Summer and autumn are quickly coming to a close, and scuba enthusiasts may be mourning the end of their season. Fortunately, scuba is a year-round sport—even in the coldest of locales. However, certain spots around the world become even more beautiful in the winter months, attracting thousands of species of fish on migratory paths. Here are our top four winter diving spots.
Tanzania—If you visit Tanzania between October and April, you’re nearly guaranteed to see a whale shark. Mafia Island Marie Park is the place to visit; glide above reefs of technicolored corals and explore the more than 460 species of fish present. The island feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s actually just around 30 miles off the coast of Tanzania.
Micronesia—If you’ve ever wanted to see the elusive leopard shark, Micronesia in the winter is the place to be. Chuuk Lagoon is home to over 50 Japanese WWII shipwrecks, and visitors can swim through the engine rooms, observing everything from tropical fish to gas masks. If you want to see Manta Rays, visit in December to see them in large numbers.
Mexico—Cenote diving in Mexico is some of the most beautiful in the world, and winter is the best time to visit these exotic spots. The water is so clear you’ll feel like you’re skydiving into the spectacular lime sinkholes. Lined with stalagmites and stalactites that are millions of years old, you’ll feel as though you’re traveling back in time.
Oman—While it may be difficult to obtain a travel visa to this country, scuba diving in Oman is some of the best in the world. When it comes to biodiversity, you can’t beat the Daymaniyat Islands. Plankton thrives in the water, so you won’t get crystal-clear visibility. However, you’ll see a startling amount of animals, from sea turtles to rays and reef sharks.