Fish in the Great Barrier Reef

You have adventured above the water, but have you discovered the natural wonders below? If you are looking for an underwater holiday, scuba diving is the perfect way to experience the untouched beauty of the ocean floor. Here are some of the most awesome scuba diving spots for beginners looking to get their fins in the water for the first time.

North Male Atoll, Maldives

North Male Atoll is the best explored region of the Maldives and is full of ideal dive sites for beginners. This scuba site is home to the biggest dive centre in the region and has several resorts and schools ranging in price and teaching style for new scuba divers to choose from. The Maldives is a very popular dive site because of the exotic species of plants and animals that exist underwater, and while diving in North Male Atoll you will have brilliant, clear views of the coral and various types of marine life.

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Often referred to as the ‘king of all Caribbean diving sites’, the Grand Cayman is appropriate for new divers. This famous dive site boasts visibility more than 24m down, making dives super easy for beginners. An awesome choice for new scuba divers is Stingray City, which is only about 5m deep, granting visitors the choice of snorkelling or scuba diving. Wreck dives can also be found at the Grand Cayman, and while many require an advanced open water certification to enter the structures, beginners are still more than welcome to admire the shipwrecks from the outside. Even more so, this British Overseas Territory is an awesome scuba diving spot because it is known to have great weather condition all year round.

Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker is less than 1 km to the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System and because of the numerous dive sites here, there are several offered for beginners. The course fees are reasonable, and feel free to take a shot at scuba diving anytime of the year as the visibility is pristine. The Belize Barrier Reef is second to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, so there is a vast amount of wildlife and underwater landscapes available for beginners to experience.

Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Byron Bay has some of the best Australian dive sites for scuba newbies because the dive site is just 2.5 km offshore. The swim to the dive site is short, and there is a mix of tropical currents and waters around this volcanic bluff that attract an abundance of marine life. It is nearly guaranteed new divers will see turtles, rays, sharks and hundreds of fish species. Byron Bay is also more accessible to budget travellers than the Great Barrier Reef, which works well for beginners who are still getting used to scuba diving.

Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands, Indonesia

Indonesia is perfect for learners because of the warm, clear waters that exist year round. While diving at Gili Trawangan beginners are often blow away by the 3500 marine species such as reef sharks, turtles, seahorses and corals that exist here. Course fees remain low at this relaxed dive site, and it is also home to awesome snorkelling if you discover scuba diving just is not for you.

Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

For novice divers, Malaysia’s east coast has some of the best islands to learn at. The Perhentian Islands are fringed with coral reefs and are a great destination for an introduction to scuba diving because shore dives are easy to find. Divers normally wade into the water without the hassle of taking a boat out and jumping into deep water. Take your first few dives with an instructor and they will guide you to see fantastic marine life including sting rays, reef sharks and sea turtles in addition to the coral and mass amounts of fish.

Ko Tao, Thailand

Thailand is the perfect destination for first-time scuba divers because of the mass amount of dive centres that make it easy and affordable for beginners to get their certifications. This scuba-diving hot spot is known as the ‘Peal of the South’ and is famous for its incredible aquatic wildlife that swarm the coasts. Ko Tao is a popular destination for first-timers because of the calm, shallow sites. At the same time, more adventurous beginners are welcome to explore ship wrecks, coral reefs and underwater caves. Get a once in a lifetime diving holiday as you discover the Thailand seas alongside the turtles, manta rays and whale sharks that often join divers on their explorations.

Boracay, Philippines

Borocay is a tiny island in central Philippines and is perfect for new scuba divers because of the small barrier reef located to the west of the island. Boracay as several easy, enjoyable sites for beginners where you can find extraordinary corals and plenty of marine life. One of the best is Angol Point where there are tame currents and warm water temperatures. This is ideal for less advanced scuba divers because many courses do not even require a wet suit.

Key Largo, Florida, USA

Key Largo, Florida has sites starting at 12 m and are free of currents, making this destination ideal for beginner scuba divers who may not be the strongest swimmers. Key Largo is also known for having some of the best training-day animal encounters. In the midst of getting your certification, it is very likely for massive turtles and eagle rays to swim by first-timers. While up close and personal interactions do happen a lot in underwater excursions, very few other dive spots experience such close interactions as frequently as Key Largo does.

Scuba diving is an incredible opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the underwater world, and also try something new. Have an adventurous holiday with adventure sports travel insurance from Cover-More that will cover your scuba diving expeditions provided that you hold an Open Water Diving Certificate or are diving with a qualified diving instructor.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Paul Arps; cropped from original