14 breathtaking photos of some of the world's best scuba diving locations

  • Whether it’s your first time in open water or the hundredth entry in your logbook, these scuba locations provide the ultimate bucket list for explorers, adventurers, and ardent scuba divers no matter their skill level.
  • Each location offers a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to explore the magic of our world’s oceans – from an armchair or with scuba gear in tow.
  • From the Bahamas, to the Azores, to Antartica, here are some of the best scuba locations in the world.

Editor’s Note: The following are images from “100 Dives of a Lifetime” by Carrie Miller. Explore 100 breathtaking scuba diving sites across 60 countries and 6 continents through stunning National Geographic photography, expert tips, and cutting-edge travel advice.

You can purchase “100 Dives of Lifetime” by Carrie Miller here.


The gem of Rapid Bay Jetty: a leafy seadragon in south Australia

Nadia Aly/National Geographic

Tubbataha is home to 90% of the coral species native to the Philippines

Steve De Neef/National GeographicTubbataha, Philippines.

Caribbean reef sharks patrol the national marine park’s waters in Cuba

David Doubilet/National Geographic CreativeCaribbean reef sharks in Cuba.


Read more:
9 places you can go diving with sharks – and what it looks like


The shipwreck’s massive hull offers plenty for divers to explore

Mauricio Handler/National Geographic CreativeStatia — Charlie Brown Wreck.

A diver captures underwater photos of the rich coral reefs in Indonesia’s Wakatobi National Park

Nadia AlyWakatobi National Park, Indonesia.

Caribbean reef sharks circle a diver exploring the wreckage in the Ray of Hope wreck

Nadia AlyRay of Hope wreck, Bahamas.

A diver passes a school of fish on a dive in Kona

Jason LaffertyKona, Hawaii.

The stunning neon pattern of a giant hawkfish in Mexico

Alex MustardEl Boiler, Mexico.

Brown boobies check underwater for lunch in Cocos Island

Matty SmithCocos Island, Costa Rica.

A dusky grouper explores the reefs in the Azores

Franco BanfiAzores, Portugal.

The beach’s namesake shark patrols the reef in Tiger Beach

Brian SkerryTiger Beach, Bahamas.

Divers prepare to descend from the landing dock of Devil’s Den

Jeremy RodriguezDevil’s Den Cave in Florida.

Divers explore the fascinating underwater ice formations in Antartica.

Franco BanfiAntartica.

Before you dive, take in the Great Blue Hole from the sky in Belize

Brian Skerry/National Geographic CreativeBelize.


Read more:
Scientists completed one of the most detailed explorations inside the Great Blue Hole. Here’s what they found at the bottom of the giant, mysterious sinkhole.

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