Mexico diving destinations
Mexico has made a reputation for itself as a popular destination for party-seeking young adults. Its rich terrain is, however an open invitation to adventure travelers, and avid divers are not exempt. Both the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico hold some of the world’s greatest warm-water diving spots, though three stand out. Los Islotes and Santa Rosalia are located in the Sea of Cortez. Los Islotes, off of the Espiritu Santos Islands, is home to a large group of sea lions, the Labrador puppies of the ocean. Santa Rosalia is a bit ominous, and reserved for a Humboldt squid hunters – the “Red Devils” of the sea, and one of the world’s most deadly predators. Cenote Taj Maja, near Playa del Carmen, holds a fantastic underwater cavern where you can swim through the halocline effect – a mindboggling situation where freshwater and saltwater touch.
Going further into South America, you will reach another hotspot for divers, Honduras. This country borders the Caribbean Sea, and divers can find advantage on Utila Island. Whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, pass by here in large pods during the spring and fall. They can reach a length of 12 meters, but their docile nature, and diet composed of plankton makes them safe enough to approach, and swim alongside.
The Marshall Islands, specifically Bikini Island, suffers a dreary past. Today, the bomb site is a lagoon with a safe level of radiation. This diving destination is of great interest to divers fascinated by modern history, as they will be swimming around spectacular, highly preserved World War II wrecks.
French Polynesia is best known as the home of major honeymoon destinations, Bora Bora and Tahiti. The thing that makes these islands so attractive is that they are all located within lagoons brimming with colorful fish. There is nothing quite like going snorkeling straight off the terrace of your overwater bungalow – you needn’t even bother making the trip to the nearest beach for some underwater fun! Literally any spot around these islands is a good spot for snorkeling, and most of them are good for diving, so there is no need to pick out particular destinations.
Tourism in Australia is massively based on diving. Naturally so, as this is the country of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living coral reef, so large that the best diving can only be found via weeklong liveaboard trips. GBR’s North Horn and Cod Hole grace every diving top list. Other than that, the world’s best wreck diving can be found at the SS Yongala. Western Australia is less of a tourist trap than the eastern coast, and it specializes in some pretty wild locations, such as the Navy Pier in Exmouth, where you can swim along nurse sharks, flat worms, and frog fish.
Indonesia in the distant Pacific waters is home to hundreds of diving spots. The top three are Raja Ampat, Wakatobi Archipelago, and Batu Bolong. Raja Ampat is an archipelago to the east of Indonesia, a real diver’s delight. Notable for its large variety of marine creatures, this is an excellent place to look for sea horses, epaulette sharks, manta ray, Raja Ampat also has a good amount of shipwrecks. The Wakatobi Archipelago covers a remote and intact coral reef, and naturally, this makes it perfect for underwater photography. The outer coral also holds some peculiar invertebrates of the squid and eel sort. Batu Bolong is home to an underwater rock covered in coral and marine life, and mostly occupied by trevallies, whitetip reef sharks, schools of tuna and barracuda.
Malaysia has a spot or two to offer, and the best of them is Barracuda Point, off the Sipadan Islands. This is an excellent place to swim along shoals of barracuda, and therefore, an excellent venture for underwater photographers.
Tropical adventure Bali is equipped with wreck dives (the USS Liberty Wreck, highly accessible, appropriate for younger divers as well), and Crystal Bay, a standard dive spot by any account, but particular for the presence of the odd Mola Mola Ocean Sunfish, during the fall.
Thailand’s tourism business is positively booming, and it has much to offer to the warm-water diver. Richelieu Rock, near Surin Islands, is a place to look for and swim with the docile whale shark. Elephant Head Rock, near Similan Islands, is an example of spectacular natural architectural solutions. Its distance, however, makes it a liveaboard adventure, rather than a day trip.
Site updated on 18. September 2019