SCUBA Diving Destinations: Asia and the Indo-Pacific

10 April 2024
No other place on Earth is as rich and varied in marine life as the "Coral Triangle", which is part of the Asia and the Pacific region. It covers Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Australia.

The Indo-Pacific comprises the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the western and central Pacific Ocean and the seas connecting the two. African diving is here.

Asia, Australia, Indian and Pacific Ocean Diving

Borneo (Malaysian)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Cook Islands
East Timor
French Polynesia

Marshall Islands
Micronesia: Chuuk / Truk Lagoon
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea

Red Sea
Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka
Truk Lagoon
West Papua, Irian Jaya

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Other SCUBA Diving Destinations

Caribbean Central America Europe The Gulfs Mediterranean North America Red Sea South America

Diving New Zealand

Dive Sites Further Reading

New Zealand now has its own section: for the up-to-date reports go to New Zealand Diving.

Diving Indonesia

Indonesia Dive Sites

Indonesia now has its own section: click here for Indonesia Diving.

Diving East Timor (Timor-Leste)

East Timor now has its own section: click here for East Timor Diving.

Dive Sites Dive Operators Further Reading

East Timor Dive Sites

East Timor is South-East Asia's newest nation and a new destination for diving. Whilst the border region with West Timor may be troublesome, Dili and areas further East are generally safe.

"Totally unspoilt diving - couldn't wish for more - sharks, turtles, millions of fish, giant squid, rays, abundance of living coral. Only need to swim out from shore about 5 metres before you hit the drop off round the island - and this slopes gently to about 40 m, and then straight down to about 2 km! Also great diving around 10 m mark - so air lasts for ages. More fish species here than anywhere else in the world. Living coral like I have never seen. Divers paradise. "
Gemma Steel

Dili Rock
Reviews: 4 stars

"Shore Dive. Slope to drop off.. garden eals, Frog fish, leaf scorpian fish and more.... one of the closer dive sites to Dili. "
"Closest of all dive site. I was told this was the training dive site. Although not as fantastic as the rest of Timor with a good guide this is a great close dive. "
Brett Edwards

Secret Garden, Dili
Reviews: 4.5 stars

"Fantastic dive when the tide is in as there is a 40 m surface swim. With the tide out its a little harder in the shallows. But well worth the effort. Another great Site in Timor...Has to be visited. "
"A lovely gentle dive. You should only dive this site at high tide as you may damage coral at low tide. "
Michael Lym

Cave, Dili
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"30 m Cave on 100 m wall...Everything to see it to believe it. "

Big Fish, Atauro Island
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Great fast deep dive. Thousands of pelagics and sharks. One wild ride. "
Mick Daffy
"Deep Dive on Atauro island. Great dive with strong current. The highlight is the large schools of pelagics and sharks. Great thrill rush dive. Good guides and safety needed. "
"Awesome "
Chris, 2012

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Freedom and peaceful "
Chris, 2012

Manta Cove
Reviews: 4.3 stars

"Cove dive in smooth waters. Huge 80 m wall with great overhangs and amazing reef and marine life. "
Mick Daffy
"Calm wall dive with great reef and wild over hangs. Best time to dive around 2 pm as the shadows make for a great effect for photos. No mantas on my dive but everything else. "
"Bite in the corner of a cliff. Great wall dive with many over hangs and no current. Deep or shallow this wall dive has it all. Must dive from boat. "
Brett Edwards

Bar Stool
Reviews: 4 stars

"Great wall dive with huge amount of fish and Jurassic size corals. Can have a wicked current too. "
Mick Daffy

North Point, Atauro Island
Reviews: 4.5 stars

"Wall dive that ends on a sand flat bottom with sharks gallore. Great dive with the best vis i have seen (40 m easy). "
"Great clear water dive at the tip of Atauro Island. Great wall dive that opens up to flat sand bottom with small coral outcrops. Great for sharks. "
Brett Edwards

Atauro Island
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"We wanted to dive at Atauro, and Kim from Compass Charters was very helpful...On the journey to Atauro we saw dolphins and whales our skipper carefully steered the boat so we could watch them as long as possible. The diving at Atauro is excellent - the coral is in beautiful, undamaged, pristine condition and visibility was approximately 25 meters."
, Australia,
" A whole island of walls, currents, pelagics and critters. Untouched for thousands of years "
Brett Edwards

Jako Island
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Small island at the east end of the country. The best diving I have ever seen. Clear calm water with so many fish and untouched reefs. "
Brett Edwards

East of Dili
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"20 dive site within 40 km of the capital. From wall to muck to amazing reefs. Easy access via car. "
Brett Edwards

One Tree (Lone Tree)
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Easy dive, swimming along sloped dive wall, huge turtle, great scorpion fish, "anenome city", good sandy patch to hover and watch the world swim by."
Gemma Steel
East Timor Dive Operators

Compass Charters, Ave. Dos Martires Da Patria, Palapaso, Dili, Timor Leste (our office is located in the Tiger Fuels Complex). Tel: (+670) 77230967, E-mail:, Web:
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended (2)

"We wanted to dive at Atauro, and Kim from Compass Charters was very helpful. We contacted them in Dili one day, and they were able to organise to take us by boat to Atauro the next day (they need 3 divers as a minimum number). The diving is run by an Australian couple, with a Timores First Mate, and they were great to dive with. The boat that we went out to Atauro on is a powerful, safe, (ex-US embassy) boat. On the journey to Atauro we saw dolphins and whales our skipper carefully steered the boat so we could watch them as long as possible. The diving at Atauro is excellent - the coral is in beautiful, undamaged, pristine condition, and visibility was approximately 25 meters. The diving instructors are extremely competent - they gave a safety briefing before we departed Dili - and they are relaxed and friendly, and provided a tasty lunch. A great day."
, Australia,
"Just had a fabulous experience diving off Atauro Island and east of Dili in East Timor with Compass Charters. Professional, good equipment, careful dive briefings and good company. The diving itself was amazing with almost perfect viz. So much coral and so many fish all in a small area, water was a perfect temperature and absolutely no one else around!! Highly recommended."
, Australia,

