August is a great time to go scuba diving (although we’d probably tell you that every day of the year is a great day to dive below the waves). However, plan a diving trip to one of the best places to scuba dive in August, and you’ll be spoiled for choice with so many enticing experiences around the globe.

Try swimming alongside manta rays in Fiji or muck diving off the Indonesian coast. Or, how about whale migrations in Madagascar or sea caves in Malta? It’s all on offer during the eighth month!

These are the best scuba diving destinations for August where you’ll get the most out of your vacation:

Yellowtail reef fish swimming on a coral reef in Fiji, one of the best tropical places to visit in August for scuba divers

1. Fiji

In reality, Fiji is a year-round diving destination. From May to October, the weather is dry but cooler than during the off-season. And because the plankton blooms only arrive with the wet season, you can expect stellar visibility in August.

Most of the time, visibility stretches up to 200ft (60m), allowing you to see the marine life that makes Fiji a standout scuba diving destination. Here you’ll find some of the best soft corals in the world, along with an abundance of macro species and reef fish. While not as plentiful when diving in August, you still might see a number of sharks. It’s also the middle of manta ray season, which lasts from May to October.

While scuba diving in August, you can expect water temperatures of around 77°F (25°C). Remember that there are around 300 islands to explore in Fiji, so you’ll want to book a liveaboard for this South Pacific adventure.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Nai’a

burrfish in lembeh, indonesia as spotted by a scuba diver

2. North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Featuring what might be the best muck diving on the planet, Sulawesi in Indonesia delights divers with the unusual. Of course, there’s more to Sulawesi than Lembeh. You’ll also find astounding coral reefs around Bangka Island and steep walls to explore in the Bunaken Marine Park.

So why is this one of the best places to visit in Indonesia in August? Most of the diving areas in Sulawesi can be dived year-round, but most people want to experience the fantastic muck diving of Lembeh. From July to October, the dry season ushers in slightly cooler water temperatures, allowing smaller species to thrive.

To get the most out of an August diving vacation to Sulawesi, Murex Resorts offer a Passport to Paradise which takes you from resort to resort with boat diving transfers so you can explore the Bunaken Marine Park, Bangka Island and the Lembeh Strait.

Editor’s Recommended Resort: Murex Bangka Dive Resort

3. Guadalupe, Mexico

* Please note, in August 2022, Guadalupe Island was indefinitely closed to all tourism activities.*

The remote island of Guadalupe in Mexico is famous for its great white sharks. However, you can only go cage diving with these sharks from July to November.

During these months, dozens of great whites arrive at the island in order to hunt. Within the season, there are two distinct time periods. The first is from July to August, when the most juvenile males are present. These younger sharks are quite active, and it is during August that divers will see great white sharks in the greatest numbers.

Read More: 7 Species of Sharks You Should Get to Know

Located around 150 miles (241 km) from the Mexican west coast, Guadalupe is only reachable by an 18-hour liveaboard journey across open waters. Even so, it is a hotspot for shark diving, one of the best liveaboard destinations in the world, and one of the best places to scuba dive in August.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Solmar V

A colorful coral reef in the Solomon Islands, one of the best destinations for diving in the month of August

4. Solomon Islands

Although it has a ton to offer underwater explorers, the Solomon Islands remain blissfully off the tourist trail. Here you’ll find WWII wrecks, muck diving, coral reefs, walls and caverns. And August is the ideal time to plan an adventure in this South Pacific nation.

Whether you intend to dive the wrecks of Guadalcanal or the beautiful reefs of the South Marovo Lagoon, you’ll find that August has comfortable water temperatures for diving (81 to 88°F / 27 to 31°C) and the most comfortable (slightly cooler than usual) temperatures topside. The weather should also remain relatively dry during this month.

If you’re dreaming of paradise and exploratory diving, then book an August diving vacation to the Solomon Islands for a late summer adventure.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: MV Bilikiki

5. Bali, Indonesia

Did you know one of the most famous tourist destinations in Indonesia also has some of the best scuba diving? During an August diving trip, you can find great muck diving, world-class wreck dives and pelagic marine life in Bali.

In particular, August is the best month for spotting Mola mola off Nusa Penida, which is just a short boat ride from Bali. Mola visit this area in August as it is when the water temperature is at its coolest, so be prepared for some chilling thermoclines. You’ll also find plenty of manta rays in these waters. On the other hand, destinations such as Padang Bai, Menjangan and Tulamben also boast ideal conditions and incredible visibility during the month of August.

Bali’s diving infrastructure is some of the best in the world, so you’ll have the choice of land-based operations or a liveaboard that travels from Bali to another Indonesian destination, such as Komodo. Either way, you’re in for a wet and wild ride if you visit in August since it’s one of the best destinations for scuba diving at this time of year.

Editor’s Recommended Dive Resort: Hibiscus House Bali

A humpback whale and her calf swimming near the surface in Madagascar, one of the top places to visit during the eighth month

6. Madagascar

Nicknamed the ‘eighth continent’, Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island. It’s home to over 300 corals, 1,300 bony fish, 56 shark species and 34 different cetaceans. Indeed, 90% of its wildlife can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.

Nosy Be is a diving hotspot known for incredible biodiversity throughout the year. Look for gigantic lobsters, leopard sharks, frogfish, scorpionfish, barracudas and turtles. But Madagascar’s east coast holds extra appeal during the winter months. Île Sainte-Marie is on the migration route for humpback whales, with around 10% of the world’s population coming here to breed. Divers can witness impressive mating displays and even encounter mothers with their calves. No wonder this is one of the best places to dive in August!

Madagascar is best between May and December, away from cyclone season. Book your trip in August to catch the best conditions (73°F/23°C waters and 30m/100ft+ visibility) and, of course, whale migrations.

