The World's Top 9 Underwater Experiences

Reef
Reef | © Taso Viglas/Flickr
Marcelina Morfin

There are a host of unique underwater experiences around the world waiting to be had. While some involve more adventure than others, there is something for everyone, serious adrenaline junkies and relaxation seekers alike. From great white shark dives to underwater sculpture parks, we’ve put together a list of some great choices to help you get started on your next underwater adventure.

Visit the Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada

The Underwater Sculpture Park is a wonderful project and incredible experience for anyone looking to partake in an underwater activity. Founded in 2006 by Jason deCaires Taylor, an artist of many talents, this park — this first of its kind — features numerous sculptures submerged in the waters of Molinere Bay, off the west coast of Grenada. Acting as an artificial reef, the sculptures take pressure off the natural habitat and attracts a beautiful, diverse array of sea life, making it a unique place to explore. Some of the sculptures found in the park include ‘Man on a Bike’ and ‘Vicissitudes,’ which is a circle of life-sized figures holding hands — they were cast from local children.

The underwater sculpture “Sienna” ©

Reserve a room with views like no other in Fiji

This underwater experience in Fiji is a great option for people with no diving experience. The Poseidon Undersea Resort offers guests the opportunity to reserve hotel rooms and suites all located on the sea floor, and while many resorts offer rooms ‘with a view,’ the views here are truly breathtaking. According to the website, approximately ‘70% of the exterior surface’ is transparent, allowing guests to view sea life in all its beautiful glory. There are even buttons that, once pushed, allow guests to feed the fish. While most vacationers only use their accommodations to sleep, as they’re busy exploring their surroundings, people staying at the Poseidon will never want to leave.

Fiji

Exploring cenotes in Mexico

Located in the state of Yucatán, cenotes are underwater sinkholes featuring labyrinths of underwater caves. It is believed there are at least 6,000 of these natural wonders in the area; however, only 2,400 are registered. Many people love to swim in these beautiful places, but many other adventurers enjoy exploring the caves via scuba diving and snorkeling. Cenote diving may not be for everyone, as the spaces can be tight and sometimes visibility becomes difficult; however, if you can get past that, it truly is an incredible experience. The water is warm, and the color is gorgeous, especially when the light dances on top.

Ikkil Cenote

Diving with great white sharks

If you are looking for an experience that will get your heart pumping and that you will never forget, then dive with great white sharks. From South Africa to Mexico to California, there are many destinations and companies that offer opportunities that will allow you to get up close and personal — albeit from within a cage for your protection — with these magnificent predators. Some companies are more reputable than others, so do your research and search for those that are also committed to protecting the sharks and their environment.

Great White Shark

Explore an underwater archeological site in Israel

Located at the Caesarea National Park, the Old Caesarea Diving Center offers a unique opportunity for underwater adventure seekers who are also history buffs. This company offers diving tours of an underwater site known as the Underwater Archeological Park. Once known as Sebastos and built by King Herod over 2,000 years ago, the port was one of the greatest of its time. Today, the harbor sits under the Mediterranean and provides a unique look into the past. Divers are provided with waterproof maps to help guide their way through the four marked trails where they will see docks, sunken ships, cargo, and so much more.

Herod’s Royal Harbor

Snorkel and swim with whale sharks

If great white shark diving sounds a bit terrifying, then swimming among whale sharks might be a better option. Often described as ‘gentle giants,’ these large fish — the largest in the world — are docile and usually don’t bother divers who want to get a closer look. However, do not get too close, as they need their space. There are several destinations in the world, including Australia, Belize, and Mozambique, to name a few, where people can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As with great white shark diving, seek out companies that are looking out for the well-being of these beautiful fish.

Whale Shark

Dine at an undersea restaurant in the Maldives

Located 16 feet below sea level at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island hotel, the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is a culinary experience that’s not to be missed. An all-glass, undersea venue — the only one in the world — the restaurant provides guests with not only delectable cuisine but also stunning views they won’t soon forget. While savoring European cuisine, guests will be treated to a wonderful display of marine life, including coral gardens, swimming about the lovely blue water. Established in 2005, Ithaa features multi-course menus for lunch and dinner with options that are sure to delight discerning diners everywhere. For an opportunity to experience exquisite food and a world-class view, be sure to make a reservation. Information can be found here.

Ithaa

Diving in Palau

An archipelago made up of approximately 200 islands, Palau is one of the best places in the world for divers. The picturesque beauty is not limited to the land; it extends underneath the water, as well. A true diver’s paradise, this area is one of the most sought-after diving destinations in the world, as the waters are brimming with fish, sharks, reefs, and historical evidence of WWII. One of the most popular diving destinations, if not the most, in Palau is Blue Corner, with its high concentration of marine life. This area is best for the advanced diver, as it features strong, unpredictable currents.

Palau

Take an eco-tour with Atlantis Submarines in Hawaii

While not every underwater adventure on this list is suitable for families, Atlantis Submarines in Hawaii offers memorable underwater experiences the entire family will enjoy. Creating a fun adventure and memories that will last a lifetime, the submarines move gently through the water, allowing visitors to witness the beauty of nature. This company also strives to teach their guests the importance of protecting the ocean and everything in it. Indeed, Atlantis Submarines uses battery-powered submarines and has placed artificial reefs in areas that were once barren so that marine life can thrive once again.

Atlantis Submarine

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

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All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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