Top 10 Best Dive Sites in the World

Top 10 Best Dive Sites in the World

Top 10 dive sites in the world

What's your best dive? - Credit: Ethan Daniels

Do You Have a Dive Bucket List for 2017?

Everyone has a bucket list of things they would like to do before they die.

It makes sense that divers should have their own bucket list! A list of dive sites to see before the end of their diving days.

A list of the top ten diving places in the world should include something from every type of dive.

Get Creative

If you have plenty of time to go diving you could make more than the one list.

Try compiling a bucket list of the top ten dive sites in Europe or the Caribbean and work your way around the world.

Our list of the best dive sites in the world:

This list is merely a suggestion of what we have on our list and sites you should consider for your own list.

1. Cape Kri - Raja Ampat, Indonesia

  • Coral garden like you've never seen it before
  • Great marine life: Manta Rays, Sharks, Barracudas and giant trevallies.
  • Record setting 374 different species of fish
  • Best dived from Papua Diving Resort but can also be done from Liveaboard

Raja Ampat is the best, but how much does it cost to go diving here. 

Scuba Diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Click the picture for more great Indonesian Dive spots - Credit: Ethan Daniels

2. Barracuda Point - Sipadan Island

  • World class Malaysian dive site.
  • 800 meters drop off
  • Occasionally strong sweeping currents.
  • Broadly diverse sea life; Sea Turtles, Buffalo Fish, Coconut Crab

Want to know more about a dive trip to Sipadan? 

Diving under big school of Barracudas

Big School of Barracudas - Credit: Rich Carey

3. Blue Corner - Palau, Micronesia

  • A wall dive popular with experienced divers.
  • Strong currents for a challenging dive.
  • Excellent opportunity to see sharks.
  • Fabulous diversity of marine life.

Might Blue Corner be the next dive spot for you?

Scuba Diving Blue Corner, Palau

Click the picture to see the 12 Best Sharks Pictures Ever - Credit: Nitrogenic

4. Thistlegorm - Egyptian Red Sea

  • Cargo ship wreck filled with motorbikes, train carriages and trucks.
  • Sunk in 1941 after being bombed by 2 German bombers .
  • Laying at a max depth of 29 meters.
  • Reports of encounters with giant moray eels.
  • Popular site for a night dive.

Going wreck diving in Egypt? 

5. Shark & Yolanda Reef - Egyptian Red Sea

  • Shark reef rich in anemones.
  • Mixture of drop off and ship wreck.
  • Good currents for drift diving.
  • Three reefs in one dive.

You might think that this is too much of the good diving to be able to afford this trip, but you migh also be surpried at how easy you can go diving here. 

6. The Yongala - Queensland, Australia

  • 109 metres wreck (entry into the ship is forbidden).
  • Protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
  • Lots of wildlife: Manta Rays, Tiger Sharks, Bull Sharks and Turtles.
  • Incredible coral formations.
  • Accessible from Ayr Township.

109 meters of pure wreck diving love. 

Scuba diving at Yongala wreck, Queensland, Australia

Some of the best Wreck Diving - Credit: Teddy Fotiou

7.  Great Blue Hole - Belize

  • Incredibly deep hole edged with coral reefs.
  • Great visibility in the water.
  • Best time to dive is between April – June.
  • Hole is 143 meters deep and home to plenty of mako and sharks.

Interested in diving the Great Blue Hole of Belize?

8. Big Brother - Egyptian Red Sea

  • Divers must have 50+ open water dives under their belt to dive here.
  • Currents can be wild and unpredictable.
  • Interaction with sharks is common.
  • Steep sided volcanic cone dive.

9. Manta Ray Night Dive - Kailua Kona, Hawaii

  • Lights set into the ocean floor attract plankton which attracts manta rays.
  • Currents here can be wild at times, but on a good day you'll have the show of a lifetime.
  • Guaranteed close encounters with the large Manta rays.

