Around 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. The oceans contain nearly 97 percent of this water. This means there’s a lot more on the planet to explore than what you see from the surface. Rather than learning to dive at a local pool to earn a scuba certification, seek a PADI-certified instructor in a location with breathtaking surroundings. Incorporating this type of learning experience into your next getaway on a private jet will give you a great reason to look forward to the adventure.
Best Diving Destinations for Beginners
The Bahamas is a popular destination for aspiring divers because it’s a short hop in a chartered flight from the U.S. Warm waters with visibility averaging 80 feet are also a bonus. The conditions in the island waters are also reliable that it’s a hotspot among those who had difficulties earning certifications elsewhere.
The Bahamian islands are full of dive centers that offer certification opportunities. Among the most popular is Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas.
Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Just a few miles from Julian Rocks, you’ll find one of the best dive spots on the continent. Byron Bay’s volcanic bluff is like a mini Galapagos with cool waters and tropical currents that attract a plethora of marine life, such as over 1,000 species of fish, dolphins, wobbegong sharks and turtles. Manta rays, humpback whales, and leopard sharks visit during the summer, June through August. The cool waters during the winter attract endangered gray nurse sharks.
Byron Bay Dive Centre and Sundive offer scuba certification classes and underwater excursions.
Andaman Islands, India
India’s beautiful coastline stretches for thousands of miles. Between India and Myanmar, in the Bay of Bengal, you’ll find the idyllic Andaman Islands. Because the archipelago is largely unexplored and untouched, dives give you a rare opportunity to see reefs in their natural state and healthy fish populations. The treasure trove of marine life includes ghost piperfish, Andaman sweetlips, damselfish, clown fish, octopus, Indian spinecheek anemonefish, banded sea snakes, nudibranchs, bobtail squid, and red-spotted blennies.
Among the top rated scuba certification centers are Barefoot Scuba and Dive India.
Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
If you have an adventurous spirit, you’ll love the unique diving experience that the Galapagos offer. In this spot of the planet, three ocean currents converge, bringing in a variety of marine life. Within the waters, you’ll find curious sea lions, marine iguanas, rays, penguins and friendly hammerhead sharks that will keep you endlessly entertained.
The Galapagos Islands are known for having chilly waters and strong currents, so it’s best to choose a reputable dive outfit that host courses in the calmest spots, such as Macaroon’s Scuba Diving Academy and Scuba Iguana.
Port Vila, Efaté, Vanuatu
A South Pacific Ocean nation with about 80 islands, Vanuatu is rich in sea life, making it a premier diving destination. The waters offer a diverse range of brightly colored marine fish species and more than 4,000 species of mollusks, as well as the SS President Coolidge, one of the largest shipwrecks in the world that’s accessible to recreational divers.
Nautilus Watersports and Big Blue offer expedited open water courses that allow students to earn a scuba certification in as little as two-and-a-half days.