Ready to dive in and become a PADI® Open Water Diver? Here are the top six places to learn to scuba dive in 2019.
For Divers of All Levels – Egypt
Egypt offers exceptional diving for both beginners and more experienced divers. So if your travel buddy has “been there, dived that,” s/he will have plenty to enjoy while you complete your training. If you’re concerned about seasickness, head to Dahabwhere you can dive right from shore and avoid getting on a boat.
Check Off Multiple Bucket List Experiences – Hawaii
Ready to say aloha to a friendly turtle? Want to see a manta ray ballet? Ever heard a humpback whale song? In Hawai’i, you can experience all this and more. The Hawaiian Islands are the most geographically isolated group of islands on the planet, and some of the planet’s most rare and wonderful creatures are waiting to meet you there.
Dive Here and You’ll Be Spoiled Forever – The Philippines
Not long ago, The Philippines was one of the best kept secrets in diving. With colorful reefs, schools of fish and bucket-list pelagics, the only negative is not having enough time to see it all.
Learning to scuba dive in The Philippines can be relatively inexpensive, but you’ll want to read up on Philippines diving to find the right destination for you (some can take awhile to get to). A few locations to consider include:
– Boracay, which recently reopened after six months after improving local infrastructure to protect their underwater environment.
– Puerto Galera is an established resort destination which offers great diving, beautiful beaches and a variety of post-dive dining options.
The World-Famous Great Barrier Reef
Once you become a diver, it won’t be long until someone asks, “have you been to the Great Barrier Reef?” The world’s best-known diving area, is also an excellent place to get your PADI Open Water certification.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 400 types of coral, 1500 species of fish, and the endangered dugong (sea cow). Like all coral reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is vulnerable to global warming, so if you’ve always dreamed of diving here, what are you waiting for?
Experience Endless Adventure – Mexico
No matter what kind of adventure you seek, you’ll find it in Mexico. The Caribbean side offers colorful reefs, warm water and an underwater sculpture museum. On the Pacific side you’ll meet friendly seals and may encounter pelagics such as whale sharks and manta rays. Once certified, graduate to adrenaline-fueled cage dives with great whites off Isla Guadalupe, cenote (cavern) dives in Riviera Maya, or cruise the reefs of Cozumel.
For Divers on a Budget – Thailand
Thailand is known around the world as the spot for learning to scuba dive on a budget, especially Koh Tao. Beautiful dive sites and a high-density of dive operators mean great diving and low prices for your first scuba certification. After class, enjoy non-stop nightlife and meet travelers from around the world. If you’re interested in a more laid-back vibe, or smaller class sizes, consider one of Thailand’s less well-known diving areas such as Koh Chang.
Make the Most of Your Time in Paradise
To get the most out of your vacation time, complete the first part of your PADI Open Water training online before you go. Who wants to spend time in a classroom when there’s a whole ocean to explore?
Save even more time by working with a PADI Dive Center before you travel. Dial in your scuba skills in a local pool so you’ll feel less stressed when you make your first dive in the ocean. The local dive shop may also be able to recommend a dive shop in the area where you plan to travel.