The Cheapest Diving Destinations in 2024

By Julius
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Scuba divers swimming over colorful reef

Scuba diving can be a pricey hobby, especially when you want to do it while traveling.

Many of the best diving destinations in the world can come at a premium price tag and might make them unaffordable for some.

However, scuba diving doesn’t have to be expensive.

I have come across many diving destinations that are easy to get to and offer some cheap diving and accommodation.

Therefore, this is my list of the 10 cheapest diving destinations in the world.


Krabi beach in Thailand
Thailand is one of the cheapest travel destinations in the world.

Thailand is another diving destination that makes almost very best-of list and more divers get certified here every year than anywhere else.

The country is exciting to visit both on land and underwater and from whales sharks to manta rays, barracudas, schools of fish and wrecks there is nothing you will not find here.

Diving starts at as low as $20 per dive and it’s an excellent opportunity for beginners to practice more.

Liveaboard diving is dirt cheap here and trips start at below $500!

Flights to Thailand are easy to book and apart from the main travel season in January and February, you can get very affordable prices from all major airports.

Staying in Thailand is what makes this diving destination stand out from the rest as hostels can cost as low as $10 a night and food is basically pennies.

Diving SeasonNovember – April
Best time to diveDecember – March
What to seeManta rays, whale sharks, Barracuds, an abundance of macro life
Water Temperature28-30°C (82-87°F)
Best forWarm water, plenty of fish, super cheap
DifficultyAll levels of diving available. Some negative descents and currents.
Diving facts Thailand.
Read our travel guide


Coral reef in the Red Sea
The Red Sea is incredible to dive at and super affordable.

Egypt is on basically any and every scuba diving best-of list due to the sheer amount of diving opportunities here.

From incredible coral reefs to shipwrecks, dolphins, sharks, and sub $1,000 liveaboard trips, you can do it all here.

The Red Sea is famous for being full of surprises and on any given day you might encounter whale sharks, manta rays, manatees, or anything else really. And yes, it’s heaven for shark lovers!

The cheapest dive sites in Egypt can be found in Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, and Dahab. Deep South liveaboard trips are a little pricier, but you can do a Northern Wrecks tour or even Brothers Islands for less than $1,000!

Diving days from shore start around €50-70 plus equipment, however, it’s a “all done for you” way of diving, and the dive centers will take of all your needs.

There are plenty of hotels, diving camps, and resorts to stay and Egyptian hospitality is great. Just be careful not to get sick from any uncooked food.

Getting to Egypt is very affordable for Europeans, and flights depart from all major airports.

Diving facts Egypt

Diving SeasonYear-round
Best time to diveMay – November
What to seeSharks, dolphins, whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, turtles. Many shipwrecks.
Water Temperature18-28°C (65-82°F)
Best forVariety of dive spots, lots to see, very affordable
DifficultyAny level of diving available
Diving facts Egypt.
Read our travel guide

Malapascua, Philippines

Malapascua Island in the Philippines
A beach on Malapascua Island.

Malapascua is arguably the most famous diving region in the Philippines and for good reasons.

It is one of the prime destinations for diving with Thresher sharks and they can be seen here pretty regularly.

You can dive in Malapascua year-round, however, some other natural parks in the Philippines like the Tubbahata National Park are only open for a few months every year. If you want to see both, you should plan to travel here between March and June and consider a liveaboard cruise.

The most budget diving options for Malapascua begin at around $15-20 per dive and traveling in the Philippines is never expensive.

Just get some cheap flights below and you are all set for a budget dive trip!

Diving facts Malapascua, Philippines

Diving SeasonYear-round
Best time to diveSome Natural Parks are only open from March – June
What to seeThresher sharks, countless dive sites, whale sharks, manta rays, even whales in the winter
Water Temperature27-28°C (81-84°F) in the winter, 28-30°C (83-86°F) in the summer
Best forThresher sharks, beautiful underwater world
DifficultyAny level of diving available
Diving facts Philippines.

Bonaire & Curacao

Beach bar in Curacao
A typical beach bar in Bonaire & Curacao.

Curacao and Bonaire are part of the ABC islands (together with Aruba) and are famous for budget non-limit shore diving.

Pristine Caribbean waters, sunshine year-round, and super easy dive sites, both islands are great for beginners and experienced divers alike.

