Diving on Koh Tao
There are approximately 30 Koh Tao dive sites that are mapped and visited regularly by dive boats. However, many dive centres offer ‘drop off’ options on their fun diving trips, allowing divers to explore quieter and more unexplored areas of the coastline. So in reality, the total number of Koh Tao dive sites with these additional routes considered is probably closer to 40.
For the most part, Koh Tao dive sites are shallow with easy conditions, and the tropical coral reefs and accompanying array of marine life are two of the main factors that make the island such a mecca for divers from all over the world. The warm waters are also a contributing factor, as with ocean temperatures ranging from 26-32°C all year round, all that’s needed is a short 3mm wetsuit – although many divers opt to dive in just rash vest and shorts. There is also an incredible amount of diversity to Koh Tao dive sites, and you don’t need to go far for the topography underwater to completely change. This makes Koh Tao a great place for certified divers as well as those taking dive courses, as you could easily take a two-dive trip every day for a week and visit different sites and see new marine life every time.
If you’re not sure which Koh Tao dive sites would be best for you, then it’s a good idea to chat to your dive centre and make a plan based on your certification, depth rating, and what you’d like to see. Some dive centres have a fixed weekly schedule but most are flexible and happy to accommodate requests, and can even custom-build their dive roster to suit their customers.
With so many Koh Tao dive sites to choose from, we’ve separated the most popular ones into categories that we hope will help you decide which may be the best ones for you to visit during your stay:
Beginner Dive Sites – Shallow, sandy bays that are great for younger divers, Rescue Diver course scenarios, or those taking try dive days or Open Water Diver courses.
Intermediate Dive Sites – Slightly deeper sites with lots of coral formations that require a bit more buoyancy control, and are generally more suited to those on their final Open Water course dives or for fun diving and more Advanced Diver training.
Advanced Dive Sites – Deeper pinnacles further offshore that are perfect for certified divers and those taking deep dives as part of their Advanced Diver training.
Artificial Dive Sites – Koh Tao is home to a couple of great wreck dives, plus some purpose-built artificial reefs that have been developed for conservation purposes. Most are suitable for all divers, although depth ratings can restrict access at some of the deeper sites.