Where and when to dive? This is a good question to ask yourself when planning a diving trip. It is important to make sure that you have chosen the right season for diving.
When we say where and when to dive, we are referring to the climate, necessarily, but not only. Many of you combine a diving trip with a sightseeing discovery, and depending on your passions or interests, some destinations will be suitable for such a combination. Some will want to go to a specific destination to observe manta rays, or shark gatherings, at the most favorable time.
To help you choose where and when to dive, and to give to you ideas, we have made a selection of diving destinations that we particularly like, with some inevitably arbitrary choice criteria.
Where and when to dive?
When we speak of the season for diving, we mean climatic season. You might as well avoid, for example, finding yourself in the middle of the monsoon in the Similan Islands, or the Azores in February when the diving centers never go out because of poor weather conditions.
Knowing where and when to dive also depends on the seasons linked to natural events, migration or frequentation of the area by certain species, coral spawning, the reproduction of a particular group of fish, etc.
The Middle East, Mediterranean, and Atlantic
You can dive all year round in Oman or the Red Sea, even in the hottest periods, the sea breeze softens the temperature. The exception is Sudan, it is much too hot in summer, and cruises do not take place in July-August. The Mediterranean is ideally accessible from spring until autumn.
In the Atlantic, the Azores are accessible between May and October, while Cape Verde is a beautiful destination all year round.
Caribbean and Americas
The Caribbean archipelago is accessible all year round. The dry season is from November to May, but the rest of the year you can suffer from a few drops. Important nuances exist between the North and the South of the West Indian arc, refer to each destination. The archipelago is in a cyclonic zone during the period from July to October. In the Americas, Panama, Costa Rica, and Galapagos conditions for diving are favorable all year round. As for Mexico, the east coast of the country benefits from the Caribbean influences, while the Pacific coast is more favorable from April to November.
Indian Ocean, East, and Southern Africa
The Indian Ocean is immense, and each country is subject to varying influences. Thus, the Maldives are ideal between November and May, while Madagascar is in the wet season from December to April. To go to Mauritius or Seychelles, preferably avoid the winter months from June to August; the weather is still fine outside, but the sea is rougher. The diving centers are however open all year round.
The coasts of Mozambique or South Africa are also passable all year round, while Tanzania suffers from heavy rains in April and May, which are periods to be avoided.
In Asia, part of Indonesia is more favorable between April and November, Bali, on Sulawesi; but the further north one goes, the seasons are reversed, so Raja Ampat and Ambon offer better conditions between October and May. In the Philippines, traditionally best sold in winter, there is a favorable climate all year round in the Visayas in the country’s south. Thailand, near the Andaman Sea, is accessible only from October to May, while the Gulf of Thailand is more nuanced, see reversed. Malaysia is also advisable from April to November.
To go further, the Pacific is so extensive that all the countries do not have the same climate. You can dive there all year round, with rainy episodes in certain seasons, depending on the country. So, Palau is accessible all year round, while you will avoid Fiji between December and March, the cyclone season. New Caledonia is ideal for inter-season, but visibility is fantastic in June when the waters are cooler. As for Tonga, the country is a little apart, the southern summer is the low season, you benefit from helpful prices and excellent weather conditions.