Scuba diving literally brings a whole new world to light for divers. Whether you are a brand-new diver and can't wait to get your first ocean dive under your belt or a seasoned veteran with hundreds of dives, diving holds new experiences and new things to see on every single dive. There is nothing like the feeling I get when I'm underwater!
The South Pacific and Australia
Australia has the great barrier reef, the largest in the world. They also have a great many unique species of marine animals and miles of coral formations. Fiji is the soft coral capital of the world and offers the most amazing array of colors on its reefs to be seen anywhere. Tahiti is a great pelagic destination; they are known for their shark variety. Papua New Guinea has many unique little critters, like pygmy seahorses. It offers all kinds of diving, including muck diving, where several kinds of those unique little critters abound. Truk Lagoon (now called Chuuk) was a major WWII battleground (Operation Hailstone) and it has the biggest concentration of diveable wrecks in the world. The coral growth on them is amazing after more than 60 years in the shallow warm water of a protected lagoon. Other Micronesia destinations include Yap, famous for their Manta Ray diving and giant stone money & Palau, which has a lot of variety, like fabulous pelagic diving on Blue Corner, WWII wrecks, stunning reefs, and Jelly Fish Lake.
This area offers a variety of dive types for all skill levels. Cozumel is one of the premier dive destinations in the Caribbean. Diving in this entire area is drift diving. The current gently moves you along a kaleidoscope of colors and textures. There are reef & wall dives as well as canyons to swim through. Truly a beautiful area to dive into. The Riviera Maya also offers Cenote diving. This is guided cavern diving in crystal clear water with stalactites and stalagmites. It is a unique diving experience, but the water is chilly, so you need a wetsuit.
There are many world-class dive destinations in the Caribbean. The Cayman Islands offer some of the best wall diving in the world, as well as beautiful coral reefs and swim-throughs. Bloody Bay Wall on Little Cayman is the top wall dive in the world. Bonaire is the shore diving capital of the world and was the first to protect its reefs with a marine preserve surrounding the entire island. The reef is close to shore and shallow on top, making shore diving very easy. The reefs and walls there are simply spectacular and very healthy. The Bay Islands in Honduras also offer phenomenal wall and reef diving. Roatan has Mary's Place dive site that is a swim through you will never forget. Utila is one of the top Whaleshark diving areas too. Other notables are the U.S. & British Virgin Islands, Dominica, The Grenadines, Grenada, Tobago, St Lucia, Saba, and Antigua, to name a few.
The Red Sea in Egypt offers a huge variety of diving for all skill levels. From wrecks in the north, Shark & large animals in central and beautiful reefs & fish life in the south. Not to mention the Pyramids!
Diving in Hawaii differs somewhat from island to island. All islands offer an enormous number of turtles. These islands also have a great number and variety of pelagics. Besides the turtles, they have several varieties of whales, Manta rays, Whale sharks & Dolphins. They also offer a number of dive-able wrecks. Because the islands are volcanic, there are also lava tubes to dive in. The water here is a little cooler, so you will need a wetsuit.
Belize has the worlds second longest barrier reef running along its entire length. It is shallow and very easy to dive into. It is also close to shore, so the boat rides are short. There are several Cayes (islands) offshore that offer a variety of dive sites on the barrier reef. Outside of the barrier reef is the famous Blue Hole (like a big round vertical cavern in the ocean) and the atolls. Belize has the only atolls in the Caribbean. They offer some very pristine diving. Belize also has a Whaleshark diving season that is pretty reliable.
The Maldives is an island nation off the southern tip of India that is made up entirely of atolls. The unspoiled feel of diving here is legendary. Expect to see Whale Sharks, Giant Mantas, Hammerhead sharks, turtles, anemone fish, and other fish and shark varieties on wrecks, reefs & pinnacles. To round out the experience, the coral is very healthy, and the variety is stunning. It is a long way to get there but well worth the effort.
The Indo-Pacific region of diving has some world-famous destinations included. Indonesia has many famous dive destinations like Wakatobi, Bali, North Sulawesi, and Raja Ampat. The premier unique critter destination in the world is there in the Lembeh Straits. In Malaysian Borneo, the islands of Mabul, Siamil, Kapalai, and Sipidan offer unbeatable and pristine diving. Definitely, one of the best diving islands in the world for sharks, turtles, rays, and barracuda is Sipidan. Not to be outdone, the Philippines is fast becoming one of the top dive destinations in the world. It is one of the most reliable whale shark sighting locations. There are several areas that hold notable diving, including Puerto Galera, Apo Island, Puerto Princesa, Cebu, and Dumaguete. It holds many of the same wonderful critters made famous by its neighbors Indonesia, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea and offers muck diving, reef diving, and pelagics all in one location.