Confused about which country to dive next? Unsure of dive seasons and when best to visit? Fear not – we’ve done the research for you!
Enjoy our top 5 dive destinations with where to go, when to go, what to see and how Eco Companion can help you get there with handpicked and affordable projects. Whether you’re new to diving or a SCUBA pro, these dive spots are sure to blow your fins off!
Far from the monotony of modern life, the congested city streets, the overbearing concrete jungle and the senseless sounds of society, there lies the underwater kingdom of Raja Ampat in Indonesia’s West Papua Province.
The islands are brimming with dense, tropical jungles, exotic wildlife and the natural beauty that extends into the oceans.
Raja Ampat sits in the heart of the Coral Triangle and is considered one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. Home to 75% of the world’s known coral species, over 1,400 species of fish and 17 species of marine mammals! It is no wonder that Raja Ampat is internationally recognised as one of the best dive sites in the world. This is a true diver’s paradise.
Highlights: Sharks, rays, pygmy seahorse, nudibranch, fantastic macro life and marine biodiversity
When to go: October – April
Where to go: Cape Kri
This handpicked project gives you the rare opportunity of diving with local experts and getting involved with marine conservation in the area to sustain these fragile underwater ecosystems. One of the project’s main aims is to produce a coastal habitat-map, to help advise local authorities on how to best manage the protected area.
Found in the heart of the South Pacific, the 300 strong island archipelago of Fiji offers palm-lined beaches, tropical forests and the best soft coral diving in the world! Fiji is also a leader in ecotourism with most accommodation and tour providers following ethical and sustainable working practices to protect the pristine natural environment.
If you’re feeling adventurous, this one is for you! Here you’ll see some serious shark action including local bull, tiger, lemon, nurse and hammerhead sharks within a controlled and peaceful environment. Do you dare to dive?
Highlights: Sharks, rays, turtles and beautiful hard and soft coral gardens
When to go: July – December
Where to go: Shark Reef
This project is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with world-renowned shark conservationists and marine biology experts and study local shark populations. You’ll dive with different species of shark in a controlled and safe environment whilst also observing and recording other marine life and vibrant coral and mangrove ecosystems. The research you collect will help to improve our global understanding of these misunderstood creatures.
Imagine hiking misty volcanic peaks, zip-lining through dense tropical jungles and diving with hundreds of hammerhead sharks. Welcome to Costa Rica! Its literal meaning translated is ‘Rich Coast’ and that it certainly is! Dive the Pacific Ocean with humpbacks and dolphins in the East and experience the vibrant coral reefs of the Caribbean coast lining the West. Visit between July and October to see pods of Antarctic Humpback whales migrating to breed in the warm waters off Dominical Beach. Diving here you will be spoilt for choice!
Highlights: Dolphins, humpbacks and turtles
When to go: December – April
Where to go: Cocos Island
This trip is the ultimate whale-watching experience! Uncover the natural treasures of Costa Rica as you tour its most popular areas and utilise expert local knowledge to spot pods of whales. There’s also the chance to explore the magnificent cloud forest, frog ponds and waterfalls of the Monteverde Biological Reserve.
Just off the East coast of Southern Africa, in the Indian Ocean, is an incredible spot for wildlife lovers: From the skies to the seas to the soil, Madagascar is a real treasure trove for all things wild and relatively unexplored. A land of mystery, excitement and adventure, Madagascar is home to wildlife you may not find anywhere else on earth!
Humpback whales can be seen from June to September as they migrate from Antarctica to breed in the warmer waters. Or visit in November and December to dive with the biggest fish in the world: the whale shark.
The most popular site is Nosy Be, also aptly nicknamed Perfume Island as scents of ylang-ylang, coffee, cacao, vanilla and sugar cane plantations bathe this fabulous dive spot.
Many of the rare fish species in Madagascar are on the verge of extinction, which is why it is more important than ever to visit these destinations with trusted tour providers operating sustainably and ethically.
Highlights: Humpbacks, whale sharks, manta rays and turtles
When to go: April – August
Where to go: Nosy Be ‘Perfume Island’
This project offers world-class diving whilst making a positive impact by working with local conservationists to locate and study areas of untouched coral. Your research will help to form sustainable management plans for the Madagascan coastline! There’s also the opportunity to conduct interviews with local Malagasy people to help to raise environmental awareness by promoting conservation in local schools and villages.
Imagine dolphins leaping out of phosphorescent waters, imagine sea lion pups playing by your side, imagine hammerheads swimming harmoniously through schools of vibrant, exotic fish. Open your eyes… you are imagining diving in the Galapagos!
Located on the Western coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the national park and marine reserve of the Galapagos Islands are together recognised as one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World. This is a thriving paradise of mammals, reptiles, birds, rich marine biodiversity and wildlife and is one of the most pristine natural environments left to dive on earth.
Highlights: Schooling hammerheads, whale sharks and dolphins
When to go: June – September
Where to go: Darwin Island
By far the best way to explore the Galapagos Islands and to get the most out of your diving experience is to travel by boat. All aboard the Samba! This luxury yacht has seven double cabins and spacious dining areas, while on deck, there is plenty of space to soak up the sun or simply watch as the marine life swims by.