DIVEIN’s Complete Guide to:
Top 10 Best Dive Resorts in the World
When it comes to the best dive resorts in the world, today’s traveling divers can take their pick, with everything from budget options, to luxe boutique resorts, to all-inclusive resorts and everything in between.
Budget options offer divers an affordable, comfortable place to stay, usually with an on-site dive center, restaurant, and usually a pool, but little else in the way of amenities.
Luxurious resorts pile on the perks—in addition to an on-site dive center, divers can expect gourmet restaurants, typically a spa, a pool, other offerings such as yoga or guided tours, and a high level of service all around.
Finally, all-inclusive dive resorts are becoming more popular among dive travelers and it’s easy to see why—sometimes you just want to kick back, relax, and dive with minimal pre-planning or hassle. These resorts usually offer packages including your diving, food, room, and sometimes alcohol.
No matter where you stay, there are usually lots of ways to customize a stay at a dive resort since most offer a variety of packages. Luxe resorts may offer a meal package or several massages, for example, or a budget resort may offer a set number of dives per stay. If you’re looking for a true all-inclusive vacation, choose a package that includes your room, food, drinks, and all your diving.
If you’d rather go your own way for some meals or explore your destination a bit more, opt for an a la carte package that includes one meal per day or morning dives only, for example. No matter how you choose to stay, with great accommodation, dining, and diving all in one place, it’s never been easier to dive your way around the world.
Our list is by no means exhaustive, but here are our picks for some of the best dive resorts in the world.
Top 10 Best Dive Resorts in the World
Anthony’s Key Resort, Roatan, Honduras
Anthony’s Key is a stunning dive resort with 56 luxury bungalows arranged on a spacious 11-acre property in the heart of Roatan, one of the Bay Islands of Honduras. A long-time favorite among scuba divers, the design of Anthony’s Key Resort perfectly blends into the island’s lush forests and the colors of Sandy Bay, a slice of Caribbean paradise.
The resort has four different bungalow categories: the Hill Standard and Hill Superior bungalows are immersed in the lush forest on the main island, while the Key Superior and Key deluxe rooms are located on Anthony’s Key, a small private island right in the center of the turquoise lagoon. The resort features an impressive fleet dedicated to scuba diving and an on-site hyperbaric chamber.
Roatan is one of the most beautiful diving destinations in the Caribbean. The island sits right on the edge of the western tip of the Cayman Trough, the deepest point in the Caribbean Sea.
Thanks to the island’s location, Roatan’s jaw-dropping coral reef features impressive walls and banks that sink to vertiginous depths and boast an impressive array of coral colors and shapes, all perfectly observable in the clear water.
Read more about diving in Roatan.
Camel Dive Club & Hotel, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
An institution among Red Sea divers, Camel Dive Club & Hotel started in 1986 and was among the first dive centers in Sharm El Sheikh. It evolved into the powerhouse that it is today thanks to the passion and commitment of its friendly staff.
The Camel complex consists of its legendary dive center, a four-star hotel with 38 rooms, a bar with a rooftop where divers from all over Sharm El Sheikh meet to chat about the daily sightings while munching on Camel’s famous peanuts, and a variety of restaurants. Plus, with prices to suit all wallets, the Camel is accessible to divers on a variety of budgets.
No logbook is complete without a series of dives registered in Sharm El Sheikh. Sharm and the Red Sea have been venerated since Jacques Cousteau’s early documentaries, and their fame is truly well-deserved.
A few hours by boat from the shore is enough to access several world-class dive sites such as the legendary SS Thistlegorm, considered by many as the most beautiful wreck at recreational depths. Sharm El Sheikh is also the closest port to the Ras Mohammed and Tiran National Parks, home to some of the best reef dives in the world.
Read more about diving in Egypt.
Buddy Dive, Bonaire
Established in 1979, the Bonaire Marine Park has made this tiny Dutch Caribbean island an absolute paradise for scuba diving, and no resort is more associated with the island’s favorite pastime than Buddy Dive. Tucked onto a peaceful slice of waterfront just north of the main town of Kralendijk, Buddy offers spacious studios, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, an on-site dive center and shop, two swimming pools, two restaurants, vehicle rental and their famous drive-through tank fill station.
Options include shore diving only, with a spectacular house reef at your doorstep, boat diving, or a combination of the two. The resort’s intimate size, sunny yellow buildings, and large, grassy lawn also make it the perfect spot for destination dive weddings, honeymoons, or other special occasions.
