Sitting on the Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara gets its fair share of underwater explorers. To inspire our diver guests, here’s a rundown on some of the best scuba spots in the world.

Barracuda Point
Sipadan Island, Malaysia

Divers get lost in the perpetual swirl of blacktail barracuda at this iconic diving spot. Brimming with dogtooth tuna, redtooth triggerfish and schooling bannerfish, Barracuda Point has been a world-famous spot for scuba since being featured in Jacques Cousteau’s 1989 film Borneo: The Ghost of the Sea Turtle.

4941954306_3880b13897_z

image via flickr

Big Brother
Red Sea, Egypt

The larger of the Brothers Islands, or Al-Qusayr, sits near a sunken ship that’s nearly 250 ft long. Magnificent corals colored yellow, red, pink, orange, and white cover the wreck.  A beloved diving spot, the area is frequented by hammerhead sharks and blue, old-man-looking Napoleon wrasse fish.

Passing diver with goldies at Big Brother Island, Red Sea, Egypt #SCUBA

image via flickr

Aliwal Shoal
Umkomaas, South Africa

Popular for having two crash sites within swimming distance of the same dive, Aliwal Shoal features curved sandstone structures covered in a rainbow of corals and plants. Over 1,000 different species of fish swirl around as well, most notably ragged tooth sharks and vibrant yellow boxfish.

Boxy (Ostracion cubicus)

image via flickr

Middle Arch
Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand

Diving around the Poor Knights Islands is an exploration of sub-tropical underwater gardens and caves filled with orange clown nudibranchs, Lord Howe coralfish, and a whole lot more. The Middle Arch brims with large schools of fish swimming through the plantlife.

2103672767_270f82df05_z

image via flickr

Kelp Forests
Channel Islands National Park, California USA

Scuba enthusiasts can end their worldwide tour right here in Santa Barbara by exploring the underwater jungle known as the Kelp Forest. Swim low and catch an octopus, or swim high with some sea lions in this sub-aquatic jungle. Excursions are readily available with Channel Islands Outfitters, among many similar organizations, with opportunities to hike, kayak, and camp in Channel Islands National Park.

3200958408_404a6c6213_z

image via flickr