Ranked: The World’s Best Places For Scuba Diving – Time Out

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Coral reef Hawaii
Photograph: Shutterstock

These destinations boast incredible marine biodiversity

For those of us who love a little adventure on our summer getaways, donning a wetsuit and some oxygen tanks can be a great way to see the stunning wildlife our coasts have to offer. 

Not everyone loves diving down to the depths, and snorkelling can be a great way to catch a glimpse of some tropical fish in shallower waters. But if you’re up for taking the plunge, Confused.com has rounded up the scuba destinations with the highest number of marine species worth suiting up for. 

Unsurprisingly, Australia claimed the top spot. Thanks to the huge diversity of the Great Barrier Reef, which is home to species like turtles, sharks, corals and countless fish, it boasts 44 of the most popular marine species that divers seek on their dives. But it’s not just old GBR that’s a popular spot – the kelp forests of Tasmania and the shipwrecks off Queensland’s coast are scuba magnets, too. 

In second place it’s the US, which closely follows Australia with 43 marine species on offer. Florida Keys, California’s Channel islands and of course the coast of Hawaii all offer a bounty of stunning marine life, such as green sea turtles and green lionfish. 

Three destinations tied for third place: Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan. Raja Ampat and Komodo National Park are popular destinations in Indonesia, home to species like seahorses and manta rays, whereas Japan boasts various types of sharks, and Taiwan a colourful array of tropical fish. 

The best destinations in the world for scuba diving

1. Australia

2. US

3. Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan

6. Papua New Guinea, Philippines

8. Egypt, MalaysiaNew Caledonia

For more adventurous inspiration, take a look at our roundup of the best places in the world to go snorkelling, or this collection of the most stunning and mysterious caves from all over the planet

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