11 Best Dive Locations in the World

Ultimate diving vacations to take in 2024

Discover the depths of the best dive locations in the world! Here are some of our favourite bucket list trips and hidden gems of the underwater realm. From the azure waters of the Mediterranean to the vibrant coral gardens of the Pacific, we’ve compiled a list of the best diving vacations and best freediving destinations in the world…

  1. Gozo Island, Malta
  2. Maldives
  3. Eua Island, Tonga
  4. Timor-Leste
  5. Caribbean
  6. Cairns, Australia
  7. Komodo Island
  8. Raja Ampat
  9. Fiji
  10. Amed, Bali
  11. Kilsby Sinkhole, Australia

1. Gozo, Malta

Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Gozo is a diver’s ultimate paradise boasting crystal-clear waters that beckon explorers into a mesmerizing world of underwater caves and ancient shipwrecks. Its unique geological formations, including natural arches and towering cliffs, create a dramatic underwater landscape that’s perfect for both beginner and experienced freedivers alike. The island’s rich maritime history adds an extra layer of intrigue, with numerous shipwrecks dating back centuries waiting to be explored. From the majestic Blue Hole to the hauntingly beautiful Inland Sea, Gozo offers an unrivaled opportunity to delve into the mysteries of the deep. 

Explore all the best dive sites and stay tuned for more Freediving Malta Retreats where you’ll experienc diving conditions just like this.

Best freediving Malta

2. Maldives

Renowned for its tropical islands and abundant marine life, the Maldives is a true underwater paradise. Situated in the heart of the Indian Ocean, this archipelago of over 1,000 coral islands offers some of the most pristine diving conditions in the world. With warm, clear waters teeming with colorful fish and vibrant coral reefs, it’s no wonder diving Maldives is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that you’ll do multiple times! The Maldives is a chance to encounter gentle giants like whale sharks and manta rays, reef sharks, tiger sharks, super pods of hundreds of playful dolphins and all the creatures that frequent the area’s nutrient-rich waters; see for yourself. Whether you’re exploring the shallow lagoons or venturing into the depths of the open ocean, the Maldives promises to be one of the best freediving experiences.

Our top pick: explore multiple reefs and islands on this all-inclusive Scuba and Freediving vacation.

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3. Eua Island, Tonga

We can’t go without mentioning the ultimate Humpback Tonga Trip. Located in the South Pacific, Eua Island in Tonga offers a truly magical freediving experience, particularly for those seeking intimate encounters with humpback whales. Each year, these majestic creatures migrate to the warm waters of Tonga to breed and nurse their young, providing divers with a rare opportunity to witness their behavior up close. The crystal-clear waters surrounding Eua Island also offer excellent visibility, allowing divers to admire the intricate coral formations and vibrant marine life that inhabit the area. Whether you’re swimming alongside whales or exploring the island’s underwater caves and caverns, Eua Island is sure to leave a lasting impression on any traveller in search of the best freediving adventure.

Don’t miss the next migration. Check out this all-inclusive trip in October 2024!

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4. Timor-Leste

Tucked away in the heart of Southeast Asia, Timor-Leste is a hidden gem for freedivers seeking adventure off the beaten path. What sets this destination apart is its incredible biodiversity, both above and below the waterline. While the country’s lush rainforests and rugged landscapes are certainly worth exploring, it’s the underwater world that truly steals the show. Timor-Leste’s nutrient-rich waters attract a wide variety of marine life, from colorful reef fish to majestic blue whales, the biggest on earth. Not to mention, Beaked, Humpback, Sperm, Orca, Short-finned Pilot, Melon-headed and dolphin super pods of thousands. Freedivers can explore vibrant coral reefs, underwater caves, and drop-offs that plunge into the abyss, offering a thrilling glimpse into the ocean’s depths.

Fancy an exclusive island experience? Check out this epic Timor-Leste trip!

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5. Caribbean

In the heart of the Caribbean Sea lies the idyllic Virgin Islands, a perfect playground for divers seeking warm waters and colorful marine life. With shallow reefs and calm, clear waters, these islands offer the perfect environment for both beginners and experienced divers alike. The island’s diverse underwater ecosystem is home to an abundance of marine life, including vibrant coral gardens, playful sea turtles, and schools of tropical fish. Whether you’re exploring the wreck of the RMS Rhone or swimming through a bustling reef teeming with life, the Caribbean promises an unforgettable diving experience.

