Travel the World with Trip
As lumbering land mammals, we humans can but imagine the freedom experienced by creatures who call the oceans home. Some 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. The oceans remain the last great frontier of Earthly adventure. With new species to discover and countless unexplored regions, let’s take a journey beneath the waves. As mere visitors to the underwater realms, diving affords us a modicum of understanding this part of our great blue planet. Here we will consider some of the world’s best diving locations. For the vast majority of people, diving is both easiest and most enjoyable in the rich tropical waters circling the globe at the equator. Vast coral reefs shelter mesmerizing life forms, ones whose colors and numbers astound. These are the world’s best diving locations.
At the confluence of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the waters surrounding the Indonesian Archipelago harbor the most diverse collection of marine life on the planet. These shallow seas receive lots of sunlight, allowing complex reef ecosystems to flourish. The Raja Ampat Islands are a great place to see this diversity for yourself. Here you can easily find dive operators with lots of experience who can help guide you in exploring the area. Given the sheer breadth of creatures, it very much helps to venture out with an operator who can provide some introduction about the animals you’re apt to encounter. Because this area of Indonesia is well-known in the global diving community, there are lots of dive shops and tours to choose among. Spend some time finding one that is right for you based on your skill level and desired experiences.
This underwater paradise is located in the Celebes Sea off Borneo. Over 3,000 varieties of fish and other aquatic animals are known to exist here. Sipadan Island offers an added attraction with its interesting geology. The submerged features resemble something like a chimney reaching upwards. Divers can explore various sea caves with their majestic corals. The northern parts of the island are home to large sea turtles, making venturing here a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Consider too that Sipadan Island’s location off Borneo and relative proximity to the Philippines mean it’s possible to structure a trip to several countries and places in this rich environment.
A bit further west in the open Pacific Ocean is Palau. This island nation shares maritime waters with the Philippines and Micronesia. Palau’s Rock Islands are a great place for diving. In particular the famed Blue Holes and Blue Corner make this one of the most popular diving destinations. Here you can try a range of different dives including wall diving and so-called drift diving. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012, the region is protected and relatively well resourced for tourism. Be sure to check out Dolphin Bay where you can see and interact with sea dolphins under the watch of veterinarians and trainers. The Rock Islands are also home to another incredible experience, Jellyfish Lake. While connected to the ocean via underwater fissures, the lake is essentially a separate ecosystem famous for its large numbers of migrating jellyfish. Their daily journey around the lake is a curious sight that attracts many tourists. Because these particular jellyfish species are not known to harm humans, it is possible to snorkel in the lake. You can believe this makes for some incredible pictures!
In January 1942, the United States Army cargo ship USAT Liberty was torpedoed and left stranded off the coast of Bali. Tidal currents and a volcanic eruption in 1963 eventually pushed the wreck out to sea. Today it is a popular dive location. The ship’s carcass is now heavily covered in corals and home to a breathtaking range of creatures. The shallow waters and close proximity to the main attractions on Bali make it an easily accessible dive site, great for beginners or people hoping to fit in a dive between other excursions. Brushing up on the history of the Liberty and how it came to be marooned in this location adds to the experience. Clear waters and warm currents make for a pleasant experience and a great place to snap some memorable selfies with a piece of history.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, stretching for over 2,300 kilometers on the continent’s eastern shores. Concentrated along the state of Queensland, the areas around Cairns are highly regarded by divers. Here it is possible to find an impressive collection of aquatic life and a diving community that’s both highly experienced and attuned to the importance of protecting this natural wonder. In 2014, Google launched the Google Underwater Street View, which provides a 3D look at the Great Barrier Reef. These impressive views are sure to inspire you to venture here.
For those with experience underwater, you know how thrilling it can be. The world’s oceans are a treasure. Spending time amongst the marine life will give you a new appreciation for the creatures sharing this amazing planet. It will also help you find a new orientation to life on land. After all, it is suspected all humans harbor a deeply felt desire to return to the oceans, our evolutionary home. As the late astronomer and author Carl Sagan said so well, it is our “responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish [this] pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”