10 Epic Diving Spots In The World To Include in Your Bucket List

10 Epic Diving Spots In The World To Include in Your Bucket List

Fancy diving in between tectonic plates?!

The ocean can be an intimidating place. There are those who are attracted by its incomprehensible never-ending depths, and there are those who dread at the sheer thought of plunging themselves miles deep underwater.

But take it from us when we say that whether you’re a licensed diver with years of experience under your belt or a newbie looking to experience something out-of-the-ordinary, diving isn’t an opportunity that should be passed up when you’re living on the only planet in the universe (thus far, anyway) capable of withstanding such life.

These 10 diving spots are widely raved by divers – and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be on your travel bucket list this 2019. 

1. Barracuda Point – Sipadan, Malaysia

Starting off this list with a world-renowned dive site a little closer to home, Barracuda Point in Sabah is often ranked among the top 5 diving sites in the world. The island was formed by corals growing on top of an extinct volcano at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin and boasts incredibly rich marine wildlife.


Image credit: Flickr

Expect schools of hundreds upon hundreds of barracuda fish – a marine tornado of barracuda, if you will. For the advanced divers, challenge yourself by checking out Turtle Tomb, an eerie cave system not too far from Barracuda Point which holds the remains of many turtles and dolphins who couldn’t find their way out.

2. Silfra Fissure – Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Now, this isn’t anything like your usual dive site. Silfra is a rift between the North American and Eurasian plates. So, essentially you’re diving between two continents! To be able to dive between two tectonic plates…we can’t even begin to fathom what an experience that must be.


Image credit: Flickr

There’s hardly any marine life here, but it’s actually the waters that attract most to Silfra. The pure glacial water is one of the most pristine waters you’ll ever see with visibility of up to 100m! The water, which averages 2-4°C, is pure enough to drink!

3. Manta Ray Night Dive – Kona, Hawaii

Manta rays at night

Image credit: Flickr

You might’ve experienced being shrouded by huge schools of fish or a serene swim with the turtles. But if you haven’t been surrounded by manta rays yet, this spot in Hawaii is perfect to do just that! In Hawaii, these harmless giants are held in high regard and hold deep cultural significance.


Image credit: Flickr

This site is suited for all levels and uses bright dive lights, which attract millions of plankton, which in turn attract the manta rays! The peaceful mantas tend to congregate in Kona, so if you’re a fan of these creatures, you’ll love this dive.

4. SS Yongala Wreck – Queensland, Australia

Picture 008

Image credit: Flickr

One of the most highly acclaimed diving sites (after Sipadan’s Barracuda Point), SS Yongala was a ship which sank off Cape Bowling Green in Queensland in 1911 when she encountered a cyclone, killing all 122 aboard. She was left undiscovered and untouched for 50 years and recently became a popular dive site.

Picture 175

Image credit: Flickr

Its strong currents result in rich marine life that includes bull sharks, turtles, and rays of all kinds. If you’re lucky, you’ll even chance upon some humpback whales during your dive! The wreck is blanketed with beautiful coral, making it truly one of the best wreck dives you’ll experience.

5.  Thistlegorm Wreck – Red Sea, Egypt

Thistlegorm Wreck

Image credit: Flickr

The red sea may be infamous for its high saline concentrations and red tinge, but it’s also famous among avid divers for its amazing dive sites and artifacts! The SS Thistlegorm, in particular, holds a reputation as possibly the most popular wreck dive site in the world. It was a British Merchant Navy ship carrying, among others, munition for the Allied Forces in Egypt.


Image credit: Flickr

Motorcycles, tanks, rifles, jeeps.. .we can’t think of a more immersive way to experience the spoils of World War II in the present day.

6. The Great Blue Hole – Belize

Great Blue Hole Belize 1

Image credit: Flickr

This incredible sapphire blue marine sinkhole is widely regarded as a bucket-list dive. It’s not surprising, seeing as it’s long been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Great Blue Hole, as was termed by none other than the legendary Jacques Cousteau, isn’t the most popular for its marine life nor corals. So why then do so many divers yearn to explore its depths?

