This is something breathtaking to cross off your bucket list. Scuba diving in one of these coral reefs will make you feel as if you’re swimming into another dimension of reality – the underwater worlds that these coral reefs carry inside of them will absolutely blow you away. So what are you waiting for? Get certified as soon as possible and dive into one of these beauties.
1. New Caledonia Barrier Reef, Australia
This is actually the second largest double barrier reef in the world! The glorious hues of the blue water – seriously unbelievable. It is located of Australia’s northeast coast with over 1,000 species of fish. Unfortunately many of these species are under threat of extinction due to man-made and natural causes – so soak in this beauty while you can!
2. Koh Tao, Thailand
This translates into Turtle Island, and it’s a jungle-topped phenomenon that lets you dive right off the shore! The neon coral background while you swim with rays and turtles will draw you into its fantasy world. Over 7000 divers get certified every year here, so if you’re looking to scuba dive, this will be paradise! You’ll feel like you’re in an episode of “Lost” in this verdant beauty.
3. Truck or Chuuk Atoll Lagoon, Eastern Caroline Islands, USA
Nowhere else in the world are there so many wrecks in close proximity, situated in shallow clear water. It also has a giant lagoon that is infamous for – infamous because it’s home to a ton of wrecks left over from World War II. It’s officially an underwater museum. If you find museums boring, we swear you’ll still be into this.
4. North Emma Reef, Papua New Guinea
The deep bommie covered in Georgian sea fans, next to delicate sea lilies make for a majestic sight. The coral saddle here is 130 feet deep, with unbelievably clear water and visibility exceeding 120 feet. If you get scared of heights, this probably isn’t the best option.
5. Belize Barrier Reef, Belize
Jacques Cousteau himself dove here in 1971, in the Great Blue Hole of the barrier reef, which is aesthetically magnificent, and 400 feet deep. The intricate underground cave system that lies beneath is breathtaking, but after sea level rose thousands of years ago, was submerged by water. Unfortunately, the attention Cousteau brought to the coast resulted in coral bleaching.
6. Great Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean
With over 55 islands, and in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the great Chagos bank is the largest coral atoll in the world. It’s also the most protected one! Inside, lies a diverse range of corals, such as the Ctenella chagius, which looks eerily like a brain, and rare species like manatees. The waters are so clean here, researchers can’t even wear sunscreen when exploring the area.
7. Andros Barrier Reef, Bahamas
At 124 miles long, this is the third longest reef in the world, allowing for some existing zones to explore within the reefs. Paddle by some mangroves to see jaw-dropping vertical cliffs that plunge into a trench called the Tongue of the Ocean and can be up to 6,000 feet deep. Or hang with some octopus and tiger sharks at different points. It has a ton of caves that are dangerous to explore, but some risk takers might like to do it.
8. Apo Reef, Philippines
This marine sanctuary is the largest reef in the Philippines, and is also home to blue and pink shades that will knock your socks off, and is often featured in dive magazines as an example of diverse marine life. Located in the South China sea on the Mindoro strait, it consists of two lagoon systems (north and south).
9. Red Sea Coral Reef, Red Sea
Between the hottest deserts in the world (the Sahara and the Arabian), lies the incredible Red Sea Coral Reef, which is 1,200 miles long and over 5,000 years old. It can withstand many elements, like drastic temperature changes. The platforms, lagoons, and cylinders will be a feast for your eyes, so what are you waiting for?