Best Shark Diving in the World - Top 5 - Bluewater Dive Travel
Best Shark Diving in the World - Top 5

Best Shark Diving in the World - Top 5

Looking for the best shark diving destination for your next trip? Our staff at Bluewater Travel have guided hundreds of dive trips at the best dive locations in the world, and they've compiled a list of the 5 best shark diving spots in the world—just for you!

Are you ready to plan your shark diving trip? Let this list tell you where and when to go for the best shark dives of your life!


1. Socorro Islands, Mexico

Experience some of the best shark diving in the Socorro Islands, located 240 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Highlights of Shark Diving in Socorro

The island is teeming with schooling hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, silky sharks, and silvertip sharks, as well as dolphins, whales, manta rays, and other awesome pelagic marine life. If you’re lucky, you may even see whale sharks, oceanic whitetips, pilot whales, or a humpback whale at one of the dive sites, Roca Partida (“Split Rock”).

If you dive during the right time you might even get really lucky and see whale sharks, manta rays, and dolphins in one dive like our group did. Scuba diving with sharks in Socorro is an experience of a lifetime that should be on everyone's scuba diving bucket list.

Hundreds of silky sharks in Socorro Islands, Mexico

Hundreds of silky sharks envelop divers during a Bluewater workshop in Socorro.

When to Visit Socorro

The best time to dive in the Socorro Islands is between November and May when water temperatures average around an ideal 24-27°C (75-81°F). If you want to swim with whale sharks, book your Socorro trip from November to December or from May to June. Please note that due to the remote location, you will need to book a liveaboard trip to dive in the Socorro Islands. Boats depart from Cabo San Lucas in Baja California, and usually take a full day to get to the island.

"On my very first day at Socorro, I dropped down in the middle of a school of 50 hammerhead sharks. They soon dispersed, leaving me at a cleaning station where countless Galapagos and Silvertip sharks repeatedly made close passes, coming from all directions. While diving Roca Partida, I saw dozens of whitetip sharks laying on top of each other - a true 'wild' moment. I could hardly believe that I traveled so little, but saw so much!" - Bluewater Travel owner Scott Gietler

Interested in diving Socorro? Join one of our trips:

Socorro Warm Water Pelagic Trip | Nov 10 - 19, 2024

Socorro Big Animal Photo Workshop | Feb 19 - 28, 2025

OR view the availability of some of the best liveaboards in Socorro and book online at the best price!

2. Fakarava & Rangiroa, French Polynesia

Head to to this idyllic paradise for a chance to dive with hundreds of reef sharks at once, an incredible experience that will leave you breathless.

Highlights of Shark Diving in French Polynesia

Shark diving in French Polynesia has been described as nothing short of spectacular. The sheer variety of what divers can explore in this part of the world is impressive since there are wrecks (a WWII minesweeper, an inter-island ferry, and a seaplane), canyons, and atoll passes. As for sharks, you can expect to see silvertips, lemon sharks, blacktips, grey sharks, whitetip reef sharks, and hammerheads.

Hundreds of sharks during a grouper spawning dive trip in Fakarava

Wall of sharks witnessed during our past grouper spawning workshop in French Polynesia. Join Scott on his next grouper spawning trip in 2020!

In Fakarava, come see the infamous wall of sharks and experience what it’s like to literally swim with hundreds of sharks, as well as the famous yearly grouper spawning. At the time of the full moon, once a year, thousands of grouper fish get to come together in the passes to spawn, which naturally draws other marine life, who come for the feeding frenzy. It’s an unforgettable experience.

In Rangiroa, there are hundreds of resident gray reef sharks. You can also expect to dive with other sharks including silky, lemon, silvertip, great hammerhead, and tiger sharks. Sometimes it is the luck of the draw, as some dives can be quiet, while others will bring you an expected sighting.

When to Visit French Polynesia

While shark diving is possible in French Polynesia throughout the year, plan your trip between March and November for the best shark diving experience. To see the grouper spawning event, book your trip around June or July.

