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Scuba Diving Bucket List

This weekend Cristi and I are completing our PADI Open Water Diver certificate. So, I decided to create a scuba diving bucket list of the best diving spots in the world. I plan in one day visiting all of these place, so stay tuned for updates and photos of dives, although we will most likely be doing more local dives first. Obviously, as this is a bucket list, none of the photographs below are mine, but one day soon I will hopefully update them with my own!

Without further ado…

My Scuba Diving Bucket List

1. Gili Islands, Indonesia

Indonesia has an aquatic Babylon. With clear water containing more than 3500 marine species living in this area, this is simply a heaven for any scuba diver. Many diving competitions are also conducted in the Gili Islands providing divers of any skill level a great opportunity to learn more. Gili Islands gets visitors throughout the year but most of the people avoid going from November to April because of the rainy season.

2. Byron Bay, Australia


Photo by Flickr user Chris Davey.

Byron Bay is located just 2.5 km offshore, providing one of the best scuba diving places in Australia. This area attracts varied marine life because of its tropical currents. This active site attracts people from around the world. The south part of this area has cooler water and because of this most of the people prefer scuba diving in Byron Bay in summer.

3. Koh Tao, Thailand


Photo by Flickr user Mikko Koponen

This place is one of the few diving spots in world where people can see white sharks. Along with this many other type of fish are also seen in this area. This place is best suited if you are looking for a diving based trip only. You can visit this place any time but if you are looking for best visibility then you should consider visiting this place from July to September.

4. Dahab, Egypt

Dahab Pano/HDR

Photo by Flickr user jcsuperstar60

This area provides coral habitats which are located at few steps from the beach. The relaxed area of Dahab is not only center of attention for most of the casual divers but many professionals are also interested in this Dahab because a Blue Hole formation is located several kilometers to the north.

5. Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker and the Blue Hole

Photo by Flickr user Marc Veraart

The Belize Barrier reef reserve system is located less than a mile from Caye Caulker. This place provides with stunning coral gardens along with its great blue hole, as pictured above, which attract thousands of divers each year.

6. Utila, Honduras

School of fish while scuba diving in Utila

Photo by Flickr user Matt Leonard

Utila provides magnificent places for scuba diving and snorkeling with more than eighty dive sites. Utila is often visited from September to December and March to April as there is a higher chance of seeing a whale sharks at this time of year.

7. Santa Cruz, Ecuador

Turtle in Santa Cruz, Galápagos

Photo by Flickr user GabeD

Santa Cruz Island, a part of the Galápagos Islands, is located at the converging point of three different sea currents attracting various forms of marine life. It is often described as one of the “Seven Underwater Wonders of the World.” Being located on the equator Santa Cruz’s mild weather attracts visitors year round. As I am currently living in Ecuador, my hope is that Santa Cruz Island will be the first scuba diving site to be crossed off my bucket list!

If you think there are any other beautiful or amazing scuba diving spots that are missing from this bucket list, please let me know in the comments!

(Feature Image source: Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten)

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Bidy Martin

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

Great list! I've been to 5 and 6. Looking forward to seeing the photography you come back with on some of those trips!


Travel To Blank

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

That is amazing. We would love to see your photos from your visits to these scuba diving spots as well!

Scuba Diving Bucket List | Travel Guide | Scoo...

Monday 30th of November 2015

[…] With out new PADI Open Water Diver certificate, my wife and I have created our dream scuba diving bucket list of places we must visit.  […]


Friday 20th of November 2015

Forget the Gili Islands. They may have a lot of dive centers and get a lot of backpacker traffic, but the diving around the islands is not very good. Most of the reefs have been damaged by bomb fishing. Bali to the west or the Komodo National Park to the east are much better. Especially Komodo.

Other, much better, destinations for diving in Indonesia are Bunaken-Lembeh-Pulau Bangaka in North Sulawesi, Wakatobi in South Sulawesi, Derawan Islands in East Kalimantan (where you can swim in a lake filled with non-stinging jellyfish on Kakaban island, just like the one in Palau), Ambon in Maluku, Banda Islands, Raja Ampat (the highest biodiversity in the Coral Triangle), Cendrawasih Bay, Triton Bay (whale shark), Alor, Pulau Weh in Aceh.

Those are bucket list worthy.

Travel To Blank

Saturday 21st of November 2015

This is very helpful! Thank you so much for your comment. We have experienced this before that the most publicized places to dive end up no longer being the best place to go.