Best Dive Destinations for Underwater Photography

Best Dive Destinations
By Scott Gietler

Dive destinations can deliver big fish, beautiful corals, or tiny critters. In this dive destination guide, I strive to deliver unbiased and accurate information about the kind of experience you will have at the top diving destinations around the world, and also at some of the lesser known ones. I personally edit and check each article to make sure you are getting the best possible information on each destination. New dive locations are being added at regular intervals. In today's world of advertiser and money driven content, I hope you appreciate this fresh content - Scott.



Dive Destination Guides by Location

Featuring over 35 of the best diving destinations for underwater photography.


North America

best diving destinations channel islands


Diving Channel Islands, California

Rich reefs, kelp forests, and sea lions off the coast of Southern California 


best dive destinations catalina

Diving Catalina Island, California

Giant kelp forests, Black Sea Bass, Garibaldi. Only a 1 hour boat ride from Los Angeles 



diving the pacific northwest and british columbia


Diving the Pacific Northwest

Rich life in Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia



diving Kona, Hawaii


Diving Kona, Hawaii

Sharks, Turtles, Mantas on a beautiful island.





Caribbean & Central America

diving Cozumel, Mexico


Diving Cozumel, Mexico

Drift diving past huge sponges, turtles and eagle rays - and a good value too.




diving socorro islands, Mexico


Diving Socorro Islands, Mexico

Friendly Mantas, sharks, dolphins, and whales await you



diving guadalupe island with great white sharks


Diving Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Cage diving with Great white sharks, a thrilling adventure



diving Bonaire


Diving Bonaire

Easy shore diving, lots of fish to photograph



diving Belize



Diving Belize

Caribbean diving, colorful sponges on the edge of the rain forest


diving curacao


Diving Curacao

Charming curacao is becoming an alternate to Bonaire



diving saint vincent island


Diving Saint Vincent

Best critter diving in the Caribbean




diving with humpback whales at silver bank


Diving Silver Bank, Dominican Republic

Swimming with Humpback Whales




diving la paz, baja, mexico


Diving La Paz, Baja, Mexico

Expect the unexpected. A Manta, hammerhead, tuna or whale shark can appear.






Diving Cabo San Lucas & Cabo Pulmo

Pelagics, schools of fish, hammerheads & more where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez.




Lower Central & South America

diving galapagos islands

Diving Galapagos Islands

Whale sharks, Hammerhead sharks and unique endemic life such as the Giant Tortoise make this a trip you will never forget. 




diving cocos island


Diving Cocos and Malpelo Islands

Cocos and Malpelo are truly the "Islands of the Sharks" - Hammerheads, Silkies and more 




Malpelo: A Must for Big Fish Photographers

Dive a unique Eastern Pacific island with Hammerheads, Mantas and Pelagics







Diving Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia

Featuring fantastic world-class diving and amazing macro and wide-angle opportunites




diving bali


Diving Bali, Indonesia

Wrecks, muck, schools of fish, reefs and a great culture make Bali a gem for diving 



diving raja ampat


Diving Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Remote and hard to get to, but it has Indonesia's best diving.




diving lembeh strait


Diving Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Muck Diving at it's finest, with a never-ending selection of rare and strange critters in black sand




diving bunaken island, indonesia


Diving Bunaken Island, Indonesia

Bunaken delivers walls, reefs, corals and big fish



diving siladen island


Diving Siladen Island, Indonesia

Next to Bunaken, Siladen Island offers a private base for beautiful shallow reefs and corals




Southeast Asia (excluding Indonesia)

diving Anilao, batangas


Diving Anilao, Phillipines

Incredible critter and nudibranch diving that brings people back again and again



diving dumaguete


Diving Dumaguete, Philippines

Good muck diving with a nice selection of resorts and Apo island nearby.



diving sipadan island


Diving Sipadan, Malaysia

Turtles, Jacks, Reef sharks and Barracudas make Sipadan very popular.




diving png, papua new guinea


Diving Papua New Guinea (PNG)

One of last places in the world to be explored, some consider PNG the best diving in Asia.



diving vietnam


Diving Vietnam

Diving in this popular tourist destination is just starting to become more well-known.






diving Hanifaru bay, Maldives


Diving Hanifaru Bay, Maldives

If you hit it right, there is Manta and Whale shark action like nowhere else





Pacific Ocean

diving fiji


Diving Fiji

Soft coral capital of the world, and home to a great shark dive. 



diving Palau, micronesia


Diving Palau

Sharks, some big fish and good topside excursions make Palau a popular destination.



diving truk lagoon


Diving Truk Lagoon

Truk has more shipwrecks than you count, in clear water with lots of soft coral.










diving solomon islands


Diving Solomon Islands

Solomon Island's is a remote destination that pleases everyone with it's rich reefs, soft corals great diversity and plentiful fish.










Diving Tonga for Humpback Whales

Have an unforgettable experience with Humpback whales, and then dive Tonga's reefs in crystal clear water.




Australia / New Zealand

diving Adelaide, Australia


Diving Adelaide, Australia

Easy shore dives, piers filled with fish and Leafy Sea Dragons



diving milford sound, new zealand


Diving Milford Sound, New Zealand

Exotic black coral and the most beautiful country in the world awaits you




Exotic Locales

diving antarctica with leopard seals


Diving Antarctica

Once in a lifetime trip with Penguins, Leopard seals and Glaciers 




The Middle East

diving the red sea


Diving the Red Sea

The best diving is in Southern Egypt- check out Marsa Shagra.




Diving the White Sea

Diving the White Sea, Russia

A unique experience of underwater photography while ice diving.






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Best diving destinations by Category


Pelagics          Corals & Reef Diving

Wrecks          Caribbean         Muck Diving

Exotic Underwater Locations     SouthEast Asia

       Whales                    Sharks

Big Animals


Further Reading


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.



FWIW, Cocos Island is

FWIW, Cocos Island is accessed from Costa Rica - Central America, not South America.

I think Malpelo is Panamanian and would also fall in this catagory.