Bucket List Dive Sites from around the world
As divers, when we aren't in the water, we most likely planning our next dive vacation and considering what exotic area we should go to. Considering this, we've compiled a list of 5 incredible diving spots for you to cross off your bucket list to help you plan your upcoming vacation. And the best part is that no matter what style of diving you enjoy, we have dive sites here to suit your preferences, whether you enjoy drift diving, wreck diving, cave diving, night diving, or diving at high altitudes.
1. Go Fresh Water Diving in a Cave – The Pet Cemetery, Mexic
Cenote Sac Actun (commonly called the Pet Cemetery) is a great place to go if you want a distinctive freshwater or cave dive. The Pet Cemetery is part of the second-largest underwater cave system in the world and is as stunningly spectacular above the water as it is below it. It is situated in the jungle in Tulum, Mexico.
Expect to observe stalactites and stalagmites as well as tranquil, crystal-clear water. The animal burials at the bottom of the hill, where you can see the tapir jawbone and the remains of a prehistoric camel, are how this location got its name.
Location: Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Access is via Cenotes Dos Ojos.
How to visit: Book on a day trip with a local dive centre.
Depth: Max depth of 7m, but an average depth of 3m.
Temperature: 26 degrees Celcius year-round.
Conditions: Calm there are no currents.
Best time of year to visit: Year-round.
Suitable for: If you want to dive this site, you must be at least an Advanced diver, as you will need good buoyancy control to navigate this site. Tours are also available for snorkellers.
2. Go Drift Diving in Fresh Water – Clutha River New Zealand
If you're looking for a dive that will give you a rush, this is it! The Clutha River in New Zealand is renowned for having the world's fastest river drift dive. This dive, which has been likened as an underwater tornado, is not recommended for novices or those new to drift diving. Only the most skilled drift divers should attempt it. This dive is made all the more challenging by the water's rapid flow, which limits visibility to a maximum of 7 meters. In addition, you must maneuver around the rocky bottom.
Location: Clutha River, South Island, New Zealand.
How to visit: Book a day trip with a local dive centre. Do not attempt this dive without a guide.
Temperature: 9 degrees Celcius in Winter to 18 degrees Celcius in Summer.
Conditions: Extreme currents of up to 18 km/h
Best time of year to visit: No known best time, visibility is limited at 7m due to the fast currents of the water.
Suitable for: Expert drift divers only.
3. Go Wreck diving in Coldwater – Scapa Flow Scotland
Go to Scapa Flow in Scotland if you want to participate in one of the top wreck dives in all of Europe! Seven sizable battleships that were notoriously scuttled and eventually sunk after the First World War, from the German High Seas fleet of more than 70 ships, are still present here.
Each wreck is close by, and there are a variety of wreck diving opportunities, which is what makes this place so excellent. This is an excellent location for experienced and technical divers to examine the ships because the dives are deep and the water is chilly.
Location: Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, Scotland.
How to visit: Book a day trip with a local dive centre.
Depth: Most of the Scapa Flow wrecks lie at a depth of 24m to 45m, although you will find one at about 12m deep.
Temperature: 4 degrees Celcius in Winter to 14 degrees Celcius in Summer.
Conditions: Depends on the wreck and the tide. Some wrecks can be done as drift dives, so there is some current.
Best time of year to visit: Year-round, but best visibility is from December to March.
Suitable for: Must at a minimum be an Advanced deep diver. If diving in the Winter, you will need to train on how to dive using a dry suit.
4. Go on a fluorescent night dive – Bonaire, Dutch Antilles
If you enjoy night diving and want to add something special to your experience, go to Bonaire and try a fluorescent night dive! If you have a UV light, the marine life practically sparkles in the dark, giving you the impression that you are at an underwater rave party! Recall that it is ideal to travel with a guide since they are aware of how different marine life may respond to UV radiation.
Location: Bonaire Marine Park, Bonaire, Dutch Antilles.
How to visit: Head to the marine park and book on a guided dive or explore the marine park with your buddy. Orientation dive is required. If doing night dive with a UV light, book on a guided tour.
Depth: Ranges from 9m to 27m deep.
Temperature: 26 to 30 degrees Celsius.
Best time of year to visit: Year-round.
Suitable for: All levels of divers.
5. Go altitude diving – Yellowstone National Park, USA
Did you know that you can scuba dive in Yellowstone Lake? Yellowstone National Park is frequently included on people's bucket lists for the wonders it has to offer above the water. One of the biggest high altitude lakes in the world, Yellowstone Lake is 2,372 meters above sea level.
Being able to transition between dive sites with very cold temperatures (where a dry suit is required) and thermal geo hot places makes diving in a park a unique diving experience. And the thermal bubbles, which give you the impression that you are swimming in champagne, are the nicest part of diving there!
Location: Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
How to visit: There are no dive shops within the park. You can visit a dive shop outside the park and ask for a guide (recommended), otherwise, you can visit and dive the park without a guide (but you need to be very familiar with altitude diving, the dive sites and rules of the park).
Depth: Maximum depth is 46m.
Temperature: Some Yellowstone dive sites (e.g. West Thumb Geyser Basin) are cold so will need a dry suit. Temperatures range from 5 degrees Celcius to 15 degrees Celcius (average), but some sections are scalding hot.
Conditions: Some currents.
Best time of year to visit: July and August.
Suitable for: Advanced divers that have dived at altitude before, and those that are dry suit certified.
About the Author:
Amanda and her husband Dean have been certified divers since 2009. Amanda has her advanced open water and Dean is a dive master. They have travelled the world and dived many sites in Australia, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean. Amanda and Dean have a travel blog called Scatabout which details the fun and unique experiences they have had on their world travels. You can find them doing something adventurous like scuba diving, hiking or something strange like running down the side of a building. You can follow Scatabout: YouTube: https://youtube.com/scatabout Website: https://scatabout.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scatabout/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scatabout/