Dive Timor Lorosae, Dili, East Timor. Tel: (+670) 7237092, E-mail:, Web:
Five years experience in the country. Full time PADI instructors, 3 dive vessels and two dive centres.
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Dive Timor Lorosae has to be Timor's premier dive centre. With purpose built dive vessels (with seats) full time staff (rare in Timor) and professional and friendly staff, it's easy to see why Dive Timor Lorosae has established themselves as the leaders in this undiscovered country. Their boat is a purposed built dive vessel that is made especially for Timor. The hour trips in Timor mean you need a seat on the trip. Worth the price at around 125 USD you get your money's worth. Best diving I have seen to date. Will be coming back in the new year. "
Mick Daffy, UK, 2005
"Dive Timor Lorosae is without doubt the premier dive centre in East Timor. Located right on the beach (and having two dive centres) these guys are the friendly, professionals you expect to find in the diving game. I would dive with these guys every time. The boat is great. Heaps of room and with seats. All boat dives take about 1 hour to get to so comfort is needed. Be careful the other dive operators (if they have boats) don't have seats! I stayed next to the dive centre is these massive rooms that cost about 30 USD a night. Great value and location. Boat dives are around 125 USD with everything included. Gear, lunch, drinks and guides. The day is from 9am till 5pm with whale watching dolphin watching and heaps of other water activities. Well worth the cash - but ask for a discount! The diving would have to be the best I have seen. So untouched and remote. These guys have been doing it for 5 years so they really know how to look after you. "
Nathan, 2005
"Dive Timor Lorosae is by far the most experienced and professional company within in this new dive destination. With the only fleet of dive vessels that are comfortable and safe DTL is the way to go if diving in East Timor. A twin dive was 100 USD including everything, gear, tanks, lunch, drinks and whale/dolphin watching. Good price for what you get. Probably one of the best dive areas i have been to. Lots to see and so close. More fish than divers. The night life is a little slower but great food. "
Brett Edwards, 2005

Explore Timor, Dili - Tel: (+670) 725 5382, E-mail:
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Explore Timor are a new operation in Dili East Timor. All the equipment is brand new from the ground up...A refreshing change, need I say more...I would dive with them again. Very well run and great attitude from all the staff. Very good value for money. different packages for different people...the more we dived the cheaper it got. And it was cheap with the FREE rooms. They are basic with A/C but it is all i needed. The staff there would do anything. Carry tanks wash your name it...Some places in my experience in Timor will not even help you off load your car after a days diving. "
Kathy, Washington DC

FreeFlow Diving, Dili - Tel: (+670) 332 1187, E-mail:
Reviews: 4 stars

"FreeFlow Diving were excellent. The owner/divemaster knew the dive sites very well. He has done over 3000 dives in East Timor already! The cost was very competitive compared to the rest of Asia. I would definately dive with FreeFlow again. And I didn't have to carry my equipment from the car afterwards. FreeFlow arranged all my accommodation for me and my party. Very efficient. The food provided by FreeFlow was outstanding. My girlfriend is vegan and she said the meal was better than she could have prepared herself. "
Michael Lym
Further Reading

Timor-Leste (East Timor): Country Guide
Includes 32 dive sites. 176 pages, 2011.

Diving Brunei

Brunei Dive Sites

Cement Wreck

"A fabulous wreck dive with mostly great visibility. The bottom being at 30 m you can on a good day see the wreck from the surface. Fabulous to 'fly' through the bridge etc. "
Michael Eades

Brunei in General

" Poor viz from river run off in close dive sites. The one dive shop there was not good - saw the instructor (who owned the shop) stand on coral to demonstrate mask clearing. The owner also anchored straight onto pristine coral with no care. Few diving facilities and not really a place for a full on diving holiday. "

Diving Papua New Guinea

Dive Sites Dive Operators Further Reading

Papua New Guinea Dive Sites
"I have lived in New Guinea for 15 years. 3 of those years I have spent diving in the waters around New Guinea, in the that short time I have seen 5 major ship wreaks 7 WWII bombers fully intact and enough coral and wildlife to fill up the continent of Asia.
Most diving operators are PADI and Australian. There are all sorts of marine life ranging from clown fish to tiger sharks. I went to a dive sight called coral head, there where sharks everywhere, at one point I saw six at once, they came with in ten feet of me, most are harmless and are reef sharks, but there was a shark that circled me, it looked about 7 feet.
There are wrecks from all over the world in new guinea, one ship I dived was 32 meters under, but the mast was only 5 meters below the surface. It was a cargo ship from WWII it was about 45 meters long. There are many places around New Guinea and the Solomon Islands that are excellent for seeing blob-headed clown fish, schools of 400 barracuda, sea turtles, sharks: the fish come in ever colour in the world.
There is one dive that I did called the gates...two massive coral pillars that form the sides of a long wall underwater. When the tide goes out all the water is sucked through the gates which are forty metres high, when the tide comes back in all the sea life comes to feed on the plankton, and then the larger predators come to feed on the sea life it is an awesome sight. If I were to count the sea life individually, I would say, at the Gates, there was about fifty million fish. No joke. Despite what rumours you have heard about New Guinea, it is really a friendly and secure place if you go to the scuba places. There are a few that I will name for you, Coral Sea's Resort, Kevieng (New Ireland Province), Jasoben, Madang (Madang Provence), Hoskins (West new Britain). "
Nick Murray


"Rabaul has a reputation for wrecks, particulalry WW2 wrecks. Well, I just wanted to let people know that I have recently come back from a trip to Rabaul and found it a little disappointing. To put this into context, whilst I have not dived Truk, I have dived a fair few of the WW2 wrecks in the Solomon Islands and Coron, Philippines. Back to Rabaul: because the volcano is still smoking, it is dropping ash into the harbour which is close by, so many of the wrecks are quite silty and vis can be poor. In addition, because of seismic activity, it is inadvisable to penetrate many of the wrecks in the harbour. This is a great shame, because there are many good sized wrecks around. My vote for best wreck goes to the Manko Maru, followed by the Italy Maru, both of which are a short boat ride in the harbour. Outside the harbour, George's wreck was not bad either. Hope this helps divers thinking about their next wreck diving foray.
Iona Hill

Inglis shoals

"Many hammerheads, silver tip sharks, whale sharks, bait ball etc. schooling jacks etc.

