My first shark diving experience was a memorable one, and one that I instantly wanted to repeat many times. So I did. As I travel the world to dive the top 100 dive sites, I always seek out and enjoy most, the sites that let me be face to face with any shark species. All I wanted to do now was dive with sharks.
Any time I can get in the water with these majestic, and mostly misunderstood beasts, I feel like Iam doing something truly amazing. I’ve never been afraid like I thought I would, just always in awe.
This list below is some of my favorite shark diving countries to date, some of them with multiple locations with great shark dive sites. There is no order to this list, as for favorites, they are all simply must-see.
My top 10 countries to dive with sharks
Of course Indonesia is on my shark diving list! I rant all day about the various amazing dive locations in Indonesia, and for good reason. You can find whale sharks and reef sharks while diving in Bali, Gorontalo and Raja Ampat, to name a few. Raja also has a lot of walking sharks and wobbegong shark, so put them on your list.
Since Bali is the gateway to all of Indonesia, you might also want to read 101 Awesome Things to do in Bali.
Mozambique needed a mention, because it is the first place I have ever seen a whale shark, and in Tofo, there are tons of them. I recently interviewed Simon Pierce about his studies on whale sharks, and Tofo is one of his favorite place to study them, as there is so many around.
Check out our complete Guide to Scuba Diving Mozambique.
In Mexico I headed to Playa Del Carmen to do a bullshark dive jsut offshore. It was insane! We descended down to teh bottom and laid in the sand while the guide got out some fish. PRetty soon there were 11 big bullsharks around us, bumping and running into me. That was a good time. Mexico is also a great spot for whale sharks, around Cozumel, and great Whites near Cabo.
Bahamas is a epic place to dive with sharks, and there is a place called Stuart’s Cove where the dive operators take you to some great shark feeding sites to let you be among a ton of sharks at once. This you got to try!
Here is our Bahamas Dive Guide
5. Costa Rica
One of the best, yet lesser known dive locations on this list, is Cocos Island off of Costa Rica. There, must like the (kinda) nearby Galapagos Islands, is a protected marine reserve brimming with sharks. This is one of the few places in the world where you can see those huge swirling schools of hammerhead sharks. This is definitely a place every diver should see.
Check out our Guide to Scuba Diving Costa Rica.
Well now of course I have to mention Ecuador, for it’s Galapagos Islands. Remember when I said I interviewed Simon about his favorite places to study whale sharks? Well Galapagos was also high on his list. Just like Cocos Island, you will see the big schools of hammerheads and other sharks, as well as the giant whale sharks.
Of course you can see some nurse and reef sharks in the Great Barrier reef of Australia, but what is really cool is cage diving with great white sharks in Western and even southern Australia. If you have ever wanted to see the worlds most notorious shark up close, but from inside a cage, check out Port Lincoln. you wont regret it!
Philippines is awesome for many reasons, and sharks is one of them. When it comes to sharks in the Philippines, three locations come to mind first; Tubbataha, Leyte and Malapascua. Tubbataha is a underwater UNESCO site with tons of sharks of all species. Leyte is another awesome whale shark migration area. And Malapascua is the only place I know where you are guaranteed thresher sharks on ever trip.
Check out our Guide to Scuba Diving Philippines.
9. South Africa
South Africa needs to be listed here and recognised, for two reasons: First is the incredible cage diving with sharks you can do along the coast, and especially around Cape Town. The second is the awesome Sardine Run that happens every year, which attracts a lot of sharks, as well as divers wanting to see the commotion.
Lets not forget the good ‘ol Merca. There are a lot of places where you can see sharks, such as California or Hawaii or Texas, but two of the best sites I’ve seen, where you are just surrounded by tons of sharks, is in North Carolina and in West Palm Beach, Florida. Check those out because you probably didnt know they were so sharky!
Also check out our Guide to Scuba Diving Florida.