Deep Water Diving

While there is plenty to see in the shallows, deep water diving allows access to some of the world’s best dive sites. A deep water dive is classified as a dive past 18 metres, and due to the extra toll on your body and increased risk that comes with reaching these depths, it requires additional qualifications. However, since most of the world’s wrecks lie deeper than 18 metres, it’s a worthy investment, with countless dive sites to discover once qualified. There are fantastic deep water diving sites all across the globe, but some of our favourites are in Belize, the Philippines and Cocos Island (off the coast of Costa Rica).


Belize, known for its stunning barrier reef, is home to the Blue Hole, one of the world's most iconic deep water diving sites. Jacques-Yves Cousteau himself named it as one of the top ten best scuba diving sites in the world, and since then, divers have flocked from all over the globe to dive in its mysterious inky-blue waters.

Almost perfectly round, the Blue Hole is over 1,000-ft wide and 120 metres deep. Advanced divers can descend as deep as 40 metres, with eerie stalactites and stalagmites to discover at 30-40 metres. As you ascend, there's a good chance of encountering bull sharks and Caribbean reef sharks.

While this site isn't known for its wildlife, it's a bucket-list destination for many divers due to the high level of technical skill required, interesting topography and the almost other-worldly feeling of sensory deprivation down in the depths.


Known for its beautiful coral reefs, the Philippines is a diver's paradise, with some incredible deep water diving sites. One site that should be on any diver's bucket list is the Verde Island Drop Off, thought to be the most biodiverse area in the Coral Triangle. With a maximum depth of 30 metres, it's a haven for reef and pelagic fish, as well as rays, macro critters and three species of sea turtle.

Another must-visit destination is the Monad Shoal, renowned as the only place in the world with reliable thresher shark sightings. The site is on a steep drop-off that descends as deep as 200 metres, although the maximum diving depth is 28-30 metres.

Cocos Island

Cocos Island is a remote paradise 340 miles off the coast of Costa Rica. Only accessible by liveaboard, the nutrient-rich waters make it a hotspot for mega-fauna such as tuna, eagle rays, dolphins and sharks; and a wonderful spot for deep water diving.

There's plenty to see here year-round, but the main draw to Cocos Island are the hammerhead sharks, which are present from June to September. A typical hammerhead dive has divers dropping down to a depth of 30 metres and looking for a rock to hide behind (as hammerheads are easily spooked). From there, you'll have the chance for an up-close look at one of nature's top predators.

Deep water diving can (quite literally) take your scuba diving to new depths, with countless fantastic dive sites below 18 metres in some of our favourite corners of the world. As deep water divers ourselves, our Original Diving team can help you create the perfect itinerary for your next diving holiday, using our years of personal experience and expertise.

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Deep Water Diving' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on 1-800-652-1972