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Reefs and recks: The underwater attractions around the world

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The Caribbean Sea has the most underwater attractions, with the east coast of Mexico and Belize, in particular, a natural dive hotspot. The Sunken Forest of Lake Kaindy in Kazakhstan is the most inland dive spot. The Great Barrier Reef is the most Googled underwater attraction, with 3,036,000 annual searches.

 

Specialist Sports Insurance provider SportsCover Direct has analysed the amount of searches for top underwater landmarks, taken from compiled seedlists, to reveal underwater attractions around the world, and whether they are manmade, natural, or wrecks. Discover the top dive locations using this interactive map.

The Most Googled Underwater Attractions

Attraction

Monthly Searches

Annual

Great Barrier Reef

253,000

3,036,000

Lake Baikal

157,000

1,884,000

Port Royal

70,000

840,000

Green Lake

39,000

468,000

Underwater Waterfall

27,000

324,000

 

Underwater hotspots
With several popular locations, the east coast of Mexico, extending down into Belize, is the place to be for tourists looking to submerge themselves in as many underwater attractions as possible. The natural sites in this area are particularly impressive, due to the limestone peninsula which has created sinkholes that have gone on to form deep cenotes, massive marine holes and complex underwater tunnel systems. Notably, the Great Blue Hole, Belize, is one of the world’s deepest pits at around 400 feet deep, and is also one of the most Googled underwater attractions at 276,000 searches, making it worth a visit.

On the whole, the Caribbean Sea has the most underwater attractions, with Port Royal in Jamaica, and Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park adding to the numerous attractions of Mexico and Belize. Port Royal was hit by an earthquake in 1692, followed by a tsunami, dragging 33 acres of the city under the water where it now lies in 40 feet of water. This underwater attraction is also the third most Googled, with 840,000 annual searches, behind the Great Barrier Reef, and Lake Baikal.

The furthest inland dive
Proving that not all the top dive sites are out at sea, is our furthest inland attraction, The Sunken Forest of Lake Kaindy in Kazakhstan. Following a landslide and subsequent flooding, the forest sunk into the lake, with the cold water preserving the submerged trees, providing a unique view for any divers that venture beneath the surface.

For divers accustomed to warmer climates, Mexico’s Riviera Maya is another great inland dive spot. As the world's longest network of cenotes (water-filled sinkholes connected by underwater passages), there’s plenty of caverns to explore, with Dos Ojos as one of the most famous, due to its striking eye-like double entrance. 

Diversify your dive
If you don’t have a particular landmark in mind, or if you're looking for more variety in dive spots, travel between Florida and the Bahamas to experience a variety of underwater attractions. For accommodation, visit Jule’s Undersea Lodge, Florida Keys, to experience the only underwater hotel in the United States. Guests scuba dive down 21 feet to get to their rooms, which are situated at the bottom of the Emerald Lagoon. If you’re looking for wreck dives, the 120-mile-long Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail, comprising approximately 1,000 shipwrecks, offers a variety of dive spots, with some easy shallow dives and other much deeper sites requiring more experience. 

Living the underwater high life
If luxury is your focus over danger, or if you're simply looking for a unique fine dining experience, then the Ithaa Restaurant,  Maldives will exceed expectations. This underwater restaurant has achieved the titles of Global Restaurant of the Year, and Luxury Unique Experience, and offers 180-degree views of the surrounding marine landscape, without the need to touch a drop of water. There's also a cocktail hour, if you prefer diving into an extravagant drinks menu instead of the sea.

A natural wonder of the world
Off the coast of Queensland, in the aptly named Coral Sea, lies the Great Barrier Reef, the most Googled underwater attraction, with 3,036,000 annual searches. Any divers bucket list wouldn’t be complete without visiting this natural wonder of the world, which is made up of over 2,900 reefs and 900 islands, providing an almost endless 1,430 miles of diving. The SS Yongala wreck is also located off the Queensland coast and is famed for being one of the best preserved and largest shipwrecks in Australia.

Whether you’re looking for diversity in your dive, a concentration of a particular type of location, or a specific experience, there’s a dive spot that will meet your needs. So, which underwater attraction are you heading to next?

Sean Walsh, Marketing Manager from SportsCover Direct comments: “Whether you’re a budding beginner snorkeler, or a fully qualified diver, everyone will be looking for something different in their dive experience. It’s exciting to know that there are a huge number of underwater attractions around the world that represent the best manmade, natural and wreck landmarks, offering diversity in location choice for underwater tourists.”

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