Top Ten Dives in The World

Diving in the cenote 'The Pit' in the jungle surrounding Tulum, Mexico. We had unlimited visibility diving in these unreal caverns. Top Ten Dives

This is our top ten dives around the world and only includes places that we have dived ourselves. For more information, photos or videos on each place, click READ MORE to go to the appropriate blog entry. This a top ten list in no specific order.

1. SIPADAN, BORNEO MALAYSIA

Pulau Sipadan on the north east coast of Malaysia Borneo risen to fame when diving legend and ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau called it the best. The amount of large marine life that you see on the average day here is unreal. Massive schools of Barracudas often forming a vortex, hundreds of reef sharks, thousands of horse eye jacks and hundreds of massive bumphead parrot fish are the standard things that most divers see on any day’s diving.

Barracudas, Sipadan
Barracudas next to the impressive 600m deep wall dropping down next to Pulau Sipadan. Top Ten Dives

You can be lucky and run into just about any pelagic in the pumping current surrounding the island, from big Trevallies to much more rare mantas and whale sharks. Sipadan is a reserve and nobody is allowed to stay on the island. 120 divers are allowed to dive Sipadan per day and mostly come here from the nearby islands of Mabul and Kapalai. READ MORE

bumphead sipadan top ten dives
A massive schools of bumpheads grazing on the coral reef next to Sipadan island.

 

2. KOMODO ISLAND, FLORES INDONESIA

The waters around Komodo Island is another fantastic area for diving with big pelagic sea creatures. We saw dog tuna, giant trevally, many reef sharks and eagle rays. The highlight of Komodo was diving with the manta rays.

Manta Ray at Manta Point, Komodo Island
Manta Ray at Manta Point, Komodo Island

We had 5 enormous mantas gliding around us until we were low on air. A friend had about 15 curious mantas swimming around them the following day! On land the big attraction is seeing the ancient Komodo Dragons.

3. LEMBEH STRAIT SULAWESI INDONESIA

If you love muck diving Lembeh is the place to go. Here you enter an alien world, with some of the strangest and most fascinating creatures in the ocean.

Flamboyant Cuttlefish, feeding tentacles shooting forward to catch a mysid shrimp. Top Ten Dives.
Flamboyant Cuttlefish, feeding tentacles shooting forward to catch a mysid shrimp. Top Ten Dives.

Lembeh is all about the small stuff. We did not dive on much coral reef, mostly black volcanic sand, but the things you see are unreal! To list a few frog fish (huge variety), sea horse (14 on 1 dive!), flamboyant cuttle fish, wonderpuss, pigmy seahorse, spanish dancer, hairy frogfish, an unreal variety of nudi’s and the list just goes on…

Giant Frog Fish, Lembeh Strait
Giant Frog Fish, Lembeh Strait Top Ten Dives.

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4. MABUL AND KAPALAI BORNEO MALAYSIA

In the diving world these two little islands are best known as launching place to Sipadan, but they have some of the best macro diving in the world to offer closer to shore. There are an abundance of interesting creatures to be found. I saw many ghost pipe fish, frog fish, mandarin fish, mantis shrimp and more.

Mandarin Fish, Mabul
Mandarin Fish, Mabul

Kapalai house reef is also rich in fish life and is frequented by large groupers, barracudas and a large variety of other fish. Around Mabul there were massive resident green turtles. These were always a big favorite when I was teaching a new openwater class.

Mantis Shrimp, Mabul House Reef. Top Ten Dives
Mantis Shrimp, Mabul House Reef. Top Ten Dives

5. THE PIT CENOTE, TULUM MEXICO.

This unreal dive was definitely my favourite cenote and one of the most beautiful places that I have ever dived.

The Pit is a sinkhole inside the deep jungle near Tulum, it is a part of the Dos Ochos system. Rays of bright turquoise light reach more than 30 meters  straight down with unlimited visibility. A cloud of hydrogen sulfate, anthropological remains and cave formations make this cenote an unreal experience.

Diving in the cenote ‘The Pit’ in the jungle surrounding Tulum, Mexico. We had unlimited visibility diving in these unreal caverns. Top Ten Dives
Looking at stalactites and cave formations diving in "The Pit". Top Ten Dives
Looking at stalactites and cave formations diving in “The Pit”. Top Ten Dives

 It is a deep dive and from 35 meters down I could clearly see a diver enter at the surface.

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6. XCALAK, MEXICO

This small fishing village in Quinatana Roo, Mexico must be one of the best kept diving secrets in the Caribbean. We dived in crystal clear water with fish life in abundance, barracudas, snappers, trevallies and some eagle rays. The reefs and geographical structures were beautiful with many moray eels, lobsters and nudibranches around. The highlight and the reason that we were diving here was huge schools of massive tarpons. Diving with many of these prehistoric looking fish, up to 100kg in size was an unreal experience.

Diving in a school of massive tarpons at Xcalak, Mexico
Diving in a school of massive tarpons at Xcalak, Mexico

7. LITTLE CORN ISLAND, NICARAGUA – NIGHT DIVE

The best night diving I have ever done. The amount of bio luminescence in the water was unreal and the string of pearls were very thick, we felt like we were swimming in outer space! The marine life on the dive was also fantastic Giant Barracuda swimming less than a meter away, turtles, moray eels, shrimps, lobsters, many nurse sharks and more.

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8. SHARK ALLEY, SIMONSTOWN SOUTH AFRICA

I think of this as my home reef. We normally dive this as a shore entry. The highlight is always the prehistoric seven gill cow sharks calling this area home. These sharks grow up to 3m in length. On a good day you see up to ten of these beauties/beasts on a single dive.

seven gill cow shark, Shark Alley, Simonstown, South Africa
seven gill cow shark, Shark Alley, Simonstown, South Africa

There is a lot fish typical to the Cape coast such as red roman and bank steenbras to be found in the area. Also some good macro diving for cold water, including beautiful nudibranches. Drop me a mail if you are in the area, maybe we can go for dive if I am home!

red roman castle rock simonstown
Red Roman, Shark Alley Simonstown, South Africa. Top Ten Dives

9. GREAT BARRIER REEF, CAIRNS, AUSRALIA

Diving on the outer reef was good with many reef sharks, snappers, a variety of turtle species and some nice nudis. We saw one big napoleon wrasse. The coral was nice, not super impressive. It is hard to judge a structure so big that you can see it from outer space on one day’s diving

We saw many turtles that belong to different species at the Great Barrier Reef. Top Ten Dives
We saw many turtles that belong to different species at the Great Barrier Reef. Top Ten Dives

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10. ROATAN, HONDURAS

We dived on some beautiful reefs surrounding the island. The coral is pristine including huge brain coral, barrel sponges and fans. Diving in the crystal clear, warm water of the Caribbean Ocean was fantastic around Roatan. We saw massive snappers and groupers, moray eels, sting rays and eagle rays.

There were some big groupers swimming around the wreck of The Aguila and the nearby reef. Top Ten Dives
There were some big groupers swimming around the wreck of The Aguila and the nearby reef. Top Ten Dives

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DIVE OPERATORS OR SPECIFIC SITES

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THE TOP TEN DIVES  LIST IS A WORK IN PROGRESS

There are many more amazing places to dive 🙂

Any comments on our list, suggestions of place to go? We would love to hear from you!!

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