World’s Best Destinations for Advanced Diving

Why do the Top 100 Readers Choice Awards, now in their 23rd year, still matter to divers? Because these are your picks, based on thousands of votes from the most experienced dive travelers on the planet. Why do they matter to us? Because every month you hear from our editors on what we think matters in the world of dive travel. For the January/February issue of Scuba Diving we get to listen to you, and we’re taking notes.

Here, we proudly present the No. 1 ranking destinations in the Best Advanced Diving category of the awards. The full list of winning destinations is below.

Caribbean and Atlantic

1 CAYMAN ISLANDS

Rebreather support, gas blends and technical instructors are just a few reasons Grand Cayman stays popular among those looking to widen skill sets. Whether you’ve set your sights on the technical horizon or are fresh from your open-water certification, all three Cayman Islands encourage divers to step up their game. Take the walls: They’re just one environment forcing divers to grow experience, perhaps as they realize they’re not getting narced until dropping deep- er than anticipated. Learning happens naturally here, and becomes a reason for travel. Kittiwake, the 251-foot submarine rescue ship, isn’t just a fun photo op, it’s also a valuable classroom for harnessing navigation or penetration skills. — Brooke Morton

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2 Mexico

**3 Bay Islands****

4 Bonaire

5 Belize

Pacific and Indian Oceans


1 PALAU

If you’ve got the guts (and the right training), Palau has the underwater terrain to challenge and reward you. With dozens of World War II-era shipwrecks to penetrate, deep current-swept reefs to fly along and dark overhead environments to probe, the Micronesian archipelago is a haven for advanced divers. And the local operators have the knowledge and experience to support mixed-gas and rebreather diving. — Eric Michael

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2 Indonesia

3 Costa Rica

4 Maldives

5 Galapagos

North America

1 BRITISH COLUMBIA

Adrenaline-charged drifts at sites with screaming currents, such as Sechelt Rapids, attract a certain caliber of diver. As does a deep drop to 130-plus feet to see eerie cloud sponges and beautiful red gorgonians at Powerlines. And then there are the wreckheads penetrating the many purpose-sunk ships or on rebreathers surveying the re- mote 285-foot-deep Transpac. Advanced rec divers and expert tec divers love British Columbia. — Brandon Cole

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2 North Carolina

3 Florida

4 Washington

5 California

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