Best places to freedive in the world – Top freediving destinations
Freediving is not about only going up and down rather observing the environment where we dive. This list of the best places to freedive in the world will show you the most iconic freediving destinations that are top spots to go for professional athletes and hobbyist divers too! No matter you what type of underwater adventure you look for -wreck, cave exploration or marine life observation- this list will give you some ideas on where to go freediving.
10 best places to freedive in the world
- Blue Hole Egypt
- Deans Blue Hole Bahamas
- Mexico Cenotes
- Nemo 33 Belgium
- Christ of Abyss Italy
- Tulamben Shipwreck Bali
- Gili Islands Lombok
Blue Hole Dahab Egypt
Freediving in the Blue Hole in Dahab is an absolute bucket list item for all freedivers. Swimming through the Arch, that connects the Dahab Blue Hole with the open sea is mentioned as one of the best places to freedive even by the world record holder Willian Trubridge. The Red Sea offers excellent conditions all year round. The sea temperature never goes under 20 C, the weather is pleasant even during winter months. Vibrant coral walls and rich marine life make this freediving destination a place that is hard to beat.
On the top of these, the small town of Dahab is definitely a place to be with fair prices on food and accommodation. Whether you seek a place to do complete your freediving courses, need help to improve your technique or just want to be with like-minded people around, we highly recommend you to organize a trip to Dahab, Egypt.
Dean’s Blue Hole Long Island, Bahamas
The 202m (663 feet) deep underwater sinkhole in a bay in Long Island, the Bahamas is easily the most popular freediving site. It is not only the world second deepest blue hole that provides divers with ideal water conditions all year round, but also gives home to several competitions including the most famous The Vertical Blue Freediving championship hosted by William Trubridge. Year after year, elite freedivers such as Alessia Zecchini, Hanako Hirose, Alexey Molchanov and so on gather on this picturesque location to push their limits and set new world records.
Although the Bahamas’ waters are famous for rich marine life, the vertical walls of the Dean’s Blue Hole are not ideal for corals to settle down. The main attraction is definitely the noon day sunrays that shine straight into the deep blue, but occasionally some sharks can be spotted in the hole.
Riviera Maya Cenote freediving in Mexico
The Riviera Maya Cenotes, these attractive fresh water underwater caves will fascinate you no matter what level freediver you are. Some of them offer shallow fun dives and the opportunity of observing freshwater species. Others can provide you with a fascinating experience when you swim through a halocline fog, find your way between tree roots or explore hidden caves.
Freediving in Cenotes needs special preparation and you might need a guide too who can explain you the place’s characteristic. Since we are talking about underwater cave systems, Cenote freediving has some potential dangers, but following the safety instructions they are definitely the best places to freedive. The Mexico Cenotes around Tulum and Playa Del Carmen are regularly visited by the world best freedivers such as Sofia Gomez or Guillaume Nery and top underwater photographers too because of the excellent conditions for freediving photography.
The Caribbean Island Roatan is famous for its warm, calm water, rich marine life and for the Caribbean Freediving Cup! It is one of the most important freedive competition attracting athletes from all continents. But you don’t need to be a competitive diver to enjoy freediving in Roatan. The vibrant coral reefs are in easy swimming distance from the shore offering suitable depths for freedivers at all levels.
The most special experience that Roatan can offer is the possibility of freediving with sharks! The Cara Cara dive site is just 3 km off the coast and famous for its Caribbean Reef Shark population. Experienced freedivers can swim with 10-20 sharks at this site.
Zanzibar – best place to freedive with whale sharks
Tropical waters, outstanding clarity and rich biodiversity make Zanzibar one of the best places to freedive in the world according to freedivers who enjoy interacting with marine animals. Dolphins, humpback whales, sailfish, bull sharks and barracudas are just a few species that are regularly spotted while freediving in Zanzibar besides tunas and turtles. The island offers spots for deep dives too with several drop-offs up to 40-60 meters.
Thanks to the abundance of these big species, Zanzibar is a great place for spearfishing too! Interesting fact is that the world record dog tooth tuna (109 kg) was caught here by a spearfisherman.
USAT Liberty Shipwreck – Tulamben Bali
There are great shipwrecks for freediving all over the world including the Mediterranean Sea, Maldives, but the USS Kittiwake in the Grand Cayman or the SS Antilla in Aruba are also famous. Our top recommendation for wreck freediving is the USAT Liberty in Tulamben Bali. It is one of the best places to freedive a shipwreck because of several reasons! Easily accessible from the shore, offers safe conditions with warm sea temperatures, medium depths (5-30 m) and the site is teeming with life!
This former US cargo ship got damaged in the Strait of Lombok in 1942 by Japanese torpedoes and was towed to Bali. The USAT Liberty found her final resting place after the MT Agung’s big eruption in 1963 when the lava flow pushed it into the sea near Tulamben village. When freediving in Tulamben Bali, expect to see a wide variety of marine species including parrotfish, barracuda, moray eels, scorpionfish, lionfish and colourful soft and hard coral colonies. A truly unforgettable freediving destination!
Related post: Freediving places in Bali
Gili Trawangan freediving – Lombok
The small island of Gili T is a diving paradise in Asia where perfect conditions meet low prices. In the Gili Islands just off the coast Lombok everything is about enjoying the dives! On the top of this, you will meet various sea creatures like turtles and manta rays too.
Indonesia is well-known for having the best places to freedive in the world. Superb water clarity, calm water conditions and rich marine life, the freedive spots around the North Gili Islands tick all these boxes. No matter you arrive for a beginner or instructor training, or just having some fun dives, seek for the Gili Trawangan Freedive School where experienced staff will help you out!
Antarctica ice freediving
Freediving under ice in the Antarctica is not for everyone. The conditions are though and extra medical check-ups are needed. You need to prepare for polar conditions and insulate yourself from head to toe. High-quality 7 mm freediving suit, thick gloves and socks are essential to keep you warm when swimming in the -1 C water.
But those who are determined enough to freedive in the Antarctica will be rewarded with a bizarre yet amazing experience. Discovering the massive iceberg formations and undersea cave systems is not only fascinating but you might be lucky to observe penguins, seals, polar bears or humpback whales too. Would you be brave to go ice freediving in the Antarctica?
Nemo 33 Pool – Brussels, Belgium
Maybe you are not comfortable freediving to great depths so it is a good solution to start in an indoor pool first. The Nemo 33 is an excellent training pool filled with non-chlorinated water. A cave-like system, 33.5 meters depth and constant 32 C water temperature makes it a cool place for training and fun dives!
It was the first deep freediving pool in the world until the Y-40 in Italy was opened in 2014. The Nemo 33 in Belgium is open for professional and recreational divers and freedivers as well as for tourists too who can go inside with a guide. Moreover, underwater windows allow visitors to watch the divers from outside too if they would get bored in the on-site restaurant, souvenir shop or bookshop.
Christ of Abyss Italy
The Christ of Abyss is not famous for great depths or extraordinary marine life, but if you learn the story of it, you definitely want to visit this special freediving destination. The Christ of Abyss statue is a memorial in honor of Dario Gonzatti. He was the first men in Italy who died while diving in 1947. By today, the underwater statue became one of the best places to freedive in the world. It is a Mekka for freedivers who salute here to all people who lost their lives in the sea. Moreover, the Christ of Abyss makes divers and freedivers to remember how precautions they need to be when underwater.
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AG is a certified diver and freediver who started to explore the underwater world in 2005. He enjoys sharing his experience of the best freediving destinations and equipment tips as well. Follow him on IG!