Best Scuba Diving Destinations on a Budget

Best Scuba Diving Destinations on a Budget

In these challenging times, we all look to save some money and search for excellent value-for-money diving destinations with the best bang for the buck diving we can get. Here are our top destinations on the budget this year when we may get superb diving with some change left for cocktails in the moonlight. 

Red Sea

The Red Sea has always been our list's top value-for-money destination. Only five hours away from the UK has always spoiled us with sky-blue waters, good vibes, reach culture, and abundant and colourful underwater life. Whether it is Egypt, Eilat or Jordan, we can be sure that we will always be treated like royalty.

Red Sea - Best Value Dive Destination

Best dive sites:

  • Brothers, Daedalus, Elphinstone reefs for some amazing fast-paced drift diving pelagic action
  • Egyptian coastline and reefs are the best for wall diving
  • Jordan and Eilat are fantastic places with some first-class shore-diving experiences.
  • Sharm El Sheik offers one of the best boat diving excursions to the most iconic wrecks and reefs. Check out our Camel Dive and Hotel Page.

Philippines

The Philippines are located in South East Asia, with over 80% of its islands situated in the coral triangle area and some best scuba diving on offer. The Philippines are synonymous with great food, a friendly atmosphere and top scuba diving. The Philippines offer some great places for macro photography, fast-paced pelagic action and fantastic wreck diving - the Philippines genuinely have it all, and their prices may positively surprise you. 

Philippines - Best Budget Dive Destination

Best dive sites:

  • Coron - exceptional WW2 wreck diving experience
  • Tubbataha - National Park with the most biodiversity
  • Puerto Galera - best value for money with some excellent shore diving
  • Malapascua Island - fabulous for diving with Thresher sharks 
  • Anilao - is the top eye-popping macro photography destination in the world.

Mexico 

Mexico needs no introduction - some in our TM describe it as the cave-diving mecca and classroom of the world. Florida, eat your heart out! Cenotes - as the caves are locally known - are ancient sinkholes formed in limestone after a big fire hit the Earth and liquidated all the dinosaurs. Mexico is one of the world's best value-for-money destinations, with some fantastic little private villa accommodations or excellent value-for-money all-inclusive hotels. But cenotes diving is only some of what Mexico has to offer. There is some spectacular pelagic diving on the Pacific side of Mexico that aspires to be an actual divers' paradise.

Mexico - Best Budget Dive Destination

Best dive sites:

  • Cozumel - underwater colourful world and one of the top underwater classrooms in the world
  • Yucatan - mecca for cave diving
  • Isla Mujeres - great for whale sharks
  • Guadelupe Island - when you want to see some actual JAWS
  • Soccoro Island - some amazing shark and ray spotting destination 

Malta

With some first-class wreck diving, Malta is one of the best places for shore wreck diving in Europe. It may not be as tropical as other destinations on the list, but it has some amazingly groovy places to explore if you are on a budget. With some dive packages, including Jeep hire, air fills and a five-day diving package, you can hop and go diving all over the island cheaply. The best drive-and-dive destination in Europe!

Malta - Bust Budget Dive Destination

Best dive sites:

  • Gozo and Camino - famous Blue Hole, MV Karwela Wreck and fascinating natural rock formations, including caverns and caves
  • Malta - top wreck diving destination in Europe with iconic wrecks such as P29 Mine Sweeper, The Blenheim Bomber, MV Imperial Eagle, P31 Patrol Boat, HMS Maori, and HMS Stubborn and Karwela wreck.

Bonaire

Back to warmer climates again, and Bonaire scuba diving reminds me of the style of diving in Malta. Bonaire offers some fantastic coral reefs sheltered from currents and is yet another perfect underwater classroom of the world. One of our favourite drive-and-dive destinations, you will only need to pay a few hundred dollars for a decent week of chillax shore diving.

Bonaire - Best Budget Dive Travel Destination 

Best dive sites:

  • Top dive sites for drive-and-dive in Bonaire: Hilma Hooker Wreck with Angel City, 1000 steps, Karpata, White Slave, Salt Pier

Canary Islands

Atlantic scuba diving paradise where waters never drop below 17° C allows you to scuba dive in a wetsuit throughout the year. Species, including sharks, rays, seahorses, pilot whales, and dolphins, can be found here all year round. The location of the Canary islands allows Med and Atlantic species to be present, making this destination an attractive option for every scuba diver. 

Canary Islands - Best Budget Diving

Best dive sites:

  • Gran Canaria - Marine Reserve of El Cabron with fantastic biodiversity and landscapes
  • Lanzarote - Underwater Museum 
  • Tenerife - Les Chuchos, one of the best dive sites for spotting stingrays (Chuchos means rays)
  • Fuertaventura - Salinas Reef, offers impressive landscapes, including walls, caves, and caverns.
  • La Palma - Las Cabras, is great for experienced divers, currents can be strong, but you can often spot devil Manta Rays.
  • La Gomera - Punta Guincho is great for subtropical species, including electric rays and parrot fish. One of the main highlights is a beautiful arch at 20m. 
  • El Hierro - El Bahon is fantastic for all divers looking for vertical walls and large pelagics, including manta rays and sharks.

 

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