10 Best Freediving Spots in the World

There is nothing like freediving for experiencing the ocean in a life-changing new way. This amazing sport will take you to the most beautiful ecosystems in the world, where you can encounter iconic wildlife you have always dreamed of meeting. Are you ready for your next SSI freediving adventure? Here is our round-up of the 10 best freediving spots in the world.

Discover the 10 best freediving spots in the world.

1. Cape Town, South Africa.

A hidden gem for any ocean fan, Cape Town diving offers underwater landscapes and marine life as vibrant as the city itself. Imagine clear green waters filled with towering kelp forests, colorful wrecks and more shark diving opportunities than you could wish for – that is Cape Town in a nutshell. Explore Cape Town’s ever-changing coastline and you will discover abundant shore freediving spots. Dive into the kelp forests and you can meet ancient broadnose sevengill sharks, pyjama sharks, puffadder shysharks, and more. Boulders Beach at Simon’s Town is an easy shore dive surrounded by perfect white sands and a world-famous colony of endangered African penguins. Love seals? Go freediving with Cape fur seals at Partridge Point or Hout Bay.

2. Mexico.

Mexico is a dream destination for freedivers, with its cenotes, abundant marine life and a 20,000-year-old reef; to name but a few of this incredible country’s underwater highlights. Tranquil La Paz, the gateway to the Sea of Cortez, is a mecca for large pelagics, giving you the chance to see schooling hammerhead sharks, sea lions and whales.  There are shallow dives, wrecks, caves and seamounts, providing something for every freediver. Visit Cabo Pulmo National Park and you can dive the oldest reef on the west coast of North America. Now a staggering 20,000 years old, the reef is covered in vibrant corals and hosts around 6000 marine life species. It is a sheltered spot with excellent water visibility and you can even see schooling mobula rays there. For a unique freshwater freediving experience, visit Mexico’s Riviera Maya. This idyllic stretch of coastline is famed for its cenotes. There are over 6000 of these ancient limestone sinkholes in the Yucatan Peninsula, offering freediving spots in crystal-clear waters that have to be seen to be believed. READ MORE: LOVE SHARK DIVING? DISCOVER SOUTH AFRICA’S WESTERN CAPE.

3. Richelieu Rock, Thailand.

Lying southeast of the Surin Islands, Richelieu Rock is a world-famous dive site with an abundance of marine life and colorful landscapes to explore. Changing currents make it better suited to advanced freedivers, but the rewards are well worth it. The main limestone pinnacle is covered in ledges and cracks; swathed in purple and green soft corals and bright yellow anemones. Glassfish swirl constantly near the surface and there are numerous scorpionfish basking on the rocks. Dive down and you can see barracuda, tuna and schools of trevallies in the blue. Go Thailand diving in February to April for the chance to see whale sharks and manta rays. Just remember to leave time to explore the nearby Surin and Similan Islands as well. You will not regret it.

4. The Red Sea, Egypt.

Easily accessible and affordable, diving in Egypt tops the list for many freedivers. It offers something for every experience level, year-round warm waters and diving among the Red Sea’s famed colorful coral reefs. Sharm el Sheikh has numerous beaches with house reefs that can easily be accessed from shore. The reefs are in good condition, full of rainbow-hued marine life and ideal for shallow freediving. Hop on a day boat or liveaboard and you can visit freediving spots at the stunning Ras Mohammed National Park and Straits of Tiran. The dive sites there are swathed in soft corals and busy with reef fish, blue-spotted stingrays, lionfish and occasional passing sharks. Devoted freedivers will not want to miss Dahab. Renowned as a freediving training destination, Dahab’s excellent sea conditions and deep waters have enabled many freedivers to set international records there.

5. Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island, the Bahamas.

Dean’s Blue Hole is like something from another world and is an unmissable highlight of diving in the Bahamas. With consistently warm 26 °C water, no waves and no currents, this sheltered freediving spot is perfect for slowing down, relaxing and enjoying what freediving is all about. Stretching down to over 200 meters deep, Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s second deepest blue hole and hosts annual freediving competitions. Go freediving there and you can see stingrays, turtles, sharks, reef and pelagic fish – or simply enjoy the peace of this special freediving destination. READ MORE: INCREASE YOUR BREATH-HOLD WITH SSI FREEDIVING TECHNIQUES.

6. Roatan, Honduras.

Roatan is no stranger to freedivers, thanks to its clear blue waters, calm conditions and deep blue waters. It is an ideal freediving destination for just about every adventure you can imagine. Swim just over 200 meters from shore and you will be perched above Roatan’s deep waters, with walls plummeting down to over 650 meters. If deep diving is not your thing, you can freedive the shallow reefs, underwater boulders and impressive wrecks. Wherever you go diving in Roatan, there are sharks galore and thriving coral gardens. This underwater paradise has it all and more.

7. Kona, Hawaii.

Another deep-water destination, Kona is a paradise for freedivers with its cavernous lava tubes, diverse fish species and accessible shore freediving spots. There are drop-offs near shore and numerous protected bays along Kona’s palm-fringed coastline. Keep an eye on the blue for passing manta rays as you explore the reefs and discover the thriving macro life all around you. With amazing large wildlife including green sea turtles, dolphins, eagle rays and sharks, diving in Kona is one to add to your wish list.

8. Sri Lanka.

For a completely different freediving experience, go diving in Sri Lanka. It is one of the only places in the world where you can freedive with blue and sperm whales. Just a minute or two in the presence of these ocean giants is surely every freediver’s dream. And if that is not enough, Sri Lanka also has an array of shore dives and coral reefs just waiting to be explored. READ MORE: 8 REASONS WHY FREEDIVING IS SO AMAZING.

9. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

With no freshwater run-off, Grand Cayman has some of the most impressive water visibility in the Caribbean, highlighting its thriving reefs and wrecks perfectly. With such easy diving conditions, Grand Cayman is a great place to practice your SSI freediving skills and gain confidence – knowing you can see the surface above you at all times. The USS Kittiwake wreck, with a maximum depth of 21 meters and sitting just offshore from Seven Mile Beach, is perfect for freediving. Turtle Farm Wall offers easy shallow shore diving with no current, and there are plenty of other freediving spots to choose from. Wherever you go Grand Cayman diving, take your camera. You will see typical Caribbean reef life, including plenty of nurse sharks, reef sharks, stingrays, turtles and lots of colorful fish.

10. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba.

Cuba’s ‘Gardens of the Queen’ is a hidden freediving gem of 250 coral and mangrove islands teeming with spectacular biodiversity. Protecting Cuba’s southern coastline, this unique area is one of the Caribbean’s most successful conservation areas and a prime reason to try visit Cuba. With only 300 divers allowed to visit each year, the Jardines de la Reina is a peaceful freediving destination and is one of the world’s most beautiful ecosystems. The mangroves and reefs are home to manatees, crocodiles, dolphins and sharks - including whale sharks, bull sharks, reef and lemon sharks – plus over 700 fish species. [caption id="attachment_7431" align="aligncenter" width="1600"]Freediving spot on the Bahamas image©istock/iStock-RomoloTavani[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7433" align="aligncenter" width="1600"]Pulhapanzak Waterfall in Honduras. image©AdobeStock_Christopher[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7434" align="aligncenter" width="1600"]Silhouettes of the traditional Sri Lankan stilt fishermen on a s image©AdobeStock_saman527[/caption]