If you’re searching for the best travel destinations in June, consider any of these seven scuba diving hotspots. This time of year brings some of the finest topside and underwater conditions in these regions, along with epic diving and marine life encounters.

You’ll find hundreds of manta rays in the Maldives, humpback whales and whale sharks in the Galapagos, and nesting turtles in Grenada. This is also a great time to explore some of the best wreck diving in the world, including Bikini Atoll’s fleet and Papua New Guinea’s WWII wrecks. Meanwhile, underwater photographers will be in their element during the sixth month, with Mexico’s cenotes showing their best side and South Africa’s Sardine Run promising the world’s most photo-worthy pelagic adventure.

Keep reading for our selection of the top scuba diving destinations in June.

A giant manta ray glides over a sandy seabed in crystal-clear Maldives waters, one of the best tropical destinations in June

1. Hanifaru Bay, Maldives

If you love manta rays, pick the Maldives as your June scuba diving destination. In particular, head for Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll.

Every year from May to November, the Maldives experiences the Southwest Monsoon. Combined with a lunar tide, this creates a huge build-up of plankton inside Hanifaru Bay. In turn, this mass amount of plankton attracts large numbers of filter feeders, so you can swim with up to 200 manta rays and whale sharks at the right time of year.

Remember that while you can dive in Hanifaru Bay from land, you’ll only see the top dive sites in the area with a liveaboard. Plan your trip to the Maldives to experience some of the best scuba diving in June.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: EcoPro Moonima

A colorful coral reef at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, which is one of the best places to dive in June for tec divers

2. Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands

June is also prime time for diving at Bikini Atoll, one of the world’s best wreck diving destinations. As a part of the Marshall Islands, Bikini Atoll was one of the main nuclear testing sites for the United States. A mock fleet of naval vessels was sunk here following various atomic explosions.

Although there are dozens of wrecks to be dived in Bikini Atoll, the most famous is the USS Saratoga. This 270m (886ft) American aircraft carrier rests at 51m (167ft) deep. Highlights include the flight deck and aircraft, weaponry, a Command Information Center, and even a dentist’s surgery. As one of only a few aircraft carriers in the world accessible to scuba divers, this is one not to miss.

The dive season at Bikini Atoll runs from May to mid-September, so this is one of the best places to scuba dive in June. Keep in mind that you can only dive Bikini Atoll by liveaboard. In addition, as the average dive depth is around 50m (164ft), this is a playground for experienced divers only. Indeed, many operators will ask for a PADI Tec 50 certification, wreck diving experience, and 100+ logged dives.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Pacific Master

A wreck, anemone, and clownfish on a reef in Papua New Guinea, one of the top vacation destinations in June for scuba divers

3. Papua New Guinea

While Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a fantastic liveaboard destination year round, we think it’s particularly great for vacations in June. During this time of year, diving in the Bismarck Sea is superb. The South Pacific, Solomon Sea, and Coral Sea also boast great conditions in the summer months.

The most famous PNG diving area, Milne Bay, is protected year round. Divers flock to the area for its macro marine life. While there is no hard and fast rule for the best time to dive in Milne Bay, many local Divemasters report a good mixture of pelagics and macro during the month of June.

On the other hand, Kavieng (on the Bismarck Sea) is also in its peak season at this time of year. Here you can drift dive with sharks and sailfish or explore WWII wrecks.

It’s no surprise Papua New Guinea is one of the most popular destinations in June. Whichever section of this wild wonderland you choose to explore, it’s an adventure best undertaken by liveaboard.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: MV Oceania

A giant humpback whale facing a snorkeler beneath the surface, one of many creatures to see when scuba diving the Galapagos

4. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

A bucket-list scuba destination for most people, the Galapagos Islands are particularly enchanting in June. This mid-year month is the perfect time to swim alongside massive humpback whales and whale sharks.

June is the first month of the cooler season for the Galapagos. As this dry season sets in, humpback whales migrate to the Pacific waters around Ecuador to breed before heading back to the Antarctic Ocean.

In addition, this is the first month of whale shark season, which runs from June to November. These massive sharks are attracted by plankton-rich currents, and you’ll usually be able to find at least one on your Galapagos diving vacation.

Whether you want to see humpback whales or whale sharks, the Galapagos is one of the best places to go diving in June. Just remember, these islands are best dived by liveaboard.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: M/Y Galapagos Aqua

A shark feasting on sardines during the Sardine Run in South Africa, which is one of the best holiday destinations in June
Photo credit: Lesley Rochat

5. Sardine Run, South Africa

One of scuba diving’s most exciting and extreme events occurs from May to July each year. The Sardine Run attracts pelagic lovers and thrill seekers from across the globe and makes South Africa one of the best diving destinations in June.

During this massive migration, millions of sardines travel up the eastern shore of South Africa. These tiny fish use the cool waters of the Agulhas Bank to spawn before riding the cold current up to Mozambique and then out into the Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile, predators wait to round up the tiny fish. Birds dive in, dolphins circle, sharks charge through, and massive whales rise from the deep to get a bite of the action. Back on the surface, dive boats crisscross the chilly seas in search of bait balls. When they find one, divers jump in to witness a cacophony of feeding seen in few other places in the world. The Sardine Run is definitely one of the most epic dive adventures.

June is right in the middle of the Sardine Run season, but if your vacation falls in May or July, you should also consider South Africa as a scuba diving destination.

Editor’s Recommended Resort: Coral Divers Resort

A leatherback turtle hatchling running for the ocean, a sight which makes Grenada one of the top Caribbean vacations in June

6. Grenada

Grenada has some of the best Caribbean diving in June, especially for beginners. Bordering the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, there are countless shallow coral reefs and wrecks to explore, as well as the famous underwater sculpture park. Meanwhile, advanced divers will revel in the Bianca C – a 183m/600ft-long passenger ship known as the “Titanic of the Caribbean”.

As well as octopuses, seahorses, barracuda, eagle rays, and nurse sharks (to name a few), Grenada is home to several species of sea turtle, including the majestic leatherback turtle. June bridges the turtle nesting and hatching seasons, making for a particularly memorable trip during this time of year.

Although the official hurricane season begins in June, Grenada rarely gets hit by these tropical storms. So, if you’re looking for a relaxed Caribbean vacation, this is one of the best destinations for scuba diving during the sixth month.

Editor’s Recommended Resort: Coyaba Beach Resort

Three scuba divers swim through Cenote Ponderosa in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, where the sun's rays create a magical feel

7. Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

With two coastlines to choose from, Mexico is easily one of the top destinations for diving during any month of the year. In June, we think the Yucatán Peninsula offers some of the best diving in the world.

In particular, June is a superb time to dive into the region’s cenotes, especially for underwater photographers. Because of the sun’s position during the summer months, the ethereal rays of light that penetrate these caverns are at their most magical.

In addition, a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula during the sixth month promises two incredible marine life encounters. Firstly, it’s peak season for hawksbill and loggerhead turtles nesting along these shores. Secondly, this is a great time to swim with whale sharks, which congregate around Isla Mujeres between June and September.

For an unforgettable mid-year trip, make sure Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is on your wishlist of destinations for June.

Editor’s Recommended Resort: The Reef Coco Beach

Explore the Best Scuba Destinations in June

Looking for the best scuba diving destinations in June (or any month)? PADI Travel’s collections offer bucket-list adventures, the largest collection of liveaboards and dive resorts, and options to travel in a way that truly makes a difference to local communities and our shared blue planet. Contact one of our PADI Travel experts 24/7 via chat, email, or phone, and they’ll help pick the right scuba destination for you.

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