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Top Five Easy Dive Destinations to Get Back in the Water Post-Covid

The U.S. has lifted its requirement for Covid-19 testing before entering the country, making now a great time to start diving the world again. Here’s our round-up of the top five easy dive destinations to get back in the water.

The U.S. has lifted its requirement for Covid-19 testing before entering the country, making now a great time to start diving the world again. But what if you’ve lost your dive confidence? It’s been a while since many of us have been diving and our skills might be a bit rusty. But the good news is that there are plenty of accessible dive destinations with perfect conditions to refresh dive skills while enjoying world-class dives. Here’s our round-up of the top five easy dive destinations to get back in the water.


post-Covid dive vacation
It’s been too long since you said hi to a sea turtle.

Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean and a world-famous dive destination with coral reefs full of life. With dive sites suitable for novices to experienced divers, it’s the perfect destination to get back in the water post-pandemic.

Covid entry requirements

  • There are no Covid entry requirements for people traveling to Mexico.
  • Most resorts ask guests to fill out a health questionnaire.

What makes Cozumel great for getting back into diving?

Cozumel offers stunning diving in clear, turquoise waters that are warm all year. There are a multitude of dive sites just off the coast, with abundant reefs and a variety of dive types available.

What to expect when you get there

Cozumel is very quiet at the moment and has numerous topside highlights to explore on your non-diving days. There are traditional towns, historic ruins, and theme parks for families, plus white-sand beaches, beach bars, and restaurants.

Diving in Cozumel

Boasting the second-largest reef system in the world, Cozumel has exceptional coral reef diving and an astonishing diversity of marine life, including numerous sea turtles and vibrant reef fish.

Cozumel’s top dive sites for beginners include Columbia Reef and Chankanaab Reef, both of which have beautiful, sunlit corals in clear, shallow waters with gentle currents. More experienced divers will enjoy Cozumel’s thrilling drift dives, including at Punta Tunich, and the huge 100-foot-high (30 m) wall and coral pillars at Colombia Wall.


Bonaire Hilma Hooker
Bonaire is a top-notch choice for your first post-Covid dive vacation

If you love exploring at your own pace and self-guided diving, Bonaire is for you. This relaxed, slow-paced island lacks large chain hotels and has dozens of well-preserved local dive sites just a few steps offshore.

Covid entry requirements

  • There are no Covid entry requirements for people traveling to Bonaire. 

What makes Bonaire great for getting back into diving?

Bonaire is the shore-diving capital of the world and offers easy, accessible reef diving that provides a gentle reintroduction to the underwater world. With an arid climate and little rainfall, diving in Bonaire is excellent all year and the waters are extremely clear.

What to expect when you get there

Bonaire is a small island, but it has plenty of wild spaces, including a vast desert landscape, so it rarely feels crowded. That said, Bonaire’s restaurants can get busy, so book in advance.

There are plenty of adventure sports available, including caving, sea kayaking, hiking, windsurfing, and mountain biking, plus 22 gorgeous beaches.

Diving in Bonaire

Bonaire is all about reef and wreck shore diving, so rent a car and explore the dozens of dive sites at your feet. Salt Pier is an easy shore dive with pillars covered in soft and hard corals. Bari Reef is an excellent night dive for macro fans, and Karpata is a good place to spot pelagics in the blue. The famous Hilma Hooker wreck is one of Bonaire’s most popular dives, and you can explore this impressive wreck as a self-guided dive from shore.


Belize whale shark
Whale sharks await in Belize

With over 400 islands and 240 miles of Caribbean coastline, Belize is an incredible dive destination. It is home to some of the world’s best dive sites and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Belize Barrier Reef. What more could you need to get back into diving?

Covid entry requirements

  • There are no Covid entry requirements for people traveling to Belize.
  • Purchasing Belize Travel Insurance is no longer mandatory but it is highly recommended by the Belize Tourism Board.

What makes Belize great for getting back into diving

Belize hosts a diverse array of reefs that provide idyllic reef diving for novices right through to experienced divers. Belize’s waters are warm all year and you can enjoy a mixture of land-based and liveaboard diving there.

What to expect when you get there

Belize is popular with U.S. visitors, so book ahead during public and school holidays. Once there, you can go jungle walking and bird watching, explore Mayan ruins, and enjoy Belize’s mouth-watering cuisine. And if that’s too much effort, just relax on Belize’s golden and white-sand beaches.

Diving in Belize

The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, boasting three turtle species, hundreds of reef fish species, pelagic fish, whale sharks, and hundreds of corals and sponges.

Ambergris Caye has over 40 accessible dive sites dotted along its shores, and it is a good place to base yourself to explore Belize’s other top dive highlights: the Great Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef, and Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Turneffe Atoll is another top place to enjoy all that Belize scuba diving has to offer. This atoll has over 200 cayes, with diverse underwater landscapes, including huge walls covered in corals. There are ripping currents for experienced divers, shallow aquarium-like dive sites, and plenty of pelagic action.

Florida Keys 

Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are a treasure, both topside and underwater.

If you are looking for somewhere closer to home, try the Florida Keys. It’s a wreck diving mecca, with plenty of coral reefs as well. And if you live nearby, you can get your diving fix over the weekend.

Covid entry requirements

  • There are no Covid entry requirements for people traveling to the Florida Keys.

What makes the Florida Keys great for getting back into diving?

As well as being accessible, with no need to go overseas, the Florida Keys have consistently warm waters, plenty of sunshine, and varied diving that offers something for all divers.

What to expect when you get there

 This is a popular U.S. vacation spot, so be sure to book ahead. Once there, you can enjoy plenty of topside highlights, including gorgeous beaches, charter fishing, art galleries, museums, spas, and a fine-dining scene.

 Diving in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys has the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States and is also home to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. There are endless reefs, seagrass fields, sandbars, islands, and extensive mangroves to explore, with over 6,000 marine species, including manatees.

Added to that, the Florida Keys has epic wreck diving. There is a shipwreck trail with nine historic wrecks, and an estimated 1,000 shipwrecks in total. If you love rust, diving in Florida is hard to beat.

The Bahamas

Bahamas diving
The Bahamas offers spectacular shark diving close to home.

The Bahamas is one of the easiest destinations to access from the U.S., being just a short flight away. Famed for its shark diving, it ticks the boxes for shark fans who want a world-class dive trip without traveling far.

Covid entry requirements

  • Vaccinated travelers must provide proof of vaccination.
  • Unvaccinated travelers (aged 2 and older) need to show proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test taken no more than 72 hours prior to travel.

What makes the Bahamas great for getting back into diving?

Warm weather, a multitude of islands, and water that rarely drops below 80 F (27 C) is enough to tempt anyone to visit the Bahamas. Below the surface, there are colorful reefs and crystal-clear waters that host an abundance of sharks.

What to expect when you get there

Unsurprisingly, the Bahamas continues to be one of the most popular destinations for Americans. These stunning islands have an endless list of topside activities that cater for just about every interest, making it perfect for families and group trips.

Diving in the Bahamas

The Bahamas has been a designated shark sanctuary since 2011 and has exceptional shark diving. Visit Tiger Beach to dive with numerous tiger sharks in warm, shallow waters, then hop over to Bimini for diving with great hammerheads. Alternatively, Cat Island offers swimming with oceanic whitetips.

If shark diving isn’t your thing, try the Exuma Cays and Eleuthera. There, you can dive the famous Austin Smith wreck, experience a unique current dive called the Washing Machine, and drift over beautiful reefs all day long.

Kathryn Curzon, a shark conservationist and dive travel writer for SSI (Scuba Schools International), wrote this article.


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