Five Great Places to Go Scuba Diving in Pakistan
Boats float just offshore of Charna Island, a diving hotspot in Pakistan.
Pakistan's unique underwater realm is a paradise for scuba divers looking for an off-the-beaten-path diving experience. The Arabian Sea coast, which stretches from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman, is home to fascinating shipwrecks and colorful reefs. These sites offer a unique window into the strange, beautiful world hundreds of feet beneath the sea's surface—just waiting to be explored.
1. Astola Island
The country's largest offshore island is also its first marine protected area. Suitable for snorkelers and open water divers alike, it bustles with various coral species, dolphins, whales, and a variety of fish, including barracuda and trevally. Green sea turtles can also be seen nesting and laying eggs on the north shore of the island. Lucky divers may even find themselves sharing the waters with the humpback whale.
Among the deep water attractions is a shipwreck nearly two miles offshore, known as the Astola wreck. It has naturally become a reef overtime, attracting a variety of marine animals that make diving here a must-do experience.
2. Charna Island
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to witness that scene in "Finding Nemo" where jellyfish coat the ocean? You can at Charna Island in Karachi's Arabian Sea. Pink jellyfish aggregate here by the thousands, forming an unrepeatable encounter. If you're lucky, you may also witness dolphins and sharks making an appearance. Around November each year, depending on the water temperature, thousands of whiptail stingrays release eggs and breed.
Pakistan’s shoreline stretches along the Arabian Sea
Charna Island is reliably one of Pakistan's most popular scuba diving sites. Traveling to the island is as thrilling as racing through the heart of the sea at 15 to 30 knots on board a speedboat like James Bond. The journey takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes from Creek Marina, an ocean-front residential development located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, or from Mubarak Village, a fishing town featuring hills and sandy beaches.
3. Kaio Island
Divers and snorkelers of all skill levels can experience a marine world that is still relatively untouched at Kaio Island. The 90-foot deep reef, located in the Arabian Sea, east of the Pasni district of Balochistan, provides interactions with a diverse array of fish and invertebrates. Heading downshore towards the Gaddani ship-breaking yard—the world's third largest ship-breaking yard—you can see the coast lined with rusting wreckage of ship hulls and gigantic vessels that once dominated the sea. Topside also offers breathtaking views of rocky cliffs that face the Hub River from the Gaddani and Cape Monze Beaches.
4. Regal Sun
West of Karachi Harbor in Pakistan's Sindh province lies a shipwreck diver's paradise. During the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war, a shipwreck known as the Regal Sun is thought to have been sunk by a missile in 60 feet of water. The ship is mostly shattered, with all three masts collapsed and large pieces scattered around. Split in half by a large rock in the middle, the wreck is divided into two parts. The bow, the ship's most forward section, is still standing. More experienced divers can enter the wreck.
Hawksbay is a 12-mile beach that extends west from Manora Point at the tip of Karachi Harbor. The coast is made up of creeks, shallow tidal lagoons and mangroves, but here, snorkeling or scuba diving, reveals sightings of the stars of the show: yellowtail fish. Turtle nesting areas are known to exist along Hawks Bay, west of the grounding site. The uninhabited and uncrowded underwater portals—scattered across the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi—with pristine islands, pelagic sightings and a high density of fish life make diving in Pakistan a experience.
Are you ready to step up, help save the ocean, and #LiveUnfiltered at the same time? Sign up for a PADI Open Water Diver course now.