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). Indeed, plan your next vacation to one of the best places to go scuba diving 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. Explore WWII wrecks in the Azores and the Solomon Islands. 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 places to dive in August, where you’ll get the most out of your vacation.

Table of Contents

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. Moreover, 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 60m (200ft), 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 scuba 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.

During trips in August, you can expect water temperatures of around 25°C (77°F). 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

A burrfish close to the camera in Lembeh, Indonesia, one of the best places to go diving in August to see macro critters

2. North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Featuring what might be the best muck diving on the planet, Sulawesi in Indonesia delights divers with the unusual.

So, why is this one of the best places to visit in Indonesia in August? Most of the diving in Sulawesi is 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.

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. To get the most out of an August diving vacation to Sulawesi, Murex Resorts offers a “Passport to Paradise”. This 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: Two Fish Divers Lembeh

Two scuba divers watching a sea turtle in Utila, Honduras, which is one of the best places for diving in August

3. The Bay Islands, Honduras

Bordered by the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Honduras and its Bay Islands unsurprisingly promise some of the most dazzling corals and fish you’ve ever seen. You’ll also find mantas, turtles, and plenty of sharks.

Roatán, the largest Bay Island, boasts dramatic topography and unique marine life encounters, including world-class bioluminescent night diving. At Mary’s Place, volcanic crevices are lined with rare black corals and sea fans – look closely to spot tiny seahorses. In August, the mass spawning of silversides creates a shimmering spectacle for passing divers. Meanwhile, wreck enthusiasts will want to explore El Aguila and the Odyssey.

Wondering where to see whale sharks in August? Head to Utila. This small island is renowned as the Caribbean’s whale shark capital. Although present year-round, there are two peak whale shark seasons: March to May and August to October. This makes the eighth month the perfect time to encounter these gentle giants.

Although August falls during the Caribbean hurricane season, these storms are rare in Honduras. This makes the region a go-to scuba haven at this time of the year. Sea conditions also are at their best, with calm, clear waters and the warmest temperatures above and below the waves. Book a liveaboard in August and explore the best of the Bay Islands.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Roatan Aggressor

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. What’s more, 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 diving in August has comfortable water temperatures (27-30°C / 81-86°F) 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 the Solomon Islands is one of the best places in August to visit 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 to spot Mola mola off Nusa Penida, which is just a short boat ride from Bali. Mola frequent this area between July and October 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, making them great places for diving in 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, over 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, barracuda, and turtles. However, Madagascar’s east coast holds extra appeal during the region’s 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. You 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 (24°C/75°F 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. There are Port Jackson sharks, bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, blue-ringed octopuses, bluefin tuna, and the elusive leafy sea dragon – to name 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 61cm (2ft) 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.

The eighth month 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 brings the best visibility, making South Australia one of the top vacation destinations in August.

Editor’s Recommended Dive Center: Admiralty Apartments

Scuba divers explore the Um-El-Faroud shipwreck in Malta, which is one of the best European destinations in August for divers

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, barracuda, turtles, dolphins, and even Mola mola. This is undoubtedly one of the best European destinations in August for scuba diving variety!

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 26°C/79°F.

Editor’s Recommended Resort: Atlantis Gozo Dive Lodge

A school of hammerhead sharks in Cocos Island, Costa Rica, one of the top holidays for scuba divers in the eighth month

9. Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Look at any round-up of the best places to dive in the world, and we’re confident Cocos Island will be on it. Sitting 340 miles (550km) off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, this liveaboard-only destination truly deserves its status as one of the world’s top places to get in the water and one of the best vacation destinations in August.

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 November, in particular, 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 surges make Cocos Island a destination suited to advanced divers only.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Sea Hunter

A pod of dolphins swim in the ocean in the Azores, Portugal, one of the most popular places in Europe for scuba divers

10. The Azores, Portugal

The Azores is a nine-island archipelago that sits 850 miles (1,368km) west of the Portuguese mainland. Its mid-Atlantic setting gives it a truly varied seafloor topography, resulting in an underwater environment filled with pelagic marine life, macro-sized critters, 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 35m (115ft) under the water, gives you 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 is well known for its 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 during your diving trips in August 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 Europe’s best places to scuba dive in August.

Editor’s Recommended Dive Center: Hotel Horta

A diver swims next to a whale shark in the Galapagos Islands, which is one of the best scuba diving destinations in August

11. The Galápagos, Ecuador

The Galapágos Islands, located about 600 miles (1,000km) off the coast of Ecuador, is another destination that always gets a mention in any conversation debating the best diving 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 Galápagos’ 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 and pilot whales on the surface, and you might spot the area’s famous hammerhead sharks, although these are generally visible year-round. However, be aware that hammerhead shark aggregations are at their largest in the Galápagos’ other season, so August may not be the best time to visit if you’re a hammerhead fan.

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

It is possible to dive the area from land-based dive shops and resorts. However, the easiest way to take in everything the Galápagos has to offer and visit the best diving spots in August 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

Discover the Best Scuba Diving in August

Wondering where to go diving in August? Get in touch with the PADI Travel® team. With the largest collection of liveaboards and dive resorts, these are only a few of the best travel destinations in August we have on offer. Our Scuba Travel Experts can recommend bucket-list adventures and options to travel in a way that makes a difference to local communities and our shared blue planet. 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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