Read more about Diving in Hawaii 

10. Liberty Wreck - Bali, Indonesia

  • Wreck dive between 9-30m of water.
  • Suitable for all levels of diving skill.
  • A photographer’s favourite site because of the abundance of life here.
  • Very still current with visibility up to 30 meters.
Diving on the USAT Liberty wreck. Tulamben, Bali island

USAT Liberty wreck. Tulamben, Bali - Credit: Dudarev Mikhail

Do you have any diving Bucket list? Tell us where you wish to go diving!

Top 10 Best Dive Sites in the World
4.9 (98.65%) 74 votes

About The Author

Torben Lonne

Torben is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand - and dived most of his life in most of the world. He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of you can always catch him here [email protected]


  1. Thomas Walker

    I did number 10 last year, amazing place. I think they are all on my list. Next year it’s Egypt and for the two brothers and the Thistlegorm. I wish I could go Belize or Palu but that gotta be another time.

  2. louise Lerch

    My #1 is great Barriere reef and then sardin run in South Africa. Blue Hole would also be aazing to see but never been to that side off the world. Maybe some day.

    • Torben Lonne

      I got “Sardin run” on my Bucket list as well. It been there for some years now. Maybe I should do something about it. Thanks for sharing, Louise.

  3. james

    1. Raja Ampat
    2. Thistlegorm
    3. Orcas in north Norway
    4. Komodo
    5. Sipidan
    6. Sardin Run (almos forgont this one thanks Louise)
    7. Lembeh strait
    8. Richely Rock
    9. Belize blue Hole
    10. Mata ray Night dive in Hawaii Sounds like a clear number 10

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi James, thanks for sharing your list. I hope you one day can cross them all off!

  4. Jason Orwik

    I want more money! There are so may cool places to see and I’m broke. Would someone sponsor a dive trip to me!

  5. Jason Orwik

    The Maldives
    Indonesia – all over
    Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia
    Cocos Island
    scapa flow
    Blue hole
    Bikini Atoll

    I guess thats mine to name only 10 haha

  6. cici

    Most of my dive site in my bucket list is in Indonesia :)

  7. Carlotta

    I did number 2, 7 and 10! Amazing and so lucky to be able to dive some of the best places in the world. I’d also love to dive Truk Lagoon Shipwrecks, Micronesia. That’s supposed to be wreck diving paradise if one’s into wrecks.

  8. Tristan Paylado

    I haven’t been to any of the featured dive sites. But if i may suggest to include Philippines in your list. You can plunged in reef enriched Tubataha Marine Parks, Wreck diving in Coron, Thresher sharks in Malapascua, Mantas in Masbate, Whalesharks in Donsol and a lot more. After all, ITS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES!!!

  9. Jim O

    Buckets just aren’t big enough! I’m gonna need a barrel!
    Great idea to set some goals and then get after them.

  10. TBD

    Number 4 & 5…I would love to dive these places again!!

    • Torben Lonne

      Wow great thanks for sharing and well done hov many of your top 10 have you done now? There sure is a lot of divers there as well.

  11. Alvian Rahardjo

    Indonesia is like a paradise for divers, Bali, Raja Ampat, Komodo Island, Wakatobi, Bunaken, and many more…

    • Tristan Paylado

      Hi Alvian. Yes, Indonesia is also a great diving destination. Thanks for sharing

  12. Diverkim

    Half I have done, half I dream to do. In no particular order:

    1. Lancaster Sound, Nunavut (when the ice breaks up)
    2. Ras Mohammed, Sharm El Sheikh
    3. Blue Corner, Palau
    4. Browning Wall, Port Hardy
    5. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
    6. Sipadan
    7. Tubataha, Philippines
    8. Thresher shark dive, Malapascua
    9. Maldives
    10. wrecks of Chuuk Lagoon

    • Torben Lonne

      It’s a really great list, which one have you done?