Bonaire is world-renowned as the shore diving capital of the world, with around 60 officially recognized dive sites. Rent a pickup truck with Buddy; drive through the tank station to pick up your tanks; and dive to your heart’s content all along the island’s western coast. The fringing reef begins around 30 feet (10 m) from shore, making for easy access.
Must-visit sites include Salt Pier, the Hilma Hooker, and 1000 Steps, where you may see turtles, squid, reef fish, tarpon, seahorses, and more. Boat diving with Buddy gives you an opportunity to visit sites on tiny, uninhabited Klein Bonaire as well.
Read more about diving in Bonaire.
The Placencia, Belize
Nestled on one of Belize’s beautiful beaches, the Placencia is among Belize’s most exclusive resorts. The holiday complex consists of luxury accommodations, all surrounding the main pool. There are also three restaurants, a small casino, and a fully-functional marina from where the fishing and diving trips start.
At Placencia Resort, adventure meets relaxation. Visit the jungle and the local villages; set sail for some scuba diving or big game fishing; or explore the Mayan ruins. If you’re planning a purely relaxing holiday, enjoy a breathtaking sunrise over the Caribbean and sunset over the Mayan Mountains.
Belize offers some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean. The Belizean reef is the second-largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef, and diving here means crystal-clear visibility and warm water year-round.
Far from being a mainstream destination, Belize offers pristine dive sites teeming with life. Turtles, big barracuda, dolphins, and sharks abound. Soft and hard corals encrust every rock and barrel sponges grow big enough to accommodate a diver in full gear. Belize is also home to the Great Blue Hole, an impressive sinkhole, famed among divers all over the world.
Read more about diving in Belize.
Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island, Australia
Designed to offer a private beach hideaway experience, Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island offers a chic blend of sophistication and Australian understatement surrounded by the lush eastern coast tropics. The resort rests on Lovers Bay beach at the foot of Mount Gower and Mount Lidgbird.
Capella Lodge features a total of nine contemporary suites decorated with timber floors and custom furniture pieces to create a sophisticated beach bungalow-style environment. The suites are equipped with king beds, private decks, and oversized rain showers in the bathroom — everything you might expect from a luxury beachside resort.
Comprised of nearly 2,900 reefs, 600 islands, and 300 coral cays, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest structure built by living organisms. It is, in fact, the only living structure observable from outer space. Lord Howe Island, sitting between the Coral Sea and Tasman Sea, features the world’s most southerly coral reef system, and as such offers a unique blend of tropical and temperate fauna.
Stingrays and turtles share the waters around Lord Howe with tropical boxfish, bannerfish, and anemones with resident clownfish. The transparency of the water and the abundance of nutrients promote healthy, flourishing coral growth. Lord Howe is among the most beautiful World Heritage-listed islands and has been declared a New South Wales Marine Park.
Read more about diving in Australia.
Azura Benguerra Island, Mozambique
Located on the pristine island of Benguerra, part of Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago, Azura Benguerra Island is a luxurious hideaway with just 20 beachfront villas offering serene privacy and stunning views over the Indian Ocean. Azura is the perfect choice if you’re keen on Mozambique’s wildlife and nature.
The resort was custom-built by hand to minimize the impact on the delicate local ecosystem. There are 20 fully-equipped villas to choose from, each with a private pool and located directly in front of a beautiful sandy beach. The Presidential Villa, Azura’s most exclusive (and expensive) option, boasts a whopping a private area of over 11,000 square feet (1000 square meters).
Diving in Mozambique is a unique experience, and the Bazaruto Archipelago is one of the nation’s best places for scuba diving. A diving holiday here is comparable to an African land safari, but underwater.
Prepare to meet with some of the most majestic inhabitants of the ocean, as Benguerra and the Bazaruto Archipelago are famous for whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, leatherback turtles, and even elusive dugongs. During the right time of the year, humpback whales often cruise the waters surrounding the Archipelago.
Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, Baa Atoll, Maldives
Right in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve you’ll find the Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, a five-star sanctuary offering all the unmatched luxury and service you would expect from a Four Seasons. The resort comprises a variety of villas and rooms with private pools and breathtaking views of the lagoon’s turquoise water.
At Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, luxury, well-being, and conservation blend to provide guests with an unparalleled Maldivian experience. The resort offers a selection of unique outdoor activities, including water sports, panoramic flights with the resort’s seaplane (the Flying Triggerfish) and even submarine tours aboard Deep Flight, a three-person recreational submarine.
In June 2011, Baa was designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, placing it in the company of other world-famous sites including the Galapagos and Komodo.
It is thought to be one of the few places in the world where whale sharks meet to reproduce and the bay regularly sees some of the largest congregations of manta rays and whale sharks in the world, especially when the rising tide pushes nutrients into the bay.
