There is nothing quite like hovering at the edge of a wall when you dive, watching the ocean disappear below you. This exhilarating type of diving offers the chance to explore striking landscapes and immerse yourself alongside walls teeming with life. There are some great places you can go wall diving around the world. Here is our pick of the best:
Hawaii is known for night diving with mantas and dramatic underwater landscapes with a generous helping of lava tubes, caverns and craters. The Molokini Crater off Maui is a popular choice for wall dives, with the outer crater plunging to depths over 100 meters. Molokini Back Wall is a great dive for manta and shark encounters. Dive there from December to May and you might hear passing humpback whales. The Au Au Crater at Kona is a steep wall dive where you can spot oceanic whitetips and hammerhead sharks.
2. Egypt’s Red Sea
Egypt’s Elphinstone Reef offers some of the best Red Sea wall diving and is a premier Southern Red Sea dive destination. The almost-vertical walls drop from just below the surface to a plateau at 80 meters, before disappearing into the inky depths. The reef itself is washed with strong currents, making for fun drift dives past vibrant corals. Home to a variety of reef sharks, you can also dive with oceanic whitetips and hammerheads there.
The Marine National Park at Bunaken is a conservation success story, offering a staggering diversity of life and some of Indonesia’s best wall dives. You can see 5 sea turtle species, dugong, spinner dolphins, pilot whales and more. This special Indonesia scuba diving destination is even on a migratory path for sperm whales.
Bunaken wall diving is exceptional, with numerous wall dives to choose from and plenty of big pelagic action. Celah Celah is a favourite with photographers, thanks to the wall cracks packed with soft corals, critters and fish. There are brightly-coloured nudibranchs and pygmy seahorses to find, plus passing dogtooth tuna and sea snakes.
Showcasing the best of Micronesia’s varied diving, Palau has it all. Blue Corner, a natural corner in the ocean, has a wall that drops to over 330 meters with a plateau at 12 to 20 meters. This strong current dive demands the use of reef hooks and will reward you with an abundance of marine life, vibrant corals and huge schools of fish. Turtles, eagle rays and sharks are regularly seen there.
The Somosomo Strait is not to be missed when wall diving Fiji. The vertical walls are covered in soft corals, with large bushes of white, brown, pink and orange corals that come to life in the swift currents. Purple Wall is aptly named and covered in purple soft corals and sea fans. The Great White Wall looks like a giant wall of snow, thanks to being absolutely covered in white soft corals. Both dives are accessible by Somosomo Strait liveaboard diving.
6. Cayman Islands
Known for its wall diving, the Cayman Islands don’t disappoint with sites such as the Bloody Bay Wall and Grand Cayman’s North Wall. The Bloody Bay Wall drops to over 914 meters and is one of the most sought-after, and colourful, Cayman Islands dives. The wall is covered in life, ranging from corals and sea fans to a variety of sponges and abundant critters. Be sure to look away from the wall to spot eagle rays, turtles and Nassau groupers.
The more remote Grand Cayman’s North Wall has a number of dive sites to explore, where you can find sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and plenty of life on the wall itself. The east of the wall has caverns and swim-throughs, whilst the famous Stingray City dive site is in the north.
The Cayman Trench off the coast of Roatan has dramatic walls and reefs. Famous for whale sharks, dolphins and rare black corals, it is well worth adding to your liveaboard diving wish list. The West End Wall is a series of canyons and channels ideal for divers and snorkelers alike, where you can swim amongst large schools of jacks, barracuda and tarpon. Utila offers sheer walls on the north side, whilst Guanaja, the most remote of the Bay Islands, has wall dives and volcanic landscapes.
Head to Turneffe Atoll in Belize and you can enjoy the rich biodiversity of this reef, plus big wall dives and mangrove islands. The walls are covered in corals and host turtles, moray eels and rays. Lighthouse Reef is popular for wall diving, especially at Half Moon Caye. You can see Caribbean reef sharks and plenty of macro life, whilst enjoying easy-going currents.
This article was written by divers and writers at LiveAboard.com