SCUBA Travel

100 Best Dive Sites in the World

28 January 2015
The top dives sites in the world list is overwhelmingly dominated by warm water dives, with the only cold water representatives coming from the Galapagos, Iceland and, perhaps surprisingly, the Isle of Man.

How many of the dives on this list have you dived? Tweet @SCUBANews or tell us below.

We've been compiling our list from divers' votes since 2000. Vote for your choice of best dive site. You may also be interested in our Best Wreck Dives list and the Top Dives in Europe.

plumose anemones
Flag fish
whale shark
Christmas tree worm
scorpion fish
soft coral
Inside The  Thistlegorm
Diving with Manta Ray, Australia
Daedalus lighthouse
Stingray dive
Maldives shark dive
Turtle Australia
Lionsmane jellyfish
Diving the Umbria
Soft coral
  1. Yongala, Australia
  2. Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island
  3. Blue Corner Wall, Palau, Micronesia
  4. Thistlegorm, Egyptian Red Sea
  5. Shark and Yolanda Reef, Egyptian Red Sea
  6. Great Blue Hole, Belize
  7. Manta Ray Night Dive, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  8. Navy Pier, Western Australia
  9. Liberty, Bali, Indonesia
  10. President Coolidge, Vanuatu
  11. Big Brother, Egyptian Red Sea
  12. Richelieu Rock, Thailand
  13. Elphinstone Reef, Egyptian Red Sea
  14. Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa, Polynesia
  15. Tubbataha, Palawan, Philippines
  16. Osprey Reef, Coral Sea, Australia
  17. Ras Mohammed, Egyptian Red Sea
  18. Great white wall, Tavieuni Fiji
  19. Gordon's Rock, Galapagos
  20. Bloody bay wall, Little cayman
  21. Sodwana bay, South Africa
  22. Aliwal Shoal, South Africa
  23. Sha'ab Rumi South, Sudan
  24. Ulong Channel, Palau
  25. Darwin Island, Galapagos
  26. Raja Ampat, Irian Jaya, Indonesia
  27. Blue Hole, Dahab, Egyptian Red Sea
  28. Castle Rock - Komodo National Park, Indonesia
  29. Manta reef, Mozambique
  30. Poor Knights, New Zealand
  31. Darwin Arch, Galapagos
  32. South Point, Sipadan
  33. Wolf Island, Galapogos
  34. Similans, Thailand
  35. Maaya Thila, South Ari Atoll, Maldives
  36. Dos Ojos (Los Cenotes), Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  37. Straits of Tiran, Egyptian Red Sea
  38. Verde Island or Drop Off, Philippines
  39. Scotts head pinnacle, Dominica
  40. Sipadan Drop Off
  41. Puerto Galera, Philippines
  42. Fish Rock, Off South West Rocks in NSW, Australia
  43. Mnemba Island, Tanzania
  44. Bunaken, Indonesia
  45. Punta Sur / Devils Throat, Cozumel, Mexico
  46. Palancanar Bricks, Cozumel, Mexico
  47. Garuae Pass, Fakarava Island, French Polynesia
  48. Canibal Rock, Komodo, Indonesia
  49. Cod Hole, Northern Great Barrier Reef
  50. Daedelus, Egyptian Red Sea
  51. Jackson Reef, Egypt
  52. Blockship Tabarka, Scapa Flow, Orkney
  53. The Zenobia, Cyprus
  54. Malpelo Island, Colombia
  55. Sangalaki Island, East Kalimantan. Indonesia
  56. Molokini Crater Wall, Hawaii
  57. Grand Central Station, Gizo, Solomon Islands
  58. Apo Reef, Philippines
  59. Alcyone, Cocos Island, Costa Rica
  60. Dirty rock, Cocos Island, Costa Rica
  61. Cirkewwa, Malta
  62. St Johns, Egypt
  63. Perpendicular wall, Christmas Island, Australia
  64. Half Moon Wall, Belize
  65. Peleliu Express, Palau
  66. Stingray City, Grand Cayman
  67. Pixie pinnacle and pixie wall, GBR, Australia
  68. Ghiannis D, Egypt
  69. Protea Banks, South Africa
  70. Shark Alley, Grand Cayman
  71. Fujikawa Maru, Truk Lagoon (Chuuk Lagoon)
  72. Magic Mountain, Raja Ampat
  73. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
  74. Split rock, Kadavu Isle. Fiji
  75. Barra Reef, Mozambique
  76. Pedras Secas, Noronha, Brazil
  77. Holmes Reef, Coral Sea, Australia
  78. Canyon, Thomas Reef, Egypt
  79. Hin Muang, Thailand
  80. Hilma Hooker, Bonaire
  81. Seaventure House Reef, Mabul
  82. Albatross Passage, Kavieng, PNG
  83. Japanese Gardens, Koh Tao, Thailand
  84. The Point, Layang - Layang
  85. Blue Hole,Gozo, Malta
  86. Pinnacles, Ponto Malongane, Mozambique
  87. Monad Shoal, Malapascua, Philippines
  88. Socorro: The Boiler, Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico
  89. Mafia Island, Tanzania
  90. Umbria, Sudan
  91. Rainbow Warrier, New Zealand
  92. Manta Point, Maldives
  93. Manuelita Coral Night Dive (Dinner Bell), Cocos Island, Costa Rica
  94. Los testigos islands, Venezuela
  95. Rangali Madivaru, Maldives
  96. Gili air, Indonesia
  97. The Canyons, Utila, Honduras
  98. Tiger Beach, Bahamas
  99. Batu Bolong, Flores, Indonesia
  100. San Andres Colombia

Compiled from divers' votes by

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Books of the World's Best Dive Sites

Diving the World
Beth and Shaun Tierney, Footprint Travel Guides, 2014, 352 pages, Paperback
Available from UK and USA
Dive Atlas of the World: An Illustrated Reference to the Best Sites
ed Jack Jackson, The Lyons Press, 2010, 300 pages, Hardback

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How are the votes counted?
The first criteria is number of votes (weighted to favour the first choice dive site above the second). Where two dives tie for a position, priority is given to those with the most enticing descriptions and those whose area has several votes for different dives.

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