Cheapest Vacation Destination Where You Can Learn To Scuba Dive

Scuba diving is for people who like to swim in the ocean and look at sea life. Once you know how to scuba dive, you can explore the ocean’s depths and see a lot more than you can when you snorkel.

You have to get certified to do this hobby safely, which is a shame. The Professional Association of Dive Instructors is the biggest certification group in the world (PADI). Once you get your PADI open water certification, you’ll be able to dive at thousands of sites around the world.

To get certified, you have to pass written tests and learn skills in a swimming pool that you can then practice in open water, like the ocean, a lake, or even a quarry.

Local instructors can certify you in many U.S. cities. That would save you money on travel, but you might have a lot more fun learning to dive in a beautiful, warm place.


Indonesia’s 17,508 islands are in the middle of the coral triangle and have more kinds of plants and animals than any other place on earth. Bali is a great place to start diving because it has some of the best shore diving in the world and the USAT Liberty shipwreck starts at only 16 feet/5 meters deep. Keep an eye out for mola, too. Lembeh Straits is a great place to learn about the weird and wonderful creatures of the ocean, such as mimic octopuses, pygmy seahorses, frogfish, mantis shrimps, Bobbit worms, and ribbon eels, to name a few. Once you have your certification, these waters are a great place to improve your diving skills, whether it’s through underwater photography or night diving.


Bonaire is in the southern Caribbean, just to the north of Venezuela. This Dutch island in the Caribbean has been protecting its sea life for more than 35 years. Because of this, there are more than 470 different kinds of fish in the waters around Bonaire. Bonaire is known as one of the best places in the Caribbean to learn how to scuba dive. It has beautiful coral reefs and shipwrecks that have been there for a long time. The dive sites on the island are safe from currents, making it one of the best places to get new certifications. Divers who go to Bonaire can choose to dive either from a boat or from the shore. Most resorts have beautiful reefs right off the coast, but if you want to see more of Bonaire National Marine Park, you’ll want to book a few dives on one of the area’s dive boats.


Belize has as much adventure as the rest of the hemispheres put together. Its location between Mexico and Guatemala makes it the perfect place to explore, relax, and fall in love. Belize is one of the best places to get certified to dive. It has more than 400 islands, white sand beaches, the longest unbroken barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, and 386 kilometers (240 miles) of coastline. Even though the Blue Hole is the most famous place to dive in Belize, there is a lot more to find. The water is rich, clear, and warm, making it a great place for beginners to learn how to dive and also a fun place for more experienced divers to go diving. Plus, most dive sites are less busy than other places that offer diving of the same quality.


There’s a reason why Mexico is always at the top of the list of the best places to learn how to scuba dive. Go to the Caribbean side of Mexico if you want to dive among schools of colorful fish and have a beach party. If you want to see something bigger, like a manta ray or a friendly seal, head to the Pacific side of the island. Can’t decide? So go to both! Your PADI certification is your ticket to a whole world of underwater fun. Both of Mexico’s coasts are ready to be explored, from the Pacific’s huge kelp forests to the Caribbean’s reefs and shipwrecks. Inland, there are cenotes that look like glass. From beautiful reef fish to great white sharks, Mexico’s sea life has it all. You can never get bored because there is so much to see and do.


Egypt has a lot to offer people who want to learn how to dive. Many Hurghada resorts have dive shops and diving packages that make it easy to go diving. After getting certified, you can dive as much as you want at the many shore diving sites in Dahab (within safety limits). And people who go to Sharm el Sheikh can choose from about 30 different places to visit in a single day, such as some great wrecks, walls, and reefs. Egypt’s reefs are full of life: colorful corals and schools of fish make a kaleidoscope of colors. Also, because the water is so calm and clear, Egyptian reefs are perfect for new divers, people who love marine life, wreck divers, or anyone who just wants to explore light-filled reef systems.

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About Maki Hojo

Maki Hojo is a student at the University of Michigan. A foodie since birth, she enjoys cooking, eating, photographing, reading about, and playing with any and all types of food. Her idolization of culinary delights is complemented by her active spirit - she enjoys running, swimming, barre classes, and even spontaneous bursts of interpretative dance if the mood strikes her.

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