Albatross Passage, Kavieng

"This is a great and relatively shallow drift dive - around 23m. When the current is running, this attracts lots of sharks, from white and black tipped reef sharks to the bulkier grey reef sharks. You have to be careful not to get swept down the passage, which would be a bit annoying, but there is a permanent mooring line to latch on to when ascending and doing safety stops. This really is a shark divers dream - I was totally "sharked out" after three dives here. "
Iona Hill
"Unbelievable fish life, especially on a current."
Jennifer Dachroeden

Observation Point

"Great for small critters. Mimic octopus, pegasus moth fish, seahorses, etc."
Jennifer Dachroeden

Echuca Patch, Kavieng

"A real adrenaline dive. You can get 2 dives in one, depending on how vicious the current is and so where yoou jump in: there is a ship wreck at the edge of a finger shaped piece of coral. You can descend to see the boat first and then head for this area of coral where there is usually a fast running current. Here you usually see lots and lots of BIG fish, ranging from Spanish Mackerel, tuna, trevally, to all the usual reef sharks. You do need to hunt out a piece of dead coral to hold on to as the current here can be pretty racy, but is at least one permenent mooring line to help with descents and ascents. "
Iona Hill

Joel's, New Britain

" Diving off the coast of New Britain, this reef has something for everyone who likes reef diving. A wall, large sponges, anenomes/anenome fish, unicorn fish, plenty of cleaning stations, sharks in the large variety, blind shrimp and gobies, soft coral and a plethra of reef usuals for PNG. "
Jerry Hamberg

Kilibob's, Fathers Reef Area, New Britain

"Resident sharks, clams, anenomes,cuttle fish, ocotpus, eels, stone fish, scorpion fish, hard and sort corals, feather stars, anthias and PNG reef usuals like pyramids, triggers, batfish, angels, ect. "
Jerry Hamberg
Further Reading

Diving Papua New Guinea
World Adventure Dives
See also: Irian Jaya (West Papua)

Diving Vanuatu

Vanuatu has it's own page - Diving Vanuatu

Dive Sites Dive Operators Further Reading

Dive Sites

The President Coolidge

The SS President Coolidge, launched in February 1931, was a luxury ocean liner. She broke several speed records on her trips to Japan from San Francisco. During World War II she became troop carrier for the American Army. In 1942 she hit mines on the way into Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. All but two of the men got safely off the ship before she sank. She now lies on her side between 17 and 70 m, bow to stern.

The President Coolidge is fully protected by law and both it and the surrounding seabed has been designated a Marine Reserve. The wreck is huge and needs several dives to do it justice.

"The best wreck dive - fantastic! The President Coolidge off Santo, northern Vanuatu, was a WW2 luxury liner. It was commandeered by the US navy and fitted out as a naval ship. Unfortunately, it bumped into one of its own mines and now we dive it. (There was no loss of life.) I dived with Alan Powers December 2001 - there are 3 dive operators, Alan Powers and Aquamarine plus 1 other Pro Dive?? Safety is hugely important as it is such a deep dive. First dive is a check out dive to see how you are to around 30 m. If you are comfortable, then it's 2 dives a day and deeper and deeper if that is what you want. The engine room and one of the dining rooms are about 47 m, the promenade deck is about 33 m, the mosaic lined swimming pool - weird -is about 50 m It's a fabulous dive, as, if you are suitably qualified, you can penetrate certain parts of the wreck - the best wreck! There are long deco stops, which if you dive with Alan Powers you can spend in their transplanted coral garden and try and blow better bubbles than Twami. Mind you, this is not a good dive site if you are heavy on air! "
Iona Hill
"The world's largest accesible wreck. Even as a shore dive! Starts at 8 metres dropping off to 70 metres. Total penetration. Swim through the holds to see American WWII jeeps still in their crates! "
Chris Wardle
"Especially a night dive with the flashlight fish with no lights - one of the most other worldy experiences on the planet - beats drugs hands down!! What a beautiful beast the old girl is looming up out of the sand. "
Ray Kloss
"Awsome, I cant give it justice by writting about it, Just do it :) "
Phill Slater
"Enormous wreck, so much to see with a great coral garden providing entertainment during the deco stop "
Matt Jackson, UK, 2012
"Full penetration, deep deco diving, historical artifacts, easy access shore dive. "
Dive Operators
More Details...

Lonely Planet Vanuatu

Diving Fiji

Please go to the Fiji Diving page in our Pacific section.

Find a flight to.

