The 7 least visited diving destinations in the world

By Julius
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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to explore an underwater world that few have witnessed? While places like the Great Barrier Reef or the Red Sea might be on every diver’s bucket list, there are some hidden gems scattered around our beautiful planet that offer equally breathtaking experiences, minus the crowds.

Or minus the convenience…well…you get the point.

I’ve delved deep (pun intended) to discover some of the least visited diving spots. Some are lesser-known due to accessibility, others due to expense, but all are truly unique.

Yes, even Antarctica is more frequented than these!

Here are the 7 least visited diving destinations in the world:

1. Tuvalu, South Pacific

Comprising just 9 reef islands and atolls, Tuvalu is one of the world’s smallest nations, both in terms of land area and population.

Less than 2,000 tourists visit the island country each year, making it the least visited travel destination in the world.

This brings us to arguably the biggest issue in diving in Tuvalu…there are virtually no dive shops in the entire country.

However, some hotels offer equipment rentals and snorkeling is big here. Well, as big as it gets on Tuvalu at least.

However, for those who do travel there, there are plenty of things to see. Including, unsurprisingly, 33sqkm / 20 mi of untouched beaches. The waters around Tuvalu boast a plethora of wildlife, including blunt-head parrotfish, passionfruit coral trout, cod, bigeye bream, surgeonfish, unicornfish, snappers, and Bluefin trevally.

In addition, you’ll come across rays, turtles, and more exotic species.

Getting to Tuvalu itself is prohibitively expensive from most places on its own. However, if you combine it with a trip to Fidji, domestic flights start at around $700 round-trip.

Diving ConditionsWarm, tropical waters typically between 26-30°C (79-86°F).
Why so secludedTuvalu’s limited infrastructure and remoteness keep it off the mainstream diving circuit.
What to seeVibrant coral reefs, a plethora of fish species, and some wartime wrecks
SafetyLimited medical facilities

Book your trip

2. Niue, South Pacific

Often referred to as “The Rock” because of its limestone geography, Niue is one of the world’s smallest countries. And while tourism is one of the 3 major economic income sources for the country…there just aren’t that many tourists.

There are a couple of dive operators here, at least and you get to see whales, dolphins, snakes, and lots of fish.

This comes on top of visibilities of 50-70m and year-round warm temperatures.

The best time to visit is May to December when it’s less rainy.

Diving ConditionsCrystal clear waters with visibility sometimes exceeding 70 meters, with temperatures around 23-28°C (73-82°F).
Why so secludedIts isolation and lack of sandy beaches (compared to its Pacific neighbors) make it a less frequented tourist spot.
What to seeSea snakes, whales, spinner dolphins, and the unique underwater limestone formations with caves and chasms.
SafetyNiue’s waters are generally safe but always dive with a local guide

Book your trip

3. Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean

In short: Comprising 29 atolls and 5 islands, this Pacific nation offers an extraordinary underwater landscape shaped by World War II wrecks.

The Marshall Islands, with its sweeping blue lagoons and vast ocean scapes, present a panorama of beauty both above and below the water. The haunting legacy of World War II is visible in the shipwrecks that lie on the ocean bed, a silent testament to the battles that once raged above them. These wrecks are not just historical treasures but have now transformed into bustling marine habitats.

Bikini Atoll, in particular, draws divers from around the world, keen to explore the ghostly remains of the sunken fleet, which includes the famed USS Saratoga.

But it’s not just the wrecks.

The natural coral formations, inhabited by colorful reef fish, manta rays, and even the occasional shark, offer a beautiful contrast to the rusted metal of the warships. Noteworthy dive sites include Rongelap Atoll and Arno Atoll.

Diving in the Marshall Islands is special for several reasons and if you can, pay them a visit!

Diving ConditionsWarm tropical waters averaging 27-29°C (81-84°F).
Why so secludedUsed to be closed to tourists
What to seeShipwrecks, including the famous USS Saratoga, various marine species from barracudas to manta rays, and vibrant coral reefs.
SafetyStrong currents can be found in some areas. Dive with a local guide familiar with the waters.

Book your trip

4. American Samoa, South Pacific

In short: Comprising seven islands, American Samoa boasts a rich marine biodiversity thanks to its remote location and the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

American Samoa is a diver’s dream, a place where nature’s splendor has been preserved largely due to its relative isolation and strong conservation efforts. The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, spanning over 13,500 square miles, plays a pivotal role in protecting this underwater Eden, making it one of the Pacific’s best-kept secrets.

Most divers and ocean lovers visit here for the Southern Humpback Whales from August to November.

