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Great Diving Destinations

     How many times have we come across divers asking us what are the best places to dive in the world? Well, this question has so many possible answers that it is difficult to answer it properly. Divers do not have the same poles of interest concerning dives or diving activities and therefore it is difficult to please everyone.
     We have tried on this page to classify the best diving destinations with international media recognition. We have classified the sites by their geographical and water conditions. Of course, this list is not exhaustive and we would be glad to add on more destinations with your participation. Have you been diving at such a great place that you wish to share your enthusiasm with fellow divers? Please don't hesitate to send us an e-mail describing your experiences and we will post it in the "Dive Stories" section and will add the destination to our data base.

Tropical Waters

     In this section we will review diving places where the water is warm (25oC and more) and where the main attractions in diving are coral reefs and rich marine life.
Red Sea: Most experienced divers will agree with us that the Red Sea offers the world's best in diving. The abundance, size, variety, and vivid colors of marine life, as well as excellent visibility, make the Red Sea an unforgettable experience. With first class as well as economy liveaboards cruising the area, and affordable land-based diving as well, the Red Sea doesn't have to break your travel budget. The Red Sea can be dived year round with the best period of the year being between June and October. The most popular places to dive the Red Sea are in Egypt (Sharm El Sheikh, Hughada, Safaga and Dahab). Other popular spots include Israel (Eilat), Jordan (Aqaba), Sudan (although difficult to access, but pristine dive sites) and the newly discovered dive site of Erythrea, North of Ethiopia, where privileged divers have found untouched coral reefs and drop offs, in this region devastated by years of civil war and famine. Major Red Sea destinations are reachable by regular or chartered planes from any European, American or Asian locations. Diving tours can be organized on land based or liveaboard diving cruises from the locations above mentioned.
Maldives: Situated in the Indian Ocean, south west of Sri Lanka, this archipelago of thousands of islands is also one of the best diving destinations on earth. The clarity of its waters and richness of marine life have made the Maldives one of the most traveled destinations by divers. From its capital city Male, divers are taken to the island of their choice. The archipelago can be dived year round. The Maldives operate liveaboards and land based diving formats.
Caribbean Sea: This region of the Atlantic Ocean is located between Central America, Venezuela, and the peninsula of Florida. Its warm and clear waters are host to a tremendous amount of marine life. The best diving places within the Caribbean are: the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas archipelago, Saba, Bonaire, Belize (which has the second biggest barrier reef in the world after Australia), Turks and Caicos, St. Martin, the Virgin Islands, the Dutch and French West Indies, the Florida Keys, and the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico (Cozumel and Cancun). The region can be dived year round with the hurricanes peak season being in the fall. Both land based and liveaboard diving cruises are available in these destinations.
Indo-Pacific region: According to marine biologists, the richest place for marine life and different species on earth. New species are discovered here every year. The best places in the Indo-Pacific would be: Indonesia (Manado, Komodo, Lombok, Flores, Alor), Borneo (Sipadan), peninsular Malaysia (Pulau Payar marine park, Pulau Tioman, Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian), Thailand (Similan Islands, Hin Daeng, Hin Muang), Burma (Mergui archipelago and the banks), Micronesia (Palau, Yap, Truk), and the Mariannes islands (Guam and Saipan). This region is under the influence of two monsoons: southwestern and northeastern, which bring wet or dry weather depending on the geographical location. This region is rich in operators catering to customers with land based diving tours and/or liveaboard diving cruises. 
Australia: Biggest coral barrier reef in the world, extending on the east coast of Australia from Cairns to the north of Brisbane, over 2,000 km long. Best dive spots along the reef are: Cairns, Townsville, Whitsundays Islands and Heron Island. Both land based and liveaboard diving cruises are available on the GBR.

Temperate and Cold Water Environment

     We have listed here the best diving destinations in temperate or cold waters (20oC or less). Some of these regions have amazing wild marine life, where whales, killer whales, seals, sea lions, giant octopuses, sharks, and other big pelagics can be encountered on a regular basis. Most of these places require the utilisation of special cold water diving equipment with which divers should be familiar prior to diving there. For example the use of dry suits will be mandatory in some places and proper training should be acquired beforehand.
Mediterranean Sea: Temperate water environment with warmer temperatures in the summer time. Countries where diving is possible bordering the Med are: France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Spain. Dive sites are mainly composed of rocks and drop offs, inhabited by pelagics and house marine life. Water can be extremely clear during upwellings with visibility reaching up to 60 meters! Diving tours are organized there mainly on a land based, day trip basis. Lots of really good wreck diving too with WW II heritage.
Atlantic Ocean and North Sea: Colder water environment giving rise to interesting marine life, different from that encountered in warmer waters. Best diving destinations would be: west coast of France (Brittany), west coast of Ireland, northeast of Scotland (where most of the German fleet was sunk during the WW II) and the east coast of the American continent with Canada (Halifax region) down to the states of Massachusetts and New Jersey. Land based diving tours, occasional liveaboard cruise vessels.
Pacific Ocean: The biggest body of water on earth is host to amazing diving sites among the best in the world such as: the west coast of Canada and United States (British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California), the Hawaiian archipelago, and the Galapagos islands (where marine life is unique to this specific spot and where divers can meet tropical water animals together with penguins, seals, sea lions and aquatic iguanas...). These places offer land based diving tours and liveaboard cruises. The Galapagos archipelago, being located 1,000 km off Ecuador, is accessible only by liveaboard vessels.
Eastern Europe: Becoming more and more popular for its dive sites and very rich history and archeological heritage. The Black Sea in Bulgaria is the home of many ship wrecks and underwater antique archeological sites. More dive sites are being explored in Romania, Ukraine, and Russia as we publish this review. No liveaboards operations yet, diving tours are run on a land based option only.

Fresh Water Environment

     We describe here the best lake or fresh water diving locations around the world. These places have a great interest for diving activities either for their specific location, amazing underwater landscapes, or rich historical past.
American continent: The Great Lakes in the United States and Canada, cenotes in Florida with their extremely clear water caves network, and caves in Mexico. We also would like to add here the two great rivers of Quebec, where numerous ship wrecks and excellent dive sites are to be found: the St. Laurent and Richelieu rivers. Land based diving packages and tours.
Europe: Lakes in France and Switzerland. Land based diving packages and tours.
Africa: Lake Malawi, which has become one of the major diving destinations in the south African region. Land based diving tours and liveaboards on Lake Malawi are available.

Great Wreck Diving Destinations