Oftentimes, Instagram only portrays the most exciting aspect of our lives – whether it’s our annual vacations or our big life milestones. Instagram can often make people feel like their personal lives are not as invigorating or thrilling as they should be. That said, we can also use Instagram as motivation to finally chase after the items on our bucket list. If the idea of scuba diving has ever crossed your mind, then don’t push it off any longer. Make your Instagram photos a reflection of your dreams and goals!
Don’t know where to start? Here are our top five scuba diving destinations that are stunning in real life and in social media posts. 😉
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the Coral Triangle region is home to the most diverse and complex marine ecosystem in the world – and the gorgeous archipelago of Raja Ampat is the crown jewel. Here, you can discover a staggering array of multi-colored corals, quirky nudibranchs, and enormous schools of fish. There’s also potential for sightings of rare mammals, like dugongs, pygmy whales and wobbegong sharks.
Above land, there are amazing opportunities to learn about the deep history and traditional cultures of Raja Ampat. Home to an intersection of indigenous and migrant communities, there are many cultural pockets to discover here.
Baja California Sur, Mexico
Baja California Sur is the sweeping peninsula that borders the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. This narrow sea is considered one of the pinnacle ecosystems for many migratory species. A plethora of wildlife, such as vaquitas, humpback whales and blue whales, come here to breed as well as nurse their offspring. These mammal sightings are harder to come by, and are season-dependent, as are sightings of mobula rays and mantas. However, you can expect to see gorgeous bait balls and sea-lions during a typical dive here.
The Maldives is a chain of 1200 small coral islands and sandbanks. This beautiful island archipelago in the Indian Ocean is known for its consistent currents, which help sculpt a rich marine ecosystem. Its warm, tropical waters are home to epic caves, striking rock pinnacles (also known as thilas), as well as manta rays, whale sharks and more.
Situated in the southwest corner of Micronesia, the Palau archipelago is a stunning dive destination, known for its drift dives, drop-offs, and spectacular visibility. From sharks to beautiful corals to shipwrecks, Palau has it all. In particular, the Ngelemis Wall in Palau is often considered the best wall dives in the world. Formed from a 1000-foot (approximately 300-meter) vertical drop, this wall surrounds the entire island of Ngelemis.
In between dives, don’t miss out on the chance to learn about indigenous Palauan culture. Historically, Palauans practice a matriarchal and matrilineal society. This tradition, amidst many other cultural practices, still continues today.
Red Sea, Egypt
Colorful and vast, the Red Sea in Egypt is a great place to filling up your scuba diving Instagram. Considered one of the best dive sites in the Red Sea, Shark and Yolanda reef consists of two pinnacles that rise up from a staggering depth of approximately 2600 feet (around 800 meters). This reef, along with many of the others in the Red Sea, is well-known for its drift dives. Here, you can sweep across rainbow arrays of corals, as well as sunken parts from the freighter Yolanda, which struck the reef in 1980.
We shouldn’t live our lives to appeal to Instagram. However, Instagram can also motivate us to not wait until tomorrow to live our best lives. Learning how to scuba dive opens up a myriad of worlds, and you can get certified as a PADI Open Water Diver at any of these stunning locations listed above.
Alternatively, if you aren’t sure a full scuba diving certification is right for you, consider a Discover Scuba Diving Experience. This one-day dive allows you to learn the basic skills and get in the water before you commit to a full certification course.
If you already know how to dive, then don’t wait and book your next trip!