Learn to Dive – top destinations article for PADI International
The World’s best learn to dive destinations
Here is a top five list of the best places to learn to dive in the world. They all offer warm, clear water with no currents or other obstacles. Some of the destinations offer bonuses such as small wrecks, interesting coral or easy accessibility. Every destination listed below offers world class diving that will soon have you addicted to this fantastic sport.
- Ko Tao, Thailand: Located just off the party island of Ko Pha-Ngan, you will find the calm and diving orientated island of Ko Tao. This is one of the few places in the world where you have a chance of diving with Whale Sharks. The most popular reef for novice divers is Japanese Gardens, a shallow and small reef that is teeming with fish. Enjoy diving in year round warm waters although the visibility is best from July to September. Be aware that some of the dive operators close over the rainy season.
- North Male Atoll, Maldives: The dive sites here are swarming with tropical fish and most of the coral reefs are found in shallow waters making this the ideal place to learn to dive. The majority of resorts on the island offer a dive school, this means that your accommodation budget will dictate the dive school that you use. If you search around, you might find really good deals on dive and accommodation packages. Diving is available year round but you should head to the Maldives between November and April if you want to see Manta Rays.
- Roatan, Honduras: This small resort offers easy access to the shallow reefs that surround the Bay Islands. The water remains a constant temperature year round and you will be able to dive without a wetsuit. The area has been overfished but there is still plenty to see for a novice diver. Book a dive package in advance as the local dive companies fill up their boats quickly once the cruise ships are in port. The water is very calm year round but you may want to avoid the Hurricane season from June to September.
- The Great Barrier Reef, Australia: The largest reef system in the world is a great place to learn to dive. The water is calm, warm and there are a number of shallow sections that are perfect for novice divers wanting to learn to dive while on vacation. You can chose between day trips to the reef or live aboard dive boats. Live aboard can be a great option as you don’t have the long trip out to the reef every day of your course. While the water is warm, you will need to wear a light stinger suit as there are a number of jelly fish found in the tropical waters of the reef. The reef has a number of small sharks and spotting a shark on your first dive will make a great story.
- Red Sea, Egypt: This coastline offers some of the best diving in the world just beyond the shore line. You can swim out to a number of dive sites from the beach. The famous Blue Hole is situated here if you continue to your Advanced Dive course. Visibility is generally about 30m and the waters around the reef are very calm making this an ideal spot for beginner divers.