs for you to explore and an assortment of caves and caverns located underwater. You’ll see schools of gorgeous fish, sharks, giant turtles and so much more. With Mexico becoming less popular as a tourist destination due to political factors we are beginning to think that Cozumel will get more and more affordable for the common traveler or tourist. Make sure your diving credentials are up to snuff so that you can get the most out of these deep water dives.
Gili Islands, Indonesia.
When we look for diving opportunities we place a few things above all: clear water and the prevalence of giant turtles. The Gili Islands, located in Indonesia, offer everything we want and more. The Gilis are known as the unofficial turtle capital of the world and the visuals that they offer are simply out of control. You’ll run across giant turtles, bumphead parrot fish, giant manta rays and so much more. When you visit the Gili Islands you will find out that you are pretty close to Bali so when you are done with your diving you can hit up some of the most beautiful beaches in the world to rest with a cold drink and a good book.