    • Diverkim

      I’ve done Ras Mohammed, Sharm El Sheikh; Blue Corner, Palau; Sipadan; the thresher shark dive in Malapascua, Philippines; and some great dives in the Maldives.

  13. Diverkim

    I’ve done Ras Mohammed, Sharm El Sheikh; Blue Corner, Palau; Sipadan; the Thresher shark dive, Malapascua; and the Maldives.

    • Torben Lonne

      Very nice dives you’ve done. Thresher sharks in Malapascua is a big one on my bucket list.

  14. Teddy Fotiou

    I would also recommend Navy Pier in Exmouth, Western Australia. On two dives at Navy Pier, I saw just as many species of marine life as I did on over 60 dives on the Great Barrier Reef. The Yongala is a great dive, though.

  15. einar

    Einar from Norway here,
    What I have done,but not necessarily in order,
    Cenotes (fresh water) Mexico
    Malapascua, Philippines
    Dauin, macro, Philippines
    Padre Purgos, Philippines, my first encounter with whale sharks, (and forget Isla Mujeres in Mexico…)
    Liberty wreck, Bali, Indonesia. Remember to stay up there and dive early in the morning and in the afternoon to avoid the crowd. Plenty of other places to dive during day time there.
    Komodo national park, Indonesia, Just perfect for mantas
    Lembeh strait, best macro place in the world…
    Sipadan, probably the first good place I went, but will probably not go back…


    Orca and humpback whales, well they are 30 min drive from my place in Norway in the dark period so very few have been snorkeled with them and made OK UW pictures / video…
    Raja Ampat
    Tubataha, Philippines, more big stuff than Raja Ampat
    Chuuk lagoon

  16. diverkim

    Tubataha, Galapagos, Chuuk lagoon, and PNG sound like cool places to dive

  17. Cipto Aji Gunawan

    I have in my data base, over 700 dive sites in 33 areas all over Indonesia, and we have over 500 (25 areas) of them compiled into a book: Indonesia Dive Directory. It also includes over 300 uw photos and over 200 dive operators. It is also the first and the only dive guide book with “dive sites classification”. The ebook is available in iOS and Android through Scoop App

  18. Paul

    Wow, I have been lucky enough to dive 7 of those dive sites. Blue corner just tops Sipadan in my book. Also amongst other favs of mine are Richelieu Rock in Thailand, Batu Bolong in Komodo and Malapascua in Philly. The world really isn’t big enough :-(

  19. Debbie

    In no particular order:
    Sardine run
    Mexican cenotes
    Scapa Flow
    Bikini Atol
    North Carolina wrecks
    Palau wrecks
    and I know it’s not technically a dive but really really wanted to go on a submersible to the Titanic before they stopped doing the trips a couple of years ago!!

  20. Jose

    At last a Top Dive Site list I can agree on. I’ve dived 4 of these already and would love to dive the others – hopefully soon! The only change I would do is find a place for a Komodo dive site – Cauldron, Crystal Rock or Batu Balong – or perhaps Tubbataha reefs Delsan wreck in Philippines. There’s just so many great dive sites in the world! :)

  21. Anto

    Funny enought I didn’t enjoy much of Sipadan, but I had a blast in the dirty water of Mabul where the macro life was astonishning!

    If you haven’t explore yet I suggest the NAvy Pier in Exmouth, Western Australia. An amazing shore dive much simpler than the Yongala but very colorful and fun.

  22. Saroj Kumar

    Thanks for sharing here. I am very happy to read your review.

  23. Terry Kennedy

    getting ready to dive ,Cuba ,around Trinidad ,Ancon beach ,Cienfuegos ,Giron ,Bay of Pigs dose any one have any information ,are advice ,can’t find out much about it ???

  24. Newbie

    To be honest, the best is Tioman Island, Malaysia. I guess they don’t advertise it because they learn the lesson from Similan. Check it out.

