Exploring the Dive Capitals of the World: An Expert's Guide

From Maui Noi Ka'oi in Hawaii to Cayo Largo in Cuba - explore some of the best dive spots around the world with this expert guide!

Exploring the Dive Capitals of the World: An Expert's Guide

From the world-renowned Maui Noi. ka'oi to the Caribbean paradise of Cayo Largo, there are many places around the globe that offer incredible diving experiences. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced diver, these dive capitals of the world have something to offer everyone. Maui Noi.

ka'oi, which translates to “Maui is the best”, is home to the third largest barrier reef in the world and thousands of islands fringed by mangroves and extensive beds of seagrass. Not only does Maui have a lot of coastal dives full of turtles, but it also offers a gateway for diving to the nearby Lanai Islands and, on a flat day, on Molokai. The partially submerged Molokini volcanic crater is a must-see for beginners. Visibility for days and endless opportunities to discover new creatures make Maui Noi.

ka'oi a great place for diving. The Bonaire National Marine Park in the Caribbean is another great destination for divers. Established in 1979, this park offers 86 dive sites and is home to more than 57 species of soft and stony corals and more than 350 registered species of fish. With fabulous visibility and a mild climate of 80 degrees, this is the land of coastal diving.

Easy access to diving and a wide variety of life make Bonaire unique in its class. Klein Bonaire, a small islet off the main island, offers two dozen additional sites, great places for snorkeling, and the sandy No Name beach, perfect for picnicking or relaxing on the surface. A fleet of vans ideal for transporting tanks and equipment is available for rent or comes with your room, and easy navigation around the reef wall makes this experience comfortable and unguided.

The Cayman Islands: A Diver's Paradise

The Cayman Islands are also known as one of the world's dive capitals. Home to more than 1500 species of fish, 400 types of hard coral, one-third of the world's soft corals, more than 130 species of sharks and rays, six of the world's seven species of sea turtles and 30 species of whales and marine mammals, including the vulnerable manate-like dugong, this is largely the Mecca of macros. Intimate and welcoming resorts for divers welcome visitors from the footbridge of this Caribbean paradise. For those looking for an experience closer to home without needing a passport, Key Largo in Florida is an excellent option.

This bay offers a great opportunity for diving enthusiasts with its incredible shallow reefs and wrecks full of tropical fish combined with canopy wrecks that reach depths of between 180 and 320 feet. Nearly all of the sites are boat dives, most 3 to 5 miles offshore, with 15 tents that cater to divers of all levels of experience. The Gulf Stream keeps the reef clean and offers excellent opportunities to see black groupers, eels, queen angels, locusts, nurse sharks, eagle rays and turtles heading to their nesting sites in summer. The Gili Islands in Indonesia are another paradise for divers offering an experience for all speeds. Home to turtles, whale sharks and a multitude of beautiful fish that make diving on Koh Tao a pleasure for all levels.

The 200 dive sites of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef offer a place to escape from the crowd as well as plenty of opportunities to spot hammerhead sharks, stingrays, whale sharks or sperm whale sharks.

Cayo Largo: The World's Diving Capital

Finally, Cayo Largo in Cuba is often referred to as the world's diving capital. This island stretches from mile 90 to 112 and has all the underwater style you'd expect including sunken ships, statues and coral reefs that you have to see to believe. From Hawaii to Indonesia and everywhere in between there are many places around the globe that offer incredible diving experiences. Whether you're looking for an adventure close to home or an exotic getaway abroad these dive capitals have something for everyone.

Ethan Kelly
Ethan Kelly

Lifelong internet nerd. Hardcore food fan. Devoted burrito ninja. Incurable travel junkie. Beer ninja. Hardcore zombie expert.