There are two types of divers in the world: Those who have been to the Great Barrier Reef, the Florida Keys and Palau, and those who are currently saving up every last vacation day and Holiday bonus to get there. Whether it’s your first time off the boat or you have hundreds of dives under your weight belt, these three dive spots offer pristine waters, high visibility and an ocean of opportunity for exploration.
The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia
The word “great” hardly seems to encapsulate the magnitude of this reef system, which covers more than 134,000-square miles
and is the largest in the world. The coral at its foundation is actually so large that it can even be seen from outer space. But aside from the approximately 2,900 individual reefs
and 350 species of coral, divers venture from all over the world to check out this diving mecca for its marine life, to catch a glimpse of some of the other “greats,” such as the humpback whale.
Visibility: Ranges from 30 to 120 feet, but increases to more than 200 feet in the Coral Sea.
Water Temperature: 68o F in winter, up to 90o F in summer.
You Might See: Dwarf minke whales, giant clams, large Pacific manta ray, grouper, sea turtles, white-tip or black-tip reef sharks, clown fish.
The Florida Keys in the U.S.
The mantra “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem” will start to resonate once you’re traveling on U.S. 1 or the Overseas Highway to the Florida Keys, past the seemingly endless blue-green landscape to your right and left. Although shoes are optional, fins are necessary if you plan to dive in and explore some of the best local spots in the Florida Keys for diving, such as Key Largo and Islamorada. Visibility:
Average is close to 60 to 80 feet, but increases to 120 feet on clear days. Water Temperature:
F in winter, up to mid-80o
F in the summer. You Might See:
More than 600 varieties of fish, as well as stingrays, nurse sharks and spotted and green moray eels.
Located just 500 miles from the Philippines and Indonesia, Palau is an island chain in Micronesia made up of more than 350 islands. The trip is well worth the trek for divers from afar, as its waters are home to more than 1,300 species of fish and more than 800 species of coral and sponges. In addition, advanced divers will enjoy exploring the caves and Word War II wreckage, such as the World War II aircraft Jake Seaplane
that sits on top of a reef under 60 feet of water.
Visibility: More than 100 feet of visibility.
Water Temperature: Ranges anywhere from 70o F to 85o F throughout the year.
You Might See: Black-tip sharks, hammerhead sharks, sailfish and yellowfin tuna.
No matter where you dive, remember to look into insurance for your diving trip. It will cover you for hyperbaric chamber treatments if you need one in a medical emergency situation.
Where is your favorite dive spot? Tell us in the comments below.