Scuba Diving in December - Top 3 Destinations - Bluewater Dive Travel
Scuba Diving in December - Top 3 Destinations

Scuba Diving in December - Top 3 Destinations

December is a popular time to travel, with school holidays and colder temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. Where are the best places to scuba dive in December? There are plenty of options, but many destinations are crowded and expensive during the holiday season. Our travel experts have come up with our recommendations of the top three places to scuba dive in December to give you some ideas of where you can experience some incredible diving over the holidays.

  1. 1. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
  2. 2. Anilao, Philippines
  3. 3. Truk Lagoon, Micronesia

Are you ready to plan your December diving trip? Read on to learn more about our top 3 destinations to dive in December.



Raja Ampat is one of the best places to scuba dive in December to experience the diving at the peak of its season. Liveaboards flock to Raja Ampat from October to May, but we especially love diving this region in December. The seas are typically calm, and the weather is generally warm with some sporadic rain showers to cool things down. Visibility is often excellent, although it can be poor with green-hued water; remember that murkier conditions bring nutrients, and nutrients bring marine life!

Coral reef in Raja Ampat with fish and an octopus

The marine life in Raja Ampat is always exceptional, with vibrant hard and soft corals teeming with fish, plenty of reef sharks, brilliant sea fans dotted with pygmy seahorses, and fascinating wobbegong and epaulette sharks. With good reason, it has maintained a spot on our list of the best diving destinations for many years.

A stunning coral reef in Raja Ampat Raja Ampat islands from a viewpoint A tiny shrimp on some coral in Raja Ampat

There are plenty of liveaboard and resort options in Raja Ampat. To experience the best of the area, we recommend a longer liveaboard trip that covers both Misool and Dampier. For more information, read our full guide to diving Raja Ampat and read about our incredible group trip to Raja Ampat in December/January 2024.

Check out our video series, "50 Amazing Adventures", featuring Raja Ampat in Episode 1 and new episodes coming weekly.

Interested in diving Raja Ampat in December? Join our next trips:

11 Night Spectacular Biodiversity Raja Photo Workshop 2024 | Dec 9 - 20, 2024 | From $6,300 

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


Another place with the best scuba diving in December is the muck diving mecca of Anilao in the Philippines. We love to visit Anilao in December to experience its sensational night dives at the Pier, blackwater diving, and muck diving at an affordable price. Easy to reach from Manila, Anilao is a delight for macro lovers and earned the top spot on our list of the best macro photography destinations. The monsoon season has ended, and the water hasn’t yet cooled down in December, creating excellent conditions.

A hairy frogfish in Anilao

Expect regular sightings of nudibranchs, pipefish, frogfish, pygmy seahorses, and a huge variety of shrimps and crabs. Anilao is also home to some of the most sought-after critters in the sea, including Bobbit worms, stargazers, bobtail squid, paper nautilus, blue ring octopus, and mimic octopus.

An octopus in Anilao Jellyfish in Anilao, Philippines Frogfish in Anilao, Philippines

Stay at one of Anilao’s excellent dive resorts, but note that diving is the predominant activity in this area, so if you’re travelling with non-divers, you might consider a different destination in the Philippines, such as Dumaguete. Learn more about diving Anilao in our complete guide.

Interested in diving Anilao in December? Join our next trips:

Anilao Philippines Ultimate Photo Workshop December 2024 | Dec 1 - 8, 2024 | From $1,809 

Anilao Philippines Ultimate Photo Workshop December 2025 | Dec 7 - 14, 2025 | From $1,999 

Anilao Philippines Ultimate Photo Workshop December 2026 | Dec 6 - 13, 2026 | From $1,999 

OR discover our favorite resorts in the Philippines and book online at the best price! 


Wreck lovers can head to Micronesia’s Truk Lagoon (aka Chuuk Lagoon) for some of the best diving in December. Rejoice at the sheer density of high-quality wrecks in this region used as a Japanese naval base during World War II. December is the start of the dry season, and visibility can exceed 80 feet, making it an excellent time to visit Truk. With its tropical climate, the water temperatures in Truk are warm year-round and provide a welcome respite from Northern Hemisphere winters.

Nippo Maru Wreck in Truk Lagoon

Explore a variety of wrecks, including submarines, airplanes, destroyers, and cargo ships. These wartime relics provide an eerie glimpse into the past, with many wrecks housing intact cargo and instruments of daily life. With prolonged exposure to the sea, these wrecks take on new life as they become coral reefs home to various marine species.

A gas mask in the cargo hold of the Fujikawa Maru wreck in Truk Lagoon The air compressor in Fujikawa Maru wreck in Truk Lagoon A truck aboard the Hoki Maru wreck in Truk Lagoon

It can be somewhat challenging to visit Truk, so to make the most of your experience, we recommend diving from one of the liveaboards that service the region. Liveaboards in Truk Lagoon offer itineraries that visit the finest wrecks, coral pinnacles, and channels where you can see schooling pelagics. Discover more about diving in Truk Lagoon through our comprehensive guide to Truk Lagoon dive travel.

Other great Places places to dive in december

While we recommend Raja Ampat, Anilao, and Truk Lagoon as our top three, there are abundant other incredible destinations to dive in December, including Socorro, Puerto Galera, Maldives, and many more. We understand that “best” is subjective and divers have different preferences. Contact our travel advisors to discuss what the “best” means to you so we can customize your best dive trip in December. 

Interested in planning a dive trip in March? Find some inspiration for destinations to dive in March

how to book a trip

Bluewater Travel can book you on a liveaboard or resort in Raja Ampat, Anilao, Truk Lagoon, and 40+ other destinations in the world for the same cost or less than booking any other way. We know the diving, seasons, boats and 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 Dive with Bluewater trip



Further Reading

Visit our sister websites: Bluewater Photo, and the Underwater Photography Guide for additional resources:

Best Underwater Cameras in 2024

Best Underwater Cameras for Beginners

Why Smartphones Could be the Future of Underwater Photo and Video


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