Best Scuba Diving in February

Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are here to help give you the inside track.

Escape the February funk by heading to sunnier climes. This is a great month for seeing sharks off the coast of Tanzania, snorkelling with humpback whales in Silver Banks in the Caribbean and exploring the colourful corals of the Maldives. Need we go on? Families will be all too aware of the glories of February Half Term, and we know all the best destinations and hotels for snorkelling and diving holidays with youngsters. For everyone else, February is a month for some much-needed winter sun, with Christmas but a distant memory and spring feeling like it’s light years away. For kaleidoscopic coral reefs, February is one of the best times to dive in Raja Ampat in Indonesia (think: the underwater Amazon); tick off all the bucket-list marine species in the Galapagos; or plot a romantic escape (Valentine's Day springs to mind) to the Robinson Crusoe beaches and luxurious private islands of the Maldives. Wreck-heads can rejoice as February is also a great time to dive in the wreck-diving capital of the world – Chuuk Lagoon in Micronesia. So, without further ado, read on for our best places to go scuba diving in February...

photo of a coral covered machine gun on a sunken ship in Chuuk Lagoon with a diver in the background


Let's commence our roundup of the best scuba diving destinations for February with the often-overlooked and under-the-radar Micronesia. Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the Federated States of Micronesia span approximately 607 islands and occupy more than one million square miles of the Pacific Ocean - so there's a lot to dive, but don't be overwhelmed - we know the best places to explore.

History buffs should head to Chuuk Lagoon. This atoll, which is located 1,100 miles northwest of Papua New Guinea, is famous for being the world's best wreck site. During an Allied assault on the Japanese naval base during WWII, over 60 ships and 200 plane wrecks met their fate, and these vessels are now an underwater home for corals and marine life. And remember how we said that Micronesia was often overlooked? That means you'll have these sites to explore without another diver in sight.

As a site, it has something for every type of diver. Many of the wrecks are in shallow waters ranging from 15m, such as the Fukikawa Maru, which make them well suited to newbies. For those who prefer something a little deeper, head to one of our favourites, Rio de Janerio Maru, which lies on its side at a depth of 30m, with old sake bottles littering the floor around it. And for those who are more technical and want to go even deeper? Check out the San Francisco Maru, which rests at 60m and has a cargo load full of coral-covered tanks and trucks.

If you're not a wreck head, don't worry. There are plenty of marine marvels to keep you mesmerised. Picture graceful white, black-tip and grey reef sharks slinking between the corridors while moray eels rehome themselves in the cracks of the sunken vessels. And while your dive buddies are exploring the vessels, keep your eyes on the wreck's wall for a rainbow hue of coral and crawling nudibranchs.

Since you've made the trek to Micronesia, you may as well check out Yap for your fill of manta rays, sharks and almost 90 miles of barrier reef that buzzes with life. Located just north of the equator and west of Chuuk Lagoon, these waters are full of manta rays. Over 100 of these majestic marvels reside here year-round, spending plenty of time at the local cleaning stations.

Micronesia's waters are renowned for their excellent visibility, and diving in February means views often exceed 30m and temperatures hover around 26-29°C.

Recommended by Rachel Gaw

A school of yellow tropical fish swim over coral in blue waters

Raja Ampat:

Another diving dream spot which is hard to get to but well worth the effort is Raja Ampat. Nestled in the West Papua province of eastern Indonesia, the archipelago reigns as one of the 'Four Kings' in the heart of the Coral Triangle and is often compared to the Amazon rainforest due to its wealth of marine biodiversity.

It's a bit of a mission to get here, but once you've arrived, you'll be heavily rewarded with a bustling metropolis of marine life. There are over 1,100 species of reef fish and 600 marine creatures, including (deep breath) manta rays, mobula rays, reef sharks, wobbegong sharks, turtles, Spanish mackerel, eels and more. And we haven't even talked about the coral yet. There are 540 species of hard coral, on which you can spot pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, ghost pipefish, cuttlefish and a plethora of crustaceans (phew!). While manta rays call Raja Ampat home year-round, February offers one of the best times to dance with large groups in the tranquil waters.

Diving at this time of year also means minimal showers and smooth seas, with visibility extending to 20m and water temperatures a delightful 28°C. Due to the overwhelming amount to see and atolls to explore, Raja Ampat is best enjoyed via liveaboard and trust us; you're in for an epic adventure.

Recommended by Emily Chappell

Underwater photo of vibrant corals with a manta ray in the background


Looking for a romantic dive destination for February? Look no further than the Maldives. Think crystal-clear lagoons, sugar-soft white beaches and luxurious accommodations, all set against a backdrop of thriving marine life. It's a diver's paradise that draws enthusiasts year-round, but February is one of the perfect months when the visibility is excellent, the waters are calm and the land is dry.