A snorkeling set is all that’s needed to admire the plankton-eating giants of Hanifaru Bay, but if you strap your tank on, the Maldivian reefs with their currents and rich coral life are just as exciting as the whale sharks and mantas.
Read more about diving in the Maldives.
Breathless Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico
Overlooking the Marina and conveniently located on Medano Beach, Breathless Cabo San Lucas is an elegant adults-only retreat featuring 169 exclusive suites with breathtaking views over the Pacific. The resort features access to the beach and swimming area, two stunning infinity pools, and an award-winning sky lounge.
A selection of world-class restaurants serves delicious recipes from all over the world smart-casual style with large tables for the guests to sit together and socialize. With the hotel’s “Unlimited-Luxury” plan, guests can benefit from an impressive variety of dining options, drinks, and services, without the need for a plastic bracelet.
Baja California, and more specifically Cabo San Lucas, is home to some of the most action-packed dive sites in the world. The tip of Baja California is the place where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, creating a unique set of conditions that promote an explosive abundance of marine life.
Cabo San Lucas is one of the best places in the world to dive with massive schools of majestic hammerhead sharks, among the most mysterious inhabitants of the ocean. For unknown reasons, hammerheads congregate in huge groups composed of hundreds of specimens in the waters here.
Blue Bay Dive Resort, Bangka Island, Sulawesi
Blue Bay Divers is a small boutique resort located on the tiny Sahaung Island next to Bangka, the world-reknowned dive destination off the northeast coast of Sulawesi. The resort consists of a limited number of ocean-front accommodations nestled into a small patch of emerald green forest, white-sand beaches, and turquoise lagoons.
The resort offers an all-inclusive formula with three delicious meals a day prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. It is a secluded haven right in the heart of one of the most beautiful diving locations in the world, perfect for a week or more of world-class scuba diving and unparalleled tranquillity.
Prepare your underwater camera and polish your macro lenses if you’re planning a diving holiday in Lembeh. The Lembeh Strait, the stretch of water enclosed between Northeast Sulawesi and Lembeh Island, is home to some of the smallest, oddest, most eccentric inhabitants of the ocean.
Divers headed to the Lembeh Strait are avid collectors of sightings, carefully registering everything they spot. Sharpen your vision and defog your mask carefully before the dives and you could spot pygmy seahorses, frogfish in hundreds of different colors and patterns, colorful nudibranchs, multitudes of octopus, and even the elusive sea dragons.
Read more about diving in Sulawesi.
Portulano Dive Resort, Batangas, Philippines
The perfect tropical hideaway to relax in and do some unforgettable dives in the Philippines, Portulano Dive Resort features a limited number of sea-view rooms surrounded by lush tropical forest. Each room, built respecting the local style and vibe, provides a welcoming atmosphere while offering all the comforts you need for a relaxing stay. The rooms are air-conditioned or equipped with fans, and feature comfortable beds and clean towels.
The resort offers scuba diving, snorkeling trips, and stand-up paddle surfing excursions to admire the breathtaking landscapes and coastline. The emphasis is on relaxation and well being and the resort serves its signature meals with options for vegans, vegetarians, or anyone with specific requirements.
Anilao is a paradise for macro photographers, and is consistently rated one of the world’s best spots for muck diving, along with Lembeh Strait. Nudibranchs, shrimp, crabs, octopus, and frogfish all abound. Don’t miss the chance to dive at Secret Bay, also known as Mainit Muck, for some supreme critter spotting.
From the resort, most dive sites are just a few minutes away and, in addition to world-class muck diving, you’ll also find healthy reefs and exciting high-voltage dives with pelagics in Bahura-Ligpo.
Read more about diving in the Philippines.
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We don’t know about you, but we would definitely stay in each one of these resorts! What’s your favorite all-inclusive dive holiday destination? Share your tips and dive travel stories in the comments below.
Frequently asked questions
There are a lot of extraordinary dive resorts in the world.
These are some of our favorites:
- Anthony’s Key Resort, Roatan, Honduras
- Camel Dive Club and Hotel, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
- Buddy Dive, Bonaire
- The Placencia Resort, Belize
- Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island, Australia
Take a look at the 10 Best Dive Resorts in the World.
There are a lot of extraordinary dive resorts in Asia.
These are our top favorites:
- Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, Baa Atoll, Maldives
- Blue Bay Dive Resort, Bangka Island, Sulawesi
- Portulano Dive Resort, Batangas, Philippines
Take a look at the 10 Best Dive Resorts in the World.