Flights to Curacao are surprisingly cheap as it’s just 2 hours away from Miami airport, and European divers benefit from “inland” flights from the Netherlands.

The best way to explore these diving destinations is by booking yourself into a divers camp, or resort as your home base and to fill your tanks, renting a rental car, and just drive around the island on your own.

You can basically park anywhere along the coastline and jump in right there.

Most dive bases only charge the rental fee and gas filling for the tanks, and if you have your own scuba gear, that’s all you ever have to pay for.

If you do not have a buddy, you can of course book some guided dives at one of the numerous dive centers on the islands.

I prefer Curacao as there is more to do, however, the diving is even better on Bonaire as the beaches are easier to access. Our recommendation: Get the best of both worlds and do some island hopping!

Only the food is not super cheap, but if you cook on your own this won’t be an issue.

Diving facts Bonaire & Curacao

Diving SeasonYear-round
Best time to diveAnytime
What to seeTurtles, schools of fish, intact reefs
Water Temperature28-30°C (82°F -85°F)
Best forEasy shore diving & getting in as many dives as possible
DifficultySuper easy
Diving facts Bonaire & Curacao
Read our travel guide

Roatan & Utila, Honduras

Cayos Cochinos in Honduras
Honduras is a beautiful travel destination.

Honduras has long been known for being a cheap travel destination that’s great for backpackers, and budget divers!

Roatan and Utila are the prime destinations for diving in the country and await with a large biodiversity, intact reefs, and easy diving.

Diving packages are available at $30-$50 per dive which is a great price for such amazing diving conditions.

Please note that there is some great diving on the coast of Honduras but the marine parks Roatan & Utila can only be reached by boat!

The Aggressor Fleet also offers a 26-dives liveaboard cruise here, if you want to get the best of the over 100 dive sites in the area.

Staying in Honduras is inexpensive with rates starting at less than $20 per night, although you can of course find some premium offers at 10x that.

Diving facts Roatan & Utila, Honduras

Diving SeasonYear-round
Best time to diveAnytime
What to seeSharks, coral reefs, turtles, tropical fish
Water Temperature28-30°C (82-87°F)
Best forLarge biodiversity, super affordable, intact reefs
DifficultyMainly easy diving
Diving facts for beginners Roatán & Utila, Honduras.
Read our travel guide

Cozumel, Mexico

Scuba diver with fish underwater

Mexico is the prime scuba diving destination in the Americas and offers everything from coral reefs, to cave diving, whale shark snorkeling, Great Whites, and whales.

Really, there is nothing you will not find in Mexico, but the cheapest place to dive here is by far Cozumel. 300 days of sunshine per year, massive coral gardens, and the warm waters here make it a first choice for scuba divers around the world.

Diving starts at less than $40 per dive and if you book a 6 or 10-dive package, you will pay even less.

Flights from the US are cheap and not too bad for the rest of the world either.

Accommodation and food are inexpensive in most cases, making this one of the cheapest diving destinations in the world.

Diving facts Mexico

Diving SeasonYear-round
Best time to diveAnytime
What to seeWhale sharks, sharks, cenotes caverns
Water Temperature21-30°C (69-87°F)
Best forLots of things to do, warm water, cenotes diving
DifficultyFrom beginner to expert cave diver
Diving facts Mexico.
Scuba diving trip packing list

Bali, Indonesia

Bali in Indonesia
Bali is a must-visit on every travel bucket list.

Bali is the backpacker’s dream come true and it’s no surprise that the island is also one of the cheapest scuba diving destinations on the planet.

There are more than 100 dive sites in Bali and dozens of dive centers to pick from.

The absolute highlight underwater is the giant oceanic sunfish, or Mola Mola that you can encounter here from August to October each year.

Manta season is a bit earlier from April to May, so pick wisely what you prefer…or just stay a little longer in one of the countless cheap hotels or backpacker hostels.

Make sure to check out the Tulamben dive sites with the USAT Liberty wreck, one of the best wreck diving sites in the world, as well as some muk diving near Seraya.

A single dive will be priced around $30 and as usual, package deals make it even cheaper.