"In Fakarava, you can swim with hundreds of sharks, on every dive. It is rare to look through the water and not see a shark. But the best part is that it is in warm, clear water - and the sharks are never artificially baited." - Scott Gietler

Interested in diving Fakarava? Join our upcoming trip:

Fakarava Grouper Spawning Photo Group Trip June 2025 | June 5 - 13, 2025

OR view the availability of some of the best liveaboards in Socorro and book online at the best price!

Find a liveaboard trip in French Polynesia, or contact us for land-based options!

3. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Visit this exciting destination for its incredible and unique wildlife encounters both above and below the water. With a variety of shark species often seen in vast numbers, the Galapagos Islands is a must-visit destination for shark lovers.

Highlights of Shark Diving in the Galapagos

For some of the best shark diving and unique sea life, you can’t beat a visit to the Galapagos Islands, specifically in the north—at Wolf and Darwin Islands, since most of the sharks and schools of hammerheads can be found there. Since the waters around the northern islands are the warmest in the Galapagos, you’ll find marine life that you won’t find around the other islands.

diving with sharks - Massive school of hammerhead sharks in Galapagos

A massive school of hammerhead sharks at Darwin Island witnessed during one of our Galapagos group trips!

Wolf and Darwin Islands, where you’ll find some of the best dive sites, are accessible solely through liveaboard boats, even though there are some land-based operators around the Galapagos that dive the southern islands. If you're looking for the best diving experience in Galapagos, booking a liveaboard trip is the way to go.

In this corner of the world, when diving, you’ll also see Galapagos sharks, silky sharks, whale sharks, blacktip sharks, spotted eagle rays, big-eye jacks, barracudas, sea lions, and sea horses, and even a marine iguana or two. If you go at the right time of year, you may well end up seeing humpback whales or orcas. And on land—giant tortoises, penguins and boobies.

When to Visit the Galapagos

The season for the best shark diving in the Galapagos Islands depends on what you want to see. The warm-water season in January through June offers higher temperatures and the best chance to see hammerhead sharks and manta rays, better visibility underwater, and sunnier skies. The cool-water season in late June to mid-December offers the best opportunity for whale shark encounters.

"I have dived at Wolf and Darwin in the Galapagos many times, and you will see many, many hammerheads there and many Galapagos sharks. It really lives up to expectations. Everyone should visit the Galapagos once in their life". - Scott Gietler

Join our next photography workshops on the Galapagos Master:

Galapagos May 2026 (10 Nights) | May 7 - 17, 2026 | Trip Leader: Nirupam Nigam

OR view the availability of some of the best liveaboards in Galapagos and book online at the best price!

4. Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Embark on a liveaboard to the remote Cocos Island to experience thrilling shark diving comparable to that of Socorro and the Galapagos Islands.

Highlights of Shark Diving in Costa Rica

Another one of the best shark diving destinations in the world is Cocos Island, Costa Rica, particularly if you’d like to see massive schools of hammerhead sharks, for which the island is famous. Because the waters are so rich, you’ll also see whale sharks, Galapagos sharks, silky sharks, and silvertip sharks. You may even see a night-feeding frenzy of whitetip sharks, and those who hit the jackpot may even see a tiger shark. Cocos is also home to both manta and Mobula rays, as well as enormous schools of fish.

Diving with a hammerhead shark upclose in Cocos Island, Costa Rica

An up-close shot of a hammerhead shark, taken during a Bluewater trip to Cocos.

When to Visit Cocos Island

If you're looking for massive schools of hammerhead sharks, the best time to dive in Cocos is during the rainy season, between June and November. Coincidentally, these are also the best months for spotting whale sharks and manta rays. That said, you still have a good chance to spot hammerhead sharks in large numbers and other shark species throughout the year!

The only way to dive in Cocos is on a liveaboard. There aren't many liveaboard boats in Cocos, so if you want to dive there, book early!

Find out more about other great Costa Rica dive destinations.

