Seeing the indescribable beauty of coral reefs with your own eyes is the main reason that pushes many people to develop an interest in diving. If you are starting on that path and want to make sure you visit all the best locations first, start with the following dive sites.
You’ll need to plan your vacations quite meticulously to see all the beauties hidden underwater as this adventure will take you all over the globe.
Top 6 Coral Reefs Every Diver Should See in Their Lifetime
1. Raja Ampat
Start your trip with Indonesia where you can discover the many wonders of Raja Ampat. This coral reef is, quite possibly, the best site for witnessing underwater biodiversity. Not only is it a conservation today, but it’s also the place that has the widest variety of coral species on Earth.
There are over 1,200 species of sea organisms, animals, and plants living together in perfect symbiosis around the reef. You can dive here every day for weeks and there will still be something new to discover.
2. Grand Central Station and Chimneys
The nest stop on your best coral reef diving trip should be Fiji. This is where you’ll find an exceptionally big collection of soft coral species (about 400). The Namena Marine Reserve is home to some of the most beautiful and colorful corals on the planet.
No heart will be left untouched when diving here. The beauty of the place complements the beauty of Fiji and while diving, you might get to enjoy the company of dolphins.
3. Kapalai and Sipadan
A trip to Malaysia should always be on top of the list for any diver as there are dozens of amazing sites in this country. Kapalai is a fantastic diving destination for everyone who wants to witness something unusual. In this case, it’s the biodiversity. Not only are there many species of marine life here, but they are extremely varied and some you will find only in this region. All those underwater dwellers populate beautiful coral reefs.
For a diver, coming to Kapalai Island means getting a chance to see Sipadan as well. Located only a short boat ride away, this site is one of the most beautiful and popular in the world. Due to its unique and fragile ecosystem, the number of divers at Sipadan is limited, so you’ll need to book a spot in advance to get the permit.
4. Great Barrier Reef
Every diver should see the Great Barrier Reef at some point in their ‘career’. It’s a place of legend due to its beauty, biodiversity, and size. When you dive there and marvel at it, or look at the satellite pictures of the reef as it’s so big it’s visible from space, you should remember that the entirety of it is a single structure. This one structure was created by living organisms, which maintain it today.
Unfortunately, pollution and climate change have a tremendous negative effect on the reef. As corals are rather sensitive organisms, you should go on a trip here as soon as possible. The reef is losing living corals at an alarming rate.
5. Palancar Reef
Go to Mexico in order to see the beautiful Palancar Reef. It’s a great place for divers of any skill level as there are many different sites that vary in complexity. Corals here vary quite a bit as well. Therefore, it’s best to explore the entirety of the reef if your skill allows.
6. Red Sea
Coral reefs of the Red Sea are the most ‘alive’ of all the reefs on the planet today. That’s because their location is very beneficial for this particular life form as there are many nutrients and current to feed the marine organisms. In fact, scientists believe that these corals have the highest chance of surviving climate change.