Best diving spots for beginners?

edited June 2009 in World Wide
I am planning on getting dive certified and then taking a dive holiday somewhere warm and exotic. What are the best dive spots for beginners, where one can go and get a great dive experience without actually being very experienced or skilled. I am thinking of the Red Sea area and parts of Thailand which are great for those of us starting out.

Any other tips for top dive spots for beginners?


  • edited June 2009

    As you suggest The Red Sea is an excellent choice for beginners but do your research on the dive school.

    Another option would be Mauritius, I experienced some excellent diving there in an easy environment. Also consider the Caribbean, I learnt to dive in the The Turks and Caicos (not strictly Caribbean!) but one of the best reef systems in the world and a fantastic destination.

    I have never dived in Thailand so cannot over much help there. I would recommend going through a specialist tour operator such as Dive Worldwide who have excellent packages for beginner divers.

    Please do feel free to contact me if you would like any further information or would like us to provide any quotes, we work closely with a number of dive operators and can ensure the best price possible for you.

    Hope that helps.

  • edited 3:33AM
    Thanks for the advice Niall.

    Can you comment on where the best place is to learn how to dive. As I am in South Africa, the waters here are freezing so I wouldnt' mind doing a course in warm water where with pleasant conditions. Also I believe it can be far cheaper doing the initial course in another country (possibly Egypt?) and then using that same company for your dives. Are there any well known and/or great value dive schools out there that you or other people recommend?
  • edited June 2009
    Being in South Africa yourself then I would recommend Mauritius. Not a long flight and there are fantastic deals around at the moment. Not the cheapest option though.

    If you are looking to go to Egypt then I would recommend Dahab over Sharm, quieter and in my opinion, better diving. In Dahab I would recommend Reef 2000 - An excellent dive hotel in Dahab with fantastic rates would be the Bedouin Moon


  • edited 3:33AM
    Niall, great advice, thanks for the specifics! I have been to Dahab, but never dived, Just lazed around and ate banana pancakes to my regret now!
  • edited February 6
    Whether you’re an amateur or experienced diver, nothing beats the feeling of diving in the waters of another country for the first time. Divers know that exploring vivid pink and red coral reefs juxtaposed by turquoise waters, green sea grass and iridescent fish passing by make for an unforgettable visual and sensory experience.

    It’s an addictive feeling that rivals no other. That’s why diving continues to be one of the hottest activities for travellers to enjoy while on vacation in coastal destinations.

    Diving is also an eco-friendly pastime that helps educate and inform the public on the importance of marine conservation. It tends to give participants a deep appreciation and respect for the subterranean world of miracles that landlubbers just don’t get to see. And that's good news for the long term health of these delicate ecosytems.

    Find your ideal dive spot!

    From the Bahamas and Bonaire to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, anyone interested in plunging into the big blue while on holiday in one of the worlds numerous diving destinations will have no trouble signing up. Travellers should take their open water certification diving card along with them on their travels. A globally recognized certification, such as PADI, NAUI or SSI, is needed. For those who are not yet certified, beginners dive courses are available in most dive destinations but can be quite costly and time consuming.

    Let’s dive into our top 10 best dive destinations for beginners:

    The Red Sea’s year-round warm waters, excellent visibility and abundance in marine life make this one of the most popular destinations for beginners and inexperienced divers. Head to Sharm el-Sheik, Dahab or El Gouna for an unforgettable diving experience.

    The waters off the coast of Thailand offer divers a wide variety of diving spots and great value and are one of the few places in the world where you can dive with the elusive Whaleshark. Best spots include Phi Phi, Pattaya and Koh Tao.

    The world-renowned Cayman Islands are a must for all diving enthusiasts. The calm, crystalline waters provide a breathtaking environment to explore the mysterious underwater world, and Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are the best spots to begin.

    A wide variety of some of the world’s most exotic creatures can be spotted in the waters off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, such as swimming iguanas and equator-dwelling penguins.

    The Great Barrier Reef is, without a doubt, one of the world’s best diving destinations and is great for divers of all experience levels. Marvel at the magnificent colours of the 1,243-mile (2,000km) long reef and spectacular marine life that abounds around it.

    The Mexican island of Cozumel is world-renowned and offers 19 reefs as well as a wonderful variety of caves, caverns and tunnels to explore.

    The exotic and very remote island of Palau features some of the world’s most exquisite diving. Boasting a 90 mile (145km) coral lagoon, 700 species of corals and 1500 species of fish, it’s no wonder this scuba diving paradise attracts over 50,000 divers annually.

    Belize features the world’s second longest barrier reef and the largest in the western hemisphere, attracting a plethora of divers each year. The Blue Hole, Belize’s best-known dive site, is as mysterious as it is beautiful and a must for lovers of all things aquatic.

    For an endless variety of diving, head to Indonesia to experience the thrill of this underwater paradise dotted with volcanoes. Key spots include Gili Islands, Bali and Nusa Penida.

    Papua New Guinea has it all; reefs, lagoons, atolls, wrecks and an immense variety of marine life. This remote little treasure trove is a paradise for divers and offers enough variety for beginners to enjoy.
  • edited 3:33AM
    David - I can highly recommend the Red Sea Jordan side. Aqaba is a good spot and you can easily visit other sites (always a bonus). the hotels are good and the dive companies have excellent instructors. If you want more info just let me know.

  • edited 3:33AM
    Two questions about amazing dive spots I have heard about:

    I have been told about a place in Mexico where you dive into this enormous current which takes you miles up the coast. The boats drop you off in one place and then pick you up at the other. Does anyone know where this place is? How experienced do you have to be to dive this current?

    (Not sure where in Mexico, but could be around Acapulco??)

    Then, there is a place off shore from Mozambique that is this extinct atol in the ocean - about 2 days boat ride from Mozambique. Meant to be one of the best places on earth to scuba. anyone know the name of it?
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