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Top 10 Dive Sites

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Hi there

Can anyone tell me where the "Top 10 Dive Sites" are?

Have done "The Poor Knights" in NZ and Great Barrier Reef in Australia which apparantly are two, where are the other eight? Are there another eight?

Is there an offical Top 10 or just the Top 10 preferred???

Can anyone help me out?


According to what I read everywhere and many chats with very lucky-experienced divers, I think that to this list we could add :

1- The red sea in Egypt
2- Bora bora (french polynesian islands)
2- Cuzumel, Mexico
4- Florida Keys, USA

The question is very interesting. To me, this list would be like a list of "things to do before you die, " you know. ahahahaha !

I hope that many "lucky-experienced" divers will reply this post !!

salud !
Good dives

Don't forget Galapagos and my favourite....Port Hardy, British Columbia. Buena suerta! Erik;)
top 10

Everybody has a different list that should change depending on their lifes ( & diving ) experiences
Heres Mine
1 Truk lagoon
2 Cocos Island
3 Fiji
4 Palau
5 Yap
6 Carmel bay California
7 Monterey Bay California
8 Maldivers
9 Papa New Guinee
10 Bonair
Notice how carribeen didnt show up till last I have been to all these places & many more & Pacific diving is the best in the world
There is an organisation called CEDAM International (dedicated to marine conservation and education). In 1989 they brought out a list of the 7 Underwater Wonders of the World. These were Palau, Belize Barrier Reef, Galpagos Islands, Northern Red Sea, Lake Baikal, Great Barrier Reef and the Deep Sea Vents. You can check out more about this on
Hope this helps with your quest
top ten

Everyone does have a different top ten, but you cannot have a top ten really without The Sudan. There's a pretty good write up on www.madforscuba.com. I went last year and it is out of this world. Sharks everywhere, world class wreck and reefs to die for.:cool:
it must depend on what type of diving you want to do, the maldives is by far an excelent reef divers paradise but not many shipwrecks although i did dive an excelent one just off the airport island. malta is good for "cave & cavern" diving, and scapa flow is a wreckies heaven.:king

I am highly biased toward my own experience, however, I seem to recall something the J. Cousteau mentioned about the Red Sea being the best, and Vancouver Is. being second.

The biased voice of Van. Is.,

Doug Morgan,
Lantzville, B.C.

I thought that Cousteau rated Vancouver Island 1st., because warm water is -so- overrated. :D

Al Morgan
(no relation)
the red sea was good 10 years ago, but it is like diver soup on day boats, if you call surfacing with 30 dive boats bobing about your head good diving, go ahead waste your money!
you do get better conditions on a liveaboard but dont go if you get sea sick.
Smart Mart,

I can't say that I totally agree with you on the Red Sea.

Yup, Eilat isn't totally destroyed, Sharm-El-Sheikh is rammed full of people these days, but just 45 mins away is Dahab which is a very peaceful area (although not as many sites as Sharm).

Hurgada is a great place to go diving in and of course (as you say) liveaboards are superb.

I think I can say that everywhere has something good to offer, so long as you don't follow the main tourist trails everywhere
Hi Stephan,
I can vouch for the diving around Dahab , having worked there for the most of last year. It has around 15 divesites that are easily accessible by taxi and a couple more only reached by boat. Very good coral and prolific reeffish but nothing big apart from one nice pair of resicent Napoleon wrasse.Of course it has the Blue Hole , one of the best known and most ill reputed dive sites in the world.
Lots of plastic bags and bottles in the water unfortunately.
Not sure if I agree on the peacefullness though - found it a bit noisy with really unhigienic restaurants.
The best diving currently , in my opinion , is by liveaboard in the Sudan.
My additions to a top dive sites list would be...

Ningaloo Reef
Rowley Shoals
Abrolhos Islands

(all in Western Australia).



"Malama Pono O Ke Kai"
to any of those lists id add the

SS. President Coolidge

in Vanuatu,

in my limited (just completed rescue) experience, ive found this to best the most accesable large wreck in the world...

i learnt to dive in vanuatu and on the coolidge, and just a couple of weeks ago, bottomed out at 50m whilst diving the engine room inside this massive ship...
There are so many good dive spots, why just pick 10? If you were going to limit it to 10 it might make sense to set up some sub-categories, e.g. Price no object, or best 10 for less than $150 a day including airfare, best in the Carribean, best liveaboard, ect...
I'm going to put in my two cents worth on the "cheapest":
The Middle Keys in florida
The oil rigs of the Northern Gulf Coast
North Carolina Wrecks
THe Timberholes out of Destin Florida.
A live aboard to the Dry tortugas
Catalina Islands
Anywhere in the Yucatan South of Cancun
And believe it or not, when the conditions are right, that wreck I found with my sonar off of Dauphin Island Alabama that I haven't dove to see what it is yet. We find so much stuff that most of my 150 dives a year are on spots that I don't know what they are until I see them.
As a charter Captain, I'd rather be dropped on a new or rarely visited spot- it seems to heighten that sense of adventure that makes diving so great.
Top 10

Glad to see someone mentioned Catalina Islands. I'll assume they are referring to The Southern California Channel Islands. These are the only places (besides local shore dives) I've dived -- yet. But I can't say how often I've met people from Northern Cal or as far away as Austrailia who, with huge grins on their face, comment on how amazing it is to dive these Islands. Because they're close to LA, I think most people think they must not be good diving. I've never seen a disapointed traveler dive these islands yet. Although, as with any other place, the time to dive these islands was probably 40 years ago. :cool:
soo many..

A top 10 dive sites post is impossible for me to do.

There are thousands of divesites all around the world, and alot of them are underated, not well known.
Just imagine what great dive sites havnt even been discovered yet. There are thousands.. :eek:
Anglesey, North Wales. Cold water, cr*p vis, but plenty of wrecks and life. What more could you want? A few too many jetskis around the beaches on a decent day, but hey, what are the oars in RIBs for? They make perfect tools for seperating jetskiier from jetski!
If its actual dive sites, then I would have to include the Thistlegorm in the Red Sea. A truely awesome wreck with so much to see. Only problem is that it attracts a LOT of divers and it gets grid locked down there. If you can get to it early on a liveaboard then it is truely a special dive.
Also the shark diving at Stuart Cove's in the Bahamas is also amazing. Not sure if it's ecologically sound but watching 80+ sharks at one time is a unique feeling.
Favourite sites

My favourite dive sites:

1. Agamemnon's channel, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada (200m wall with finger sponges, gorgonian corals, 25m vis in emerald water)
2. Ogden Point breakwater, Victoria, BC, Canada
3. Secret cavern in Kas, Turkey
4. Secret bay near Lindos, on Rhodos Island, Greece
5. Norris Rocks, Hornby Island, BC, Canada, 500 sea lions in clear green water
6. Snake Island, Nanaimo, BC, Canada, 200 harbor seals
7. G.B. Church wreck, Victoria, BC, Canada


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
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