The Top 5 Scuba Diving Destinations in July

19th June 2017   |   Sarah Morlock

Taking a diving holiday in July? Check out these top destinations. From minke whales in the Great Barrier Reef to manta rays in Komodo and hammerheads in Cocos Island, there are lots of adventures waiting for you. These are our picks for the best scuba diving destinations in the seventh month.


1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

We’ve said it before, but there’s no harm in repeating it. There’s no bad time to scuba dive in Australia. However, July does hold a lot of appeal for heading Down Under. From June to November, Australia experiences winter and slightly cooler water temperatures in the Great Barrier Reef. This change doesn’t make the water uncomfortable. Instead, it attracts a range of big marine life, including manta rays, whale sharks and even minke whales.

In addition, the seas are relatively calm and visibility is excellent. At the beginning of the season, you can get dives with 100-foot (30-meter) visibility in the outer reefs.

If you’re ready to jump in with large animals while checking the Great Barrier Reef off your bucket list, be sure to pick July for your Australian diving holiday.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Spirit of Freedom

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2. Cocos Island, Costa Rica

The best time to dive at Cocos Island is from June to December. This is the wet season when plankton blooms attract large amounts of marine life, including the schooling hammerhead sharks that make the island famous and give it one of the best dive sites in the world.

During July, you might also encounter whale sharks and manta rays at this liveaboard-only destination. However, be prepared for decreased visibility versus dry season and temperatures around 11°F (2-3 °C). It’s also important that you have experience diving in current before attempting a trip to this Costa Rican island.

With all that said, Cocos Island really is one of the best liveaboard destinations in the world, especially if you love diving with sharks. Book your trip for July and get ready for the adventure of your scuba diving career.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Okeanos Aggressor I

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3. Komodo, Indonesia

If you’re looking for manta rays in July, head for Komodo. Diving season at this UNESCO World Heritage site lasts from April to August with near perfect conditions in July.

July is right in the middle of dry season. As such, it boasts calm surface conditions, great visibility and an abundance of marine life. You can expect to swim alongside manta rays and spot some of the 1,000 plus species of fish that inhabit these waters.

To see the very best dive sites in Komodo, be sure to book a liveaboard. If you book early enough, you might be able to find a great deal on our special deals page.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: La Galigo

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4. Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Love whale sharks? Head to Isla Mujeres in July to snorkel with them. While this isn’t strictly a diving destination, the experience is one of the best whale shark encounters available, so of course we need to include it on our list of the best destinations for the seventh month.

Set just offshore from Cancun, Isla Mujeres attracts dozens of whale sharks from June to September each year. This is due partly to the fact that the island sits at the point where the Gulf of Mexico joins the Caribbean.

Many operations are so confident in their ability to put you in the water with whale sharks that they offer money back guarantees. Most likely, you’ll be able to swim/snorkel with more than one of the largest sharks in the ocean on just a half-day trip.

Editor’s Recommended Dive Center: Squalo Adventures

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5. Sipadan, Malaysia

Much like Australia, you can dive Sipadan in Malaysia year round. However, dry season lasts from March to October, and it is in the middle of this season, in July, that you’ll experience the most breathtaking conditions.

During this month, visibility can reach 160 feet (50 meters). You’ll see reef sharks, turtles and barracudas aplenty. There’s also fantastic muck diving in nearby Kapalai Island. It’s no coincidence that July is one of the most difficult months for finding the necessary permits, so be sure to book your adventure early.

It’s also worth noting that liveaboard diving allows one to see the best of Sipadan over multiple days along with Kapalai and Mabul.

Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: MV Celebes Explorer

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Planning a scuba diving holiday in July? Get in touch with our scuba diving experts to find the perfect destination for you. We’re available to answer any of your questions 24/7.

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