    • diverkim

      Unless something has changed drastically, Tioman has been considered quite inferior diving locale to its northern neighbors: Perhentians and Redang

  25. Stephanie Magdziak

    Advice, anyone? We live in the US, were certified in Palau years ago, want to return to the Pacific. Traveling so far, and spending as much as we must, we want a thrilling experience. Best enjoy wall dives, don’t like wreck dives. Like eco-style accommodations. Will not go to Philippines, due to present government. Husband not interested in liveaboard, though I would try it.
    We’re in our 60’s, so diving time running out! My head is spinning, not sure where to go!

    • Paul S

      Hello Stephanie, In my opinion Raja Ampat fits the bill. Shore base diving from local beach accommodation. Ranges from the most basic of basic rustic huts through to more comfortable eco resorts. Few if any wrecks, some walls, plenty of big & small stuff and wonderful reefs and corals. Sharks, Mantas. Plus its a thrilling experience just getting there.

    • Stephanie Magdziak

      Thanks, Paul S. I recently spoke with a couple who returned from Komodo Resort Diving Club and they were extremely happy with the diving and the dive masters, etc. Said the dive crew absolutely tailored the dives to them. This couple hasn’t been to Raja Ampat or Solomon Islands, which I’m also considering.

      We’ve only had 60+ dives, so I’m wary of real dive challenges. However, we were certified in Palau, and we didn’t experience extreme currents on those fabulous dives. Loved the wall dives, and looking into the blue abyss.

  26. Paul S

    Hello Guys, Im running out of places and ideas. I have been lucky enough to dive 7 out of the 10 on this list, Palau, Raja Ampat, Komodo, Bali, Similian, Lembeh, Verde Island, Sipidan, Malaspascua, The Brothers and other lesser dive locations. I really don’t know where to go next. I mainly do SE Asia as not only is it world class but my mate lives in Bali. I enjoy warm water, big & small creatures, wrecks not so much and remote places. I prefer shore based but will do liveaboards at a stretch. As I say im running out of ideas, may look at Tubataha or Fiji next but wondering if anyone else has any recommendations ??? Oh and in case your wondering my Top 5 dives sites are Blue Corner (Palau), Barracuda Point (Sipidan) Manta Ridge (Raja), Gato Island (Malapascua) & Batu Bolong (Komodo), just my opinion and what I saw and experienced on the day. I realise Im lucky enough to have visited these places but planet earth doesn’t seem such a big place as it once did. Many thanks

  27. Lisa

    Still a lot of dive destinations to discover! USAT Liberty at Tulamben was amazing. We were there two years ago, when we were traveling long-term with our toddler. Bunaken, Indonesia was really good too as well as the Dauin Coast near Dumaguete in the Philippines. I really enjoyed diving at Sipadan, but that’s well over 10 years ago. We’re lucky enough to have a holiday house in Dahab, Egypt. Not a top 10 destination, but nice shore diving. Off to Egypt again in a few days…! :-)

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Lisa,

      Luckily, there’s plenty of great dive sites left for most of us. Dahab, might not be a top 10, but still a great place for diving. Enjoy the trip.

    • Lisa

      Thanks Torben! Things seem to be picking up here in Dahab. A lot more tourists than last time we were here. Haha, and there are ALWAYS more great dive sites to discover ;-)

  28. scubadude

    i’m really surprised Malta is not listed on here. There are some brilliant diving locations. I did one of my first try dives in Malta over 12 months ago and can’t wait to dive there again.

    • diverkim

      Welcome to the wonderful world of diving scubadude. However, with all due respect, to you and the diving of Malta (since I haven’t dived there), and with a focus on wreck diving as per the video, when one has dived wrecks such as the USS Liberty in Tulamben, Indonesia; or the WWII wrecks in Palau; the wrecks of Coron Bay, Philippines; the Thistlegorm in the Red Sea; and many others (as the list is long) … then the wreck dive as portrayed in the video — while interesting enough as a dive site — is hardly the stuff that will make most top 10 lists. That means there are a lot of dives out there that will really get the heart pumping. Enjoy!

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