Fiji Dive Sites Fiji Diving Operators Further Reading

Dive Operators in Fiji

Aboard-a-Dream Dive, Suva, Zentral, Fiji
Scuba Bula, P.O. Box 2748, Nadi, Fiji. Tel: +679 6280190, E-Mail:
Ovalau Watersports, Box 149 Levuka, Ovalau, Fiji. Tel: (+679) 344 0166, E-mail:
Tokoriki Diving, Tokoriki Island Resort, PO Box 10547, Nadi Airport, Fiji.
Taveuni Dive, Taveuni Estates, P.O. Box 89, Taveuni Island, Fiji. Tel: (679) 8880063, E-mail:
Fiji Diving, Matangi Island Resort, Fiji. E-mail:
AquaBlue, Wailoaloa Beach, PO Box Box 9168, Nadi Airport, Fiji. Tel/Fax: ++ 679 6726111, E-mail:
Aqua-Trek, 5 Star Rating: Recommended, PO Box 10215, Nadi Airport, Fiji Tel: +679 670 2413, Fax: +679 670 2412, E-mail:
"Very very professional, especially with handling and explaining sharks...well done." Clee, Netherlands

Further Reading

Fiji, Lonely Planet Diving & Snorkeling Guide
Fiji's Wild Beauty: A Photographic Guide to Coral Reefs of the South Pacific

Diving New Caledonia

New Caledonia is an island to the East of Australia, governed by France. Citizens of the European Union, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the USA can enter without a visa. New Caledonia claims the world's second biggest coral reef. Getting there from Europe means either flying from France, or flying from the UK to Eastern Australia and getting an onward flight from there. North American flights go from San Francisco, Los Angeles and Vancouver. All international airlines land at Tontouta International Airport, 45 km north-west of Noumea. From mid-November to mid-April the weather is warm and humid, the coolest months are July and August. Average maximum temperatures vary from 22 oC to 28 oC (71 oF to 82 oF). The cyclone season runs from December to March.

Dive Sites

Cathédrale , Hienghène , New Caledonia

"A series of walls, tunnels, canyons for an incredible atmosphere and an underwater photographer paradise. Some walls covered with gorgonians and all the usual tropical indo pacific marine life. The best dive site in New Caledonia, on the second biggest barrier reef in the world and one of the world best kept secret diving destination. "
Romain Michallet, 7 July 2015

Noumea, Boulari pass

"The minimum to be expected to see in South-Pacific can be observed during the first ten minutes: multicolored tropical fishes, huge triggerfishes, tunas, banks of carangs and phosphorescent corals. In the following fifteen minutes, local specialities have been observed in drifting dive: a big mother loach, some small black-tipped and white-tipped sharks (a metre fifty maximum), some grey sharks (two metres fifty maximum) and a big tortoise at a distance within ten metres. With that, one already can be satisfied and it is what Gérald was thinking whereas they were crossing a rather beautiful coral platter but with no more surrounding fauna: "And here we are, it is finished ... Not bad at all!". But suddenly, appearing from the deep blue end of the platter, two manta rays, the biggest one of about three / four metres in width, came quietly on them, swam over them and left. Fantastic! But they turned back and came closer and stay about 10 minutes with them, playing so close that half of the divers have been able to caress them (It is not good! But difficult to refrain from it!). Extraordinary! "
Further Reading

Lonely Planet New Caledonia

Diving Niue Island

Pronounced nyu-way, Niue has less than 2000 inhabitants. It is in the South Pacific, east of Tonga.

"Recently visited Niue Island on recommendation from a friend that had previously visited and found the place a treasure. It has the most amazing water visibility and excellent cave dives with a diverse array of marine life. Have already booked for 2008 with a couple of other friends. Check out Not a lot of people have heard of this little island but its worth the trip despite arriving at 3 am in the morning. Have to go thru New Zealand to get there and flights are only once a week. Apparently the island gets less than 2000 visitors a year. "
Macey Rauruina, 2007

Diving Tonga

Whales from Antarctica visit the relatively warm, crystal-clear waters of Tonga to give birth. Brightly coloured, with dark tops and white bellies, the Antarctic humpback whales arrive from July through to September. You can see these from a liveaboard.

Diving the Maldives

Maldives Dive Sites Maldives Dive Operators Maldives Underwater Photos Maldives Further Reading

Diving The Maldives is now in its own section. Please go to the latest Maldives information.

Diving French Polynesia

French Polynesia Dive Sites French Polynesia Dive Operators Further Reading

Dive Sites
"Fast drift dive though the pass with schools of grey sharks, bottlenose dolphins, rays, and even the great hammerhead shark! Out-of-this-world vis. "
Renee Capozzola, 19 November 2012
"I'm diving instructor, I've been in many dive location around the world, and believe me, the Tuamotu is unbelievable and there is not only Rangiroa and Fakarava, at least 10 other atolls have great dive spots with pristine warm waters. Open water is enough to come here, you're allowed to go 29m with this cetification. Let's go diving French Polynesia ! ;-)"
Serge Renault, 2011
"It helps to understand French - at least enough to understand diving terms and instructions. Not as many fish as in the Red Sea, but lots of Black and White Tip Reef Sharks. However, avoid Tahiti. For serious diving go to Rangiroa - one of the world's largest atolls with loads of sharks."
Matthew Moore


"Two passes full of pelagic fauna like 10 different kind of sharks, school of dolphins, manta rays, turtles, barracuda, sail fish, eagle rays... "
Serge Renault, 2011

Awatoru Pass, Rangiroa

Rangiroa means endless sky.

"Great visibility (60 m at least), different kinds of sharks (from hammer to reef sharks) and hundreds of them, eagle rays, turtles, moray eels, very nice current (approxm. 2-3 m/s!!) and dolphins on surface before jump - experience for all my life!"
Einari Talviste, Estonia

Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa

Tiputa Pass is famous for its large animals: grey reef sharks, turtles, manta rays, dolphins, barracuda and others. The pass is one of two entrances to an enormous interior lagoon, and you need to dive on an incoming tide. The season runs from February until November, but September is the best time for sharks.

