Beneath The Surface: 10 Stunning Scuba Diving Sites From Around The Globe

It’s almost strange that more people don’t go scuba diving. It doesn’t require much in the way of specialist training to get started and then you can be exploring the world under the surface of the water – a world that can feel wonderfully, eerily alien. You don’t even need to worry so much about training or equipment if you have a snorkel and a pair of flippers and just stick to the surface of the water. When it comes to exploring the alien world that happens to be shared with our own, there are some spots that are better than others. It would be a scuba diving aficionados dream to explore some of these places. So where are the best of the best?

  1. Cozumel, Mexico

It’s not for the novice diver, but the waters around the Mexican island of Cozumel offer a rewarding dive. The currents can catch many off guard, but the clarity of the water make it well worth the mild risk. There are many scuba diving operators in the main town of San Miguel de Cozumel, and be sure to ask about shark activity in the area. While it’s not exactly a cause for alarm for an experienced diver, you probably want to know what to expect once you’re under the water.

  1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

You will have a magnificent experience diving anywhere on the Great Barrier Reef, but you will need to head offshore to see the absolute best. A trip to Osprey Reef requires an overnight boat trip from Cairns, but you’ll be rewarded with stunningly clear water and an abundance of marine life. There are significant environmental concerns for the future of the Great Barrier Reef, so you should do everything you can to experience it.

  1. Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand

Best accessed from the town of Whangarei, the Poor Knight Islands is a spot where warm and cold currents combine. The islands themselves were formed by volcanic activity and it’s equally dramatic under the surface, with underwater cliffs that suddenly drop off, leaving you peering into the murky depths.

  1. Ċirkewwa, Malta

The MV Rozi was a British tugboat that was deliberately sunk off the coast of Malta in 1992 to create an artificial reef. Located in the Ċirkewwa Harbour, the intact wreck sits about 36 metres beneath the surface. It’s a fantastic diving site, and the wreck hosts some vibrantly coloured species of tropical fish.   

  1. Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Cuba

Diving in Cuba has come a long way, with many parts of the country’s territorial waters being classified as natural biosphere reserves. Head to the town of Sandino to access the peninsula and be prepared to feel hauntingly alone, since this is not classed as one of Cuba’s most-visited locations. Many people stick to the more populated areas, but their loss is your gain. If you’re lucky you will see turtles at play.

  1. Silfra, Iceland

You learn so much about the world itself when you dive at Silfra. The water is almost unbelievably clean and clear and you are actually diving over (and even into) a crack in the very world. The Silfra dive takes place at a fissure in the earth’s crust, where the European and American continental plates meet.

  1. Chios, Greece

The waters around Chios (an island off the coast of Greece) are soothingly calm, so this is a perfect place for novice divers. Be sure to stay out of the numerous undersea caves if you’re inexperienced. While you won’t get trapped, it can feel a little claustrophobic.

  1. Oahu, Hawaii, USA

While most wreck diving involves the exploration of ships, Oahu has something different to offer. There are a number of WW2 era planes that crashed and now sit on the bottom of the ocean, undisturbed for more than half a century. Be sure to ask your scuba tour operator if you want to see one of these haunting locations.

  1. Ponce, Puerto Rico

Ponce, Puerto Rico’s second largest city, offers an unexpected diving treat. The water is rather shallow for a short distance and then it drops off dramatically into the depths. The stretch prior to this drop-off is full of vibrantly coloured reefs and aquatic life. It really is a busy piece of water.

  1. Larnaca, Cyprus

With more than a hint of the Titanic, the MS Zenobia was a ferry that also sunk on its maiden voyage. She went down in 1980, just off the coast of Cyprus. Fortunately, there were no casualties when she sunk. The MS Zenobia is now a truly unique diving site, sitting on the ocean floor some 42 metres below the surface. Experienced divers might wish to explore inside the wreck, but those who are still learning should only inspect the exterior of the largely intact MS Zenobia.

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