2011 Top 100 Scuba Diving Spots

2011 Top 100 Scuba Diving Spots
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Health of Marine Environment

1. (Tie) Galapagos and Indonesia — To find truly healthy marine environments, you need one of two ingredients — either a strong protection plan or a vast country that is still relatively unexplored. The Galapagos fits the first requirement, with a stringent marine reserve that’s been in place since 1998, plus currents that feed an enormous chain of life. Indonesia, which tied for the top spot and offers spectacularly abundant marine life, has a little of both: It features several marine parks (Bunaken, Komodo, Raja Ampat) and more than 17,000 islands, many of them just waiting to be dived.

GoNow-www.scubadiving.com/galapagos , www.scubadiving.com/indonesia

2. Fiji — www.scubadiving.com/fiji 3. Palau — www.scubadiving.com/palau

Big Animals

1. Galapagos — This is where seven oceanic currents collide, and the intense mixing zone brings the really big stuff: whale sharks, massive schools of scalloped hammerheads, sea lions, seals, silvertip and Galapagos sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, penguins, the possibility of humpback, Brydes and other whales, marine iguanas and, on land, giant tortoises. Galapagos is hands-down the crown jewel in the big-animal world. If there’s any shadow of doubt, try to book a live-aboard in whale-shark season less than two years in advance. — TS

Go Nowwww.scubadiving.com/galapagos

2. Maldives — www.scubadiving.com/maldives 3. Costa Rica — www.scubadiving.com/costarica

Macro Life

1. Indonesia — In a reshuffling of last year’s top 3 finishers, Indonesia leapfrogs Malaysia and wrests control of the No. 1 spot from the Philippines. While this might be a result of Indonesia having the world’s capital of muck diving, Lembeh Strait, the reality is Indonesia has more than its fair share of great macro spots, including Komodo, Bali — with dive site Puri Jati the latest hotspot — and Raja Ampat — which, yes, along with having excellent big-fish sites and mind-numbing reefs also has a great collection of critters. — David Espinosa

Go Nowwww.scubadiving.com/indonesia

2. Philippines — www.scubadiving.com/philippines 3. Malaysia — www.scubadiving.com/malaysia

Wreck Diving

1. Truk — The site of Operation Hailstone and the final resting place of nearly 50 Japanese plane and shipwrecks, Truk beat out the Red Sea to restake its claim as the best wreck destination in the Indo-Pacific, if not the planet. Truk’s most popular wrecks include the Yamagiri Maru and the Nippo Maru, though with so many to choose from and a number of “tec-friendly” operators, you’ll have the opportunity to spend countless hours on a rebreather deciding which one is your favorite. — DE

Go Nowwww.scubadiving.com/truk

2. Red Sea — www.scubadiving.com/redsea 3. Australia — www.scubadiving.com/australia

Diving for Advanced

1. Galapagos — Nobody travels to this archipelago for pretty sponges and sea fans, because few places on the planet deliver big-animal encounters as consistently as the Galapagos. Of course you’ve got to work for it, braving strong currents, cold waters and steep walls. Nothing comes easy in these tiny islands in the eastern Pacific, but that makes every dive with whale sharks, hammerheads and rays all the more enjoyable. — DE

Go Nowwww.scubadiving.com/galapagos

2. Fiji — www.scubadiving.com/fiji 3. Maldives — www.scubadiving.com/maldives

Underwater Photography

1. Indonesia — Humble underwater photographers say the best images are 10 percent skill and 90 percent luck; and you make your own luck by going to the spots that are the most productive. Which would explain why the best photographers make yearly pilgrimages to Indonesia. With dozens of destinations to choose from and just about any animal encounter you could wish for, you’re guaranteed to come home with images that will amaze your nondiving friends, and a portfolio you’ll treasure for life. — DE

Go Nowwww.scubadiving.com/indonesia

2. Maldives — www.scubadiving.com/maldives 3. Philippines — www.scubadiving.com/philippines

Value for Your Diving Dollar

1. Hawaii — What would you pay to get eyeball to eyeball with humpback whales, pilot whales, spinner dolphins or oceanic whitetips as they buzz your boat between dives? Or have 15 mantas come within inches of your head at night? Or drift over 12,000 feet of ocean at night, dangling on a 40-foot line to see things that defy description? Or encounter giant green sea turtles on shipwrecks? Schooling hammerheads? And know that almost 30 percent of what you see, you will see nowhere else. That’s value. — TS

Go Nowwww.scubadiving.com/hawaii

2. Malaysia — www.scubadiving.com/malaysia 3. Thailand and Philippines (tie) — www.scubadiving.com/philippines , www.scubadiving.com/thailand

Overall Rating of the Destination

1. Indonesia — Want vertiginous walls packed with life? Head for Manado. Need critters for your photography portfolio? Lembeh Strait is the capital of the ocean’s oddballs. What about bountiful reefs and schooling fish? Raja Ampat is for you. What’s more, Indonesia’s best dive destinations also feature some “wow” topside activities: The world’s biggest lizard lives in Komodo — home to wicked currents and fantastic marine life — and the quintessential island-paradise Bali has the best of everything. That’s why most divers, with one place to dive and unlimited funds to dive there, would choose Indonesia again and again. — DE

Go Nowwww.scubadiving.com/Indonesia

2. Galapagos — www.scubadiving.com/galapagos 3. Fiji — www.scubadiving.com/fiji

Marine Life

1. Indonesia — www.scubadiving.com/indonesia 2. Philippines — www.scubadiving.com/philippines 3. Malaysia — www.scubadiving.com/malaysia


1. Thailand — www.scubadiving.com/thailand 2. Hawaii — www.scubadiving.com/hawaii 3. Palau — www.scubadiving.com/palau

Wall Diving

1. Palau — www.scubadiving.com/palau 2. Malaysia — www.scubadiving.com/malaysia 3. Red Sea — www.scubadiving.com/redsea


1. Maldives — www.scubadiving.com/maldives 2. Malaysia — www.scubadiving.com/malaysia 3. Austrailia &mdsh; www.scubadiving.com/austrailia

Shore Diving

1. Maldives — www.scubadiving.com/maldives 2. Malaysia — www.scubadiving.com/malaysia 3. Indonesia — www.scubadiving.com/indonesia

Diving for Beginners

1. Hawaii — www.scubadiving.com/hawaii 2. Philippines — www.scubadiving.com/philippines 3. Austrailia &mdsh; www.scubadiving.com/austrailia

Overall Rating of the Diving

1. Galapagos — www.scubadiving.com/galapagos 2. Indonesia — www.scubadiving.com/indonesia 3. Philippines — www.scubadiving.com/philippines

source : https://www.scubadiving.com/travel/all/2011-top-100-readers-choice-results?page=0,1

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