Diving is an exhilarating and rewarding activity that offers countless opportunities for exploration and discovery. With so many incredible dive sites around the world, it can be difficult to decide which ones to visit. To make your decision easier, we've compiled a list of the 10 best dive sites in the world. From the SS Thistlegorm wreck in Egypt's Red Sea to the SS Yongala shipwreck in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, these are some of the most incredible places to explore beneath the waves.
Maaya Thila, MaldivesMaaya Thila in South Ari Atoll, Maldives is one of the best places to dive in the world. This site is renowned for its vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine life. It's also a great spot for night dives, when you can spot Ambon scorpion fish, bobbit worms, seahorses, frogfish and other nocturnal species.
SS Thistlegorm, EgyptThe SS Thistlegorm is another top dive site located in Egypt's Red Sea.
This 420-foot British transport vessel was sunk by a German air attack in 1941 and is now a window into history with a visible load of trucks, jeeps, motorcycles, tanks and even a locomotive.
Secret Bay, PhilippinesSecret Bay, or Mainit Muck as it is known locally, is an essential dive site in the Philippines. This shallow site is only 10 to 70 feet deep but it's very productive for marine macro life and creatures. Many divers have reported seeing mantis shrimps, rare nudibranchs, gobies of all kinds and even wonderful octopuses.
Silfra Fissure, IcelandSilfra Fissure in Iceland is another must-visit dive site. Here you can explore the space between North American and Eurasian tectonic plates with a visibility of up to 300 feet. Slide along the aquatic herbs full of blues and greens before taking a picture between the rocky walls of the plates.
SS Yongala, AustraliaAustralia's SS Yongala has long been considered one of the best dives in the world.
This very deep and wide hole is bounded by coral reefs and inhabited by sharks. Visibility here can reach up to 30 meters and divers can expect to see tunas, pelagic animals, nudibranchs, flatworms, eels, white-tip sharks and wobbegongs.
T-shaped Structure, BelizeBelize's T-shaped structure is another great dive site. This 300-meter structure extends from the coast and includes two peripheral dolphins (platforms for mooring larger ships).
With lots of nudibranchs and flatworms, eels, white-tip sharks and wobbegongs, octopuses, lionfish and scorpion fish, stargazers and more, this is an ideal spot for divers.
PalauPalau is another top destination for divers. Here you can explore a shark sanctuary with epic dives at sites like German Channel (a magnet for stingrays) and Ulong Canal (one of the most exciting drift dives on the planet). Snorkelers will also love Palau's famous jellyfish lake.
Tuamotu Archipelago, French PolynesiaFrench Polynesia's Tuamotu archipelago is another great place to enjoy underwater thrills. Here you can find walls with hundreds of gray reef sharks with O2 Fakarava, huge stingrays with Tikehau Ocean Tour and wild dolphins with Rangiroa Diving Center.
Cocos Islands, Costa RicaThe Cocos Islands off Costa Rica's Pacific coast are also worth exploring for some of the most exciting dive sites in the world. Here you can find sites like Blue Corner where you can spot an abundance of marine life including sharks, huge schools of fish, rays and more.
Finally, don't forget about SCUBA Travel's Dive Guide which covers topics ranging from adventure and culture to diving and family travel for various media including National Geographic, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, CNN and The Washington Post. This guide also includes lists of the best dives in Europe or the Caribbean as well as tips on where to find the best dives in February.