"Similar to Awatoru pass. We dived five days in these two sites and even during all those dives we could jump and jump in again - it's difficult to imagine something better. "
Einari Talviste, Estonia
"If you are interested in large pelagic animals, this is THE place. It can be done at various depth. Around 45-50 m there is ALWAYS a large number of big sharks of a variety of species. I dove 3 times there; I had dolphins playing at my side each time (mostly near the surface)."
Mario Giordano
"Drift dives (strong current, 5-6 knots). Grey, blacktip, whitetip, silvertip and hammerhead sharks. Manta rays, eagle rays, napoleon fish, barracudas, jackfish and many others. Water visibility among 60 metres. Fantastic dives! "
Enrico Conte

South Pass, Fakarava

"The south pass is definitively easy to dive, and incredibly rich in diversity. Wall of grey sharks, amazing unspoiled corals with a huge density of reef fishes... "
Serge Renault, 2011
"A truly amazing experience. Normally a drift dive through 18-30m with the Wall of Sharks with numbers of Reef Grey, Black Tip and the occasional Tiger and Silver "
Stewart Henderson, 2017

Garuae Pass, Fakarava

"Not as demanding as the Tiputa pass of Rangiroa (and not as amazing), but a great dive. Lots of large schools of big fish; large pelagic animals (tuna, shark, mantas), many very friendly white tips at the ebottom. As in most places in Polynesia, the most amazing thing is how close animals get to you."
Mario Giordano

Tumakohua Pass, Fakarava

"Put Palau dive sites to shame. In one dive I saw some hundreds grey reef sharks patrolling the pass (with the occasional white tip and silver tip). It's a jaw dropping dive spot even for someone like me who's not particularly keen on sharks. Corals are also in very good shape contrary to Tiputa in Rangiroa."
Roberto Spanghero, 2018
"Magnificent drift dive and over benches of several dozens of grey sharks."
Gerald Semenjuk

Fitii's Pass, Huahine

"Grey sharks, leopards rays, tortoise and big napoleons."
Gerald Semenjuk
Further Reading

Lonely Planet: Diving and Snorkelling Tahiti & French Polynesia

Diving The Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands
Bikini Atoll

Bikini's name derived not from the bathing suit, but from the Marshallese language. It means surface of coconuts. Comprised of a ring of little islands, in 1946 Bikini had 167 inhabitants. The military governor of the Marshall Islands told them that their land was needed for the good of mankind. They were moved, several times, to different islands. None of which gave them the environment to be self-sustaining. They were briefly moved back to Bikini but the high radiation there resulted in miscarriages and genetic abnormalities in the children. In 1975 they sued the U.S, were awarded $75 million in damages and the creation of a $90 million trust fund to pay for medical expenses, cleanup and to give each islander about $550 per year.

"Bikini Atoll is a great place to dive world war 2 ships wrecks and the shark pass.
Berman Lirok Caleb, September 2016
"Once you get to the Marshall Islands there's nothing to do BUT dive. Regardless, it is the best diving I have EVER experienced, even better than Palau. Reason being that you could go to 4 different atolls have 4 completely different yet equally as amazing dive experiences in each. Jaw dropping coral in Arno, eery WWII wreck dives in Bikini Wotje, massive eagle rays in Rongelap, sea turtles sharks in Ailinglaplap, etc. etc. etc. I lived there for a year, and so, got to experience more than the average vacationer. However, despite the cost time it takes to get there, the RMI is more than worth it. I, personally, was blown away."
Bikini Atoll
USS Saratoga

An American aircraft carrier which after the second World War became surplus to requirements. She became part of Operation Crossroads - a series of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in the summer of 1946. Its purpose was to investigate the effect of nuclear weapons on naval ships. Baker was detonated 90 feet (27 m) underwater. The Saratoga and 11 other crafts were sunk.

The wreck of the Saratoga lies between 12 and 50 m. She is upright and in good condition with abundant sea life. A great dive - voted one of the best wreck dives in the world.

USS Saratoga
Crossroads Baker nuclear weapons test, 26 July 1946. The Saratoga, to the left of the picture, is being lifted out of the water. She sank later that day.

Reviews: 5 stars

"US carrier, WWII. Sunk at Bikini atoll after war by Baker H-bomb test. Completely loaded when it was sunk. Bombs all over the place. About 160' to the sand. Best wreck anywhere.
Paul Ludwick
"Amazing aircraft carrier on Bikini Atoll, with huge amounts of historical history with lots to explore
Michael Jonkhoff
Bikini Atoll
Reviews: 5 stars

"Japanese battle ship sunk at bikini atoll. Largest superstructure I've ever seen, by a long shot. 170' to the sand.
Paul Ludwick, January 2019
"This place must be the hard coral capital of the world! Enormous corals, anemonies, nudibranchs, WWII wrecks. There used to be lots of sharks, but the Chinese are illegally fishing them. I know because we caught and reported a boat shark fishing inside the atoll. Very hard to visit, no dive operation there. We went on an expedition trip. No tourist facilities. No restaurants. One grocery store which had nearly no merchandise. We brought our food with us. There's only one guest house on the whole atoll which sleeps 8 with 2 bathrooms. No hot water. Hotplate cooking in the kitchen. Very rustic. I'd go back there in a heartbeat.
KC Skinner, USA

Diving Myanmar

Mergui Archipelago > Fan Forest

"Beautiful gorgonians at 24-30m. Unfortunately the area is overfished and lacks large fish, however, the corals are excellent, with many scorpionfish sp. and other macro life.
Adam Jennings, March 2019

Diving the Cook Islands

Cook Islands Dive Sites Cook Islands Dive Operators Cook Islands Accommodation

The Cook Islands comprise 15 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Named after Captain Cook, who sighted them in 1770, the islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900, administrative control was transferred to New Zealand; in 1965, residents chose self-government in free association with New Zealand. The dry season is from April to November and the more humid season, where typhoons are possible, from December to March.