Editor’s Recommended Resort: Hotel Arc En Ciel

7. South Australia & New South Wales

Throughout the year, South Australia’s temperate waters entertain divers with countless species of marine life. Port Jackson sharks, bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, blue-ringed octopuses, bluefin tuna and the elusive leafy sea dragon — to name but a few.

If you’re planning an August scuba diving vacation, you’ll want to head to Whyalla for the migration of Australian giant cuttlefish. Thousands of these camouflaged cephalopods gather to mate in spectacular fashion, with males up to 2ft (61cm) long and 5kg (11 lbs) heavy. Colors, shapes and textures change as breeding pairs flirt and predate among each other. It’s a mesmerizing underwater show that you won’t want to miss.

August is also at the tail-end of the southern hemisphere’s winter season. It can be wetter and cooler at this time of the year, but this also brings the best visibility.

Editor’s Recommended Dive Centers: Abyss Scuba Diving

8. Malta

Nestled between Italy and North Africa, the Maltese archipelago is characterized by rocky landscapes, sea caves and wrecks aplenty. Its three islands — Malta, Gozo and Comino — are easily accessible from shore or boat, and there are dive sites to suit all levels of diver.

Here you’ll find one of Europe’s most famous dive sites – the Blue Hole. You can also explore critter-filled cracks and crevices at Reqqa Point or see how the sun’s rays light up Cathedral Cave. Experienced divers will revel in deeper shipwrecks, like the mysterious Blenheim Bomber or MV Karwela – an artificial reef with a famously photogenic staircase. This Mediterranean nation is also home to crowds of marine life: octopuses, lobsters, moray eels, stingrays, barracudas, turtles, dolphins and even Mola mola.

Malta is a year-round destination, but you’ll find some of the best diving in August. As the height of Europe’s summer, this time of year promises calm conditions, lots of sunshine and water temperatures reaching around 79°F/26°C.

Editor’s Recommended Resort: Hotel 1926

the best places to scuba dive in august school of hammerhead sharks

9. Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Look at any “best places to dive in the world” round-up and we’re confident Cocos Island will be on it. Sitting 350 miles (550km) off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, this liveaboard-only destination is truly deserving of its status as one of the world’s top places to get in the water.

At the right time of year, the waters around this tropical, rainforest-covered island become a reliable place to see large pelagic species, such as sharks, rays, tuna and dolphins. From June to December, especially, large blooms of plankton bring in whale sharks and manta rays. August is also one of the best times to witness Coco Island’s famous schooling hammerhead sharks.

As the journey to the island can take up to 36 hours, trips last for at least eight days. Thankfully, this popular dive destination is catered to by some of the best liveaboards in the world, meaning your time on board will be almost as memorable as your time in the water (we did say “almost”). It’s also worth noting that strong currents and surge make Cocos Island a destination suited to advanced-level divers only.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Sea Hunter

Dive destinations to dive in august Europe the Azores dolphins swimming together

10. The Azores, Portugal

The Azores are a nine-island archipelago that sit 850 miles (1367km) west of the Portuguese mainland. Their mid-Atlantic setting gives them a truly varied seafloor topography, resulting in an underwater environment filled with pelagic marine life, macro-sized marine life, and everything in between.

One of the Azores’ most famous dive sites, Princess Alice Bank, sits 50 nautical miles (93km) from Pico Island. This seamount, with a peak at 35 meters (115 feet) under the water, gives divers the chance to meet all kinds of pelagic fish, most commonly manta rays and devil rays, but tuna, barracuda and marlin may also swim by. The Azores’ array of dive sites also includes thriving reefs and WWII wrecks

Topside, the Azores are also well known for their outstanding whale and dolphin watching. While a resident population of sperm whales make it possible to spot something in the water at any time of the year, the main whale-watching season runs from April to October. Possible sightings include blue whales, humpback whales, orcas and false orcas.

The Azores’ sunny weather, low rainfall, calm conditions and relatively warm water temperatures truly make it one of the best places to scuba dive in August.

Editor’s Recommended Dive Resort: Charming Blue Hotel

11. The Galapagos, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands, located 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) off the coast of Ecuador, are another destination which always get a mention in any conversation debating the best dive destinations in the world. The impressive visibility, volcanic structures, spectacular array of marine life and general feeling of being on an adventure while you’re there make it a memorable and hard-to-beat place to dive.

August sits in the colder of the Galapagos’ two distinct seasons, meaning visitors at this time have a good chance of meeting whale sharks, penguins and mola mola. It’s also a great time to see humpback whales and pilot whales on the surface, and you might spot the Galapagos’ famous hammerhead sharks, although these are generally visible year-round. However, be aware that hammerhead shark aggregations are at their largest in the Galapagos’ other season, so August may not be the best time to visit the Galapagos is you’re a shark fan.

Choosing the best dive site in the Galapagos is a difficult task, but Darwin’s Arch is certainly a contender. In addition to the huge number of sharks, divers may see manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, eagle rays and even the occasional whale shark.

While it is possible to dive the area from land-based dive shops and resorts, the easiest way to take in everything the Galapagos has to offer is by stepping aboard one of the diving liveaboards touring the area.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Galapagos Sky

Scuba divers swimming along a colorful coral reef in the Red Sea, another one of the best tropical destinations in August

Book an August Diving Vacation Today

Wondering where to go in August? Get in touch with the PADI Travel team. These are only a few of the best travel destinations for August we have on offer, and our scuba diving experts can suggest the perfect place for you to explore. We’re available to help all day, every day.

Or, if you’re looking for even more ideas about the best places to scuba dive in August, download the PADI Adventures App for inspiration and information on scuba diving destinations across the world.

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