One of the most stunning, adventurous and blessed experiences you can undertake is scuba diving. If you are a scuba diving lover and are looking for the best places for it. Whether you’re just a newbie looking to get started or a veteran searching for new places to explore, here’s a list of some of the best places in the world to go diving:
1. Gili Islands
The three Gili Islands of Trawangan, Air and Meno, located off Lombok promise something for everyone. Turtles are undoubtedly one of the highlights of diving around the Gili Islands – both green and hawksbill species are abundant. Reef sharks are frequently spotted, along with tuna, barracuda, trevally and occasional passing eagle rays. There is broad range of marine fish, most notably including, sweetlips, pufferfish, angelfish, batfish, butterflyfish, lionfish, scorpionfish and schooling snapper, fusilier and damsels. On the rubble and sand patches look out for odd shaped bottom dwellers and critters. The water temperature varies from 26°C to 30°C so you won’t need anything more than a 3mm shorty to dive. Unfortunately the coral around the three islands is in very bad shape above 15 meters due to extensive bomb fishing the past decade. Things seem to be improving but it will take time for the reef to fully recover.
Best Time To Dive: The best time to go to Gili Islands would be September to November, for the best weather yet not too packed with tourists. You may want to avoid the rainy season from November to April, but it does not really rain that much and the peak tourist seasons are July-August and December-January.
2. Great Blue Hole, Belize
The Great Blue Hole is a giant marine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, 318 m across and 124 m deep. It has a surface area of 70,650 square metres. Diving the Blue Hole is for seasoned divers who wish to experience a completely unique, ‘bucket-list’ dive. The depth of the site requires good control over one’s buoyancy and a calmness when faced with little light at depth and a feeling of sensory deprivation due to very little change in water temperature or movement. The site can look imposing to even the most experienced divers so listen carefully to the briefing and stick close to your guide. There is not much to see here in terms of wildlife – coral growth and therefore fish life is restricted by the lack of light that penetrates the Great Blue Hole. The walls are mainly covered in sea plants, feather-duster worms and algae, not with corals.
Best Time To Dive: Depending on weather conditions, the dive will begin on either the north or the south side. Staying reasonably close to the wall will assist with orientation.
3. Great Barrier Reef
As the largest living structure on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world, offering a variety and abundance of marine life seldom found elsewhere. Beyond the barrier reef itself, the Coral Sea is a hidden gem of scattered reefs and atolls boasting rarely visited dive sites and some of the best diving in Australia. Beaked whales, sperm whales, and bottlenose dolphins also congregate here to feed along the edge of the deep ocean shelf.
Best Time To Dive: Queensland’s tropical climate makes the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea superb for diving year-round, but conditions and species do vary between the seasons. The summer months from December through to February enjoy warmer water and great visibility, while the cooler winter months of March to November are the best time to spot large marine mammals such as humpback and minke whales.
4. Manta Ray Night Dive, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
The famous manta ray night dive in Kona is widely regarded as one of the most memorable dives on the planet. During the Manta Ray dive (or snorkel) you will get to see these immense fish up close and personal. the manta rays are attracted by plankton, which in turn is attracted by bright lights. To catch the plankton the manta rays filter it out of the ocean by swooping through the water with their mouths open in something that we can only describe as a dance. The manta rays gracefully swim, turn, and somersault through the light beams, sometimes almost touching their spectators. During the Manta Ray dive (or snorkel) you will get to see these immense fish up close and personal. the manta rays are attracted by plankton, which in turn is attracted by bright lights. To catch the plankton the manta rays filter it out of the ocean by swooping through the water with their mouths open in something that we can only describe as a dance. The manta rays gracefully swim, turn, and somersault through the light beams, sometimes almost touching their spectators. Groups of Manta Rays converge nightly off of Makako Bay (Garden Eel Cove), to feed on the Phytoplankton & Zooplankton that appear to soak up the glow given off by underwater dive lights. This dive will be the highlight of your trip! It is always at night. The Manta are attracted to the plankton which are attracted to the lights so therefore it is at night.
Best Time To Dive: December and january are the best month for dive.
Sipadan is home to the beracudas, massive green turtles and schooling reef sharks, diving in the pumping current st diving in Borneo, many say in the world. Famous for massive schools of fish, spiraling barhere is spectacular. The coral is pristine. The coral gardens are shallow and very colourful and will make your safety stop a special moment to enjoy. Deeper, you will find great sea gorgonians fans and barrel sponges along the steep walls. Sipadan is also a world major destination for underwater photography with great shot opportunities on every dive sites. The island now plunges over 2,000 meters/6,561 feet straight down to the sea floor. Sipadan lies in the center of the Indo-Pacific basin which is one of the richest marine habitats in the world. Currents sweep past the island bringing plankton with them. Plankton attracts smaller species which attract larger species until the entire food chain is on display in front of your very eyes. More than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this ecosystem. Barracuda point does everything to uphold Sipadan’s reputation and is often listed in the top 10 dive sites in the world – which makes it one of the most popular dive sites in Sipadan.