Coolest Freshwater Dive Destinations


Want to freshen up your next diving vacation? Then pass on the saltwater diving, and explore these beautifully cool and clear diving locales that put the often-overlooked joys of freshwater diving on the map.

Cenotes, Mexicocenote, mexico, freshwater dive spots, Coolest Freshwater Dive Destinations

Cenotes are a unique collection of freshwater caves found on the Yucatan Peninsula. They offer a spellbinding spot to explore and are a must for cave divers.

Best of all, this network of caves is wonderfully accessible, with large air pockets, and many openings to the surface, ensuring beginners won’t be overwhelmed.

Sameranger Lake, Austria

This destination requires good timing, as the Sameranger Lake is a meadow in the winter and summer months, and a lake in the spring.

Renowned as one of the clearest lakes in the world, its depths can reach as deep as 30+ ft. with surreal sights such as underwater park benches and walking trails.

Shi Cheng, China

Discover a long lost underwater city at this lake found in western China. This man-made reservoir called “Qiandao Lake” is home to the ruins of a 25-200 AD Eastern Han Dynasty town, which remains perfectly undisturbed under the surface.

Because of the freshwater environment, the city’s ruins are remarkably intact, and the water is so clear and fresh that it is a specialized brand of bottled water. Scuba diving is just taking off in this corner of the country, so better visit before the word gets out.

Check out this one and a half minute video of Shi Cheng.

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada

You might initially think of jet skis, boating and skiing when you think of Lake Tahoe, but this massive American destination has more than its fair share of incredible dive sites as well, with visibility of up to 100’ ft.

Besides the added benefit of not requiring a passport to visit, divers will also have incredible views of the site both underwater and close to the surface, where the heavily forested surroundings steal the scene.

Crystal River, Florida manatee, florida, freshwater diving, Coolest Freshwater Dive Destinations

You probably head to the Keys and the beaches when you go to Florida for diving, but be sure to make a stop at the inland Crystal River.

You’ll be surprised by a huge local population of manatees who congregate at the site from November through March for the surprisingly warm waters.

Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan

Divers who appreciate an other-worldly setting will love this site that looks like it was plucked out of a mythical Fairy Tale. With waters that are almost neon green and large cascades of algae dripping below the surface, this site is beautifully and positively surreal.

Tobermory, Ontario, Canada Tobermory, Ontario, Canada, freshwater diving, Coolest Freshwater Dive Destinations

No list of freshwater destinations would be complete without a mention of one of the Great Lakes. Tobermory is a few hours north of Toronto in Lake Huron and is a unique spot.

It’s renowned for crystal clear waters, reefs and sponges and incredible wooden schooner wrecks, like the 132’ ft. long Arabia. Just be sure you go during the height of summer, as the waters can be chilly especially at the massive depths, which can extend 120’ ft. to the mud bottom.

While diving is always an adventure, a freshwater dive trip might be just what the doctor ordered to rejuvenate your love for exploring the open water. Grab a friend or two, and plan a trip to discover some of the coolest and most vast diving sites that are miles away from the sea.

Check out our travel options. If you live in the Dallas area, swing by our shop in Carrollton, and we’ll be happy to chat with you about our favorite freshwater dive spots.

Any other freshwater dive spots you can share? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Coolest Freshwater Dive Destinations
Want to freshen up your next diving vacation? Explore these diving locales that put the often overlooked joys of freshwater diving on the map.

6 responses to “Coolest Freshwater Dive Destinations”

  1. Beatrice Holland says:

    If you want to see pink, freshwater dolphins check out Brazil’s Negro River. Absolutely extraordinary!

  2. Lin Jung says:

    I went diving in at Andros Island in the Bahamas last summer and it was stunning! The fresh water sits atop denser ocean water. You’ll encounter grottoes, stalactites and and tree roots. Otherworldly!

  3. Francis Martin says:

    I’ve been wanting to explore Lake Baikal in Russia. It’s supposed to be the world’s deepest, oldest lake explored by Jacques Cousteau.

  4. Tanner Mckenzie says:

    Silfra Fissure is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous! It’s a place in Iceland where you can place one hand on the Eurasian tectonic plate and the other on North America.

  5. Ted Dermont says:

    I’ve heard that Yellowstone Lake in Wyoming is beautiful.

  6. Horace Perez says:

    If you have cave or cavern diving experience, I highly recommend the Piccaninnie Ponds in South Australia!

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