The Central Atolls are the most famous and are popular for a good reason. Renowned sites, like Fish Head in North Ari Atoll, delight divers with magnificent marine life like grey reef sharks. Keep your eyes peeled for whale sharks at Faafu and catch a glimpse of hammerheads at Dhiyamigili Corner, especially in the early hours. If manta rays are your thing, then head to the gin-clear waters of South Ari Atoll.

For a more secluded escape, venture to the Southern Atolls. Here, you'll find pristine reefs with hardly a soul in sight. Resorts are scarce, and there are only a few liveaboards, meaning you might just have the entire expanse of ocean to yourself. The warm waters offer superb visibility, revealing untouched coral gardens bustling with vibrant marine life. Keep an eye out for majestic whale sharks gliding through the channels and admire the reef fish dancing around the coral walls.

Recommended by Emily Chappell

Close image of a hammerhead shark swimming close to the sandy sea bed

The Caribbean:

For guaranteed sunshine, laid-back luxury and a wonderful variety of dive sites, head to the Caribbean for your February diving holiday.

Bonaire, nestled in the Caribbean Sea just 50 miles north of Venezuela, boasts over 100 dive sites and is famed for its fluoro diving. Make sure to check out the dive site 'Something Special', which lives up to its name with its plethora of marine life and stunning coral formations. Nighttime brings out nocturnal creatures like lobsters and octopuses and you can experience the magic of fluoro diving as reefs light up neon with a UV torch and yellow-filtered mask. With calm seas, excellent visibility up to 20m and easily accessible reefs, Bonaire suits divers of all levels.

Over in the Turks and Caicos, luxury accommodation is abundant and there's a whole cast of marine species to meet below the waves including rays, turtles, dolphins and even early humpback whales. And for the shark lovers? Head to Bimini, in the Bahama's western chains, to dive with schools of hammerhead sharks as well as bull sharks and nurse sharks.

For art lovers, Grenada's Molinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park, created by Jason deCaires Taylor, is a must. With sculptures spread across 800 square meters in shallow waters, it caters to snorkellers, free divers and scuba divers alike. Grenada's warm, calm waters are perfect for beginners and for those more seasoned there is the option of some thrilling drift dives.

Recommended by Rachel Gaw

underwater photo of a playful sea lion twirling in clear waters

The Galapagos:

Speaking of thrilling dives, have you considered a February diving holiday to the Galapagos? While diving here is year-round, February lands in the middle of the wet/warm season that runs from December to June, so you'll enjoy the best conditions (we're talking calm, warm waters with excellent visibility, perfect for spotting incredible marine life like manta rays and hammerhead sharks).

Situated at the crossroads of major ocean currents, the Galapagos boast a truly unique ecology (25% of the species here are endemic) and diverse marine life, including whale sharks, fur seals, marine iguanas and spotted eagle rays. The best way to explore this vast archipelago is via liveaboard so that you can dive the best of the best and visit multiple islands in a single trip. While some sites are only suitable for experienced divers, there are plenty of sheltered coves for divers of all levels. With its stunning underwater landscapes and abundant marine life, it's no wonder that the Galapagos is top of many diver's bucket lists.

Recommended by Rachel Gaw

A yellow nudibranch with white spots on coral in shallow waters


Last, but certainly not least, head to Tanzania for whale sharks, colourful corals and playful dolphins. Mafia Island, off the country's east coast, is a real gem, with a tempting blend of laid-back luxury and thrilling encounters with whale sharks. As Tanzania's inaugural marine park and UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere Reserve, it hosts some of the nation's most abundant dive sites. In February, marine life thrives, and you can see over 50 genera of coral and 460 fish species, complemented by clear skies and visibility up to 30m. Whether you're a seasoned adventure diver or just dipping your fins, there are a range of dive sites here that are suitable for all skill levels, from the bustling shallows of Chole Bay to the outer reefs which are teeming with turtles and pelagics.

For coral enthusiasts, Pemba Island, located 35 miles off the coast, boasts crystal-clear waters and over 320 species of coral. With its untouched environment and abundant marine life, it's ripe for exploration. Heading south, Emerald Lagoon offers picturesque vistas often adorned with traditional dhows, while Mapanduzi beckons with the chance to drift alongside schools of hammerheads or barracuda on incoming tides.

Meanwhile, Zanzibar's pristine palm-lined beaches and family-friendly accommodations make it an ideal destination for divers and beach lovers alike. Explore vibrant coral gardens, mingle with playful dolphins, and venture to the island's northern tip for the best diving opportunities. Don't miss the chance to wander through Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site steeped in old-world charm.

Recommended by Charlotte Dunn

Ready to book your February diving holiday? Reach out to our dedicated dive specialist to start planning your next tailor-made escape.

Original Highlight
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Liveaboard diving in the Maldives in February allows you to explore all the best sites across the archipelago – think sharks, sharks and more sharks, manta rays, turtles, moray eels (the list goes on…).

Jacqui, Original Diver

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Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our 'Best Scuba Diving in February' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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