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 offer
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
People do dive here despite there being little to see besides a few sponges and some wrecks older than the national football team.
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!!!
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!
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.
Better for choclates than diving - the North Sea is about the same colour.
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!