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World's Best Scuba Diving Destinations to Visit In 2024

The cenotes in Mexico, a destination winner in three categories, are an advanced-diver’s dream.

Larry Cohen

Our survey asked readers to evaluate dive destinations they’ve traveled to in the past two years across several categories. Below, we’ve listed the top destinations that were rated excellent by survey respondents (in order based on number of votes and percentile of score).

Best Overall

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Mexico
  2. Cayman Islands
  3. Bonaire
  4. Curaçao
  5. Bay Islands
  6. St. Lucia
  7. Belize
  8. St. Eustatius
  9. Aruba
  10. Bahamas
  11. U.S. Virgin Islands
  12. British Virgin Islands
  13. Turks and Caicos
  14. Dominican Republic
  15. Barbados

Pacific and Indian

  1. Indonesia
  2. Hawaii
  3. Philippines
  4. Thailand
  5. Fiji
  6. Palau
  7. Galapagos
  8. Australia
  9. French Polynesia
  10. Mexico
  11. Red Sea
  12. Maldives
  13. Costa Rica
  14. Colombia

United States and Canada

  1. Florida Keys
  2. Florida
  3. North Carolina
  4. California
  5. British Columbia
  6. Washington

The small life forms found in St. Eustatius made it a Macro category winner.

Mike Harterink

Big Animals

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Bahamas
  2. Belize
  3. Cayman Islands
  4. Turks and Caicos
  5. Mexico
  6. St. Eustatius
  7. Bay Islands
  8. U.S. Virgin Islands
  9. British Virgin Islands

Pacific and Indian

  1. Palau
  2. Galapagos
  3. Maldives
  4. French Polynesia
  5. Hawaii
  6. Indonesia
  7. Fiji
  8. Australia
  9. Mexico
  10. Costa Rica
  11. Red Sea
  12. Philippines
  13. Colombia

United States and Canada

  1. North Carolina
  2. Florida Keys
  3. Florida

Related Reading: The Best Destinations for Wreck Diving

Macro Life

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. St. Eustatius
  2. Bonaire
  3. Bay Islands
  4. Cayman Islands
  5. Curaçao
  6. Mexico
  7. St. Lucia
  8. Belize
  9. U.S. Virgin Islands
  10. Bahamas
  11. Turks and Caicos
  12. Aruba
  13. British Virgin Islands

Pacific and Indian

  1. Philippines
  2. Indonesia
  3. Fiji
  4. Palau
  5. Australia
  6. Hawaii
  7. Thailand
  8. Red Sea
  9. French Polynesia
  10. Maldives
  11. Galapagos
  12. Mexico
  13. Costa Rica

United States and Canada

  1. Washington
  2. British Columbia
  3. Florida Keys

Triton Bay gives you the rare opportunity to see a pygmy seahorse and a whale shark on the same dive.

Brandon Cole

Signature Site

Triton Bay gives you the rare opportunity to see a pygmy seahorse and a whale shark on the same dive. This place has some of the best soft corals in Indonesia and is home to a great variety of species, including endemic flasher wrasse and epaulette sharks. There’s not only variety, but also size. Somehow, the fish here seem bigger. —ALBERTO REIJA GRACIA , CO-OWNER OF DIVE DAMAI, INDONESIA

Wreck Diving

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. St. Eustatius
  2. Cayman Islands
  3. Bay Islands
  4. Aruba
  5. British Virgin Islands
  6. Bahamas
  7. St. Lucia
  8. Barbados

Pacific and Indian

  1. Red Sea
  2. Chuuk
  3. Palau
  4. Australia

United States and Canada

  1. North Carolina
  2. Florida Keys
  3. Great Lakes
  4. Florida
  5. New York/New Jersey

Cave, Cavern And Grotto

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Mexico
  2. Cayman Islands
  3. Antigua and Barbuda
  4. Belize
  5. Barbados
  6. Dominican Republic
  7. Bay Islands
  8. Bahamas

Pacific and Indian

  1. Palau
  2. Hawaii
  3. Australia
  4. Colombia
  5. Mexico
  6. American Samoa

United States and Canada

  1. Florida
  2. British Columbia

The Red Sea is known for its characterful wrecks, like the SS Carnatic, shown here.

Brandon Cole

Shore Diving

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Bonaire
  2. Curaçao
  3. Cayman Islands
  4. Bay Islands
  5. U.S. Virgin Islands
  6. St. Lucia
  7. Puerto Rico

Pacific and Indian

  1. Hawaii
  2. Philippines
  3. Indonesia
  4. Australia

United States and Canada

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. British Columbia

Wall Diving

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Cayman Islands
  2. Bay Islands
  3. Mexico
  4. Belize
  5. Turks and Caicos
  6. St. Lucia
  7. Curaçao
  8. Bonaire
  9. Bahamas
  10. St. Eustatius
  11. U.S. Virgin Islands
  12. Dominican Republic

Pacific and Indian

  1. Palau
  2. Indonesia
  3. Philippines
  4. Fiji
  5. Red Sea
  6. Galapagos
  7. Maldives
  8. French Polynesia
  9. Australia
  10. Thailand
  11. American Samoa
  12. Hawaii
  13. Mexico

United States and Canada

  1. British Columbia
  2. Washington
  3. California

Voted #1 for Big Animals in the region, the Bahamas boasts tiger sharks off Tiger Beach year-round.