Cocos Island vs. Galapagos Islands

"Cocos Island is called the Island of Sharks for a good reason. There are a lot of resident sharks there, including massive schools of hammerhead sharks, similar to Wolf and Darwin in the Galapagos. The difference between Cocos and the Galapagos is that you only dive Wolf and Darwin for 2 to 4 days of your trip, while in Cocos you are diving the 'Island of the Sharks' every day!" - Bluewater Founder & CEO Scott Gietler

Interested in diving Cocos? View the availability of some of the best liveaboards in Cocos and book online at the best price!

5. Bahamas

Last but certainly not least on our best shark diving list is the Bahamas. Let us give you three great reasons: tiger sharks, hammerheads, and whitetips. Not to mention bull sharks, lemon sharks, silky sharks, and Caribbean reef sharks. These are all found in the Bahamas.

Highlights of Shark Diving in the Bahamas

Diving with tiger sharks at Tiger Beach on the West End of Grand Bahama Island is probably what the Bahamas is most famous for. Here you can dive with tiger sharks cage-free. The water is also ultra-clear and calm, which is perfect for photographing the sharks. You can also expect to see lemon sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, and occasionally great hammerheads.

Shark diving in Bimini, Bahamas

At certain times of the year, operators will bring bait into the water to attract the sharks at Tiger Beach. Divers descend to a shallow sandy bottom and wait. The sharks can be very big and can come very, very close. For a true shark lover, there is nothing quite like this experience.

The Bimini coast is known for great hammerhead sharks. The encounter success rate, especially from February to April, is reported to be nearly 100 percent - although rough weather is common, and you may miss some planned dive days because of it.

When to Visit the Bahamas

While the Bahamas is generally sunny, it’s best to avoid diving during the hurricane season. November through May, when water temperatures average between 24-27°C, would be the ideal time to have an amazing shark diving experience.

The Bahamas is very driver-friendly. There are many land-based dive operators and liveaboards in the Bahamas that you can choose from.

See also: What You Need to Know about Diving Tiger Beach, Bahamas.

Interested in diving the Bahamas?

Find a liveaboard trip in the Bahamas, or contact us for land-based options!

Other Places to Dive with Sharks

The above destinations are the best shark diving in the world, but there are plenty of other great locations to scuba dive with sharks. Shark diving in Fiji is world-renowned, thanks to its Shark Reef Marine Reserve in Beqa Lagoon, which lies south of Viti Levu, Fiji's main island. There, you can regularly encounter 8 different shark species: whitetip, blacktip, grey, tawny nurse, sicklefin lemon, silvertip, bull, and tiger sharks.

Despite being a renowned shark cage diving destination, Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea is home to many species of sharks - not just great whites. Check out our guide to scuba diving in Australia for more information.

Visit southern Mozambique's Ponta do Ouro for incredible advanced shark diving. Here, you can encounter more than ten different species, including bull, tiger, oceanic blacktip, and schooling hammerheads. Read our full guide to diving Mozambique.

Malapascua Island is one of the few places in the world where you are almost guaranteed to see thresher sharks. These shy deep-dwellers visit shallow cleaning stations around the island every morning at sunrise.

Cuba has the best shark diving in the Caribbean. Read about our very special Oct 2023 Cuba shark trip!

Thrill-seekers can check out these top shark cage diving destinations.

Palau, Maldives, the Red Sea, and Cuba also offer great shark dives, although they might be harder to get to compared to our top locations if you're traveling from the U.S. Have you been to any of the destinations on our list? Let us know your thoughts!

How to Book a Trip

Bluewater Travel can book you on a liveaboard or resort in Socorro, French Polynesia, the Galapagos, Cocos, the Bahamas, and 40+ other destinations worldwide for the same cost or less than booking any other way. We know the diving, seasons, boats, cabins, and when to go better than anyone else!

Email us or write to us in the live chat box to book a resort, liveaboard, or a Bluewater trip!

Further Reading

Check out these useful resources from our sister websites, Bluewater Photo and the Underwater Photography Guide

Top 5 Big Animal Encounters

Shark Photography Tutorials

Wet Wide Angle Lens Buyer's Guide

Best Underwater Cameras (2019)


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