Top Dive Sites to Help You Find the Best Diving in MarchMarch 24, 2023
As the northern part of the world beings to defrost and look toward the warmer months ahead, March’s weather can be a bit unpredictable. With many of the world’s students on spring break this month, you may be looking to travel somewhere you have never been before. Or staying closer to home may be the way to go. No matter your preference, we have found some fantastic dive sites to offer you the best diving in March, no matter where in the world you live.
Dive Sites not to miss this March:
Diamond Rocks, Ireland
In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, the green isle of Ireland makes the top of our list for best dive sites in March. Although this small, beautiful country is more on the colder side, there is some phenomenal scuba diving to be found. In fact, Jacque Cousteau once stated "Some of the best diving in the world is at the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Brandon Mountains in a landscape of exceptional beauty."
One of Ireland’s most famous dive sites is Diamond Rocks, also voted among Europe’s top 10 dive sites. This site is renowned for its quartz crystals that shimmer through the depths, especially when the sun shines on the rocks. A reasonably easy dive, this site is sheltered from the Atlantic by the bay, so it is an excellent site for divers of all levels. To learn more about diving in Ireland, visit SSI’s MyDiveGuide here or our blog on Diving the Emerald Isle.
Anacapa Island, California
Although not quite as cold as diving the Emerald Isle, California’s famous Anacapa Island still lies on the chiller side of diving; however, the underwater views are well worth it. There is nothing like the sight of sunbeams streaming through the kelp forest as the sun’s rays play upon the rocky substrate below. Anacapa Island is the southernmost island in California’s Channel Islands National Park but is the closest to shore. Diving the Channel Islands in March offers crystal clear waters and uncrowded dive charters.
To fully experience everything Anacapa Island offers, consider booking a liveaboard experience, allowing you to explore the other four islands that comprise the five main islands in Channel Islands National Park. The underwater topography in this area is like a diver’s playground offering a variety of dive experiences, from sea caves and shipwrecks to majestic kelp forests filled with thriving marine life. Some of the most exciting encounters are with the native California sea lion, which does not shy away from divers, or the cute, slightly more shy harbor seal. To learn more about diving the Channel Islands in March, visit SSI’s MyDiveGuide here.
Santa Rosa Wall, Cozumel
If cold water diving is not your style, March is a great time to visit the warm waters of the Caribbean. The small Mexican island of Cozumel is a spring break hotspot, particularly for Americans; however, the crowded flights are well worth it. March is a great time to visit Cozumel as it is the middle of the dry season and well outside of hurricane season. In addition, the air temperatures are not too hot, yet pleasantly warm, and water temperatures are a perfect 82 degrees F (28 C).
Santa Rosa Wall is one of Cozumel’s most famous dive sites, and for a good reason. The sheer dropoff of the wall offers a thrilling underwater experience. Watch your depth closely, however, as Cozumel’s crystal-clear water makes it relatively easy to descend deeper than you realize. Thanks to the moderate current, Santa Rosa Wall is a fun drift dive. You can easily complete this dive without kicking a single time while at depth as the current whisks you along. As you drift along the wall, you will see colorful coral filled with marine life and can find fun swim-throughs throughout the reef structure. To learn more about diving Santa Rosa Wall, click here.
Ningaloo Reef, Australia
Situated along the western coast of Australia, the Ningaloo Reef runs 260 km (160 miles) right offshore. Ningaloo is the largest fringing coral reef in the world and is known as Australia’s ‘best-kept secret.’ The Ningaloo Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage site, supporting an array of marine life with over 500 species of fish, hundreds of corals and critters, and seasonal marine megafauna.
The diving at Ningaloo is fantastic year-round; however, March sees the arrival of hundreds of whale sharks. Attracted by the wet season plankton blooms and coral spawning, whale sharks congregate at Ningaloo Reef starting in March every year. As well as swimming with whale sharks, you can spot mantas, dolphins, and sea turtles. If you are looking for an amazing experience diving with whale sharks without the crowds seen at other whale shark locations, consider diving at Ningaloo Reef this March! Learn more about diving in Ningaloo here.
Monad Shoal, Philippines
Some of the best diving in March can be found on Monad Shoal in the Philippines. The journey to this incredible part of the Indo-Pacific is well worth it to dive amongst some of the most majestic shark species in the ocean, the thresher shark. Thresher sharks fall into the classically shaped shark category; however, they are clearly distinguishable by the extremely long upper lobe of their tail fin, which can grow as long as their body’s length.
March is a great time to dive Monad Shoal as the weather is calm and the weather is nearly perfect. Monad Shoal is considered the best dive site worldwide to see the rare and timid thresher shark; where they ascend from deeper waters early in the morning to visit this site’s cleaning station. To learn more about diving Monad Shoal click here.
Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
Some of the best diving in March is found in Cuba for the same reasons listed above for Cozumel, Mexico. March in the Caribbean offers warm weather, calm seas, and no hurricanes. Jardines de la Reina is one of Cuba’s most famous dive sites. This site is a UNESCO-protected area and is often referred to as the Galapagos of the Caribbean.
Translated to ‘Gardens of the Queen’ in English, this dive site is a chain of 250 coral and mangrove islands that are home to more Caribbean fish species seen anywhere else. It is also one of the few places worldwide to encounter crocodiles in North America. Make sure you plan ahead for this trip, however, as Jardines de la Reina is very remote, sitting 60 miles (96.5 km) south of Cuba’s central coast and only accessible by a handful of authorized Cuban liveaboards. Check out the Jardines de la Reina dive site here.