I recently decided to give myself the goal of conquering the top 100 sites with the best diving in the world, which is harder than it sounds, as they are very wide spread, and some hard to get to. After making this goal for myself, I decided to do a lot of research, talk to dive experts and put together a list of my own of 100 sites with the best diving in the world. This is what I came up with. I should also note that this list is in no particular order at all.
There is no way to really say what is the absolute best, so the list is random. I’ll be just as excited to dive number 100 as I am number one. As I cross one off my list, I will write something about it under the title, and include a photo from the dive. From each dive I also post photos and videos on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, so make sure to follow along!
PROGRESS- 21/100 sites dove so far. Just getting started. Lots to go.
Top 100 Sites with The Best Diving in the World
~Middle East and Africa~
1. The dive sites of Dahab, Egypt (Great Blue Hole) [DONE!]
My diving around Dahab was sponsored by Liquid Adventures Dive center, definitely one I recommend. Dahab has many sites around it, most famous being the Blue Hole. But more amazing site such as The Canyon, Lighthouse, and Islands are even more amazing and full of marine life. The world record depth for diving was done here just last year, a whopping 320 meters. What I love about Dahab’s diving, besides world class quality, is that its all shore dives, just steps from your hotel sometimes.
No long boat rides, no planning day trips. Just throwing on the gear and diving one of the best sites in the world. Any dive site in Dahab deserves to be on the list of best diving in the world! Here is a photo essay from diving Dahab. And here is an entire guide for things to do in Egypt!
2. Manta Reef, Tofo, Mozambique [DONE!]
This is my very first Open Water dive, and at the time I thought it was the greatest thing in the World. I got Open Water certified here in Tofo, and had some great dives. The water can be a tad merky from the plankton, but that’s what brings in the massive whale sharks and huge manta rays. Marine biologists in Tofo offer to take divers out to help tag these guys, plus humpbacks and dolphins, and it’s a great experience. Awesome place! Read about it here and here.
3. SS Thistlegorm, Red Sea, Egypt [DONE!]
Thistlegorm is the biggest and best wreck I’ve been on so far. It’s an amazing underwater war museum, full of army truck, motorcycles, bombs, ammunition, boots and more. This wreck is massive, and as we explored the massive interior hulls, we didn’t even have to squeeze through narrow passages. Thistlegorm definitely deserves to be named one of the sites with the best diving in the world. Huge crabs live on the ship now, the biggest I’d had ever seen until went to Mexico. They scared me a little as I rounded a dark corner and a crab with a body the size of my head was staring at me. Such an awesome dive, no deeper than 30 meters. I would recommend being advanced though, because its slightly deep, and can have a really strong current. Check out more photos here!
4. Dive sites around Diani, Kenya [DONE]
I arrived in Diani beach Kenya and was astonished at the amazing white sand beach. I had never heard about it and wasn’t prepared for how great it was. The diving was just as spectacular, and I got to see a wreck, lots of amazing reef, deep dives with giant sting rays, sharks and groupers, and lots of new species I’d never seen. Posts coming soon! Check out this post about Diani beach!
5. Abu Galum, Egyptian Red Sea [DONE]
A camel loaded with dive tanks and scuba gear is something you don’t see everyday. In fact, you’ve probably never seen it ever! But thats what I seen this week, and they were my ride to Abu Galum dive site! I never thought I would take a camel to a dive location, but the remote logistics of the place made camel or boat the only way to get there, and when in Egypt… The remoteness of the place also meant that it was full of pristine reef, abundant and countless marine species, and amazing diving. So if you can stomach an hour and a half ride on a camel along a beautiful shoreline, this is definitely the place to visit! Read more about the dives, and see all the photos HERE!
6. Sha’ab Rumi South, Sudan
7. Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles
8. Sardine Run, South Africa
9. Whale shark diving in Djibouti
10. Island of Socotra, Yemen
11. Dive sites around Madagascar
12. Mafia Island, Tanzania
13. The Cathedral, Flic-en-Flac, Mauritius
14. Baa Atol, The Maldives
15. The Dubai Mall Aquarium, UAE
Diving the Dubai Mall Aquarium was both awesome and unique from all the dives I’ve ever done. It was really strange being 5 meters underwater and seeing people looking in at you (enviously I’m sure) from thee other side of the huge glass. It was also fun because it was completely full of sharks and rays, and on the second dive I even got to join the shark feeding. While I filmed, a instructor hovered behind me with a plastic stick, warding off hungry sharks.
