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The Best Places in the World to Dive

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Want to know the best places to dive in the world? Don't take our word for it, but check out the winners of DIVE's annual poll. Our readers have voted for their favourite destination and here is the Top 10…

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1) INDONESIA

The clear winner for the second year in the row was Indonesia - the largest archipelago in the world with more than 17,000 islands scattered over 1,919,440 sq km has a vast number of world-class dive sites. From the north of Sulawesi with the wild reefs of Bunaken and the home of muck diving in Lembeh to thriving marine park of Komodo; from the wrecks of Bali to the untouched coral of Raja Ampat - this is the best of the best. 

Dream dives…

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Articles not to miss

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 RAJA AMPAT: PARADISE REGAINED by Douglas David Seifert

The incredible story of how local conservation efforts have secured the future for what many believe to be the most abundant and beautiful reefs in the world. Stunning images!

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 Lembeh: A Photographer's Paradise by Louise Murray

Why do the world’s best underwater photographers flock to a narrow stretch of water less than a mile wide in Indonesia?

 

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2) The Philippines

The Philippines has it all - stunning walls, dramatic drop-offs, healthy reefs, pelagic superstars such as thresher sharks and whale sharks, fascinating muck diving, historic wrecks… In fact, we are only just starting to appreciate the potential of the diving on offer across the7,107 islands that make up this archipelago at the heart of the Coral Triangle.

Dream Dives

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DIVE GUIDE | THE PHILIPPINES

DIVE's essential guide to exploring the Philippines including the top dive sites, a rundown of the various geographical locations, the marine life, the wrecks of Coron Bay and much more.

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PHILIPPINES: ISLANDS AND CURRENTS By Douglas David Seifert

Douglas thinks the Philippines offers the best value and most accessible quality diving in the Coral Triangle - here are his reasons why.

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3) THE AZORES

It just goes to show how fanatical the supporters of this relatively small and rarely visited group of islands in the middle of the North Atlantic are that it landed third spot in our poll. Approximately 1,300km west of Portugal these nine volcanic islands surrounded by deep ocean offer some unique diving and underwater experiences. From encounters with blue sharks to some stunning wrecks; great manta,  mobula and devil rays sites and some of the best whale watching on the planet. 

Dream Dives

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ATLANTIC ADVENTURE WITH CAVERNS, WRECKS AND MANTAS by Joe Cocozza and Jill Heinerth 

Two tech divers check out the wrecks and caverns to be found on these isolated volcanic islands.

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LIFE IS RICH - Göran Ehlmé

Swedish action and wildlife film-maker talks about the shooting sperm whales in the Azores. Great video.

 

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4) Mexico

Where else could you meet the colourful toadfish hiding in healthy coral gardens, or swim with the largest known aggregation of whale sharks on the planet, or enter the underworld in mysterious but easily accessible freshwater caves, or get face-to-face with great white sharks in clear blue water? Mexico is full of surprises and delights - the ultimate bucket list destination.

Dream dives

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Articles not to miss

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DIVE GUIDE | MEXICO

DIVE's full guide to the underwater wonders of Mexico - where to go, what to see, top videos, useful marine life guides and excellent maps.

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MEXICAN FEAST by Alejandro Prieto

A visual feast from one of Mexico's top underwater photographers.


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5) Maldives

For many, these scattering or coral atolls rising from the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean, are the dream dive destination. White sand beaches, dramatic coral walls, exciting channel dives and schools and schools of fish. The night dive alone on Maaya Tila with the packs of ravenous whitetip reef sharks, is enough by itself to warrant the Maldives making the Top 10 DIVE list.

Dream dives

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Articles not to miss

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DANCE OF THE MANTAS by Douglas David Seifert

Why do the mantas gather in such large numbers in Baa Atoll? Awesome images.

 

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6) Egypt

Swirling masses of anthias around an outcrop on a steep and dramatic wall which is saturated with soft corals and brimming with life: the classic Red Sea dive scene. But there is lots more - some of the best, diveable wrecks; oceanic whitetip sharks honing in on a lone liveaboard, bumphead wrasse gathering in the coral gardens of St John's, the vast summer schools of fish of Ras Mohammed. From Sinai down to the borders of Sudan there are endless diving adventures in the Red Sea.

Dream WRECK dives

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Articles not to miss

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EXPLORING THE RED SEA BY LIVEABOARD by Mark 'Crowley' Russell

Great tips on discovering the Red Sea by liveaboard written with the help of experience boat guide Anders Jälmsjö.

 

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7) Bahamas

All the great photographs you have seen of tiger sharks and great hammerheads have been taken with the white sands of the Bahamas as the backdrop. The home of shark diving plus top wrecks and wonderful reefs.

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Articles not to miss

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BAHAMAS | TOP DIVES

Part of DIVE's Guide to the Bahamas - our top dives sites from shark diving in Bimini to the wreck of the Comberbach in Long Island.

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BAHAMAS' CRYSTAL MAZE by Brian Kakuk

Diving a world never meant to be seen. The stunning crystal caves of the Bahamas.

 

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8) Thailand

The Andaman Sea offers some world class diving and the Gulf of Thailand is one of the most popular places in the world to learn to dive or to take your diving education further.

Dream dives

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Articles not to miss

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ANDAMAN ADVENTURES by Graeme Gourlay

Laidback Koh Lanta is the gateway to the best diving in Thailand. 

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EERIE DIVING IN CHEOW LAKE by Lia Barrett

A very strange dive in a freshwater lake…

  

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9)  Fiji

Besides the soft coral glory of its pristine reefs, there is plenty of high-adrenaline diving - fancy eight species of sharks on one dive?

Dream dives

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THE WORLD'S BEST SHARK DIVE by Douglas David Seifert 

Village communities in Fiji are reaping the rewards of an extraordinary shark dive that has transformed a dead reef into a fish paradise…

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10) Papua New Guinea

One of the last truly wild diving destinations left to explore - steep walls, historic wrecks, big animal encounters and much more…

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Articles not to miss

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DIVE GUIDE | PNG by Simon Rogerson

The essential guide to the top dive spots.

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THE MICROLIFE OF MILNE BAY by Dustin Adamson

Stunning images of the weird and wonderful.

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Destinations Spotlight

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

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