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12 Most Beautiful Places to Learn How to Scuba Dive

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Scuba Diving

Did you know that there are approximately 1.2 million scuba divers worldwide? Are you contemplating learning how to scuba dive?

In this article, you’ll learn some of the most beautiful places to go scuba diving for the first time. Read on so you don’t miss out on these top destinations where you’ll have a blast learning to scuba dive.

1. The British Virgin Islands

When you’re looking for the best places to dive for beginners, the British Virgin Islands should be top of the list. Not only can you check out some shipwrecks underwater, but it’s a great beach destination as well.

You can head to the south shore of Tortola to see different islands, reefs, and protected coastline. RMS Rhone is a popular destination for beginners as well. Before scuba diving, it’s vital you read here about how deep you can scuba dive to better understand diving.

2. Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands, Indonesia

You can head to Indonesia and check out the warm and clear waters near Gili Trawangan. You can see thousands of marine species such as turtles, pygmy seahorses, reef sharks, and corals.

Since the competition for scuba diving classes is high, the fees are low on this island. It’s best to avoid November-April since that’s the rainy season.

3. Koh Chang, Thailand

Thailand is great when you’re looking to learn how to scuba dive on a budget. There are plenty of gorgeous dive sites and plenty of dive operators. When you’re done with the class you can meet other travelers and enjoy the nightlife.

For smaller class sizes you’ll want to check out Koh Chang.

4. Ko Tao, Thailand

Ko Tao is one of the few places in the world to see whale sharks. You’ll want to head here March or April to see them. Here in Ko Tao, you’ll also see rays, barracuda, reef sharks, and plenty of tropical fish.

Ko Tao is a laid-back and relaxed vibe. Diving is year-round, July through September are great times to go for excellent visibility. Some locations are closed during the rainy season of November and December.

5. The Red Sea, Egypt

Many will dive in the main dive center which is Sharm El-Sheikh, but for a less crowded experience head to Dahab. You can see beautiful coral reefs not far from the beach. Shore diving has great visibility and some of the best in the world is here. The best time to go is between October and April since it gets extremely hot other times.

6. Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

In Utila, you’ll enjoy the beautiful Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Sadly over-fishing has been a problem in this area, but when you’re new at scuba diving you won’t even notice.

The diving is great at Roatan as well, but for a better price you can check out Utila. Diving is enjoyed year-round but the best times to visit are March, April, or September through December.

While here during these times, you can spot plenty of whale sharks.

7. North Male Atoll, Maldives

North Male Atoll is filled with beautiful dive sites. The coral is healthy even though bleaching is a problem here. There’s plenty of tropical marine life to check out here. Don’t miss out on Manta Point, Kuda Haa, and Banana Reef.

You can dive year-round here but the best times are November through April. The water is calmer and the ocean currents attract manta rays.

8. The Visayas, Philippines

The Philippines is a great place for island escapes which equals great beaches and plenty to do on land as well. You can see plenty of marine life while you’re earning your dive certification. Don’t miss out on Malapascua and Negros Islands.

9. Klein Bonaire

This small island is located in the western part of Bonaire, which is in the Caribbean. It has calm and protected waters plus beautiful coral reeds. You can do shore dives so many of the diving sites are easy to get to without having to worry about renting a car or boat.

10. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is a dream location for many divers. It’s a popular location and you can obtain your PADI Open Water Certification here. You can enjoy hundreds of coral, fish, and dugongs (sea cows). The Great Barrier Reef is sadly in trouble due to climate change.

So if you’re thinking of heading here, do it sooner than later.

11. Port Vila, Efat, Vanuatu

In Port Vila, you can check out many easily accessible shipwrecks and coral reefs. Once you’re certified you can head over to Santo Island. You can check out the SS President Coolidge which is one of the world’s top wreck dives at Santo Island.

You can enjoy diving year-round here, and the most popular time is April through October. The water is extremely calm and clear during this time.

12. Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Santa Cruz is located where 3 ocean currents meet for a great diving experience. There are sea lions, hammerhead sharks, turtles, rays, and marine iguanas. There isn’t much coral here but the marine life will keep you entertained.

You can dive at Santa Cruz year-round, but January through May is the best weather, especially for cruising the area.

The Best Places to Learn How to Scuba Dive

While there are several places to learn how to scuba dive, some locations such as the ones listed here are some of the best places to check out whether you’re looking for affordability or beauty.

Would you like to read more about traveling around the world? Check out our other articles.

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