A field of fragile staghorn as far as the eye can see. Radiant soft corals swaying in the shallows. A cliff’s edge staggered by paper-thin plate formations. Everyone’s got their favourites, but our team cast their votes and chose a few of the world’s top dive sites for a pristine coral reef experience. Did your favourite make the list? Underwater360 lists out our favourite coral sites around the world.

AMERICAS

1.

Dive Site: Palancar Horseshoe

Type: ‘Amphitheatre’, tunnels, crevices

Encounters: Moray eels, turtles

Location: Cozumel

Country: Mexico

2.

Dive Site: Blackish Point

Type: Reef wall

Encounters: Goliath groupers, rays, whale sharks

Location: Utila

Country: Honduras

3.

Dive Site: Half Moon Caye Wall

Type: Sheer reef wall

Encounters: Tarpon, eagle rays, loggerheads

Location: Lighthouse Reef Atoll

Country: Belize

4.

Dive Site: Bloody Bay Wall

Type: Vertical reef wall

Encounters: Turtles, reef sharks, Nassau groupers

Location: Little Cayman

Country: Cayman Islands

5.

Dive Site: Something Special

Type: Sloping reef

Encounters: Squid, rays, variety of frogfish

Location: Kralendijk Harbour

Country: Bonaire

AFRICA

6.

Dive Site: Ras Mohammed

Type: Sheer wall

Encounters: Soft corals, Napoleon wrasse

Location: Red Sea

Country: Egypt

SOUTHEAST ASIA

7.

Dive Site: Crystal Bay

Type: Slopes to deep

Encounters: Reef fish, Mola molas

Location: Nusa Penida, Bali

Country: Indonesia

8.

Dive Site: Blade

Type: Unusual reef ridge

Encounters: Schools, rays, pelagics

Location: Wakatobi

Country: Indonesia

9.

Dive Site: Magic Mountain

Type: Seamount reef hook dive

Encounters: Mantas, sharks, maybe dolphins

Location: Misool, Raja Ampat

Country: Indonesia

10.

Dive Site: Apo Island

Type: Gentle sloping reef

Encounters: Clownfish and anemone fields, fish schools

Location: Dumaguete

Country: Philippines

SOUTH ASIA

11.

Dive Site: Manta Point

Type: Atoll reef

Encounters: Mantas, sometimes in cyclone formations!

Location: North Malé Atoll

Country: Maldives

12.

Dive Site: Victory Wreck

Type: Shipwreck

Encounters: Groupers, sea turtles, schools of fish

Location: North Malé Atoll

Country: Maldives

OCEANIA

13.

Dive Site: Acropolis

Type: Hard corals

Encounters: Schooling reef fish, invertebrates, corals

Location: Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Country: Australia

14.

Dive Site: Mbulo

Type: Double barrier reef

Encounters: Schooling reef fish, fields of corals, reef fish

Location: Mbolo Island

Country: Solomon Islands

15.

Dive Site: Rainbow Reef

Type: Vertical wall

Encounters: Legendary soft corals!

Location: Somosomo Strait

Country: Fiji

16.

Dive Site: Ulong Channel

Type: Sloping reef

Encounters: Reef sharks, large fish schools

Location: Ulong Island

Country: Palau

To read the rest of this article, check out our latest issue of Scuba Diver Issue 2/2019, Volume 115  here or download a digital copy here.

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