When you look for the world’s best dive sites, you can trust Jacques Cousteau’s favorite dive sites to make a good list. Jacques Cousteau invented modern scuba diving. He is a reference for this activity and is mostly known for all the documentaries he did on marine life. Many scuba divers of my generation owe him their passion for the underwater world as he was the first one to open our eyes to its wonders.

He got to see amazing places, so it’s logical to assume his favorite dive sites are probably amazing. That’s why I looked for his top 10 list and want to check them all. Read on to find out where these sites are and what I thought of the dives I did!

Jacques Cousteau’s favorite dive sites that I visited

Heron Island - Dive 02
Heron Island

Heron Island

Heron Island, located on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, was one of Cousteau’s favorite dive sites. I had the pleasure of diving there in 2014, 2018, 2020 and 2023, and it’s easy to see why Cousteau loved it so much. The crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs are home to an incredible variety of sea creatures, from colorful fish to sea turtles and rays.

Poor Knights Islands

Another one of Cousteau’s favorite dive sites is the Poor Knights Islands on the North Coast of New Zealand, where I had the opportunity to dive in 2015. Despite the colder waters, the abundance of marine life and unique rock formations make this site worth the extra layer of insulation.


Cozumel in Mexico, which I visited in 2016, is another of Cousteau’s favorite dive sites. The clear blue waters and colorful coral reefs make it a dream destination for scuba divers of all levels.

Would I place them in my top 10?

I have visited three dive sites out of 10 so far and I hope I will get the opportunity to check more sites from Jacques Cousteau’s favourite dive sites as they have not disappointed me so far.

Would I place them in my Top 10? It’s a big YES for Cozumel and Heron Island is my favourite place to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef. Poor Knights Islands is a bit too cold to be among my favourite dives, but I loved all we saw down there and highly recommend checking it out if you’re in New Zealand.

Cousteau’s other favorite dive sites

Other sites on Cousteau’s list include Richelieu Rock in Thailand, Vancouver Island in Canada, Sipadan Island in Borneo, Isla del Coco in Costa Rica, The Blue Hole in Belize, Aliwal Shoal in South Africa, and Sha’b Rumi in Sudan. While I haven’t had the chance to visit all of these sites yet, I’m eager to explore them and see what makes them so special.

While the Reserve Cousteau in Guadeloupe, in the Caribbean Sea, isn’t on his list of favorite dive sites, it does deserve mention in this article. When Cousteau discovered the beauty of this area, he said he wished they’d protect it by making it a marine reserve. The locals protected it by prohibiting fishing and anchoring and, in 2009, it finally became officially part of the Guadeloupe National Park.

Although the Reserve Cousteau in Guadeloupe, located in the Caribbean Sea, may not be on Jacques Cousteau’s list of preferred dive sites, it certainly deserves a mention in this article. When Cousteau first discovered the beauty of this area, he expressed his wish for it to be turned it into a marine reserve. Thanks to the efforts of the locals, fishing and anchoring were prohibited to protect the area. Finally, in 2009, it was officially designated as part of the Guadeloupe National Park. Today, the Reserve Cousteau is a must-visit destination for scuba diving in Guadeloupe (but it wasn’t my favourite dive site there – I preferred Les Saintes!).

Where are Jacques Cousteau’s best dive sites?

What about you? Have you been to any of Jacques Cousteau’s favorite dive sites?

If you like scuba diving, you’ll be interested in this list of the best scuba diving sites on Australia’s East Coast.


Eloise is the creator and writer of MyFavouriteEscapes.com. She writes about her experiences exploring exotic destinations and finding hidden gems closer to home. Her goal is to share tips and stories to inspire and encourage others to go on their own adventures. She loves outdoor and nature-based activities like scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and sailing. She grew up in France and has lived in England and Turkey before calling Australia home for the past decade. So let's get ready for another adventure!

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