Narrowing down a list of the world’s best scuba and diving sites wasn’t easy, but we’ve rustled up a list of the locations which should be on your radar. From Bora Bora to Tenerife, you can now explore the world by sailboat or island-hop your way around the best scuba spots with ease.
Seek out the world’s best diving spots.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
What’s not to love about a place where Day-Glo coral and swarms of neon fish come as standard? The waters surrounding this volcanic island are famous for marine life diversity. Our favourite dive sites include Tupitipiti, which has numerous shark and turtle-filled underwater caves. If you’re keen to spot larger species such as Napoleon Wrasse and trigger sharks, this is where to come.
Whitsunday Islands, Australia
A paradise for both snorkellers and scuba divers, the best way to explore the area’s dive sites is by basing yourself on one of the islands, such as Hamilton, or chartering a yacht. Top snorkelling sites include the Hangover coral wall, which you’ll find just off Airlie Beach, and Hardy Reef, which is a staple of guided scuba diving and snorkelling tours in the Whitsundays. Look out for the enormous groupers, turtles and angelfish.
Gordon’s Rock, the Galapagos
A dive site to the north of Santa Cruz island, Gordon’s Rock is a brilliant scuba diving site, although it’s best suited to intermediate and advanced divers. It’s also known as the washing machine due to its choppy conditions. Up for the challenge? It’s worth it – you’ll see a varied range of species, including reef fish, stingrays, giant sea turtles, rays, stingrays, eagle rays, green morays, Galapagos eels and barracudas.
Tenerife, the Canary Islands
Tenerife is an easily accessible diving destination with sites for all abilities, year-round warm water and a spectacular backdrop. Our top spots include Palmar Wall, on the southern coast, for the impressive moray eels and bull rays. Elsewhere, wreck divers will love the El Condesito – a rusting hulk of a freighter that sank 40 years ago. For a spot of snorkelling, you can’t go wrong with Punta de Teno, off Tenerife’s tip where cute octopuses hide among the rocks.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
This might not be one of the most accessible dive sites, but it tops most scuba divers’ bucket lists. A whopping 76 per cent of the world’s coral species live on this archipelago, with four large islands and hundreds of tinier ones. Each offers a different diving experience, whether you’re keen to spot dugongs or dogtooth tuna or admire the area’s beautiful wobbegong sharks. It’s also a brilliant year-round option – water temperature fluctuates less here than at other Indonesian dive destinations.
Palawan, the Philippines
Here, you’ll find some of the healthiest coral reefs in Asia, along with a wide range of species, from tiger and whitetip sharks to blue-spotted ribbontail rays and yellowtail snappers. Just off the island’s northern tip, Coron Bay is famous for its shipwrecks, including several Japanese. Unesco-listed Tubbataha Reef Natural Park is another brilliant option for snorkellers and divers best explored on a liveaboard boat or as a part of a sailing holiday.
Manta Reef, Mozambique
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this area is famous for its mantas. Dive or snorkel near the manta cleaning stations – locations where mantas and other species come to get their skin, gills, and teeth spruced up by parasitic crustaceans – and you’ll spot groups of up to 10 groomed at any one time. Its other USP is the topography – you’ll find everything from overhangs and coral walls to caves, swim-throughs and drop-offs. Most divers and snorkellers base themselves in nearby Guinjata Bay.
This is one of Egypt’s best scuba diving destinations. The name refers to the small, laidback town where most divers base themselves, home to a mixture of Bedouins and expats. The best time to dive is during June, July and August – you’ll enjoy warmer warmers and will stand the best chance of spotting larger species such as sharks and dolphins. Our favourite spot has to be Ras Abu Galum, famous for its sprawling coral gardens.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip 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 — and this is still in our DNA today. 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 certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.