Image credit: heremagazine

The answer? The stark, eerie beauty of its silent caves. Natural limestone stalactites and stalagmites make for a unique dive experience in the deep dark waters of Belize’s wonder of nature.

7. Gordon Rocks – Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands

Gordon Rocks

Image Credit: Flickr

Ah – the Galapagos Islands, the birthplace of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and one of the world’s foremost nature destinations. At the northeastern end of one Santa Cruz Island, you’ll find Gordon Rocks, a highly sought after diving destination for its schools of hammerhead sharks!

This is why I love diving in the Galapagos!

Image Credit: Flickr

These hammerhead sharks are partly what makes the Galapagos so popular among divers. You’ll also find white tip reef sharks, green moray eels and oceanic sunfish! Currents here at the “washing machine” can get strong, so this spot is recommended for intermediate to advanced divers.

8. Cenote Angelita – Tulum, Mexico

Underwater River  Location: Cenote Angelita (Little Angel), Mexico  Cenote Angelita is surreal diving experience. Located on the Yucatan Peninsula 15 minutes from Tulum, the site is an advanced cave dive.    This natural formation looks and flows like an

Image Credit: Flickr

Another incredibly unique dive site is Cenote Angelita – also known as or “Little Angel” – in Tulum, Mexico. Cenotes are abundant here, but this one is particularly special because of a layer of visible hydrogen sulphate that separates saltwater from freshwater.

Underwater River  Location: Cenote Angelita (Little Angel), Mexico  Cenote Angelita is surreal diving experience. Located on the Yucatan Peninsula 15 minutes from Tulum, the site is an advanced cave dive.    This natural formation looks and flows like an

Image Credit: Flickr

Although often termed as an underwater river, Little Angel isn’t actually that. The branches, leaves and other debris accumulate at the bottom to form the “riverbanks” while the moving hydrogen sulphate forms a thick foggy layer which mimics flowing river waters.

9. Blue Corner – Palau, Micronesia

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Image Credit: Flickr

THE epic diving spot for adrenaline-seeking junkies, Blue Corner is a popular site in Palau for the more experienced divers. We’re talking sharks and unpredictable currents! Here, you’ll have to make use of reef hooks to be able to fully experience the incredibly rich marine life in all its glory.

bryan on a reef hook, floating like a hunk of meat, and sharks

Image Credit: Flickr

Once you’re safely hooked in, simply stay still and flow with the current as you witness the flurry of fish and sea creatures around you. Hawksbill turtles, lionfish, blue-fin tuna and various nudibranchs are some of the critters you’ll see here, along with sharks and whales if you’re lucky!

10. Aliwal Shoal – South Africa

phototoartguy: Underwater photographer Andy Murch took this smirking shark while diving in Aliwal Shoal, South Africa. Picture: ANDY MURCH/ CATERS NEWS

Image Credit: Flickr

Shark-lovers might get excited the mention of Aliwal Shoal, a fossilized sand dune in South Africa. You can experience cage-free open diving amongst a diverse array of breeds like Oceanic Black Tips, Bull sharks, Tiger sharks and more! The “Catheral” and “Raggies Cave” are also two spots here where many Ragged Tooth sharks gather.

aliwal shoal

Image Credit: Flickr

Wreck dive enthusiasts will also be in for a treat here with its two shipwrecks, the NEBO and the PRODUCE, which attract various species of fish. If the idea diving around a shipwreck disconcerts you, fret not; no lives were lost on either ship!

About Author

Shen Lee Ng
Shen Lee Ng

A world record holding powerlifter and wannabe patissiere, Shen currently spends her days as a social media manager, English teacher and content (the fun stuff) and copywriter (the drab stuff). Her only goal before she starts the treacherous journey that is college is to inspire those around her and to eat as many as opera cakes as possible.


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