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.
This central region of islands is deservedly famous for beautiful beaches, relaxed lifestyle and stunning dive sites. Cebu City is the international gateway and provides links to the most exciting dive spots including Malapascua, Moalboal, Dumaguete and Bohol.
Across the channel from Cebu is the beautiful island of Bohol, a tropical haven of natural beauty, with pristine beaches and colourful coral dive sites for both divers and snorkelers to enjoy. Land attractions include the resident tarsiers and the world-famous Chocolate Hills.
Speyside is located in northeast Tobago, an ecological haven with 400 bird species, ancient tropical rainforest, protected leatherback and green turtles, and secluded beaches. Enjoy drift dives over healthy coral reefs, nurse sharks and occasionally something larger.
The nine, tiny, uninhabited islands that comprise the Damaniyat Islands are the jewel in the crown for diving and snorkelling in Oman. The stunning coral reefs teem with a huge variety of life and the islands are also well known for nesting turtles.
Thailand’s largest island is fringed with white sandy beaches with a backdrop of lush green hills and coconut groves. Within easy reach of some of the country’s most outstanding dive sites, there are excellent chances to spot leopard sharks amidst stunning marine life.
Located less than a kilometre from the barrier reef, Ambergris Caye is developed for tourism yet is decidedly relaxed and offers plenty of diving and snorkelling sites, with colourful reefs, exceptional visibility and encounters with turtles, eagle rays and sharks.
Carriacou translates as ‘land of reefs’ and this tiny island makes a great combination with Grenada for a memorable holiday. Famous for its pristine reefs and soft corals, it boasts a drift dive you will never forget, and sightings of turtles and rays are common.
Destination: Grenada & Carriacou
Located in southeast Sulawesi, the Wakatobi islands are in Tukang Besi Archipelago and can be dived from resort and liveaboard. Uniquely, there are fringing and barrier reefs as well as atolls, ensuring incredible variety and fantastic diving, with large numbers of cetaceans.
Meaning ‘bubbling stream’, Moalboal is a small town on the island of Cebu, with around 25 recognised dive sites and more being discovered. The range of diving is excellent, with vertical walls, a cathedral like cave, healthy coral reefs and plenty of macro life.
Tropical Taveuni, with its volcanic mountains and lush rainforests, deserves every accolade and has earned rave reviews from even the most jaded divers. Spectacular soft corals fill world famous sites such as White Wall and Rainbow Reef in the Somosomo Strait.
Rising from the depths of the Celebes Sea, Sipadan is a must for all divers: the varied topography makes it an astonishing place. Turtles are regular inhabitants, as are schools of barracuda and bumphead parrotfish, reef sharks, mantas and hammerheads.
Panglao, which is connected by a causeway to Bohol, offers divers coral gardens near the surface and steep walls complete with caves, overhangs and crevices harbouring teeming fish and invertebrates. The surrounding islands are known for big fish encounters.
Oman’s capital blends old and new, from traditional souks to the breathtaking Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Divers can enjoy healthy reefs and an abundant marine life with devil rays, leopard sharks and grouper, as well as dolphins and whales..
One of the world’s finest dive destinations, almost every imaginable species of coral and innumerable species of fish inhabit Palau’s rich reefs. Drift over spectacular reefs or dive on a WWII wreck, visit the jellyfish lake or kayak around the stunning Rock Islands.
Destination: Micronesia & Palau
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.
Located in the Mindoro Strait, in the west of the Philippines, is the World Heritage Site of Apo Reef, a 34 kilometre long reef featuring magnificent drop-offs and overhangs with resident turtles, barracuda, snapper, white-tip and grey reef sharks.
A chain of dormant volcanoes form the scenic boundaries of Kimbe Bay, on the north side of the island of New Britain. 70 percent of all coral species in the Indo-Pacific region are found in and around New Britain, and no other dive area in the world can boast such diversity.
Destination: Papua New Guinea
Stretching almost 3,000 kilometres along the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is a complex ecosystem blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. There are over 2,900 individual reef systems, cays and tropical islands.
Discover the many wonders of Curaçao, an island nation with a rich heritage and thriving culture, colourful diving, great beaches and more. Ideal for families, divers and snorkellers, the island is outside of the hurricane belt and can be visited year-round.
Destination: ABC Islands
More developed for tourism than other areas in Madagascar, the island of Nosy Be offers quiet and secluded beaches, good diving, wildlife, comfortable accommodation and wonderful cuisine. It is also renowned for the production of ylang-ylang.
Actually two Islands - Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh - the fabulous scenery extends down below the water line into the aquamarine waters of Phang Nga Bay. Limestone cliffs plunge underwater, forming the colourful soft coral walls for which Phi Phi is famous.
The rugged and dramatic limestone topography of Cayman Brac attracts adventurous divers from all over the world. Divers flock to explore the wreck of the Russian Frigate M/V Capt Keith Tibbetts and the pristine walls teeming with marine life.
Destination: Cayman Islands
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.