Scuba diving is more then just a sport. It's an adventure. The clear waters, the beautiful coral reefs teeming with life, the thrill of discovering a wreck or a cave, this are just some of the reasons people like scuba diving. The ability to explore the mysterious underwater world, so different from ours entices many travelers to visit some of the world's most remote and picturesque coasts. Wheather it's for your mere enjoyment or if you want to relax while photographing brightly colored exotic fish, here are 10 of the best scuba diving destinations that will offer you the adventure of a lifetime.
Fiji Islands, South Pacific
Fiji offers an incredible scuba diving experience. It is the "Soft Coral Capital of the World", the home of the "Great White Wall", the "Yellow Tunnel" and other famous underwater marvels. Scuba diving conditions and visibility are unrivalled year-round. Because of its clear water and dazzling coral Fiji is a favorite hangout for professional underwater photographers.
Boasting some of the world's best preserved marine ecosystems, but undiscovered by excessive tourism, Belize is a natural destination for scuba divers. The Blue Hole in Belize made famous by Jacques Cousteau who declared it one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world offers divers crystal clear waters and several types of reef sharks, bull sharks and hammerheads.
Cozumel is every diver's dream and one of the best scuba diving locations in the world. Teaming with schools of fish and boasting amazing views, Cozumel offers the avid scuba diver a vast playground. Cancun's new underwater sculpture museum features life-sized casts of humans and you can scuba dive, snorkel or enjoy the view from a glass-bottom boat just the same.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world and the only living thing on earth that can be seen from space. The Great Barrier Reef is a must see for anybody visiting Australia and it offers hundreds of spots perfect for beginners and advanced divers.
Palau is between the best scuba diving spots in the world because of its blue holes, huge caverns, a large variety of rare and exotic marine species (reef sharks, jellyfish, barracuda) and Truk Chuuk, where the wrecks of Japanese naval vessels from WWII are to be found. The reefs surrounding each of the islands are largely unexplored and the coral is among the most beautiful and colorful in the underwater world. Not to mention the amazing Jellyfish Lake from Palau, but that's snorkelling only!
The islands of Hawaii each have their own personality and characteristics. Scuba diving in Hawaii's year round warm waters is fun and adventurous. Giant sea turtles, enormous stingrays, sharks and whales gather near Hawaii to live in its fertile volcanic ecosystem.
The Red Sea, considered to be one of the 7 Wonders of the Underwater World, is the habitat of a myriad of incredible invertebrate species, soft and hard corals, and other marine wildlife. This all year round dive destination on the eastern edge of the Sahara is a great spot especially for those divers from Europe who want to escape winter. The best places for diving are less developed regions such as Quseir, Marsa Alam and St John’s Reef.
Located in southern Siberia, Lake Baikal is commonly referred to as “the Blue Eye of Siberia.” Lake Baikal is the deepest freshwater lake in the world, a tectonic crack in the Earth crust, so sheer walls, overhangs and dramatic rock formations are typical. You can practice ice diving, night diving and wreck diving.
Galapagos, the islands that inspired Charles Darwin to develope the theory of evolution, are remote, unique, isolated and nevertheless, famous. Many of the species found here are endemic to these islands and, most remarkably, there are obvious distinctions in some species from island to island. Among the cast of unlikely characters are swimming iguanas and equator-dwelling penguins.
This is the jewel in the crown of diving in Malaysia. The place is teeming with life, from turtles, reef sharks, dolphins, schools of fish, bright coral and bright fish to spiralling vortexes of barracudas, so large that the sunlight is often clouded out. The dive sites are peppered around the island and none is more than a short speedboat ride away from the nearby dive resorts. The island is located just of the shores of the Sabah Bay, and would make a great day-trip addition for vacationers staying in nearby Kota Kinabalu hotels.