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100 Best Dive Sites in the World

18 September 2014
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. To vote for your choice of best dive site, scroll down to the bottom of the page. You may also be interested in our Best Wreck Dives list and the Top Dives in Europe.

  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. Sha'ab Rumi South, Sudan
  22. Ulong Channel, Palau
  23. Sodwana bay, South Africa
  24. Darwin Island, Galapagos
  25. Raja Ampat, Irian Jaya, Indonesia
  26. Blue Hole, Dahab, Egyptian Red Sea
  27. Castle Rock - Komodo National Park, Indonesia
  28. Manta reef, Mozambique
  29. Poor Knights, New Zealand
  30. Aliwal Shoal, South Africa
  31. Darwin Arch, Galapagos
  32. South Point, Sipadan
  33. Wolf Island, Galapogos
  34. Maaya Thila, South Ari Atoll, Maldives
  35. Dos Ojos (Los Cenotes), Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  36. Straits of Tiran, Egyptian Red Sea
  37. Verde Island or Drop Off, Philippines
  38. Scotts head pinnacle, Dominica
  39. Sipadan Drop Off
  40. Puerto Galera, Philippines
  41. Fish Rock, Off South West Rocks in NSW, Australia
  42. Mnemba Island, Tanzania
  43. Bunaken, Indonesia
  44. Punta Sur / Devils Throat, Cozumel, Mexico
  45. Garuae Pass, Fakarava Island, French Polynesia
  46. Canibal Rock, Komodo, Indonesia
  47. Cod Hole, Northern Great Barrier Reef
  48. Daedelus, Egyptian Red Sea
  49. Jackson Reef, Egypt
  50. Blockship Tabarka, Scapa Flow, Orkney
  51. The Zenobia, Cyprus
  52. Malpelo Island, Colombia
  53. Sangalaki Island, East Kalimantan. Indonesia
  54. Molokini Crater Wall, Hawaii
  55. Grand Central Station, Gizo, Solomon Islands
  56. Apo Reef, Philippines
  57. Alcyone, Cocos Island, Costa Rica
  58. Dirty rock, Cocos Island, Costa Rica
  59. Cirkewwa, Malta
  60. St Johns, Egypt
  61. Perpendicular wall, Christmas Island, Australia
  62. Half Moon Wall, Belize
  63. Peleliu Express, Palau
  64. Stingray City, Grand Cayman
  65. Pixie pinnacle and pixie wall, GBR, Australia
  66. Ghiannis D, Egypt
  67. Protea Banks, South Africa
  68. Shark Alley, Grand Cayman
  69. Fujikawa Maru, Truk Lagoon (Chuuk Lagoon)
  70. Magic Mountain, Raja Ampat
  71. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
  72. Split rock, Kadavu Isle. Fiji
  73. Barra Reef, Mozambique
  74. Pedras Secas, Noronha, Brazil
  75. Palancanar Bricks, Cozumel, Mexico
  76. Holmes Reef, Coral Sea, Australia
  77. Canyon, Thomas Reef, Egypt
  78. Hin Muang, Thailand
  79. Hilma Hooker, Bonaire
  80. Seaventure House Reef, Mabul
  81. Albatross Passage, Kavieng, PNG
  82. Japanese Gardens, Koh Tao, Thailand
  83. The Point, Layang - Layang
  84. Blue Hole,Gozo, Malta
  85. Pinnacles, Ponto Malongane, Mozambique
  86. Monad Shoal, Malapascua, Philippines
  87. Palancar Bricks, Cozumel
  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

Inside The  Thistlegorm
Diving with Manta Ray, Australia
Daedalus lighthouse
Stingray dive
Maldives shark dive
Turtle Australia
Lionsmane jellyfish
Diving Silfra, Iceland
Diving the Umbria
Soft coral

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Books of the World's Best Dive Sites

Dive Atlas of the World: An Illustrated Reference to the Best Sites
ed Jack Jackson, The Lyons Press, 2010, 300 pages, Hardback
Ultimate Diving Adventures: 100 Extraordinary Experiences Under Water
by Len Deeley and Karen Gargani, John Wiley & Sons, 2009, 218 pages, Paperback
Details some of the best dive sites around the world, with some lovely photographs. The authors have included many of the dives listed in our best dives list.
Available from UK and USA
Diving the World
Beth and Shaun Tierney, Footprint Travel Guides, 2009, 352 pages, Paperback
Available from UK and USA

Vote for your Top Dives

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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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