Diving facts Bali, Indonesia

Diving SeasonYear-round
Best time to diveApril-May (manta rays), August – October (Mola Mola)
What to seeMola Mola, manta rays, dolphins, sharks, wrecks
Water Temperature28-30°C (82-86°F)
Best forMola Molas and drift diving
DifficultyMostly easy diving, but rocky shores can be tricky
Diving facts Bali, Indonesia.
Read our travel guide

Sipadan Island, Malaysia

Reef in Sipadan Island in Malaysia
You’ll find many views like this on Sipadan Island in Malaysia.

Borneo and Sipadan are some of the most biodiverse regions in the world and every dive feels like an underwater petting zoo.

Diving here is not only superb but highly affordable and starts at less than $20 per dive!

Considering the amount of fish you will encounter, that’s an absolute steal.

Plus, if you are REALLY lucky, you can encounter thresher sharks and even hammerheads on Sipadan!

Malaysia as a whole is super affordable and traveling here won’t break the bank. If you can manage to get some cheap flights, that’s really the most expensive part of the entire trip.

Diving facts Sipadan Island, Malaysia

Diving SeasonMarch-September on the East Coast, Year-Round in the West
Best time to diveApril – September
What to seeTurtles, schools of fish, sharks, rays, seahorses
Water Temperature28-30°C (82-86°F)
Best forSo much fish, beautiful reefs, thresher sharks, hammerhead sharks
DifficultyAll levels of diving available
Diving facts Sipadan Island, Malaysia.
Read our travel guide


City of Dubrovnik in Croatia
Dubrovnik in Croatia is a popular travel destination.

Croatia is a European hotspot for scuba diving and travel, and you’ll find something for everyone here.

While shore diving is really easy and popular, you’ll find the best dive sites in Croatia when joining a day trip on a diving boat. Massive shipwrecks lay at the bottom and kits and lots of caverns to explore.

Diving starts at around €40-60 for a two-tank diving day, and rental equipment is never expensive.

The entire coast of the Adriatic Sea is a nice budget option and plenty of diving camps, inexpensive hotels, and camping areas exist.

Oh, plus the food in Croatia is super yummy!

Most European divers can drive to Croatia by car and skip the need for flights and rental cars.

However, those are very cheap, as well, and make traveling to Croatia easy for everyone.

Diving facts Croatia

Diving SeasonApril – January
Best time to diveMay – November
What to seeWrecks, underwater walls, drop-offs, caverns
Water Temperature15-24˚C (65-75˚F)
Best forWreck diving, easy shore diving
DifficultyAll levels of diving available
Diving facts Croatia.
Read our travel guide

Florida, USA

Pier in Naples, Florida
Florida is more than just the bright lights of Miami.

What Croatia is to Europeans, Florida is to North American divers.

Easy and cheap to get to, countless diving opportunities, and a lot of things to do in and out of the water.

Florida is a diving hotspot for US divers and offers superb cave and ocean diving spots. Great for both beginners and experienced divers, you will love diving here.

Unlike other cheap diving destinations, you will absolutely need a rental car to get around and should make sure to get them early in advance.

Guided diving starts at around $90 for 2 dives including tanks, which is really incredibly cheap!

Accommodation in Florida is a little more pricey when booking on short notice, however, there are many great and inexpensive hotel and hostel options for those on a budget!

Diving facts Florida, USA

Diving SeasonApril – December
Best time to diveMay – November
What to seeWrecks, underwater walls, drop-offs, caverns
Water Temperature15-24˚C (65-75˚F)
Best forWreck diving, easy shore diving
DifficultyAll levels of diving available
Diving facts Croatia.
Read our travel guide


Great scuba diving doesn’t have to be expensive. Diving at any of the diving destinations above is fairly cheap and will limit your scuba diving costs to a minimum.

If you want more tips on how to save money, check out our guide on diving on a budget!

Do you know any other cheap diving destinations? Share them with us in the comments!

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Always dive with friends and happy bubbles. 😃



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About the author

Hey! I'm Julius, professional scuba instructor, diver, outdoor lover, entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Social Diving. I write about scuba diving (including tech, cave, sidemount, and freediving), travel, and love what I do. If you have any questions, send me a message. :-)

©2024 Social Diving. All rights reserved. The content presented here is the exclusive property of Social Diving and may not be copied or distributed, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Social Diving.

Social Diving is your #1 online source for scuba diving, scuba travel, water sports, learning, and having fun in and under water. We have scuba online articles, review plenty of (scuba) gear, and regularly post travel guides around the world.


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