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.

Wreck Diving in the Cayman Islands Underwater Photo

Copyright PADI 2012

Cayman Islands

Best Advanced Diving in the Caribbean and Atlantic

Rebreathers let divers see the Kittiwake shipwreck in a new way.

Best Overall Diving in the Caribbean and Atlantic

1. Cayman Islands

2. Bonaire

3. Mexico

4. Bay Islands

5. Belize

Underwater Photo Jakes Seaplane Wreck Dive Palau

Brandon Cole


Best Advanced Diving in the Pacific and Indian Oceans

This “Jake” seaplane — Allied code for the Aichi E13A-1 Japanese navy seaplane — went down off Palau in World War II.

Best Overall Diving in the Pacific and Indian Oceans

1. Palau

2. Indonesia

3. Costa Rica

4. Maldives

5. Galapagos

Underwater Photo Diver in Air Canada Wreck British Columbia

All Canada Photos/Alamy

British Columbia

Best Advanced Diving in North America

A diver exits the purpose-sunk wreck of an Air Canada 737 near Chemainus, British Columbia.

Best Overall Diving in North America

1. British Columbia

2. North Carolina

3. Florida

4. Washington

5. California

How We Got the Numbers Thousands of Scuba Diving subscribers and online users rated their experiences at dive destinations in a variety of categories on a scale from one to five. Final scores are an average of the numerical scores awarded. A minimum number of responses was required for a destination to be included in these ratings.

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