Find accommodation in the Cook Islands: Aitutaki, Rarotonga

Cook Islands Dive Sites

"We dived the Cook Islands last November, and we dived both on the main island of Rarotonga and the next largest island of Aitutaki (Pacific Divers on the former and Bubbles Below on the latter). Both islands were fantastic, but I would strongly recommend taking the short 'internal' flight to Aitutaki as it's far more spectacular and 'desert islandy' than the main island. It's also a lot quieter and the beaches are far better, but the BIG selling point is the huge lagoon in the centre of Aitutaki, and I would VERY strongly suggest doing the lagoon snorkel day trip with Mike (all the hotels etc know about Mike's lagoon tour). He takes you to some of the most fascinting spots in the lagoon, and you can see the most amazing marine life, including a giant clam farm! He then takes you to a deserted atol shows you how to open a coconut, and cooks the most amazing BBQ on the beach. An excellent day out, and certainly the highlight of our trip...But back to the diving: it is first rate. Good reefs, warm water, huge viz, some big life. We saw giant turtles, eagle rays, reef sharks, plenty of fish, etc etc etc... and there's something very cool about knowing you're the only divers in the ocean for 2000 miles (if you time your days right)."
Matthew Gough, 2008
"The Cooks have good travel infrastructure, and good diving operators, but crown of thorns infestations have destroyed a lot of coral. "
Richard Adams, 2008
"I visited the Cook Islands in July 2007 and made a two tank dive with Bubbles Below on Aitutaki, and again with Pacific Divers (Muri beach) and The Dive Centre (Aroa beach) on Rarotonga. I encountered one white tip reef shark, several moray eel, napoleon wrasse, turtle, unicorn fish and eagle rays. Diving was fantastic in the blue ocean and all three the operators very professional. I preferred the first two mentioned before, as they had a person extra on the boat for safety measure."
Geert, 2008
18 m
Papua Passage

"Passage dive on the south coast, with a maximum depth of 18 metres. Good for turtles, morays, whitetip reef sharks and eagle rays."
Patrick Jaletzky, Adventure Cook Islands, 17 November 2021

Avaavaroa Drop Off

"Drop off dive on the south coast. Tunas, turtles, reef sharks and eagle rays can often be spotted. This site is also a parrotfish mating site. Great for deep dives."
Patrick Jaletzky, Adventure Cook Islands, 17 November 2021

Tupapa Sandriver

"Drop Off dive on the north-east coast of Rarotonga. Nice coral formations with good chance of seeing reef sharks, humphead wrasse and moray eels. Great for deep dives."
Patrick Jaletzky, Adventure Cook Islands, 17 November 2021

Cook Islands Dive Operators

Adventure Cook Islands

Aroa Beach
PO Box 2022
Cook Islands
Tel: +682 22212

"533 Stabi-Craft with twin Yamaha 50s. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of 5 divers per trip."
Patrick Jaletzky, Adventure Cook Islands, 17 November 2021

Bubbles Below

PO Box 105, Aratea, Aitutaki, Cook Islands. Tel/Fax +682 31537, E-mail:

Pacific Divers

Pacific Divers - Main Road of Rarotonga, in the village of Muri, Cook Islands. Tel: +682 22450, Skype user ID : pacific.divers, E-mail:

The Dive Centre

Aroa Beach, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Postal address: PO BOX 142, Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Tel/fax: +682 20238, Mobile: +682 55238, E-mail:

"We were diving with them in July 2010 during our stay in rarotonga. A great bunch of people, very professional and friendly. I did a dive package with them and I had a great time. One day i was the only diver on the boat with the guide Chris and boat captain Sasha and we saw a whale! I would dive with them again. "
Candice Miller

Cook Islands accommodation

Pacific Resort Aitutaki: 5 star, 27 villas, suites and bungalows.
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa Aitutaki: 4 star, only resort on a private island 2 minutes away on the ferry from the main island of Aitukaki.
Pacific Resort Rarotonga: 2 star, 30 bungalows.
Manuia Beach Resort Rarotonga : 4 star,
Sunset Resort Rarotonga: 4 star

Diving Micronesia:

Diving Truk Lagoon (Chuuk Lagoon)

See the Chuuk Lagoon section for full details.

You can dive Truk Lagoon at any time of the year. Temperature varies little, being constantly between 24 and 31 oC whatever the month. The dryer months are January to March.

See deals on Truk Lagoon liveaboards: best price guaranteed.

Truk Lagoon Dive Sites
"All the Truk dives are amazing
C.D. Tyler, 16 January 2019

Fujikawa Maru

"Picture perfect shipwreck - awash with coral and sea life. Each of the five holds offer exciting finds, however the highlight for me was the massive engine room which occupies the midships area, taking up 3 floors.
Andrew Murray
"Magnificent wreck with cargo of Zero fighter planes in one of her holds and heaps of artifacts. Brilliant dive
Paul A Chesterman, Australia, 2013

Nippo Maru
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Deepish dive, fully intact upright shipwreck. Water visibility is good and many shark often frequent the ship. Excellent penetration opportunities for the trained diver. "
Andrew Murray
"Another excellent wreck has a small Japanese battle tank on the deck. Penetration of this ship is a fantastic experience "
Paul A Chesterman, Australia, 2013

San Francisco Maru
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"75 year old "million dollar" wreck with deck at 165'. Three small Japanese tanks still on the deck, gun mounted on bow, trucks and mines lining the front hold. Top of mast at 100' and densely covered with a variety of sealife. "
Jim, 14 May 2019
"Very Deep but a great dive for the untouched undamaged wreck that sits there. "
Brad, Australia, 13 September 2016
"Tanks on the deck and other armaments, sunk during the US raid on the Japanese supply fleet after The destruction of Pearl Harbour, extremely photographic in warm water, sitting upright, a must see. "
Jackie Bone-George, Australia, 1 July 2013

Japanese feeded ships.

"I penetrated 6 of the Japanese feeded ships. All eeire and in surprisingly good condition. Lots of amo, and parts to feed a war. The penetration was the best Ive done (Even better then Thistlegorm). We went deep into the belly of some of the ships. What an experience. Huge Barricuda hanging aroiund on our exit. The ultimate wreck dive experience!!!! Do it!! "
Truk Lagoon Dive Operators

Truck Lagoon Dive centre

"What a great dive experience, what a great place to relax. I spent 5 days in Truck Lagoon Dive centre. Good people, good food, good centre but best of all - great diving.
Brendan, 2011
Further Reading

World War II Wrecks of the Truk Lagoon

Diving Palau

The diving at Palau is so good we have given it its own page. Please go to our new Palau Diving section.

