• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Top Scuba Diving Sites for Drift Diving

ByKyle Henderson

Jul 20, 2023
Underwater scuba diving selfie shot with selfie stick. Deep blue sea. Wide angle shot.Underwater scuba diving selfie shot with selfie stick. Deep blue sea. Wide angle shot.

Whether you’re looking for a thrilling drift dive or simply a relaxing underwater experience, there are plenty of epic destinations across the globe to explore.

Cozumel, in Mexico, is one of the world’s top scuba diving hotspots for its gentle currents, making drift dives perfect for beginners who want to dial in their buoyancy.

  1. Cozumel

A stunning island off the coast of Mexico, Cozumel has a lot to offer for divers. The island boasts world-class diving, an impressive reef system and a variety of underwater attractions including whale sharks.

Cozumel is a fantastic destination for drift diving thanks to its amazing visibility, still waters and strong currents. This makes it a great site to learn the art of drift diving as well as add it to your existing skill set.

One of the best sites for drift diving in Cozumel is Columbia Wall. This is a vast and intricate reef environment that offers all kinds of nooks, crannies, caves and tunnels to explore. It also features towering coral pillars that are hundreds of years old and look fantastic as they hang in the midwater.

Another must-dive site is Palancar Horseshoe. It has a beautiful horseshoe-shaped coral amphitheater at the start of the dive which leads into a wonderful channel and swim throughs.

North of Palancar, Santa Rosa is a beautiful fringing reef with colorful corals and sand valleys and dunes pushed up by prevailing currents. It is home to many large moray eels, groupers, snappers and grunts.

Punta Tunich is another great site for drift diving in Cozumel with coral ridges rising up from the sandy bottom at 70 feet. It is home to schools of grunt and snapper as well as large sea fans, bright and beautiful sponges and intricate corals.

In addition to the amazing variety of underwater activities that are available in Cozumel, there are plenty of other things to do and see on this tropical island. Whether you’re looking to relax on one of the many beautiful beaches, visit local villages or take a jeep tour into the jungle, there is something for everyone!

  1. Tobago

Tobago has a number of attractions for drift diving that will excite divers of all levels. Drift diving is an enjoyable form of scuba diving where you can explore the underwater world without having to fight against strong currents.

The waters off Tobago are nutrient rich and therefore attract an incredibly diverse variety of fish and critters. These include turtles, lobsters, eels and many species of tropical reef fish.

One of the best known areas in Tobago for drift diving is Speyside, located on the island’s north-eastern coast. It features some of the island’s most stunning coral as well as offering great chances to spot hawksbill turtles, nurse sharks and the elusive manta rays.

Another popular area for Tobago’s top-notch drift diving is Keleston Drain, located off Little Tobago. This fascinating site is home to what’s said to be the largest brain coral in the world, which spans a whopping 15 feet in diameter and is made up of millions of individual coral animals.

In addition, Kelleston Drain also features swaying sea fans, sea whips, gorgonians and small feather black coral. You may even get lucky enough to see large nurse sharks or barracuda in this enchanting location.

This dive site is a must for Tobago’s seasoned diver, especially in winter when the water is cooler and more likely to have larger pelagics such as hammerhead sharks present. It also offers a good chance to sight dolphins, stingrays and turtles in the waters around it.

Other popular Tobago dive sites include Flying Reef, located on the Atlantic side of the island. This dive spot is a popular choice for both beginners and experienced divers because it provides an exciting opportunity to drift by at a fast rate and keep an eye out for stingrays, turtles, schools of fish, nurse sharks and passing pelagics.

  1. Ras Mohamed

Situated on a narrow peninsula to the south of Sharm El Sheikh, Ras Mohammed is one of the most popular Red Sea scuba diving destinations in Egypt. The area is easily accessible by day trip boat from Sharm El Sheikh or by liveaboard cruise.

It has a wide range of dive sites to suit all levels of divers, from beginner and beginner-advanced through to advanced and professional. It also offers great opportunities for freediving as well, making it a perfect choice for those interested in exploring the underwater world.

The pristine waters of the Ras Mohamed National Park are home to a large number of reef and pelagic fish as well as the most diverse coral garden in the entire Red Sea. These are just some of the reasons why it is one of the most exciting and spectacular Red Sea scuba diving destinations.

There are a variety of different types of dive sites to choose from when you visit Ras Mohammed, ranging from wall dives to drift dives. Some of the best sites for drift diving include Jackfish Alley and Shark Observatory.

Jackfish Alley is an excellent reef where you can find large schools of Jackfish. There is a lot of life at this site and you will also see whitetip reef sharks in the deeper section of the wall.

This is a very popular reef that is famous for its hard and soft corals. It is also home to many Gorgonians, stingrays and trevally. It is also a good place to see glassfish, triggerfish and eels.

The canyon is a fascinating and scenic drift dive, where you can enjoy the colorful corals and teeming reef life. You can also spot a variety of marine creatures including sharks, barracuda and tuna.

  1. Kuredu Express

Kuredu Express, Maldives is a popular site for drift diving, with a strong current that flows along a sandy channel. This site has several terraces of varying depths where you can see a variety of stunning pelagic life including manta rays.

The reef also features a wide range of marine life, with schooling fish like horse-eye jacks and barracudas often spotted. In addition, eagle rays and grey reef sharks can be seen regularly.

It is possible to dive this site year-round, but it is best for experienced divers only. The strong currents here can be unpredictable, so it’s important to know what to expect before you head out.

Bodu Miyaru Kandu is known as the “Big Shark Channel” due to its large population of grey reef sharks. It is also an excellent site to spot whitetip reef sharks, stingrays, eagle rays and a huge range of other pelagic species.

Maaya Thila, Mexico is another popular place for drift diving, with the nutrient-rich waters attracting an array of beautiful corals and a diverse selection of marine life. It is also home to a number of sharks, including tiger sharks, which are frequently sighted.

A highlight of this area is the famous Blue Hole, which is a 450-foot deep hole-in-the-reef that has fascinating stalactite and stalagmite formations. It is one of the most renowned dive sites in the world, and can attract large numbers of scuba divers from around the globe.

This site is ideal for drift diving, as the current can move you at a speed that is almost impossible to predict. It is also one of the few places where you can experience manta rays surfacing from their underwater caves.

  1. Elphinstone Reef

Elphinstone Reef, also known as Sha’ab Abu Hamra is one of the best scuba diving sites in the world for drift diving. It has a strong current that allows you to dive along the steep walls. You will see an abundance of fish, corals, sponges, gorgonias and sea whips on this amazing reef all year round.

The reef consists of several plateaus, each dropping down to 60 metres or deeper on either side. On the north and south sides of the reef there are vertical walls that are covered with hard and soft corals teeming with marine life.

You will find a large variety of fish here including barracuda, angelfish, emperor angelfish, zebra angelfish, hoards of anthias and many species of groupers. You will also see shoals of suez fusiliers and a large number of different colourful nudibranchs.

Sharks can be spotted around the reef too, especially Oceanic White Tip sharks and their pilot fish. You can also see grey reef sharks, hammerheads and silky sharks here too.

It’s possible to do an ad-hoc dive at Elphinstone but it’s better if you take a liveaboard diving safari here as this will give you more time to explore the site, and it can be easier to see sharks in this way. You’ll be able to go for an early morning or late afternoon dive to avoid the crowds and you’ll be less likely to experience the strong currents that can make it difficult for beginners.

It is important to remember that this is a huge reef and you will need a lot of dives to see it all. It’s best to do a minimum of 4 dives on this reef, ideally 3 times on the east and west sides, and once on the north and south plateaus.