In search of a warm and truly exciting place to escape the frosty winter approaching the old Continent? What about trying your hand at diving or snorkeling with the family in Egypt? We know some great spots by the Red Sea in Quseir, Marsa Alam and St John’s Reef, equally suitable for both inexperienced and experienced divers. Or, if you have time on your side, fly directly to Paradise Reef, the island of Cozumel off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, whose waters are full of crabs, lobsters and multicolored fish. Or maybe you want to go really big and tick the top two 7 wonders of the underwater world: the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the largest coral reef system on earth, the only living object that can be seen from space, or the Great Blue Hole in Belize, the diving-lovers’ Mecca, where you can plunge into pure crystal water and meet unique species of fish, including the Caribbean reef shark and the Blacktip shark.


17,000 islands, 80,000 km (49,000 miles) of coastline, 3,000 fish species, 600 types of corals. That’s what Indonesia has to offer for divers of all levels of diving abilities. It is the world’s largest archipelago containing up to 15% of world’s coral reef. With such popular spots as top-notch Bali, tropical Komodo Islands, deep waters of the Bunaken Island National Marine Park and untouched coral reefs of Lombok Island, Indonesia rivals the world’s best dive destinations.
Another contender is Micronesia, with 2,000 tiny tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean. Among the best spots are Palau, with blue holes, huge caverns and a variety of rare and exotic marine species, and Truk Chuuk, where you can find the wrecks of Japanese naval vessels from WWII. With two distinct oceanic zones, each with their own marine life, 2,000 km of coastline and hundreds of offshore islands, fringing reefs to deep drop-offs and wrecks, dramatic granite walls, caves and tunnels and open ocean seamounts, Thailand is nothing short of a diving paradise.
Located in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia, the island of Vanuatu offers an impressive collection of caves, swim-throughs, lava towers, wrecks, coral mazes, grottoes and overhangs. One of the main attractions remains Konada, the wreck damaged by cyclone and sunk in October 1987, a fantastic introduction to wreck diving.


But if you’re after an unspoiled dive spot, then head for Utila. The smallest of the Bay Islands of Honduras, just 11 km (6.8 miles) long and 4 km (2.4 miles) at its widest, is surrounded by pristine waters. It sits on top of the second largest fringing coral reef in the world. Empty beaches and waters, 60 different scuba diving sites with caves and numerous wrecks (such as the famous Halliburton) and an encounter with harmless whale shark - all come in a package.
Another place that guarantees seclusion from crowded tourist spots is the Maldives, southeast of India, comprised of twenty-six atolls featuring 1,192 islets, of which two hundred islands are inhabited. The best way to explore the underwater world of the Maldives is on a liveaboard. You can dive inside and outside the atolls. The more experienced divers may try diving inside the channels, but be warned, the currents are stronger there.