Jennifer Penner

Beginner Diving

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Bonaire
  2. Bay Islands
  3. Cayman Islands
  4. Curaçao
  5. St. Eustatius
  6. St. Lucia
  7. Belize
  8. Bahamas
  9. Mexico
  10. U.S. Virgin Islands
  11. Turks and Caicos
  12. Aruba
  13. British Virgin Islands
  14. Dominican Republic
  15. Barbados

Pacific and Indian

  1. Hawaii
  2. Philippines
  3. Thailand
  4. Indonesia
  5. Fiji
  6. Australia
  7. Red Sea
  8. French Polynesia
  9. Mexico
  10. Palau
  11. Maldives

United States and Canada

  1. Florida Keys
  2. Florida

British Columbia has some of the healthiest reefs our readers have seen anywhere.

Brandon Cole

Advanced Diving

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Cayman Islands
  2. St. Eustatius
  3. Bonaire
  4. Mexico
  5. Bay Islands
  6. Belize
  7. Curaçao
  8. St. Lucia
  9. Turks and Caicos
  10. Bahamas
  11. U.S. Virgin Islands
  12. British Virgin Islands
  13. Aruba
  14. Barbados
  15. Dominican Republic

Pacific and Indian

  1. Palau
  2. Indonesia
  3. Philippines
  4. Fiji
  5. Maldives
  6. Galapagos
  7. Red Sea
  8. Hawaii
  9. French Polynesia
  10. Thailand
  11. Mexico
  12. Australia
  13. Costa Rica
  14. Colombia

United States and Canada

  1. North Carolina
  2. Florida Keys
  3. Washington
  4. Florida
  5. Great Lakes
  6. California
  7. British Columbia
  8. New York/New Jersey

It’s easy to find colorful photo subjects in Indonesia.

Kadu Pinheiro

Photography

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Bonaire
  2. Cayman Islands
  3. St. Eustatius
  4. Bay Islands
  5. Mexico
  6. Curaçao
  7. Belize
  8. St. Lucia
  9. Bahamas
  10. Turks and Caicos
  11. U.S. Virgin Islands
  12. British Virgin Islands
  13. Aruba
  14. Barbados
  15. Dominican Republic

Pacific and Indian

  1. Indonesia
  2. Palau
  3. Philippines
  4. Fiji
  5. Red Sea
  6. Maldives
  7. Hawaii
  8. Galapagos
  9. French Polynesia
  10. Australia
  11. Thailand
  12. Mexico
  13. Costa Rica

United States and Canada

  1. Florida Keys
  2. Florida
  3. North Carolina
  4. British Columbia
  5. California
  6. Washington

Snorkeling

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Bonaire
  2. Cayman Islands
  3. Curaçao
  4. Bay Islands
  5. St. Lucia
  6. U.S. Virgin Islands
  7. Mexico
  8. Bahamas
  9. Belize
  10. Puerto Rico
  11. St. Eustatius
  12. British Virgin Islands
  13. Aruba
  14. Antigua and Barbuda
  15. Dominican Republic

Pacific and Indian

  1. Hawaii
  2. French Polynesia
  3. Indonesia
  4. Fiji
  5. Philippines
  6. Maldives
  7. Australia
  8. Red Sea
  9. Palau
  10. Thailand
  11. Mexico
  12. Galapagos

United States and Canada

  1. Florida Keys
  2. Florida

Health Of Marine Environment

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. St. Eustatius
  2. Bonaire
  3. Cayman Islands
  4. St. Lucia
  5. Belize
  6. Curaçao
  7. Bay Islands
  8. Mexico
  9. Turks and Caicos
  10. Bahamas
  11. U.S. Virgin Islands
  12. Aruba
  13. British Virgin Islands
  14. Barbados
  15. Dominican Republic

Pacific and Indian

  1. Palau
  2. Galapagos
  3. Indonesia
  4. Fiji
  5. Philippines
  6. Red Sea
  7. French Polynesia
  8. Maldives
  9. Hawaii
  10. Australia
  11. Mexico
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Thailand
  14. Colombia

United States and Canada

British Columbia North Carolina Washington California Florida Keys

Related Reading: Sweet Bottom Dive Center

Superman’s Flight gets its name from the strong current often present on that reef.

Steve Jones

Signature Site

Superman’s Flight gets its name from the strong current often present on that reef. The vibrant colors here are spectacular due to the high density of corals and sponges. It’s an amazing drift dive. The site gently slopes downward, and experienced divers love exploring its depths. —CALLISTUS JACKSON , ANSE CHASTANET AND JADE MOUNTAIN RESORT, ST. LUCIA

Shallow attractions like this Christ of the Abyss Statue make the Florida Keys a prime snorkeling destination.

Tanya Burnett

Best Value

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Mexico
  2. Bay Islands
  3. St. Eustatius
  4. Belize
  5. Bonaire
  6. Dominican Republic
  7. Curaçao
  8. Bahamas

Pacific and Indian

  1. Philippines
  2. Thailand
  3. Red Sea
  4. Indonesia
  5. Mexico
  6. Costa Rica

United States and Canada

  1. North Carolina
  2. Great Lakes
  3. Florida
  4. Washington
  5. British Columbia