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world cup of diving

Costa Rica Wins World Cup

Right we are down to the last 16 for the World Cup - so here's our score for the diving possibilities of each of the finalists. Our experts rated each country for the DIVE world cup and ranked them according to the quality of the diving they offerworld cup shutterstock 198527891

costarica flag shutterstock 197193509

Costa Rica



Easy finalists not only for good diving on both the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts, but the world class Cocos Island makes it a winner - plays way out on the left (an isolated sea mount 500 miles to the east) but easily the Messi of the underwater world with high energy hammerhead action.  A class act.


mexico flag shutterstock 163896389Mexico



trevallies sea of cortez shutterstock 195426470Diver with school of trevallies, Sea of Cortez

A worthy finalist with the silky delights of Baja California, the playgrounds of Cancun and the heart-stopping beauty of the cave diving in Yucatan. A first division diving destination.

columbiaflag shutterstock 54155845COLUMBIA



whale shark malpelo shutterstock 137117444Whale shark, Malpelo

Great diving and, like our winners Costa Rica, it's a story of two halves - the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts. Also has a classy (very) out field player (Malpelo) who's great for hammerheads. But needs to mature a bit before making the final.

brazil flag shutterstock 141939394BRAZIL

Semi finalists


fernado shutterstock 179219945Fernando do Norhona

Fernando do Norhona in the north east is a protected marine park with lots of marine life and there are lots of options down south. The big problem is the price - it costs a lot to get there and the diving is as expensive as a World Cup stadium ticket.

France flag shutterstock 100853935FRANCE
QuarTer finalist


shark shutterstock 182181374
Blacktip reef shark, French Polynesia

A bit of a dark horse in the scuba stakes but with a great history (it all started there with good old Cousteau) and there is some great wreck diving in the south and Corsica is one of the best in the Med. And remember it has some far flung territories in the Caribbean and Pacific which actually count as France.



manatee shutterstock 110664632Manatee, Florida

Some great diving from caves and manatees in Florida, wrecks in North Carolina, hardcore techie diving further north and the wonders of the West Coast. A real contender, but gets squeezed out by the star players above.

swiss flag shutterstock 106218140

Quarter finalist



verzasca river switzerland shutterstock 198486512Verzasca River, Switzerland
Being land locked would seem to be a bit of a disadvantage in these stakes - but the stunning viz to be found in the Alpine-fed lakes and rivers makes diving here a real treat, albeit only in high summer!

argentina shutterstock 106218146ARGENTINA

Quarter finalist


southern right whale diverSouthern right whale and diver

Not often making it into the top ten diving rankings, but if you are looking for some action with big mammals then Puerto Madryn in Patagonia is the place to head. Southern right whales, orcas and sea lions as nimble as Maradona on a good day.

german flag shutterstock 139843417Germany

 berlin aquarium shutterstock 155965340

Berlin aquarium 




Some decent wreck diving but the viz is poor and some interesting inland sites in old mines and the like, but do as most German divers do - get on a plane for the Red Sea. Berlin has a good aquarium if you like thaty sort of thing.

DUTCH FLAG  shutterstock 100853866HOLLAND


dutch dyke shutterstock 71217580Dutch dyke

Despite most of the country actually being lower than sea level, this is not the place to go diving. They drained out all the water! 

Greece flag shutterstock 137708714Greece

Last 16


agean shutterstock 152782523Yellow sponges in the Agean Sea

People do dive here despite there being little to see besides a few sponges and some wrecks older than the national football team.


uruguay flag shutterstock 190003988URUGUAY
LAST 16 


 hand uruguayPunto del Este

After a lot of searching we found one dive centre in Punto del Este - but it seems the area is better known for the rather weird sculputure of a hand coming out of the sand rather than its diving. Got through that without one pun about biting!!!

nigeria flag shutterstock 179471639NIGERIA 


oilrig nigeria shutterstock 88735852

Oil rig, Lagos, Nigeria

A quick check of expat websites confirms this another non-runner. The oil industry has polluted the murky waters and one joker suggested the only reason to take up scuba was to avoid the kidnappers!

chile flagshutterstock 106821584Chile 


pengiun shutterstock 99185369

It might have one of the longest coast lines in the world but it is probably best to leaving the diving to the penguins - the water is cold.

belgium flag shutterstock 186773066Belgium

LAST 16 


belgium-chocs shutterstock 128031911Belgium chocolates

Better for choclates than diving - the North Sea is about the same colour.

algeria AlGERIA
LAST 16 


sarhara shutterstock 146673251Sunset in the Sahara

It's neighbour Egypt might have some of the best diving in the world, sadly Algeria is not so blessed. Perhaps some of the Med at its worst. Great sand dunes, though!



Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

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DIVE Partners

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