Normally when we think about scuba diving and exploring the amazing world underwater, the ocean is the first thing that comes to mind.
However, freshwater diving is essentially scuba diving outside the ocean, normally in lakes, rivers, caves or even a sink holes.
The best part about fresh water diving is that it offers the exploration of breathtaking underwater landscapes without having to wash all of your equipment after the dive.
In comparison to ocean diving, there are far fewer tides and currents. For the newbie, this offers far less of a learning curve to get started scuba diving.There’s also a lot less salt in the water, and in some cases, you can even drink the water while diving.
Freshwater diving offers some of the most beautiful places to explore in the world. And in case you wanted to add fresh water diving to your bucket list, here are the world’s best diving sites to go freshwater diving;
1. Silfra Fissure – Thingvellir National Park
Freshwater diving doesn’t get any better than diving in the Silfra Fissure. Located in Thingvellir National Park Iceland, it offers an out of this world vivid experience. The water is incredibly clear having been filtered through a lava field for over 50 years offering crystal clear visibility for over 100 meters.
The water temperature in the Silfra ranges between 2-4 degrees Celsius and offers weightless floating through clear glacier water and tectonic plates.
Because of the waters visibility, and the wide diving area and beautiful landscapes to explore at the Silfra Fissure, it is arguably one of the best diving sites in the world.
2. Tiger Beach – Grand Bahama Island
This next freshwater diving adventure requires little more guts than the peaceful and calm Silfra Fissure. Located from the west end of the Grand Bahama Island in the country of the Caribbean, Tiger Beach offers you the opportunity to swim next to Tiger sharks in as clear water as you will get.
The reefs near tiger beach have a vast array of marine life. Visibility goes well below 100 feet, and with the mix of local reef and lemon sharks, it’s no surprise that this is one of the best diving sites in the world.
3. Secret Bay – Anilao, Philippines
Secret Bay in Anilao, Philippines is a lot less shallow than Tiger Beach but offers a unique opportunity to see smaller marine life such as mantis shrimp, rare nudibranchs and Wonderpus. No wonder the locals wanted to keep this site for the freshwater diving secret.
The reason why the secret bay makes the list is for its fantastic night dive experience with Ambon Scorpion fish, Bobbit worms and seahorses.
Despite being quite shallow, the bay is about 2kms wide and offers you an opportunity to swim next to many rare species that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
4. Cocos Island – Costa Rica
Cocos Island is scuba diving at it’s finest. Located in the Golden Triangle off the mainland of Costa Rica offers one of the most beautiful places to go freshwater diving in the world.
The Bajo Alcyone offers excellent visibility over 30 meters deep. Known as one of the best places in the world to spot the hammerhead shark, the current is a little greater than would normally be expected with freshwater diving and probably more suited for the more advanced diver.
With that said, it is arguably one of the best dive sites in the world offering an unforgettable experience with sharks, dolphins, giant mantas and even marble rays swimming by.
5. The Blue Corner – Palau
If you have enjoyed the peaceful dives that the Sifra offer, or even the Secret Bay, and are looking for a more action packed dive, the Blue Corner in Palu Indonesia offers up to 13 different species of sharks to see.
The dive has a depth of about 55 feet and there are plenty of Anthias and Butterflyfish on view.
When the blue corner’s current turns and hits its reef wall, it forces up water over the plateau bringing lots of clear beautiful water, offering an excellent visibility while diving.