Diving Yap

Dive Operator and accommodation

The Pathways Hotel, 718 Pathways Lane, Colonia Yap FM 96943. Tel: 691-350-3310 or 3309, Fax: 691-350-2066, E-mail:
A small family owned and operated ecolodge offering diving.

Diving Solomon Islands

The tropical cyclone season normally runs from November to May.

Dive Sites

Grand Central Station, Solomon Islands

"Loads of fish, sharks, tuna, everything all at once - couldn't see the surface of the water there were so many fish. "

Baracuda point, Mary Island, Solomon Islands

"Cliff face dive with one of the largest bigeye travally schools ever seen. Baracudas, grey reef sharks and tuna. "
Richard Banks, 2019

Tulagi Island, lava tubes

"Depth of 35m to descend to the bottom of lava tubes. You then exit through a opening at approx 35m, circle the reef and slowly ascend. Spotted a Manta ray throughout the dive. Amazing. "
Shayla Osborne, 2017

Kastom shark cave, Munda, Solomon Islands

"Got it all: walk in, drop down 10 mins through cave onto wall "
Ian Gilding, 2014

Toa Maru, Gizo, Solomon Islands

"55 minutes of penetration. Tons of life, Japanesse tanks."
Kyle Folden, May 2016

Gizo, Solomon Islands

"This area has got the best all-round diving I've ever done. Walls, pelagics, lots of big stuff - sharks, mantas, schools of eagle rays, a great wreck, several plane wrecks and no crowds . "
Frank Curran

Shark Point, Solomon Islands

"Enter in what seems like open sea to hit a 1 km deep wall and cruise along in the company of giant leatherbacks, huge pelagics, black, white and grey tips, plus a few oceanic white tips and hammerheads. The best feeling I've ever had."
Luke, 2006

Hot Spot, Solomon Islands

"More fish species than I realised existed, let alone had ever seen."
Luke, 2006

Uepi, Tulagi, Solomon Islands

"Solomon Islands, deeper dive, destroyer sitting upright on the sand, largely intact as she sank very quickly in the battle for Guadacanal in WW11, penetration possible for the properly trained and experienced."
Jackie Bone-George, Australia, 2013
"Tiny Island on the edge of the worlds largest lagoon. Clearest water, best visibility, friendliest staff. Highlight was diving with hammerheads."
Zac Sarnecki

USS Aaron Ward, , Solomon Islands

"Deep and those guns, wow "
Ian Gilding, 2014

Bella Bella, Munda, Solomon Islands
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Silvertips that chase you away, make the turn and you will see 20 ft gorgan fans, sponge corals hanging down 120 ft. Light shinning through the trees make this dive site one of the best ever "
Kyle, 2011

Shooting Gallery, Solomon Islands
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Dive into huge crevaces and experience crayfish propelling themselves in all direction. Imagine a hundred crayfish going in every direction at high velocity. It is something to see."
Kyle, Canada, 2011
Solomon Islands Dive Operators

Dive Munda, Solomon Islands

"Dive Munda is located in Munda, Solomon Islands,inside the Hotel Agnes Lodge. 190 au$ or 1520 SBD$ for 2 dives and all equipment rent. They didn't really let me choose what kind of dive to do. I went with 3 locals, nice BUT JUST. It was a 2 dives trip from 9am till 1 pm with an hour stop in a beautiful little island. I WOULDN'T DIVE WITH THEM AGAIN, MORE EXPENSIVE THAN OTHER PLACES AND NOT REALLY PROFESSIONAL... OLD GEARS TOO. "
Marco, Italy, 2011

Further Reading Solomon Islands...

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

A commonwealth in political union with the United States, comprises 15 islands.

Dive Sites

Wing Beach, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

"The best shore dive you'll ever make. Deep cut gorges, giant moai-shaped pillars, giant arches. An amazing dive, only feet from the shoreline. "
Robert, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Diving Cambodia

Cambodia now has its own page on the site - for updated information please see the Cambodia Diving Section.

Dive Sites Dive Operators Accommodation Further Reading

Cambodia Dive Sites

Many of the dive sites around Cambodia are as yet completely undived. New ones are found virtually every week. There is a lot of hard and soft coral virtually untouched, the usual collection of reef fishes and an enormous variety of macro-life. The diving around the islands closer to shore (2 hours) reflects this and tends to be fairly shallow (10-15 m max). Further out there are deeper pinnacles, wrecks and a greater number of pelagics and larger fish.

The cost for diving is around US$70 per day (2 dives) for a day trip, including equipment and food. A two-day liveaboard with 5 dives, costs around US$195.

Diving Vietnam

Diving Vietnam has moved to its own page. Please visit our Pacific section for the full low down on diving Vietnam.

Further Reading

The Rough Guide to Vietnam, by Jan Dodd, Mark Lewis, Ron Emmons , 2006.

Diving Sri Lanka

The traditional diving season is from November to April. May is low season when the rainy season starts. As in many places though, the rains over the past few years have come later so May can be a good time to go. Prices and crowds are both lower then.

Thirteen species of whales and dolphins visit Sri Lanka. Unique snorkelling expeditions take place on the west coast (Colombo region) from November through April.

Dive Sites


"I dived in Hikkaduwa with Poseidon Diving Station and would definitely recommend the area and the centre. There are some great wrecks, ranging from 1750-1900's, a mixture of steam and sail boats. There is also a chance to see intact soft corals on some of the deeper dives. Sri Lanka is a beautiful and friendly country with some great places to visit and tasty food. "
Dianne Wilkins

HMS Hermes

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended 5 Star Rating: Recommended (2)

"9 April World War II: Japanese Navy launches air raid on Trincomalee in Ceylon (Sri Lanka); Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier HMS Hermes is sunk off the country's East Coast. She was the world's first ship to be designed and built as an aircraft carrier.Commissioned in 1924, Hermes served briefly with the Atlantic Fleet before spending the bulk of her career assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet and the China Station.Most of the survivors were rescued by a nearby hospital ship although 307 men from Hermes were lost in the sinking. The ship lies in 53 m of water in clear warm water on its port side and is intact. Teeming fish life. "
Ben Reymenants, Belgium, 11 September 2012

HMS Hermes sinking
HMS Hermes, The Royal Navy aircraft carrier, sinking after Japanese air attack in 1942.

