Five Incredible Scuba Diving Trips Around the World
Do you suffer from wanderlust? Are you itching to get out on your next adventure? Before you start putting random pins in the map to book your next trip, it’s time to change tactics and look – quite literally – beneath the surface.
Scuba diving is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular water sports, satisfying anyone with a hunger for exploration and unique experiences in the natural world.
If you’re bored of beaches, sick of sightseeing, and are keen to get on a road that is so less-traveled that it isn’t a road at all, here’s a run-down of the top diving spots to jump into.
Source: Dive Planit
Best for Beginners: Gili Islands, Lombok
If you’re yet to take the plunge (literally) into diving, why not treat yourself with a trip to the pillowy beaches and warm waters of Bali’s neighbor, Lombok.
The island is home to some bright and beautiful wildlife, and you can almost guarantee that you’ll be getting to grips with diving among turtles, sharks and eagle rays, on a backdrop of stunning blue water and vibrant coral reefs.
Once you’re feeling ready, you can take the opportunity to scuba dive around one of the most famous sites in the world – the remains of the USAT Liberty Cargo, known as the Tulamben Wreck. From the same beach, you can see the Paradise Reef and Drop Off, the Alamanda Reef and Batu Kelebit.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to wait until your trip to start learning to scuba dive. You can get lessons from qualified PADI instructors right here in the UK, so you’re ready to hit the waves as soon as you land.
Source: Dive Planit
Most Mysterious: Yonaguni, Japan
Off the coast of Yonaguni (the southernmost Ryukyu Island), is a series of strange, submerged rock formations, known as the Yonaguni Monument. It was discovered in the 1980s and initially believed to be the remains of a sunken city. To this day, nobody is quite sure how the stones got there, how old they are or why they have been arranged in such specific positions… so if you like your dives to have an element of mystery, this is the perfect spot.
This location is suitable for freediving as well as scuba dives, but the currents and waves make the water unsafe for inexperienced divers.
Source: National Geographic
Most Shark-Infested: Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Cocos Island is a designated National Park, around 550 kilometers off the coast of Costa Rica and inhabited only by park rangers. Its closest neighbor is the Galapagos Islands, several hundred miles further southwest, although the unique ecology of Cocos Islands means that visitors can witness many plants and creatures that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
If you’re prepared to spend 30 hours on a boat to reach this remote launch point, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular array of sea life – namely whale sharks, hammerheads and white-tip sharks, as well as manta rays, dolphins, and tuna.
Source: Cornwall Alive
Closest to Home: Whitsand Bay, Cornwall
Whitsand Bay is stunning in itself. With its long stretches of sandy beach and dramatic coastal scenery, you could easily head down there and leave the scuba gear in the car, on a pleasant weekend. You’d be making a mistake though, as these waters are the final resting place of the SS James Eagan Layne, a liberty ship that was beached during the Second World War.
It’s one of the most popular diving sites in the UK, partly because of the expansive wreck that remains and partly due to its accessibility for divers of all abilities. In the right conditions, visibility can reach 10-15 meters, although a torch is required to explore the darker caverns of the remaining structure.
Source: Whale of a time
Most Remote: McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
Need to scratch an itch to escape modern life? Then here’s your excuse to go somewhere with no traffic, no adverts and no phone signal – just raw, pure nature. Antarctica is the last true wilderness, made up of vast ice sheets, towering rock formations, and expansive landscapes. Although its surface is breath-taking, what lies beneath is even more surreal.
You’ll be taken beneath the ice to a depth of 20 meters, where you will swim through an ever-changing kaleidoscope of light, water, and ice to witness an incredible variety of wildlife. Expect to swim alongside seals, jellyfish and huge shoals of fish, and enjoy spectacular visibility.
Antarctic dives aren’t for the fainthearted. You’ll need your Open Water Advanced qualification, plus the experience of at least 20 cold water and dry suit dives under your belt. If you’re not quite there, you can still make the trip – just try polar snorkelling instead.
So, whether you’re a seasoned diver looking for a new spot, or a world-tourist seeking something new and breathtaking, add these to your “must-see” list pronto – we’ll see you in the water!