As specialists in planning South Pacific vacations, it’s no surprise that scuba diving is one of our favorite things to do while traveling. However, while the South Pacific has world-class scuba diving opportunities, it’s by no means the only place to have on your must-visit list of scuba diving destinations. There are numerous destinations in the world worth visiting for the various scuba diving experiences they offer. Today I’ll highlight some of the best places in the world for scuba diving.

Belize. Belize has quickly thrust itself to the top of many people’s scuba diving bucket lists, and for good reason. Just beyond the shoreline of Belize is the Belize Barrier Reef, which is a part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest barrier reef in the world. As Belize’s top attraction, the Belize Barrier Reef is a favorite of diving enthusiasts. A must-visit along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is Belize’s Blue Hole, which is literally a large circular blue hole and one of the most beautiful diving spots in the world.

ABC Islands. Forming the ABC Islands, the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean, are Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. The islands have developed a name for themselves as a diving paradise. There are tons of diving locations around the three islands, and with so many diving spots, there are trips available for all levels of experience. Curacao and Bonaire are typically considered the best islands for diving, with many people going snorkeling or diving right from some of the island’s beaches. Aruba is a more popular destination for boat diving.

South Africa. South Africa often gets overlooked as a diving destination because most people think of overland activities when they think of South Africa. However, there’s one thing you can do in South Africa that you can do few other places – dive with Great White Sharks. Don’t worry – you’re in a cage and safe from the sharks. You don’t even need the same diving certification that is required for most dives, as you’re lowered into a cage just below the surface of the water. Few dives get the blood pumping like this.

Mediterranean. While most people consider the Caribbean and South Pacific the best places for diving in the world, don’t forget about the Mediterranean. Cool temperatures may keep many people from diving during the winter months, which gives you the rest of the year to plan for a diving excursion to the Mediterranean. It doesn’t have the same coral reefs as the Caribbean and South Pacific, but makes it up with caves, shipwrecks, and unique marine life. To really get off the beaten path, dive the shores just off Turkey. One of the best features of the waters of Turkey is the many shipwrecks that divers have the opportunity to explore. Over 100 shipwrecks have been mapped off the coast of Turkey, including several that are regarded as some of the oldest known shipwrecks, dating back centuries.

What’s at the top of your must-visit diving bucket list?