There is something about exploring dark, mysterious caves that is irresistible and attracts divers into the thrilling world of cave diving every year. Whether you want to dive the world’s blue holes, cenotes, vast caverns or deep caves, there is something for everyone. Find your next cave diving adventure with our pick of the best cave diving in the world.
Andros, the largest island in the Bahamas, has more than 200 blue holes. These stunning underwater cave systems attract divers from around the world and offer adventurous diving in warm blue waters. The Great Blue Hole is a natural hole in the open ocean floor and plunges down to over 60 meters (200 feet) deep. There you will find huge stingrays, sea turtles, numerous sharks and a thriving coral reef.
Gozo’s Blue Hole is one of the most famous diving spots in Malta and is a natural rock formation carved by thousands of years of wind and wave power. The landscapes at this blue hole are spectacular and include a cavern, chimney and swim-throughs filled with light. All of which are busy with colorful marine life.
Mexico is a dream destination for divers and is famed for freshwater cenote diving. There are over 6000 of these ancient limestone sinkholes in the Yucatan Peninsula, offering crystal-clear waters that must be seen to be believed. Dos Ojos is one of the best-loved cenotes and has two different routes you can dive.
Sitting proud in the middle of the ocean, Thailand’s Elephant Head Rock offers fantastic granite reef diving with numerous channels and swim-throughs to explore. It is one of the most dynamic dive sites in the Similan Islands, with everything from tiny critters to pelagic fish and numerous sharks. All surrounded by Thailand’s gloriously warm waters.
Silfra is a fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, formed in 1789 by earthquakes that opened several fissures in this fascinating area. The Silfra fissure is filled with glacial meltwater from a nearby glacier, resulting in staggering underwater visibility over 100 meters (320 feet). It is the only place in the world where you can dive between two tectonic plates and is unbeatable for clear-water diving.
Jacques Cousteau once described Ginnie Springs as “visibility forever”. This warm, clear spring system is a perfect playground for divers, swimmers and snorkelers alike, and has a network of underwater caves. There is something for everyone, whether you are an open water diver or certified cave diver. And if you are lucky, you might even see alligators, manatees or turtles whilst you are there.
Dahab is an iconic tech diving destination, thanks to the world-famous Dahab Blue Hole. This underwater sinkhole plunges down to over 100 meters (320 feet) deep and has an arch that plummets beyond the reef wall to over 1000 meters (3280 feet) deep. Teeming with vibrant Red Sea fish life, it is a great place for technical dive training and shallow coral reef diving alike.
Fish Rock Island is a hidden gem in Australia known for its sea cave diving and astounding biodiversity. Fish Rock Cave runs straight through the island, for 125 meters, and is full of tropical and temperate marine life. There are abundant nurse sharks in the cave, as well as huge schools of fish, wobbegong sharks and stingrays.
Over 3 miles (5 kilometers) in length, Orda Cave is the longest gypsum cave in the world and Russia’s longest cave. Lying in the shadow of the Ural Mountains, this enormous cave is mostly underwater and has both huge rooms and tiny passages to explore. The landscapes within the cave are incredible and more than make up for the lack of animal life.
The Lucayan National Park, Grand Bahama has one of the longest freshwater cave systems in the world, stretching over 6 miles (9 kilometers) long. You can dive part of this huge cave system at Ben’s Cave, and you only need to be an open water diver to do so. This stunning cave has stalactite and stalagmite formations rising out of the depths, a halocline, fossilized conch shells, bivalves and more. It is a perfect introduction to the world of cave diving.
France’s Lot and Dordogne regions have some of the best cave diving in Europe, with numerous underwater and surface cave systems just waiting to be explored. These limestone caves are not your average claustrophobic caves though. Instead, you will find crystal-clear waters, big passages, and relatively warm waters in summer. The long cave loops and classic cave dives these regions are known for attract expert cave divers to France from around the world every year.
Corsica is one of France’s best-loved dive destinations, with calm clear waters and dive sites full of life. Sitting within the Scandola nature reserve, La Revelatta is a wide canyon with many caves and tunnels suitable for all experience levels. Home to moray eels, groupers, scorpion fish, eagle rays and stingrays, there is a lot to love about this dive site. Experienced divers can also go cave diving to 40 meters (130 feet) deep at Corsica’s Campanina Cave.
Palau, a land of idyllic tropical islands with impressive open ocean and wreck dives, is also great for cave diving. Palau’s Chandelier Cave system has 5 caverns connected by channels and is known for its stalagmite and stalactite formations that resemble sparkling chandeliers under torchlight. There are schools of colorful fish at the entrance to these mesmerizing caves and you might also see prized mandarinfish whilst you’re there.
Nereo Cave in Sardinia is considered the largest cave in the Mediterranean Sea and has huge coral-encrusted arches and tunnels home to crustaceans, conger and moray eels. Most divers start at 30 meters (100 feet) and ascend into a room full of sunlight, before exploring a tunnel stretching for hundreds of meters to the cave exit. This wonderful cave is easy to navigate and sits well within recreational diving limits.
Crete’s unique underwater caves include Elephant Cave, where you can see the fossilized remains of an ancient elephant, and the Blue Cave. This popular cave has stalactites and stalagmites, a huge rocky wall, tunnels and abundant marine life. It is a real highlight of diving in Crete. Make sure you leave time to go diving at nearby Santorini as well. This gorgeous Greek Island has a network of lava caves that were formed after a volcanic explosion and are busy with macro life.
The Bay Islands are renowned for tech diving and have numerous deep walls, caves and caverns to explore at Utila and Roatan. There are dark passages for adventurous divers, light-filled chambers and an underwater maze of tunnels that stretches right across Roatan’s reef. Sitting within the enormous Mesoamerican Reef, the Bay Islands’ waters host abundant tropical fish life, plus barracuda, marlin, dolphins and whale sharks. This destination seemingly has it all.
Are you ready for an adventure like no other? Become an SSI Cave Diver! Our range of SSI cave diving certifications will introduce you to the world of cave diving and provide all that you need to know to be a safe and confident cave diver.
Whether you want to explore gin-clear cenotes, vast caverns or caves, we have a cave diving course for you. Get started with the SSI Extended Range Cavern Diving course, then continue your education with the SSI Cave Diving certification program.
You will go further than you ever thought possible and begin the adventure of a lifetime!