5 Spots You NEED to Scuba

The web is full of lists of the best dive sites, and I thought it was about time that Reef-N-Rail gave our take. Here are the 5 spots that we think every scuba diver should put on his or her bucket list.

5. Barrier Islands, North Carolina

This spot is ideal for scuba divers on a budget who don’t want to dig out their passports for a great location. While most of the spots on this list are marine life havens, Barrier Islands is known more for its wreck diving. Wrecks from the 16th century along with more recent ones including a German U-Boat from WWII make up the over 600 shipwrecks in this area. This spot is also much less crowded year round than most top scuba destinations, though diving in the winter does require a heavy wetsuit.

4. The Islands of Turks and Caicos

Although these islands are increasing in popularity with tourists during the winter months, traveling there in the late spring/early summer months can allow you to beat the heat and the crowds. Here, the government prizes the environment above all else, so divers can enjoy reefs and drop-offs untouched by man. Dolphins and eels abound in the best spots, so divers can enjoy some of the beautiful marine life that the Bahamas have to offer. If you want to see humpback whales, though, you’ll have to brave the crowds and go during the peak months of December through March.

3. Blue Hole, Belize

This sinkhole in Belize attracts the most adventurous and experienced divers, but the areas around it are suitable for divers of all skill levels. Tour guides will take you to Shark Ray Alley, a prime spot for marine life, or you can explore on your own and check out the numerous caverns and wrecks surrounding Belize. Belize hosts the second largest barrier reef in the world and is a great location for divers who also enjoy underwater photography.

2. Yap, Micronesia

You might be a little puzzled by this one, but we love this site particularly because no one has heard of it. This little island is a favorite of scuba divers and animal lovers alike because of its marine life. This spot is one of the best to catch a glimpse of the beautiful manta ray. Along with the manta ray sightings, divers can enjoy swimming with sharks and sea turtles. The best part? Yap is still without a resort hotel or strip of loud bars, so it’s just you, the water, and some of the most hardcore divers in the world.

1. Heron Island, Australia

This island is one of the best stops for divers looking to explore the famous Great Barrier Reef. The Reef is equivalent to the Amazon Rainforest in its biodiversity. Thousands of fish species, great white sharks, and other beautiful sights abound, and Heron Island is at the heart of it all. It offers over 20 diving sites within a relatively small area, and includes options for all skill levels. The most experienced divers can check out adventure diving opportunities or a nighttime dive to take the experience to the next level.

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