There are numerous web pages, magazine articles, and books dedicated to the best Scuba diving in the world. Which one of these provides you with your ideal Scuba location will largely depend on your area of interest. For example:
- Are you a keen Macro Diving enthusiast, with a powerful camera lens to focus on the tiny life forms that make the underwater environment such a rich and diverse place to explore?
- Do you want to see marine life at the other end of the scale, the big animals of the oceans such as dolphins, whales or manta rays?
Many divers want to dive close to shore or explore wrecks while others are looking for an area that will show them the biggest diversity in marine life and habitat. It is also true that many are looking for the very best value they can get for their vacation dollars!
Scuba Diving Magazine published an interesting list, naming Mexico as number one in the best overall diving, best overall destination and best value for money destination.
In the same list, the Caribbean Island of Bonaire scored highly as the best location for Macro, Shore Diving, and underwater photography. It was also joint first with Cayman in the advanced diving category, second to Mexico in the best value for money category and to Turks and Caicos in the best marine environment category. For the best place to see those big marine animals, you need to head for the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos according to this list!
Where to See Big Marine Animals
According to Men’s Fitness Magazine the international tourist destination Bora Bora, an island in French Polynesia is the place to go! Popular as a honeymoon destination it is also often called ‘The Shark Capital of The Pacific’ with the opportunity for divers to go on excursions where ‘chum’ put into the water brings them into close contact with grey reef, lemon and blacktip sharks as well as the opportunity to see manta rays in swarms and many big game fish.
Another great location is La Paz, Mexico. It enjoys sea temperatures in excess of 80° from June through August. The water is crystal-clear and in addition to the ‘aquarium’ fish living here in abundance, you will be able to see whales and very large sharks as well as other big animals such as orcas, sea lions, rays, mantas and giant turtles. Excursions by boat to the Gordo Banks give divers the opportunity to witness schooling Hammerhead sharks, a truly unforgettable experience.
We could not end our round up of dive locations without mentioning the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, protected by the Darwin Foundation. For divers wanting to experience Hammerhead and Whale sharks off the islands of Wolf and Darwin, the only way to do it is to book on one of the ‘Liveaboard’ boat services. Only a limited number of permits are available so you need to book well in advance, especially for the most popular time between May and November when you are most likely to see Whale sharks.
Whatever your interest or passion in Scuba diving, there is so much to be discovered. La Paz, Mexico definitely has a great deal to offer as a location, with opportunities to explore many different habitats and experience a huge variety of marine life. It may not be the best scuba diving in the world for everyone, but if you are watching your budget, this could make the perfect location for you.
Photo Courtesy of Degan Walters