1. For adventure seekers, diving with sharks tops the bucket list. A sport that has become increasingly popular as the shark population dwindles (usually from over fishing and cultural delicacies). A lot of people want to see sharks in the wild before they disappear.

    However, seeing a shark can be easy (and safe too!). Here are the 5 best destinations to visit sharks ranked from 1 (safest) to 5 (more dangerous). This list does not include the places with the most shark attacks (like Florida or the Gulf of Mexico), rather places that tourists can swim with sharks as safely as possible.

    shark dive

    La Jolla, California OR Hin Mu Sang, Thailand (Level 1)

    The safest shark to swim with is definitely the leopard shark which can be found in Thailand and southern California. Leopard sharks are the safest sharks to swim with because they are extremely docile and don’t have large mouths. They grow to be about 4 feet long and usually forage for clams, crabs, shrimp, and fish eggs. In La Jolla, California, leopard sharks hang around the tide areas near the swimmers with the sting rays. You can swim (or wade) with leopard sharks in your bathing suits.

    Ningaloo Bay, Australia (Level 2)

    Whale sharks frequent Ningaloo Bay, Australia. These docile creatures are the biggest sharks, and are very calm and semi-safe to swim with. However, you still face the risks of encountering a huge aquatic creature in the wild open ocean.

    Cocos Island, Costa Rica (Level 3)

    Cocos Island is renowned as one of the best shark diving locations on the planet. The types of sharks that are attracted to this area is the hammerhead shark which is a very unique shark to dive with. You also can swim around waterfalls and other natural treasures.

    West End, Bahamas (Level 4)

    A tiger shark. A wha…? The Bahamas is the place for you to go if you want to swim with multiple types of sharks from Great White sharks to tiger sharks to lemon sharks. You can swim on cage free tours where tour guides bait the water, and let you swim with the sharks. Sound dangerous enough? At West End, you can even go cage diving with the elusive, dangerous tiger shark. Don’t expect to swim with this shark in the wild.


    Gansbaai, South Africa (Level 5)

    The shark of all sharks is the Great White shark, and Gansbaai, South Africa is right along "Shark Alley." Shark Alley is so dangerous that you’re required to swim inside a cage (but let’s be honest, even then a 16 foot Great White can still get you). This is the "Great White Shark Capital" of the world because it has the largest population of baby Great Whites. Gansbaai is the spot famous for the Great Whites breaching above the water in insane aerial stunts in order to catch nimble seals.

    Other great spots to see sharks include Farallon Islands outside of San Francisco, CA (where supposedly the biggest Great White sharks go to feed), the Great Barrier Reef (although bleaching due to climate warming has made it less of a gem), the Maldives (one of the safer places to shark dive), Papua New Guinea, and Point Judith, Rhode Island (where you can catch a glimpse of the rare Blue Shark).

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