I’ve never had so much fun or seen so many things on a single dive. When in life will you ever get to film 3 sandy tiger sharks feed 2 meters in front of you, then have a giant blotched ray slap you on the back of the head from behind?! Definitely recommended. Posts coming soon!
16. Elephant Head Rock, Similans, Thailand
17. Tubbataha, Palawan, Philippines
18. Dive sites of Moalboal, Philippines [DONE!]
Moalboal was insane. The first day had me worried because it was bad visibility, but then we were blown away soon after. On one single dive we encountered no less then 20 turtles, and much more. Twice we dove the famous Sardine run, and I can vouch that its a site to behold. Wait until you see the footage from Moalboal, you’ll be blown away too! Special thanks to Turtle Bay Dive Resort, for hosting two pain-in-the-ass dive bloggers! Posts coming soon!
19. Dive sites off of El Nido, Philippines [DONE!]
El Nido turned into one of my favorite locations, not just for diving. We definitely took our surface intervals between dives in the most amazingly beautiful remote island beaches ever. In and out of the water was incredible. Under the waves we encountered sharks, rays, giant bait balls and plenty more. I will definitely return and dive with Rocksteady Dive Center, as they really knew how to show us what we came to see. Posts coming soon!
20. Dive sites around Malapascua, Philippines [DONE]
Diving with Malapascua Exotic Dive Resort was an incredible experience. Each morning we would get up early and go see thresher sharks at a cleaning station. Such weird sharks! Definitely unique. Then later in the day we would go explore other great dive sites in the area. Even dodging typhoons, Malapascua was an awesome dive location, and definitely deserved to be on this list! From sharks to cuttlefish to nudibranchs and everything in between, there wasn’t much more I could have wanted. Posts coming soon!
21. Wrecks of Coron Bay, Philippines
Coron is surrounded by WW2 wrecks, and the diving is world class. From destroyers, plane carriers, tub boats, and much more, Rocksteady dive center let us explore lots of them. One oil tanker was enormous, and it was eery diving though its giant oil tanks and hull. Another was completely covered in reef and marine life, giving it a whole other awesome aspect. all in all, Cant wait to return. Check out this guide I wrote to diving The Philippines!
22. Seaventure House Reef, Mabul, Malaysia
23. Layang Layang, near Borneo, Malaysia
24. South Point, Sipadan Island, Malaysia
25. Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island, Malaysia
26. Stonehenge, South Andaman Sea, Thailand
27. Banua Wuhu, Mahengetang, Indonesia
28. Liberty, Bali, Indonesia
29. Batu Bolong, Komodo Island, Indonesia
30. Richelieu Rock, Thailand
31. Arborek Jetty, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
32. Magic Mountain, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
33. Batu Bolong, Flores, Indonesia
34. Secret Bay, Anilao, Philippines
35. Manta Sandy, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
36. Yonaguni Jima, Yaeyama Islands, Japan
~Pacific and Australia~
37. Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa, Polynesia
38. Samurai Wharf, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea
39. Tumakohua Pass, Fakarava, French Polynesia
40. Goofnuw Channel, Yap
41. Grand Central Station, Gizo, Solomon Islands
42. The San Francisco Maru, Chuuk, Micronesia
43. Fujikawa Maru, Truk Lagoon Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia
44. Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea
45. Great white wall, Taveuni, Fiji
46. Split rock, Kadavu Isle, Fiji
47. SS President Coolidge, Vanuatu
48. Blue Corner Wall, Palau
49. Ngemelis Wall, Palau
50. Cocklebiddy Cave, Australia
51. Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
52. Yongala, Queensland, Australia
53. Humpback Whales in Tonga
54. Point Murat Navy Pier, Australia
55. Rainbow Warrior, New Zealand
56. Blue Maomao Arch, Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand
~North America and Caribbean~
57. Bullshark Diving in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico [DONE!]
Diving with bullsharks in Playa del Carmen was definitely a new experience up until now. We got onto a boat right on the bus beach, and drove no more than 2 minutes before stopping again. I think if all the thousands of people on that beach knwe of the massive sharks just minutes from them, they might not swim so much! We descended to the sandy bottom and the feeder, clothed in chain-mail, started getting out his fish pieces. Soon enough massive 3-4 meter long sharks were just a few feet in front of me, fighting over the food in a frenzy not to forget. One of my favorite dives ever! I wrote about it here.