Sri Lanka Dive Operators

Taprobane Divers
No. 344/2 Weeranagaraya
31000 Sri Lanka
Telephone: +94 (0) 712576821

Taprobane Divers offer fun diving for certified divers and a range of PADI courses from complete beginner to advanced technical diving. Their equipment, imported from the United Kingdom, comprises Scubapro, Aqualung and Cressi as well as Hollis and OMS for technical diving.

Taprobane Divers
69/1 Porutota Road (aka Beach Road)
Telephone: +94 (0) 712576821

Review Taprobane Divers

Further Reading

Lonely Planet: Sri Lanka

Diving Pakistan

Pakistan Dive Sites

Reviews: 4 stars

"It's an Island which is a great diving spot for divers who would like to see different species of corals and well as marina line such as Green Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle, Barracuda and many more. Each dive spot around the Island is different and the landscape is beautiful. Some of the life that had been found is White sharks, Barracuda, Swordfish, Sailfish, Great Hammerhead Shark, Black Marlin, Green Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle, Dolphins as well as Blind River Dolphins and many many more. It's a great place to dive, but if one wants to dive the window of opportunity is from end of September till the end of March. In the off season the dive site can not be accessed as the sea get very rough and the viz becomes nill. "
Aatif Malik, Indus Scuba
Pakistan Dive Operators

Indus Scuba
Small Bokhari Commercial Street 5
Off Saba Avenue
Phase 6
DHA, Karachi
Tel: +92-21-35243153
Fax: +92-21-35243163

Further Reading

Coral Reef Fishes, Indo-Pacific and Caribbean , by Ewald Lieske and Robert Myers

Diving India

For more on diving India please see our new India Diving Section.

India Dive Operators

Lacadives, Lakshadweep
Tel: +91 22 66627381/2

Diving Malaysia

Dive Sites
For Sipadan, Tioman, Labuan, etc see our Malaysia section.

Diving Taiwan

Taiwan Dive Sites | Taiwan Dive Operators | Further Reading

Dive Sites

Green Island
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Green Island rivals any dive site in the Asia area. A bit of a secret."
John Boo
"Schooling Scalloped hammerhead sharks during winter and 30m vis + a couple of great wrecks"
Andy Gray, Owner, Taiwan Dive.

Orchid Island
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Orchid Island down from Green Island is just like Green Island."
John Boo
"40 m vis all year round with abundant marine life, outstanding corals and a great wreck dive."
Andy Gray, Owner, Taiwan Dive.


"Kenting in the south has over 40 shore and boat dives"
Andy Gray, Owner, Taiwan Dive.

Flower Garden Kenting
Reviews: 4 stars

"Beautiful site filled with an abundance of soft corals in very good shape."
John Boo

NE Coast

"Has excellent diving including an U/W volcano [near Hualien], one of only 2 sites in the world."
Andy Gray, Owner, Taiwan Dive.
Taiwan Dive Operators

Reviews: 4 stars
232 Nanwan Rd, Kenting.
"Price is very competetive." John Boo

U-Dive Scuba Taiwan
Baisha, Kenting, Taiwan. Tel: 0913388065. E-mail:

Taiwan Scuba
Taichung City, Tel: 0923818469. E-mail:
English speaking guides and instructors. Regular PADI dive courses and fun diving trips into Southern Taiwan. Equipment sales and information.

Taiwan Dive
Tel: 0916 130 288 or 07 226 8854. E-mail:
Run by English diver Andy Gray.

Green Island Diving
Green Island, off the south east coast of Taiwan.

Formosa Diving
Tel: 0956 300 103, Skype: travellingziv, Mobile: +886-956-300103. E-mail:

" I reside in Taipei city and run my dive training out of a club in Long Tung - northeast - about 45minutes away from the city. I train OW through DM and have been doing so for 10 years with over 300 certified students. Am a trimix diver as well as a free diver. Ziv Berin

Diving Japan

Japan Dive Sites

Bonin Islands
Reviews: 4 stars

"Some really remote island outside of Japan. Almost no non-japanese people do go there and that was good for me. Really unspoiled so far and so beautiful! "
Malin Olofsson, Sweden, 2011
Further Reading

Coral Reef Fishes, Indo-Pacific and Caribbean , by Ewald Lieske and Robert Myers

Further Reading

Taiwan (Lonely Planet Regional Guides S.)

Your Comments

We endeavour to keep this site as informative and current as possible. If you would like to recommend, or warn about, a particular dive or diving location we'd love to hear from you.


Books of the World's Best SCUBA Diving

Fifty Places to Dive Before You Die
Chris Santella, 2008, 224 pages, Hardback
Diving the World
Beth and Shaun Tierney, Footprint Travel Guides, 2014, 352 pages, Paperback
Dive - The Ultimate Guide to 60 of the World's Top Dive Locations
by Monty Halls, Ultimate Sports Publications Ltd, 2004, 320 pages, Softback
Monty Halls' book describes 60 of the world's best diving areas, and highlights specific dives not to be missed whilst you are there. It also aims to provide independent travellers with the other information they will need, such as about water temperatures, visa requirements, the best time of year to go and addresses of dive centres and recompression chambers. For more details read our review... or visit
Ultimate Diving Adventures: 100 Extraordinary Experiences Under Water
by Len Deeley and Karen Gargani, John Wiley & Sons, 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 top 10 list.