The islands’ volcanic origins have crafted a unique underwater topography. Drift along walls, navigate through caverns, and explore underwater pinnacles. The Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a submerged volcanic crater, offers a vibrant coral reef ecosystem that teems with marine life, a vivid splash of colors against the deep blue.

While American Samoa’s beauty on land is undeniable, with its rainforests, waterfalls, and traditional Polynesian culture, its underwater realm is where the true magic lies.

Diving ConditionsWarm waters with temperatures between 27-30°C (81-86°F).
Why so secludedIts remote location makes travel here difficult
What to seeIts remote location makes travel here difficult
SafetySafe and easy diving

Book your trip

5. Djibouti, Horn of Africa

In short: Located between Somalia and Eritrea, Djibouti is an emerging dive destination known for its whale shark population.

Nestled in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti offers a marine spectacle like few other places on Earth. The nation’s prime attraction for divers is its regular visitors, the gentle giants of the sea: whale sharks! These colossal creatures, with their graceful movements and distinctive spots, can be found in Djibouti’s waters, mainly between November and January, feeding on plankton.

Really, there are few other places around the world that can truly guarantee sightings with 100% certainty and Djibouti is one of them.

The Gulf of Tadjoura and the Bay of Ghoubbet are the primary playgrounds for divers. Here, apart from the whale sharks, you can encounter manta rays and schools of fish. Djibouti’s strategic location, where the Red Sea meets the Indian Ocean, truly creates a unique blend of marine life.

Djibouti might not be the first name that pops up when considering diving destinations, but therein lies its charm. It’s off the beaten path, away from crowded dive spots.

Diving ConditionsWater temperatures can range between 24-30°C (75-86°F).
Why so secludedNot yet popular due to its proximity to Somalia.
What to seeWhale sharks(!), manta rays, dolphins, large nudibranchs, sharks, coral gardens and a variety of reef fish. Also some wrecks
SafetySafe and easy diving but observe travel regulations

Book your trip

6. Kiribati, Central Pacific

In short: Spread across 33 atolls and reef islands, Kiribati offers a truly remote dive experience.

A sprinkling of islands and atolls across the vast Pacific, Kiribati is the epitome of seclusion. Less than 10,000 tourists travel here every year.

This isolation has allowed its marine ecosystem to flourish with minimal human interference, providing divers with an experience that’s both raw and captivating. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area, covering over 408,000 square kilometers, ensures that this underwater haven remains unspoiled for future generations.

Kiribati’s dive sites are a treasure trove of biodiversity. From walls adorned with soft corals to sea mounts teeming with predatory fish, every dive site feels like a chapter from a marine adventure book. Various species of sharks, including the magnificent hammerhead, make this a place worth visiting…granted you find someone to take you on a dive!

Diving ConditionsClear blue waters with temperatures usually between 27-30°C (81-86°F).
Why so secludedIt’s super far away from everything else
What to seeUntouched coral gardens, various species of sharks, barracudas, and tunas.
SafetyEasy diving but not many medical faciliaties

Book your trip

7. Montserrat, Caribbean Sea

In short: Volcanic island meets plethora of fish.

Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory, stands out not just for its rich Irish heritage but also for its volcanic history. The Soufrière Hills volcano has significantly shaped both its landscape and underwater terrain.

Diving ConditionsWarm Caribbean waters ranging from 26-29°C (79-84°F).
Why so secludedIt’s super far away from everything else
What to seesea turtles, stingrays, spiny lobster, and a myriad of reef fish
SafetyEasy diving

Book your trip

Bonus: Antarctica

In short: Diving at the coldest place on Earth

Diving in Antarctica is unlike anything you have ever done or seen before.

Though mainly a polar desert, it offers astounding diving opportunities for those who dare to dive in cold water.

Scuba diving in Antarctica means essentially two things: Diving under ice and super interesting marine life.

Let’s just look at a few of the animals you can encounter on your scuba dives in the Southern Ocean:

  • Penguins
  • Sea lions
  • Leopard seals
  • Walruses
  • Orcas
  • Jellyfish
  • Icefish
  • Starfish
  • Sea urchins
  • Anemones
  • Soft coral
  • Lobsters
  • Humpback whales
  • Minke whales

Of course, humpback whales and minke whales stand out among the crowd for those who love to see the real big fauna out there.

February to March are the best times to encounter them, although seeing them involves a bit of luck.

Diving ConditionsIt’s freezing
Why so secludedBecause it’s the coldest place on Earth
What to seeIce, whales, seals, ice, orcas, coral, more ice
SafetyAdvanced divers only

Book your trip


This concludes our list of the 7 least visited diving destinations in the world. As you saw, there are some places on earth that are REALLY far off the beaten track.

Let us know if you ever get the chance to travel to any of these and how you liked it!

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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. :-)

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