Oliver Lynch

Oliver Lynch

Long time traveller who is all about food, language and doing random stuff. Also writes screenplays and drinks lot of beer.

Bucket List: Go Scuba Diving

Going scuba diving is a fantastic way to literally see a whole new world! And with so many places to do it, where should you go to tick this off your bucket list?

It’s a cliche but there really is another world beneath the waves. Seeing it by snorkelling is great fun and obviously affordable, but to really feel immersed in this world? You gotta go scuba diving!

If you’re in good health and have no issues with blood pressure, asthma or any other breathing problems then you should be fine to go scuba diving. All dive schools will get you to sign a health waiver so if you’re planning on going make sure you can answer NO to all the questions on the form.

If they don’t get you to sign the waiver then you’re probably best advised to walk away. Or at least check that they have all correct certification and insurances to take you diving.

Experience a whole new world / pic: Luca Telles

Do I Need To Be Trained To Go Scuba Diving?

If you want to go for a one off dive, no you do not need any certification. The dive leader will do a few hours of training and theory with you, often in a swimming pool and then take you off to dive.

If you want to dive on your own you will need to get a PADI certificate.

The standard course is an open water certificate which means that you can turn up anywhere, hire the equipment and dive on your own. It’ll take around 2-5 days. Costs vary depending where you do the course but budget around the US$250 mark in most places.

If you want to go deeper or become an instructor there are different courses including advanced open water and dive master. Expect to pay around US$2000 and spend a few months diving to become a dive master.

How Much Does It Cost To Go Scuba Diving?

Costs vary depending on where you are. Some of the cheapest diving is in Thailand, The Philippines or Bali where you can do one dive for around US$30. In the Caribbean or Europe the price rises to around US$70-90 for one dive.

When you take into account the cost of maintaining equipment, time to train you, boat hire, fuel for the boat, insurances and personnel, you can see why the price varies massively.

Budget around US$70 for a dive which includes a mornings training and around 40 mins- 1 hour dive time. Many places will do a deal on doing more dives in a day.

In popular scuba diving areas there are often many places offering scuba diving packages. Although the price won’t vary massively in these places it still pays to shop around.

Wreck diving / pic: GGungpa0

Where Are The Best Places To Go Scuba Diving?

There’s a lot of sea in the world which means there’s a lot of choice to tick scuba diving off your bucket list. Warm water tends to invite coral and more sealife. It’s also more pleasant to dive in tropical climes than temperate.

Realistically though, you can dive anywhere from Norway to Nicaragua to New Zealand.

These are some of the worlds most popular places to go diving.

Close encounters as standard / ic: JackMac34

Koh Tao, Thailand

One of the most popular places in the world to get your diving certification, Koh Tao is dive city. There are more than 30 dive schools and touts will often try and collar you on the boat over or at the port when you arrive. If you plan to do several dives or get your certification, the schools will often do you a competitive package price.

Bali, Indonesia

Another Asian hotspot, Bali and the Gili Islands have a stunning array of sea life and a glut of places to see them. Similar to Koh Tao/Thailand there are many options for dive schools so shop around for the best deals.

Mozambique

One of the best places to go scuba diving in Africa, Mozambique’s long coastline means there are several spectacular places to go scuba diving. One of the benefits of diving in Mozambique is the likelihood of seeing bigger sea life like dolphins, turtles and manatees. Head to Praia de Tofo or Quirimbas. It’s also close to Asia cheap.

Zanzibar and Mafia Islands, Tanzania

One of the amazing things about Tanzania is not just the sea life. But also the fact that there will be so few divers you’ll probably have a whole dive site to yourself! A key factor when diving is often that there are at least a few other dive companies doing the same run at the same time.

Both Tanzania and Kenya have great diving but relatively few tourists heading there.

Central America

Pretty much all points along the Central American mainland has exceptional diving and lots of places to choose from. From Mexico to Belize to Nicaragua to Costa Rica… Take your pick.

Roatan in Honduras is a particular diving hotspot with stunning coral reefs and diverse wildlife. Ambergris Caye in Belize is another stunning reef location with the notorious Great Blue Hole located nearby. Bocas del Torro in Panama also has lots of stunning diving.

Roatan, Honduras / pic: Annamos

Malta

This tiny little island in the Mediterranean is surrounded by incredible and accessible dive sites. Many of them you don’t even need a boat to get to!

Pretty much all the tourist areas such as St Pauls and Sliema/St Julians will have dive schools advertising their wares in all the hotels. It’s also one of the cheapest places to go diving in Europe.

Greece

With all those beautiful islands and all that rugged coastline, of course Greece has dive sites to die for. Popular destinations like Santorini, Crete, Zakynthos and Rhodes will have dive schools advertising in all the main hot spots.

You can get away from the crowds too, even in places like Crete.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Probably the Mecca of diving, the Great Barrier Reef is the picture postcard diving destination. It’s not the cheapest but you’re guaranteed to see some of the most diverse sea life anywhere in the world.

Head to places like Cairns, Townsville or Airlie Beach for a broad choice of dive schools.

Great Barrier Reef / pic: FraukeFeind

Key West and Florida, USA

The whole of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean from Texas to Key West offers great choice for scuba diving. But Key West, off the coast of Florida offers some of the best. With it’s Caribbean laid back vibe, Key West has some excellent wreck diving as well as phenomenal sea life.

Other Excellent Places To Go Scuba Diving

Besides those listed above, the following also offer amazing diving options.

  • The Philippines/Boracay
  • Malaysia/Borneo
  • The Maldives
  • Cape Verde Islands
  • Ecuador
  • Brazil
  • The Pacific Islands (inc: Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa)
  • The Caribbean Islands (inc: Jamaica, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent, Aruba)
  • Turkey
  • Croatia
  • Balaeric Islands; Spain (Ibiza, Mallorca)

So wherever you’re going, take a look at the options to tick scuba diving off your bucket list.

If you think we should add anywhere to our list of awesome places to go scuba diving, feel free to comment below or email us at hello@gonetravelling.co.uk.


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