When you think of popular diving destinations, Canada probably isn’t something that immediately comes to mind. If you’re looking to avoid the typical summer diving crowd that could be a good thing! British Columbia makes up Canada’s western coast and it offers up some truly epic diving experiences. How epic? The famous ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau once said that British Columbia offers the best temperate water diving on the planet.
Generally, clear visibility all year round and temperate (read this as “brisk”) ocean temperatures make B.C. a really great candidate for your diving bucket list. Here are some specific locations you should consider for your next B.C. dive trip.
The mainland of Vancouver has plenty of diving opportunities. Dive shops abound, so you can always book a guided trip, but you can also find plenty of sites on your own. A short, 40-minute drive out of the city will put you in the vicinity of many shore dive sites. Whether you’re an experienced diver or just getting started, Whytecliff Park is a great spot. For the more advanced divers, check out Porteau Cove. If you’re certified to wreck dive, Britannia Beach has a few ships you can explore.
Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, and it’s also the unofficial capital of shore diving in the state. There are more than fifty dive sites around the city and 32 of those are easily accessible from the shore.
The Sunshine Coast is located on the southern coast of B.C. You can either drive or take a ferry from Vancouver and dive any number of inlets and fjords. You can also find plenty of shipwrecks in the area to dive, as well.
If you’d prefer to dive lakes and rivers, British Columbia has you covered there, too. Two of the more popular lakes are Adams Lakes and Shuswap. The Adams River connects both of these. Between the two lakes, you can easily find more than two dozen excellent dive sites. Time your trip just right and you can dive in the middle of the Sockeye Salmon run. Some years bring over 4 million salmon into the river!