The Top 5 Scuba Diving Destinations in March26th February 2018 | Sarah Morlock
As weather around the world begins to shift once again between seasons, diving conditions also start to change. The Caribbean stays calm for a few more months, but larger animals begin to move on the currents in that sea. Humpback whales visit the Dominican Republic, and whale sharks make themselves known in Honduras.
The Caribbean isn’t the only place to witness migrations during March. The Galapagos Islands see large schools of hammerhead sharks, and humpback whales play off the coast of Hawaii.
Finally, destinations in the South Pacific remain idyllic. Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon is nearing the end of its high season, like the other islands in the South Pacific. This might get you some great liveaboard deals if you stay vigilant about finding them.
Ready to get away in March? Here are the top 5 scuba diving destinations for the third month of the year.
1. Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
Silver Bank is a submerged piece of land in the Atlantic Ocean. It belongs to the Dominican Republic, and it attracts large numbers of humpback whales between January and April. It’s estimated that between 5,000 and 7,000 whales visit the area to give birth and breed every year.
However, the only way to enjoy interacting with these humpback whales is to take a liveaboard trip. Several vessels have dedicated journeys to the Silver Bank during the season. They then use small rubber boats to get visitors close to the whales. If you’re brave enough, you can also snorkel with the huge cetaceans.
While you’re in the Dominican Republic, don’t miss the other awesome scuba diving opportunities around the country. You’ll see vibrant, fishy reefs, light beam-filled caverns and a long list of brag-worthy wrecks, both natural and purpose-sunk. Warm water and generally good visibility make most of the Dominican Republic a year-round destination.
Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Belize Aggressor III
2. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are high on the scuba bucket list of most divers we know. Luckily, these islands are particularly good to visit in March. This spring month is great for diving with hammerhead sharks and manta rays around these remote islands.
The warmer season in Ecuador runs from December to May. These months are the best for seeing schooling sharks, such as hammerheads and silkies. The conditions are also much better for divers who may suffer from sea sickness. There are usually fewer waves and mild currents. The visibility is the best during this time of year, too.
In addition, March is an ideal month for spotting manta rays in the Galapagos. Plankton is still accessible in the water, attracting the winged marine animals. Divers should be able to find at least a few during their holiday.
Whether you are itching to dive with sharks or mantas, March is a great time to visit the Galapagos. Just keep in mind that these islands are best explored by liveaboard.
Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Galapagos Sky
3. Hawaii, USA
Everyone who visits Hawaii loves it. That’s true of liveaboard divers, too. This US state is a fantastic dive destination during any month of the year. However, due to a combination of sun, seas and marine life, visiting the 50th state during the month of March is highly recommended.
Many divers will head straight to Kona, where liveaboard diving at off-the-beaten-path dive sites awaits. Inward currents and plankton-rich water act as a beacon for large marine life. This includes migrating whale sharks and a nightly symphony of manta rays. Otherwise, you might see turtles, stingrays, sharks and colorful fish fluttering around impressive coral structures.
An added benefit to traveling to Hawaii in March is the annual humpback whale migration. This begins in November and ends in the third month of the year. The whales around the islands are particularly active as they search for mates, putting on great displays for tourists watching from shore or from one of the many whale-watching boats.
Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Kona Aggressor II
Honduras and its gorgeous reef systems are a drawcard for divers from all over the world. The country’s Bay Islands have become a hive of dive activity. Home to a section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Roatan and Utila are favored for their vibrant coral, tropical fish, sponges as big as refrigerators and pelagic species. The reefs here are more diverse than rainforests.
Útila, in particular, is famous for its whale sharks. These magnificent animals arrive to the west end of the island reliably from March to May and August to October. But it should be noted that whale shark activity usually peaks from mid-February to April.
Although you can dive in Honduras year-round, June through October should be carefully considered. This is hurricane season in the Caribbean, and the massive storms do occasionally strike Honduras.
Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Roatan Aggressor
5. Chuuk Lagoon, Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Lagoon in the Federated States of Micronesia is one of the best wreck diving destinations in the world. Luckily for you, March is a great month to visit this underwater grave. During World War II, more than 200 aircraft and 60 ships were sunk in an Allied attack on the Japanese naval base. Today, a Japanese war memorial is found here, but the area is open to scuba divers with more than 50 wrecks within recreational limits.
The best time to dive Chuuk Lagoon is from October to April. During these months, you will find dry conditions and warm water. So you’ll only need to pack a 3mm wetsuit. However, it should be noted that diving in Chuuk Lagoon is possible year-round. Diving conditions around the wrecks and marine life change little month to month.
With so many dive sites scattered around Chuuk, traveling by liveaboard is highly recommended for divers who want to explore them all. Plus, March is at the end of the peak season, so you might be able to score a great deal during the third month of the year.
Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: SS Thorfinn
If you are planning a scuba diving vacation in March, get in touch. These are only a few of the great destinations we have on offer, and our scuba diving experts can suggest the perfect place for you. We’re available to help 24/7.