Diving Bucket List: 6 Great Dive Spots for 2024

The New Year is here! Start 2024 right by ticking some of the world’s top dive spots off your diving bucket list. There is incredible diving all over the world, with wrecks, reefs, canyons, and diverse marine life to encounter. So beat the January blues by planning a dive trip to one of our six bucket list diving destinations for 2024.

Get inspired - Top 6 dive spots for your diving bucket list

1. Malta

Malta offers a warm retreat through the European winter and boasts some of the best and most interesting diving in the Mediterranean. It has dive spots for all abilities and is also a great location to learn.

If your goal is to learn to dive in 2024, Malta is the spot for you! Diveable throughout the year, there is never a bad time to visit this beautiful island and tick it off your diving bucket list. The summer months from June to September have the best conditions and water temperatures peak at 26°C (79°F). 

You are likely to spot barracudas, rays, cuttlefish, and seahorses when diving in Malta. Dive sites offer plenty of submerged sea structures to explore including Santa Marija CavesCirkewwa Reef, swim-throughs at Reqqa Point, and Um El Faroud wreck. 

Want some more information about Malta? Here is: Scuba diving in Malta: 6 Best Dive Sites in Malta and Gozo.

2. Egypt

Egypt’s Red Sea has some of the most colorful diving in the world and is on many peoples’ diving bucket lists. With warm, bright blue waters, and coral reefs teeming with vibrant marine life, the diving there is stunning. 

Blue Hole in Dahab is a mecca for freedivers and the perfect location to train for depth. At Sharm el Sheikh, there are dive sites suitable for all levels of scuba divers, with beautiful coral reefs just a short swim off the beaches.

For those wanting to explore further afield, you can join a day bot trip or join a liveaboard to dive at iconic destinations such as the Ras Mohammed National Park, the Straits of Tiran, and the unmissable SS Thistlegorm. The SS Thistlegorm is a must-dive wreck that deserves to be on your diving bucket list!

Love wrecks? Then check out Wreck Diving: Zenobia vs Thistlegorm.

Marine life large and small can be found off Egypt’s coast wherever you dive. As well as an abundance of small reef fish, there are parrotfish, clownfish, blue-spotted stingrays, manta rays, dolphins, and sharks. 

You can enjoy excellent visibility up to 60 meters (200 feet) when you go diving in Egypt, with water temperatures peaking at a toasty 29°C (84°F). Sharm El-Sheikh Airport has direct flights from countries all over the world.

3. Indonesia

Indonesia sits in the heart of the Coral Triangle and is rich in marine life, with more than 500 coral species and over 8000 fish species! It comes as no surprise that diving in Indonesia is on many diving bucket lists

From the pristine coral reefs and mantas at Raja Ampat to the famous muck dives of Lembeh, and Komodo’s famous dragons and reefs, there is something for every diver to enjoy in Indonesia.

In general, May to September is the best time of year to visit Indonesia for dry and sunny days. That said, dive seasons vary depending on where you go. For example, the main diving season for Raja Ampat is from November to May, whilst Komodo’s peak season is from May to October. Pick your destination and check with your preferred dive center before booking a trip.

Are you ready for summer? Here are: 8 Must-Have Items for the Beach This Summer.

The water is consistently warm in Indonesia, ranging from 26°C (82°F) to 29°C (85°F), meaning comfortable temperatures for diving all day long. As for marine life, you will spot everything from bright and brilliant nudibranchs to pygmy seahorses, reef sharks, eagle rayssweetlips, and many more.

Due to its booming tourism, getting to and around Indonesia is easy. There are direct flights available from around the globe and frequent boats to smaller islands. 

4. Mexico

Mexico is a vibrant country with incredible food, friendly locals, and world-class diving. Coastal dive locations give scuba divers a chance to get up close to some of the largest marine species, whilst inland cenotes offer beautiful freediving experiences. 

Mexico is very large, so it is best to pick the coast you most wish to explore before you go diving in Mexico. Getting there is easy and there are reliable bus routes and private transfers that will help you reach your final destination.

The Socorro Islands off the Baja California Peninsula are the world’s best place to go diving with giant oceanic manta rays. These remote islands are famed for their friendly mantas and also host an array of sharks, dolphins, whales, and numerous fish. If you tick this off your diving bucket list in 2024, it will be a highlight of your life!

On the other side of the country, Cozumel is another gem in Mexico’s diving crown. With a protected marine park established in 1996, diving in Cozumel allows divers to discover hundreds of fish species and different types of corals. It is accessible to divers of all abilities and water temperatures stay a warm 25°C (77°F) to 29°C (85°F).

RELATED: Cenote Diving in Mexico: All You Need to Know Before You Go.

5. The Azores

An archipelago of unbelievable beauty, the Azores has stunning views above and below the surface. These volcanic islands are rich in marine life, and due to their remote location, the diving sites remain in excellent condition.

Submerged volcanoes not only offer incredible visibility but stunning underwater structures, with caves, swim-throughs, and arches that are worthy of your diving bucket list. There are also wrecks from World War 2 waiting to be discovered.

The Azores host many whale species migrating through the Atlantic, including sperm whalesblue whaleshumpbacks, and also dolphins. Summer (June to October) is the ideal time to go diving in the Azores, with water temperatures peaking at 23°C (73°F). 

Many airlines offer direct flights to San Miguel, the largest island. From there, divers can get around by taxi, scooter, or boat. 

The Azores is one of the best places to spot whales. Here are some others: 8 Best Places to See Whales in the Wild.

6. The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are renowned for their natural beauty and unique wildlife, making this destination a bucket list diving location for all divers. The waters are home to some of the largest and rarest marine life on Earth. Due to the isolated location, the dive sites are pristine, and the habitats remain undisturbed.

You can experience the best Galapagos scuba diving by liveaboard, but it is still possible to dive from the shore. You can dive at the Galapagos year-round, so we recommend planning your trip depending on which marine life you would most like to see and what dive conditions you are comfortable with:

  • The warm season of December to May offers calmer conditions and fewer currents, with numerous hammerheads, plus mantas and other sharks.
  • The cooler season of June to November has more challenging dive conditions but there are numerous whale sharks. 

Other species you can spot are sea lions, marine iguanasfrogfish, silky sharks, Galapagos sharks, octopus… the list goes on and on. The Galapagos is for advanced divers only as conditions can be challenging and confidence is required. The best way to reach the islands is by flying to Ecuador and then taking another flight to the islands directly. 

So, how many places will you tick off your diving bucket list this year?