Scuba diving is a sport that combines the health benefits of swimming with the heart-pounding joy of discovery and adventure, says amateur diver Dwight Dykstra. You get to experience strange and beautiful underwater worlds you never could have imagined. And whether you’re drawn to unique tropical marine life, you love the idea of exploring vast underwater caves, or sunken ships call your name, there’s somewhere in the world that can oblige.
These are some of the most famous and interesting locations in the world for scuba diving enthusiasts of all levels.
Read on for inspiration for your next underwater adventure!
Beginner: Barracuda Point in Malaysia
The name hints at what you’ll find in Barracuda Points waters, says Dwight Dykstra. But sharp-toothed fish aren’t all you’ll see by a long shot! Sharks, sea turtles, bumphead parrotfish, jacks, and grouper also call this massive coral reef their home.
Swim through walls of coral and over a vast underwater prairie. The plethora of sea life will leave you reeling. If you scuba dive to see marine life, the warm, clear waters of Malaysia can’t be beaten! The open spaces, clear water, and varied depths make this the perfect location for diving beginners and those looking for a more relaxing experience.
Indonesia has over 13,000 islands within its borders and each island has its own unique habitat and wildlife presence. These islands are part of the Coral Triangle, one of the most biodiverse habitats in the world. You can find over 1,500 species of fish living off the Raja Ampat coast alone.
Love hammerhead sharks? Check out the island of Alor. Interested in underwater wildlife photography? Komodo National Park is a must-see. Just make sure that you are confident in your diving abilities before you visit Indonesia, warns Dwight Dykstra. There are plenty of places that are appropriate for novices, but the islands are infamous for their strong currents. So be honest with yourself and your tour guides about your experience level to avoid a tragic accident.
The Riviera Maya is located in Mexico on the Yucatán Peninsula. It’s a famous tourist destination, but what draws divers from all over the world are the Cenotes, says Dwight Dykstra. The Cenotes are vast sinkholes that lead to an underwater cave system that is considered by many divers to be the best in the world.
Because cave diving can be dangerous, it is important that you have the proper technical skills, says Dwight Dykstra. There are a few caverns open to all levels, but to explore the cave system fully, make sure that you have plenty of experience and training under your belt first.