A land stepped in legend and with a unique culture, Yap is also the world’s foremost destination for manta encounters. Nowhere else are mantas seen consistently year round – catapulting Yap to the top of lists of the finest diving attractions in the world.
Destination: Micronesia & Palau
Just one of four islands in the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Socorro is a remote volcanic island rising abruptly from the sea. The area attracts large concentrations of pelagic species and is renowned for close up encounters with giant Pacific manta rays.
Tofo is quickly becoming known as a premier world-class dive destination, famous for large pelagics, especially manta rays, whale sharks and humpback whales. Divers can also encounter schools of devil rays, sharks, turtles, game fish and excellent macro life.
This remote area of Indonesia is worth the journey for intrepid divers. Highlights include Big Fish Country, the channel dive at Maratua Atoll, manta ray encounters at Sangalaki and non-stinging jellyfish at Kakaban; all part of the Derawan Archipelago.
A World Heritage Site since 1991, Komodo National Park is home to the legendary Komodo dragon and some of the best diving in the world. The waters offer an incredible variety of marine life including critters, sharks, manta rays, dolphin, whales and turtles.
The white sandy beaches, coral reef and inland jungle and mountains make Ishigaki Island a beautiful place to visit. The crystal clear waters of Shiraho and the coral reef at Kabira Bay play host to a spectacular array of colourful marine life including the majestic manta ray.
Home to Pico Volcano, the highest point in the Azores, Pico Island is also known for whale watching. Diving here is spectacular, with magnificent topography and plentiful pelagic species. From here you can also dive with the mantas of Princess Alice Bank.
Magnificent Bligh Water has traditionally been the premier liveaboard area in Fiji, although is now accessible from land. Divers can see mantas, numerous shark species, large schools of fish and superb coral gardens, and enjoy drrift dives over steep walls and pinnacles.
The Great Astrolabe Reef in southern Fiji is the world’s fourth largest barrier reef extending along the entire southern side of Kadavu. A world-class diving location, it exhibits a tremendous variety with passages, submerged pinnacles and manta cleaning stations.
A haven of tranquillity, Ticao Island is blessed with crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches. The local reefs are full of colourful creatures, corals and sharks, but the area’s signature site is the Manta Bowl, a cleaning and feeding station of the oceanic manta.
Away from the main island of Bali are the more secluded gems of Nusa Lembongan, Penida & Ceningan, where you can find some truly exhilarating drift dives. Highlights include manta rays, reefs packed with marine life and seasonal migrations of the rare mola mola.
This remote peninsula offers spectacular scenery and dive sites ranging from dramatic walls to extensive coral gardens. A combination of plankton and strong local currents attracts large pelagic species such as mantas, eagle rays and whale sharks.
The Gulf of Papagayo is a large bay on the north Pacific coast; its striking panoramic views and sweeping beaches have made it one of Costa Rica’s top destinations. Its waters support a huge amount of marine life, with large schools of fish and numerous pelagics.
Destination: Costa Rica
Located 14 hours north of the main group of islands, Wolf and Darwin are reached by liveaboard and are a magnet for divers, with warm water species seen nowhere else in the archipelago. Whale sharks are common Jun-Nov, and hammerheads also frequently seen.
Destination: Galapagos & Ecuador
Their radiant fish and bizarre animals make the Galapagos a world-class diving and wildlife destination. Fed by nutrient rich waters from the tropical Pacific Ocean, the magical marine life enchants and fascinates in equal measure.
Destination: Galapagos & Ecuador
Known as ‘The Four Kings’, Raja Ampat is an archipelago of majestic islands at the epicentre of the Coral Triangle. Relatively unexplored until recently, it is the most biodiverse marine region on earth and is now at the top of many divers’ wish lists.
The central region comprises Malé and Ari atolls, Felidhoo, Faafu and the smaller Rasdhoo Atoll. It is the most popular area for both dive resorts and liveaboards, with excellent shore diving from house reefs and large pelagics on drift dives.
Rangiroa’s huge lagoon opens out via two passes to the open ocean, where daily tide surges offer fantastic drift diving. Expect to see colourful fish,rays, turtles and dolphins, before the reef drops below 1,000 metres, where sharks and other pelagics congregate.
The Coral Sea extends to the east of Australia, encompassing remote coral atolls and an exceptionally healthy marine life. Divers head to the remote Osprey Reef, only accessible by liveaboard, for shark encounters and manta ray and whales in season.
Ningaloo Reef stretches 250 kilometres along the mid-west coast of Australia, where you can dive amongst a kaleidoscope of tropical marine life. Suitable for snorkellers as well as divers, expect whale shark, manta ray and humpback whale encounters in season.
The 'Sun Island' is warmer, flatter and drier than the others in the archipelago. It offers local dive sites to suit all levels, as well as blue water diving with devil rays at Baixa do Ambrósio and plenty of pelagic encounters in the natural reserve of Formigas and Dollabarat.
Zavora offers some adventurous diving, with two long reef systems separated by the impressive wreck of the Klipfontein. The inshore reef system runs parallel to the dunes, with shallow dive sites, whereas the outer reef is packed with larger pelagic species.
This small coastal town in southern Mozambique is popular amongst divers as an affordable destination with easy access to colourful reefs and amazing shark encounters. Expect manta rays, bull and hammerhead sharks, turtles and dolphin here.
Time passes slowly on the Andaman Islands, a pristine location 900 kilometres to the east of India. Untouched by mass tourism, divers can discover relatively uncharted and unexplored waters full of incredible marine life.