It has been said that we have explored less of the deep sea than we have outer space. This incredible insight adds to the mystery of our magical underwater realms, which are still full of discovery. There are so many incredible diving destinations across the globe that boast the beauty of sea life, and the history of hidden worlds. In honour of Reef Awareness Day on 1st June, here are top five diving destinations to visit:
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Diving Destinations
The Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve is a haven for naturalists, wildlife lovers, and divers, with so much to discover on land as well as underwater. With countless mammals, reptiles and birds, and pristine waters with an array of sea life, a trip to Galapagos showcases nature’s true beauty.
Take a liveaboard expedition out to Darwin’s Arch to see whale sharks, manta rays, hammerheads, and dolphins.
Gordon Rocks is a world-famous site best known for seeing schools of hammerheads, and an impressive variety of megafauna.
Seal your love for diving in Galapagos!
For a gentle reef dive head out to Daphne Manor. Explore the vibrant coral structures on this stunning wall dive, and discover a magnificent array of sharks, eels, and fish. Swim with sea turtles and dive with friendly sea lions at Tijeretas Hill dive spot, where garden eels and rays swirl through the clear blue water.
On land, feed on sustainably sourced and sumptuously fresh seafood, or try out some of the town’s vegetarian spots. Finch Bay Restaurant is one of the best fine dining restaurants in the Galapagos, serving elegant Ecuadorian dishes with an international twist. Head to Los Kioskos in Santa Cruz, where you’ll find the most affordable lobster, the freshest fish, and friendly chefs who cook your meal in front of you.
Take a liveaboard excursion or stay at the Finch Bay Hotel and enjoy elegant design, comfortable rooms, and diving packages.
Perched where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, the Leeward Islands are a striking archipelago with a fabulous range of dive sites to discover.
Saba National Marine Park is one of the most famous sites, where this large and protected marine area has long served as a veritable playground for divers. With striking volcanic scenery, colourful coral reefs and a myriad of sea life, Saba is known as one of the best sites in the Caribbean. Explore surreal structures at The Pinnacles, or dive through the lava-made labyrinth at The Ladder Bay. Take the plunge and try a night dive at Tent Reef.
Diving is turtle-y cool!
See nurse sharks and lobsters at Monkey Shoals Coral or turtles and colourful nudibranchs at The Moon Shadow Reef.
Spot blue tangs and eagle rays at Pain de Sucre off St Barts, or an abundance of sea turtles at L’Ane Rouge.
Head back to shore at St Bart’s to enjoy beautiful beaches and an excellent selection of restaurants. Enjoy fresh seafood and picturesque bay views at La Langouste, or a daily changing menu of top tier take away dishes from Maya’s To Go. Bonito serves French cuisine with a South American twist, or try Le Tamarin, one of St Bart’s hidden gems. Enjoy beachside cocktails, celebrity spotting, and a chic restaurant at the famous Nikki Beach.
In St Barts, stay in at Le Sereno Hotel for five-star beachside luxury, and indulge in a treatment at the Valmont Switzerland spa.
Book your next diving holiday with JourneyHero!
Manta Reef, Mozambique
With a long stretch of warm Indian Ocean coastline, Mozambique is an idyllic diving location. For lovers of Manta Rays, Manta Reef is known as the best dive site in Mozambique.
In this spectacular site, divers have the rare chance to see both oceanic and reef rays in the same location. Descend into an underwater oasis, where sand sharks, sea turtles, fish, and rays soar through the water. Witness the symbiotic relationship between these species at three fascinating ‘cleaning stations.’
As well as the rays, this dive sight is brimming with a colourful collection of corals and fauna.
Dive over drop-offs from the north to the south and explore rocky pinnacles and mysterious trenches to find snappers, barracudas, and giant trumpetfish.
Rays and rays!
Dive expeditions to Manta Reef are taken from the beach town of Tofo. Tofo is a sunny and sandy paradise, with plenty of restaurants and cafés to feed that post-dive hunger. Enjoy excellent Indian dishes and tasty cocktails at Gujus Sunset Bar, or a delicious selection at Tofo Tofo. Veggie lovers can head to Happi, a tranquil oceanside vegetarian restaurant. Enjoy tapas, cocktails, and sunset DJs on the beach at Zanzi Restaurant & Beach Bar.
Book your stay at Sava Dunes eco-lodge, for a relaxing and comfortable beachfront stay, or Hotel Tofo Mar for access to their onsite diving school.
Osprey Reef, Australia Diving Destinations
Osprey Reef is a remote reef diving destination situated over 300 kilometres from Cairns. It is a well-known haven for experienced divers and is only accessible via liveaboard diving expeditions. Teeming with colourful corals and vibrant wildlife, Osprey Reef and the surrounding Coral Sea Reefs are a must on every diving lover’s list.
Osprey Reef is famous for being one of the best places for diving in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef area. Due to being situated further offshore and not part of the continental shelf, the area boasts enviously clear and sea life rich waters.
Give the reefs some relief!
Explore long canyons and large coral outcrops at Coral Canyons Reef to see snappers, reef sharks, and red-breasted wrasses.
Dive through the surreal underwater world at Admiralty where slopes and pinnacles covered in stony, leather, and staghorn corals shimmer in hues of yellow and black.
Many liveaboard options are crewed by experienced chefs who provide fabulous meals on the deck. Enjoy air-conditioned cabins ranging from premium to standard, fixed menus and complimentary tea and coffee on Spoilsport. For something special, Spirit of Freedom offers ensuite rooms, excellent Australian cuisine, and complimentary wine.
Red Sea, Egypt Diving Destinations
The Red Sea is famous for its warm, salty water, and unique and enchanting dive spots which boast a huge variety of sea life. Filled with over 1,000 species of fish, the Red Sea is a fascinating and vibrant ecosystem and a prime environment for diving.
Egypt rests on the Northern Shore of the Red Sea, which is considered to be one of the seven Underwater Wonders of the World. Discover spectacular offshore reefs from Safaga offering a number of dive sites for beginners to novices.
The Seven Pinnacles dive site is a striking scene of technicolour corals, barracudas, and stingrays.
Dive with reef sharks amongst soft corals and sheer walls at Abu Kafan.
Hurghada is a thriving commercial dive base and resort, perfect for novice divers, diving enthusiasts, and those who want to explore the legendary wreck graveyard of Sha’ab Abu Nuhas.
Dive with dolphins at Sha’ab El Erg, a huge horseshoe-shaped reef where divers can also see crocodile fish and blue-spotted rays.
An underwater school!
In Hurghada, enjoy a feast of freshly caught seafood at Starfish Seafood Restaurant or excellent Egyptian cuisine at Nubiyan Restaurant and Café. Enjoy a laidback lunch of Mediterranean cuisine at Granada Restaurant alongside sunny sea views. For cocktails and terrace views, head out to the Caribbean Cocktail bar.
Stay at The Oberoi Beach Resort and enjoy ocean views from lavish rooms, white sand beaches and an elegant spa.
Reef Awareness Day brings together local communities and people from all kinds of different backgrounds in their shared desire to protect our ocean’s coral reefs. A visit to any of these diving destinations will remind you just how precious these beautiful ecosystems are, and how important it is to care for them. Wherever you decide to go, go with a conscious and curious heart.