Top Scuba Diving Sites for Drift Diving

Drift diving is one of the most exhilarating scuba experiences you can have. But it can also be dangerous if you don’t understand the risks or use proper technique.

Drift dives should always be done on a known diving site with an experienced guide who can explain how the water is moving and what exit points are available. This can help you to stay safe and have a great time.

Komodo National Park

Komodo is home to a number of fantastic scuba diving sites where drift dives are possible. Whether you are looking for an easy introduction to scuba diving or a more advanced dive site, there are plenty of options in this amazing national park.

The north of the island offers many opportunities to see big pelagics such as sharks, turtles and rays. The pristine waters of this region are particularly renowned for their incredible manta rays; up to 50 can be seen at one time here displaying mating and feeding trains in the right season.

Another defining feature of this region is the upwelling currents that regularly flow through here, coming deep from the Indian Ocean. These bring in a unique mix of critters that you might not normally encounter in the tropics, including seahorses, pygmy seahorses and frogfish.

Pillerstien, the “surge city”, is a sloping reef that hosts some of the best macro diving in Komodo. The sand is covered in large gorgonian sea fans and whip corals, as well as leaf scorpion fish, which can be seen in numbers throughout the year.

Drift diving is a popular option here, as it offers a chance to swim amongst a great array of different species. Schools of blue fin trevally and fusiliers are common, as are bumphead parrotfish, turtles and the occasional manta ray or dolphin!

The southern part of the park is also known for its big pelagics and a large variety of macro. This is a good place to spot Mola Mola, or oceanic sunfish; which are found here in abundance during July and August thanks to the upwelling currents.


Cozumel is a Caribbean island that is considered to be one of the best dive sites in the world. It offers a variety of dive options including wall diving, snorkeling and drift diving.

This island features crystal clear water, fantastic soft coral reefs and fascinating walls with stunning overhangs that allow divers to explore a diverse array of marine life. Some of the most common marine species you can see here include spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks and sea turtles.

Drift Diving is one of the most popular ways to explore Cozumel and is a great way to get up close and personal with all the amazing wildlife on the coral reefs. To drift dive you need to stay within a safe distance of your guide and carry your own surface marker float (SMB) to alert the boat when you get separated from your group.

To enjoy drift diving, you need to be a certified PADI Drift Diver and be at least a qualified Open Water Diver. You should also be confident with your neutral buoyancy and know how to swim in a relaxed manner while staying calm.

The western side of the island is a great place to explore towering coral formations and colorful sponges. The reef is protected and is part of the Cozumel Marine Park.

This site features stunning pillars of corals that rise up to 30 feet in height and a tunnel system. In this area you can find Juvenile Spotted Drums, Great Barracudas and Green Moray Eels among other beautiful tropical fish.

This area of the island is also a good site for spotting Blue Tang, which are known for their scalpel-sharp tail appendages. These fish are endemic to Cozumel and they are often seen here along with other species like the French Angelfish, Nurse Sharks and Black Groupers.

Palancar Reef

Palancar Reef is one of the most extraordinary and popular scuba diving sites in Cozumel. It’s broken into four dive sites: Caves, Bricks, Horseshoe and Gardens, each of which is unique in its own way.

The top section, Caves, is a drift dive, starting out fairly deep, usually hitting the recreational limit, and swimming through underwater tunnels and caves to the shallower part of the reef where you’ll end your dive. It’s a great way to see lots of different wildlife, including spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks, turtles, moray eels and tons of reef fish.

After a short swim through the caves, you’ll come to the bottom of the reef where you’ll find a series of giant coral towers. These are the start of a 4,9km/3mi stretch of caves, canyons, overhangs and gardens.

In the south of the dive site is the Horseshoe, a large notch in the wall packed with series of giant coral heads. It gets its name from a shipwreck that took place here in the 50s.

Another section of the Palancar reef is the Gardens, which is a large strip of coral and patches of coral with good variety of multicolored sponges and gorgonians. It is a second dive of the day for many divers and is very popular for photography with its splendid toadfish, butterfly fish and grouper.

This is also a popular area for snorkeling with lots of colorful reef fish and sea turtles to be found in the sandy areas. In addition to these, you can also spot southern stingrays and peacock flounders on the reef bottom. In the winter months, spotted eagle rays are common in this area.

Kuredu Express

Kuredu Express is one of the most famous dive sites in Lhaviyani Atoll, where you can see sharks, eagle rays and other pelagic creatures. This site is a popular spot for drift diving and it gets its name from the strong currents that can flow here.

The dive site consists of a sandy channel that leads to the corner of the reef, with terraces at different depths and two large overhangs. It is teeming with fish, including grey reef sharks, eagle rays, tuna, barracudas, stingrays and Napoleon wrasses.

There are also a couple of sheltered bays in the dive that are full of healthy coral growth. This area is a good place to look for schools of jack fish, humpback snappers and leaffish, along with an abundance of brightly coloured soft corals.

Drift diving is a fun and easy way to explore marine life and it can also be an excellent option for beginners. Many operators offer this service, which involves swimming with the current as you go around an underwater headland or reef.

Another popular scuba diving location is Lhaviyani Atoll, which is home to several excellent resort islands that are surrounded by crystal clear waters. The most popular resort island in this region is Kuredu Island, which offers long stretches of white-sand beach and an array of resort amenities.

The Kuredu Diving Center is located at the resort and offers a full range of courses from beginner to advanced divers. The center is PADI certified and hosts a team of PADI instructors who are happy to help guests learn to dive. The center is also equipped with a shop for the latest dive gear.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s most pristine diving destinations, and a visit to these incredible islands is a must on any scuba diving trip. With a wide variety of dive sites and the chance to see marine iguanas, giant tortoises, hammerhead sharks and whale sharks, this is one adventure that you won’t soon forget.

Drift Diving is a popular way to explore the stunning underwater scenery that the Galapagos Islands have to offer. It allows you to relax and allow the current to take you past all of the wonders that are on show, including sea lions, penguins and colourful marine iguanas.

There are a number of dive sites in the Galapagos Islands that are suitable for new divers, allowing them to get their first scuba dive experience without having to worry about being intimidated by strong currents or large rocks. However, some of the more advanced diving spots are best suited for experienced divers who want to get close to the wildlife.

Kicker Rock – This tuff cone, a short boat ride from San Cristobal, has a channel that splits it in two, making it a great spot for drift diving and snorkeling. It’s a good place to spot hammerhead sharks and Galapagos sharks, as well as sea turtles.

North Seymour – This boulder strewn reef is perfect for a drift dive, providing a stunning sighting of white tip reef sharks and the occasional hammerhead or Galapagos shark. There are also a range of other fish species on display, from boxfish to parrotfish and creole fish.

For a truly unforgettable snorkeling experience, the Devil’s Crown site off Floreana Island is one of the most popular dive and snorkeling spots in the Galapagos. A constant current whirls around the center of the volcano, creating a kick-free drift that allows snorkelers to spot a wide variety of tropical coral reef creatures. It’s also a good place to spot whale sharks, as they pass by in huge aggregations.