58. USS Spiegel Grove, Key Largo, Florida Keys [DONE!]
59. Molasses Reef, Florida Keys.[DONE!]
60. RMS Rhone wreck, British Virgin Islands
61. Cedarville, Mackinac Straits Underwater Preserve, Michigan
62. U-352 wreck, Morehead City, North Carolina
63. The Vandenberg Wreck, The Keys, Florida. [DONE!]
Heading to the Florida keys was worth the trip all on its own, but diving the Vandenberg made it even more sweet. This giant wreck dive was sponsored by Dive Key West, an awesome dive center in an awesome town. The visibility and current were against me on this dive, but it was still great. There was a giant flag still flying (floating?) on the mast, and a huge satellite to explore as well. definitely worthy of being on this list among the best diving in the world. Check out an article and photo essay I published about Vandenberg here.
64. The Charlie Brown wreck, St. Eustatius, Netherland Antilles
65. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
66. Browning Pass Wall, British Columbia, Canada
67. Kona Mantas, Hawaii, USA
68. The Dos Ojos Cenotes, Tulum, Mexico [DONE!]
Dos Ojos is one of my favorite of the many cenotes. I wish I could have explored it more. This section of the massive underground caves systems in Mexico has two parts, a left and right. I explored the left and part of the right, and it was incredible. Stalagmites over head from a long ago dryer time as well as crystal clear water, made for amazing sites. My guide too me through a small underground, underwater passage that lead to a big cavern, only half full of water. Deep underground we could surface and shine our lights around the big cavern with bats flying all around, and no other way to reach it other than by SCUBA. It was incredible. See more photos here!
69. The Pit Cenotes, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico [FINSHED!]
There are a lot of cenotes in the Riviera Maya, but this one and Dos Ojos definitely deserve to be among the best dives in the world. My mind was blown on this dive, which I never though possible on a fish-free dive. What looks just like a hole in the ground with steep stairs leading to the water was the entry. My first impression on seeing it was that this would be a boring dive. Oh how I loved being wrong! The hole opened up under ground to a gigantic cavern, with rays of light shooting in from small holes on the surface. It was so beautiful and peaceful I never wanted to leave. Cavern diving at its best!
70. Bay Wall, Little Cayman, Cayman Islands
71. L’Anse Chemin, Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
72. Cristobal Colon, Bermuda
73. Bianca C Wreck, Grenada
74. La Dania’s Leap to Karpata, Bonaire, Netherlands
75. Stuart Cove’s Shark Dive, New Providence Island, Bahamas
76. Roca Partida, Socorro Islands, Mexico
77. Point Lobos, Carmel, California
78. Scotts Head Pinnacle, Dominica
79. Palancar Deep, Cozumel, Mexico [FINISHED!]
In Cozumel I dove with Club Cozumel, which are an awesome dive center. I did about 7 dives here, a few of which are on this list. Most of the dives were about an hour from the docks by boat, but the boats were nice and they gave us drinks and stories along the way. Until now I had only dove in the Red Sea and Mozambique, so was surprised to see how different the marine life was. Instead of countless cute macro critters, I ran into the biggest lobster, crabs, moray of my life! I hadn’t even seen them that big on TV! I wrote about Cozumel here and here and here.
80. Underwater Museum, Cancun, Mexico [DONE!]
The Cancun underwater museum came in highly recommended by a lot of people as the place to go. After having dove it, I have to wonder where else those people have been diving! I was a little disappointed in this dive, maybe just because of all the hype before hand. The statues ARE interesting, but they are spread far apart, making for a lot of tiring distance kicking. If they would have let us do two dives here, in two sections, it might have been more fun and seen more. But as it was the people statues are FAR from the cars, with nothing to see in between…Or maybe I’m getting spoiled?
81. The reefs of Curacao
82. Superior Producer wreck, Curacao
83. USS Oriskany, Pensacola, Florida
84. Kamikaze Cut, Tobago
85. Devils Throat, Cozumel, Mexico [DONE!]
Another of Cozumel’s great dives. I can’t believe all the giants I seen here, like at the other sites. HUGE crabs, lobster, morays, and this time a giant eagle ray, which was a first for me. A few times we turned a corner and came nose to nose with 2 meter long barracuda, just hanging in the current alone. Never seen them so big! My only regret is the drift. Its pretty strong and was actually fun until I seen that Eagle ray eating in the sand. I had to try to stay in place as he was n the open, and there was nothing to hold on to. No good for taking videos! Next time!