2022’s Top 5 Winter Diving Destinations Across The Globe

October 07, 2022 3 min read

scuba diver sanding on sunny beach with palm trees

If you’re keen to get your diving fix throughout the winter, but don’t fancy bracing the cold waters of the UK, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! There are plenty of incredible winter diving destinations to explore where the sun continues to shine, and where the water is at a nice, warm temperature. There is (quite literally) a world of winter diving to be discovered out there, but for now, we’ve narrowed down 5 of the best diving destinations in winter 2022…

Cayman Islands 

Known for being home to hundreds of unique marine species from hawksbill turtles to stingrays and Caribbean reef sharks, it’s no wonder the Cayman Islands attract thousands of scuba divers every year. You’ll be diving among plenty of colourful reefs, and the Cayman Islands are a particularly fantastic spot for wreck diving. Whilst you can dive in the Cayman Islands all year round, the more favourable conditions are during November to May, making it one of the best winter diving destinations. The summer months are known to bring more rain, whilst autumn is the hurricane season, so winter presents the most calm conditions for diving. 

Scuba diver diving in Cayman Islands with turtles

Palau, Micronesia

Diving in Palau should definitely be on every diver’s bucket list. Described by many as a tropical paradise, the waters of Palau are packed full of soft coral reefs, incredible drop-offs, abundant marine life and plenty of mysterious caverns and shipwrecks to be explored.November to April, but particularly December is manta season - the dive site German Channel in the popular Ngemelis area is particularly renowned for its influx of manta rays feeding during the incoming tide. January and February months bring the rare aggregation of orange spined unicornfish and moorish idol, the latter of which results in large amounts of grey reefs coming to feed.

diver diving in the sea below a group of manta rays

Ari Atoll, Maldives

We couldn’t talk about the best winter diving destinations in the world without heading over to the Maldives. The clear waters of Ari Atoll are packed full of manta rays, whales sharks and hammerheads, as well as lots of schools of colourful fish. Most of the dive sites in the area are not protected by walls or coral reefs, meaning that the currents can be quite strong. For this reason, Ari Atoll is probably a more suitable choice for more experienced divers. 

scuba diver diving in ocean with colourful reef and fish

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador 

The Galapagos Islands are on many diver’s bucket lists and the period from December to June brings calmer and warmer waters. Most certainly one of the best winter diving destinations, the winter also coincides with manta season. A natural wildlife haven, there’ll be plenty of other endemic wildlife to look out for both in and out of the water. Famous for its schooling hammerhead sharks, the Galapagos offers the chance to dive with playful sea lions, watch marine iguanas swim and even spot the Galapagos penguin underwater! Deeper water and currents often bring the bigger animals, so a certification to 30m is recommended, but not essential. 

hammerhead sharks and fish swimming in tropical water

Anilao, The Philippines

If underwater photography is your thing then Anilao should definitely be included among your top winter diving destinations.The reefs of Anilao are home to a wide variety of rare critters, and it’s a particularly good location for muck diving. There are plenty of larger underwater creatures too, such as barracudas, bluefin trevallies and reef sharks. The water temperature is usually a pleasant25° C during the winter time. It’s particularly crowded in November, April and May so if you’re looking to beat the crowds, December, January and February are a perfect time to go.

shoal of bluefin trevallies in the ocean


If you need help getting equipped for your trip, please don’t hesitate to get in touchwith our experienced team of divers at Aquanauts. 

Lizzie Chapman
Lizzie Chapman

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