Scuba diving allows us to explore the world below the waves in exotic, picturesque, and awe-inspiring locations that are both close to home and throughout the world.
Scuba diving equipment and diving know-how allows you to explore as deep as 130 feet (40 meters) underwater, but most of the world’s popular diving sites are between 40 and 100 feet (12.1 to 30.5 meters) deep.
For most divers, it’s not the depth that counts, but the quality of the dive. No matter what your diving experience is or the depth of dive that you are most comfortable with, there are plenty of awe-inspiring diving attractions for you to explore.
For some of them, you don’t even need your scuba gear because they are shallow enough to enjoy with just a snorkel, goggles, and flippers.
Here you will learn about some of the most popular diving sites around the world and throughout the United States. There is also information about the world’s best dives that you can enjoy at any depth.
Scuba Diving Attractions Around The Globe and Their Depth
1. The Great Blue Hole in Belize
Popularised by famed marine explorer Jaques Cousteau in 1971, the Great Blue Hole is popular with recreational divers for the variety of fish and sharks that can be spotted in its clear, blue waters. This includes midnight parrotfish, Caribbean reef shark, bull shark, and hammerhead shark.
The hole is actually a series of karst limestone formations with three distinct ledges at different depths:
- 69 feet (21 meters),
- 161 feet (49 meters),
- and the bottom at 299 feet (91 meters).
Although famed for its natural beauty and unique formations, it can be deadly. In 2018, an expedition sent two submarines into the hole to map its interior. At the bottom, the explorers found the bodies of two divers who had died some time ago.
2. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia
The world’s biggest coral reef system is also one of the most beautiful. Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of north-eastern Australia, it is the world’s largest structure made by living organisms (coral polyps) and it can be seen from space!
The reef system boasts many spectacular dive locations that are popular with tourists. You can dive both shallow and deep, but the average depth is 115 feet (35 meters).
If you snorkel or dive along the Great Barrier Reef, you might spot a colorful clownfish, green sea turtle, red-bass, or coral trout. You might even see a dugong, humpback whale, or even an Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin.
3. Bora Bora in French Polynesia
Although Bora Bora is a famed luxury tourist haven in the Pacific Ocean, it is also a spectacular diving location that boasts crystal-clear waters populated by sharks and rays. The diving spots are around 80 feet (24.3 meters) deep.
The island’s lagoon is one of its most popular attractions, with coral reefs that are home to many species of colorful fish including barracuda and a number of sharks.
4. Barracuda Point in Malaysia
Barracuda Point at Sipadan Island in Malaysia is, as its name suggests, the dive spot to go if you want to see a thousand-strong shoal of barracuda fish. It is sometimes so intense that it blocks out the rays of the sun!
With depths ranging from 80 to 130 feet (24.3 to 40 meters), you can see a glorious array of marine life including parrotfish, sea turtles, and hammerhead sharks.
With strong currents, it’s a great place to drift along and enjoy the view.
5. USAT Liberty Wreck at Bali in Indonesia
Accessible shipwrecks always make popular dive sites and the USAT Liberty is no exception. The vessel was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-66 in January 1942 and, during her savage, was beached on Bali’s eastern shore at Tulamben.
Thanks to tremors from the eruption of nearby Mount Agung, it slipped off the beach and now lies on an underwater sand ledge that is between 20 to 100 feet (7.6 to 30.5 meters) deep.
With different dive depths for you to enjoy, the USAT Liberty is one of Indonesia’s most popular dive spots. If you go, make your way to the gun turrets where you can see coral growing along the barrels.
Common Depth of Diving Attractions in The US
The United States has many spectacular dive sites that attract hordes of tourists each year. This chart names and identifies how deep they go.
|Attraction||Location||Depth (feet)||Depth (meters)|
|Monterey Bay||California||40 – 80||12 – 24.3|
|John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park||Florida||70||21.3|
|Dry Tortugas National Park||Florida||up to 200||61|
|South Padre Island||Texas||90||27.4|
|Browning Wall||Port Hardy, British Columbia||40 – 250||12 – 76.2|
|HMCS Yukon||San Diego, California||105||32|
|Five Caves||Makena, Maui, Hawaii||45||16.5|
|Strawberry Wall||Strawberry Island, Washington||140||42.6|
|Bonne Terre Mine||Bonne Terre, Missouri||40 – 60||12 – 18.2|
|Forest City||Tobermory, Ontario||up to 150||45|
|Dutch Springs||Bethlehem, Pennsylvania||100||30.5|
|USS Oriskany||Pensacola, Florida||80||14.3|
|USS Spiegel Grove||Key Largo, Florida||80||14.3|
|USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg||Key West, Florida||165||50.3|
|U-352||Cape Lookout, North Carolina||115||35|
|USTS Texas Clipper||South Padre Island, Texas||132||40.2|
|USCG Duane||Key Largo, Florida||120||36.5|
What Are The Best Dives For Every Depth?
With a range of depths from as shallow as 10 feet (three meters) to as deep as 130 feet (40 meters), you can use this list to help you choose which dive is best for you.
|Depth (feet / meters)||Dive site||Location|
|10 / 3||Blue Heron Bridge||Forida, USA|
|20 / 6||Samurai Pier||Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea|
|30 / 9.1||Dos Ojos Cenote||Riviera Maya, Mexico|
|40 / 12.19||Blue Corner||Palau|
|50 / 15.2||Benwood||Key Largo, Florida|
|60 / 18.2||First Cathedral||Lanai, Hawaii|
|70 / 21.3||Wolf Island||Galapagos|
|80 / 24.3||Shark Airport||Tubbataha, Philippines|
|90 / 27.5||SS Thistlegorm Wreck||Red Sea, Egypt|
|100 / 30.4||Karpata||Bonaire Island|
|110 / 33.5||Odyssey Wreck||Roatan, Bay Islands|
|120 / 36.5||Kaleidoscope||Raja Ampat, Indonesia|
|130 / 39.6||Nippo Maru||Truk Lagoon, Chuuk|
With popular, interesting, and beautiful diving sites throughout the world, there is something for everyone, no matter what depth you are comfortable diving to or whether you have scuba certification.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.