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6. Cairns, Australia

Located in the tropical north of Queensland, is a mecca for freedivers drawn to the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest coral reef system on the planet, stretching over 2,300 kilometers along the coast. Freedivers can explore a vast underwater playground filled with colorful coral gardens, intricate reef formations, and a dazzling array of marine life. From the vibrant fish of the shallows to the majestic creatures of the open ocean, the Great Barrier Reef offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. For those seeking a truly immersive experience, Cairns also boasts pristine freshwater lakes surrounded by lush rainforest, providing a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the coast and an ideal place to undertake freediving courses.

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7. Komodo Island National Park

For adventurers looking to explore untouched marine wilderness, a Komodo Liveaboard is the ultimate diving vacation. Situated in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, this remote archipelago is home to some of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on the planet. Divers can embark on liveaboard expeditions to explore pristine coral reefs, vibrant underwater seascapes, and a kaleidoscope of marine life. From graceful manta rays to majestic sea turtles, Komodo offers encounters with some of the ocean’s most iconic inhabitants; take a look. With its crystal-clear waters and dramatic volcanic landscapes, this untouched marine paradise is a must-visit for any ocean lover.

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8. Raja Ampat

Located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, Raja Ampat is a true jewel of the Coral Triangle. The best way to explore all this region has to offer is via an iconic Raja Ampat Liveaboard. This remote archipelago is renowned for its staggering marine biodiversity, with over 1,500 species of fish and 600 species of coral calling its waters home. Freedivers can explore vibrant coral reefs, intricate underwater seascapes, and hidden caverns teeming with life. From encounters with gentle whale sharks to sightings of elusive pygmy seahorses, Raja Ampat offers a truly immersive underwater experience. With its remote location and pristine waters, this underwater Eden is a dream destination for freedivers seeking adventure and discovery.

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9. Fiji

Diving Fiji is like plunging into a treasure chest brimming with marine wonders. Picture yourself gliding through crystal-clear waters, becoming one with the vibrant world beneath the waves. As you dive deeper, you’re greeted by a parade of playful dolphins, curious and cheeky. Glide past corals bursting with color, where tiny, neon-colored fish dart and dance. Don’t be surprised if a gentle sea turtle or curious whale sends a casual nod your way. And for the grand finale? A majestic manta soars overhead. This is a typical underwater party when diving Fiji. 

We found this hidden gem in Savusavu with all-inclusive freediving courses, complete with beachfront resort accommodation. Or climb aboard this epic all-inclusive Fiji island hopping trip in October 2024!

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10. Amed, Bali

Located on the northeastern coast of Bali, Amed is a hidden gem for divers. Away from the hustle and bustle but with all the famous Balinese flavours and delights. Explore colorful coral gardens, swim alongside schools of tropical fish, and encounter larger marine species such as reef sharks and manta rays. With its laid-back atmosphere and stunning underwater scenery, Amed is an affordable and diverse escape drawing in freedivers from around the world, all year long. Check our favourite upcoming Bali Freediving Festivals!

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11. Kilsby Sinkhole, Australia

Mt Gambier in South Australia is renowned for its extraordinary sinkholes, which offer a unique diving experience. These underwater caves and tunnels, filled with crystal-clear freshwater, are geological wonders formed by the dissolution of limestone. Divers flock to sites like Kilsby Sinkhole and Little Blue Lake to explore their submerged depths. These locations are not just diving spots but also windows into the Earth’s natural history, providing both thrilling adventures and insights into ancient aquatic ecosystems. Many sinkholes are on provate property, so you’ll need to dive with a guide to experience these Aussie Cenotes.

Visit all the best freediving sinkholes, lakes and dive locations on this Kilsby adventure.

Best Freediving Kilsby Sinkhole

Ready to dive the world?

Explore the best dive locations and diving vacations with instant bookings, free cancellation and ethical adventures! Your bucket list adventures await…

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Humpbacks, whale sharks, orcas, pilots, sperm, blue whales

  • Tiger sharks, reef sharks, bull sharks, nurse sharks

  • Dolphin super-pods & marine megafauna

  • caves, wrecks & thriving reefs

Bucket List Adventures

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