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101 Best Dive Sites in the World


23 June 2014
The top dive site since our list began, way back in the year 2000, had been continually held by the Yongala - a fantastic wreck dive in Australia. But not anymore. Blue Corner Wall in Palau has steadily crept up the list and has now pushed the Yongala into second place.

The 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.

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. Blue Corner Wall, Palau, Micronesia
  2. Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island
  3. Yongala, Australia
  4. Thistlegorm, Egyptian Red Sea
  5. Shark and Yolanda Reef, Egyptian Red Sea
  6. Great Blue Hole, Belize
  7. Navy Pier, Western Australia
  8. President Coolidge, Vanuatu
  9. Manta Ray Night Dive, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  10. Big Brother, Egyptian Red Sea
  11. Elphinstone Reef, Egyptian Red Sea
  12. Liberty, Bali, Indonesia
  13. Richelieu Rock, Thailand
  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. Blue Hole, Dahab, Egyptian Red Sea
  25. Castle Rock - Komodo National Park, Indonesia
  26. Manta reef, Mozambique
  27. Poor Knights, New Zealand
  28. Darwin Island, Galapagos
  29. Aliwal Shoal, South Africa
  30. Darwin Arch, Galapagos
  31. South Point, Sipadan
  32. Wolf Island, Galapogos
  33. Similans, Thailand
  34. Maaya Thila, South Ari Atoll, Maldives
  35. Dos Ojos (Los Cenotes), Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  36. Straits of Tiran, Egyptian Red Sea
  37. Fish Rock, Off South West Rocks in NSW, Australia
  38. Puerto Galera, Philippines
  39. Verde Island or Drop Off, Philippines
  40. Bunaken, Indonesia
  41. Scotts head pinnacle, Dominica
  42. Punta Sur / Devils Throat, Cozumel, Mexico
  43. Mnemba Island, Tanzania
  44. Cod Hole, Northern Great Barrier Reef
  45. Canibal Rock, Komodo, Indonesia
  46. Daedelus, Egyptian Red Sea
  47. Jackson Reef, Egypt
  48. The Zenobia, Cyprus
  49. Cirkewwa, Malta
  50. Malpelo Island, Colombia
  51. Grand Central Station, Gizo, Solomon Islands
  52. Molokini Crater Wall, Hawaii
  53. Sangalaki Island, East Kalimantan. Indonesia
  54. Apo Reef, Philippines
  55. Alcyone, Cocos Island, Costa Rica
  56. Dirty rock, Cocos Island, Costa Rica
  57. St Johns, Egypt
  58. Half Moon Wall, Belize
  59. Sipadan Drop Off
  60. Silfra, Thingvellir, Iceland
  61. Perpendicular wall, Christmas Island, Australia
  62. Garuae Pass, Fakarava Island, French Polynesia
  63. Peleliu Express, Palau
  64. Pixie pinnacle and pixie wall, GBR, Australia
  65. Ghiannis D, Egypt
  66. Stingray City, Grand Cayman
  67. Protea Banks, South Africa
  68. Blue Hole,Gozo, Malta
  69. Split rock, Kadavu Isle. Fiji
  70. Fujikawa Maru, Truk Lagoon (Chuuk Lagoon)
  71. Palancanar Bricks, Cozumel, Mexico
  72. Barra Reef, Mozambique
  73. Magic Mountain, Raja Ampat
  74. Hin Muang, Thailand
  75. Shark Alley, Grand Cayman
  76. Pedras Secas, Noronha, Brazil
  77. Canyon, Thomas Reef, Egypt
  78. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
  79. Holmes Reef, Coral Sea, Australia
  80. Hilma Hooker, Bonaire
  81. Albatross Passage, Kavieng, PNG
  82. Seaventure House Reef, Mabul
  83. Japanese Gardens, Koh Tao, Thailand
  84. The Point, Layang - Layang
  85. Salem Express, Egyptian Red Sea
  86. HMS Hermes, Sri Lanka
  87. Booroo, Isle of Man
  88. The Canyons, Utila, Honduras
  89. Nippo Maru, Truk Lagoon, Micronesia
  90. Tiger Beach, Bahamas
  91. Monad Shoal, Malapascua, Philippines
  92. Los testigos islands, Venezuela
  93. Manta Point, Maldives
  94. Rangali Madivaru, Maldives
  95. Turtle tavern, Sipadan
  96. Gili air, Indonesia
  97. Batu Bolong, Flores, Indonesia
  98. San Andres Colombia
  99. Socorro: The Boiler, Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico
  100. Palancar Bricks, Cozumel
  101. Manuelita Coral Night Dive (Dinner Bell), Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Compiled from divers' votes by

Inside The  Thistlegorm
Glass fish on the wreck of Aida II, Big Brother
Diving with Manta Ray, Australia
Daedalus lighthouse
Stingray dive
Maldives shark dive
Turtle Australia
Lionsmane jellyfish

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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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