Top 10 Best Destinations For Scuba Diving 2024

March 04, 2024 5 min read

aerial view of the azores

We can all agree that visiting a new dive site is one of the most exciting experiences you can have as a diver. Luckily enough, our planet is full of what can only be described as breathtaking dive sites and opportunities so you won’t be short of places to add to your must-visit list.

When you start exploring, you’ll likely find yourself working through the best destinations for scuba diving close to home. However, you need not spend much time in the water to develop the urge to travel a little further afield, plan a scuba diving holiday and get exploring. 

Having been fortunate enough to visit some incredible places ourselves, the Aquanauts team has come together to create our list of dive destination recommendations if you’re looking for somewhere great to visit. Read on to discover 10 of the best destinations for scuba diving in 2024, as chosen by our expert divers.

Gozo, Malta

First up on our list of the best destinations for scuba diving and somewhere our team have been a lot is this Maltese gem! Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, there’s no denying that Gozo is a scuba diving paradise. The waters are crystal clear and the island is home to a wide range of dive sites, making it the perfect place to visit no matter your ability. The famous Blue Hole and the Inland Sea should not be missed, as the former offers spectacular marine life including octopus and scorpionfish and the latter a unique cave-like experience.


Red Sea, Egypt

The Egyptian Red Sea is one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the world, with a huge array of liveaboard trips you can go on to see the area at its best. However you choose to explore the area, diving in the Red Sea can be described as an explosion of colour thanks to the rich coral reefs and incredible visibility that makes it easy to spot the area’s huge array of diverse marine life. There’s a dive site for everyone too, including the famous SS Thistlegorm wreck and Marsa Alam. With such variety to be enjoyed, we have no doubt that the Red Sea is well deserving of its reputation as one of the best destinations for scuba diving and is a trip you should send right to the top of your diving bucket list.

Palau, Micronesia

While Palau has long been heralded as a fantastic snorkelling spot, its protected waters also make it one of the best destinations for scuba diving. If we had to describe this archipelago in one word it would be unspoiled, with diverse ecosystems and spectacular reefs to explore in abundance. Snorkellers will have their fun at the popular Jellyfish Lake while divers will excel at famous dive sites like Blue Corner. 


Great Blue Hole, Belize

Even if you’ve never heard of it before, you could probably guess that Belize’s Great Blue Hole is one of the great scuba diving destinations in the world. The Great Blue Hole is another UNESCO World Heritage site and spans a whopping 125m - so big it can even be seen from space. Diving here is a totally unique experience, with shark encounters on offer for those brave enough to explore its mysterious depths.

Gili Islands, Indonesia

If it’s a picture-perfect location you’re after, the Gili Islands are one of the best scuba diving destinations for you. This Indonesian tropical paradise offers the perfect escape, whether you want to dive every day of your trip or embrace the laid-back atmosphere of the islands and just switch off for a bit. When you are in the water, the standout part of diving in the Gili Islands is undoubtedly the abundance of turtles you can get close to all year round.

gili islands

Azores, Portugal

Sometimes it’s not practical to jet off to the other side of the world, but this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the exotic nature of your scuba diving holiday. Just 4 hours from UK shores is the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago that is best known for its volcanic landscapes and cave diving sites. There’s a spectacularly unique feel to diving here and you’ll get a totally different experience depending on when you visit - it will be quiet but cold in winter, while the peak diving season coincides with the manta seasons in the summer months.

Florida Keys, USA

Home to the United States’ only living-coral barrier reef, the Florida Keys are up there with the best destinations for scuba diving. This stretch of water spans over 100 miles and offers way more than can be seen in one single trip! We suggest checking out Key Largo or Key West to get the most complete experience of the region. These are typically the most popular areas to visit and both are home to some great coral reefs and shipwrecks to add variety to your scuba diving holiday.

florida keys

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

No list of the best destinations for scuba diving is complete without mentioning the Great Barrier Reef. Stretching along the coast of Queensland and arguably the most famous scuba diving destination in the whole world, this natural wonder is home to the largest coral reef system on the planet. Divers come here in their troves every year to enjoy the unmatched reef diving experience, but what is less known is the fact that the Great Barrier Reef is also home to some incredible wreck dives like SS Yongala. Expect a staggering variety of marine life and an almost instant longing to return.

Plymouth, England

While it may not be the tropical paradise typically imagined when you think of scuba diving, we simply had to finish our list of the best destinations for scuba diving by giving Plymouth a mention. The UK’s First National Marine Park, Plymouth is the home of Aquanauts and one of the very best places you can go diving in the UK. The local waters are home to some extraordinary shipwrecks like Le Poulmic and artificial reef HMS Scylla that emphasise the city’s maritime history and prove that you don’t necessarily need to look further afield to find a diving destination with unique charm.


Whittling down our favourite destinations to the ten best was no easy feat and we’re sure that you’ll have your own favourites! However, we hope that this list has provided you with some inspiration for your next trip. If you’d like any more information about diving in Plymouth or further afield or would like to speak to our team about what you need to take with you to these destinations, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

Noeleen Smith
Noeleen Smith

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