Skip to main content

The World’s Best Destinations to Dive for Sunken Treasure

dive spots
We know more about our solar system than we do about our seas.

So, it’s no surprise that thousands of years of shipwrecks remain undiscovered at the bottom of some of the world’s deepest underwater trenches. From Spartan-era archeological treasures in coastal Greece to half-billion-dollar Spanish treasure troves near Key West, these are the world’s most treasure-rich dive spots.

Related Videos



Due to its unique geography, Bermuda has long played a key role in marine navigation. But its perilous waters and shallow reefs are the reason many nautical historians have dubbed the island “The Graveyard of Ships”. Over the last five centuries, more than 1,000 ships have been reported lost in the waters around Bermuda — more than any single location in the Western Hemisphere. Some sit in just 30 feet of water. Indeed, there are areas where two — or even three — shipwrecks from different periods lie atop one another on the ocean floor. Today, the island rivals coastal Florida for its number of sunken wrecks and is a haven for treasure divers. Dive Bermuda has more than 30 years experience diving the wrecks around Bermuda. They offer divers a wide range of services, including rentals, one-/two-tank trips, and PADI training and certification courses.

The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys

From the early 16th century through the late 1700s, Spain’s pilfering of Latin American riches knew no bounds. An estimated eight million dollars in gold and silver was shipped home along the trade route connecting the colonies to mainland Spain. Many of these ships passed along the Florida coast — specifically what is today the coral reefs of the Florida Keys. There are countless shipwrecks in the waters off the state’s coast and many are believed to still contain the sunken spoils of Spain’s looting.

In 1985, the Spanish Galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha was unearthed by Mel Fisher (a now legendary sunken treasure hunter) in the shallow waters thirty miles off Key West. The cargo was valued north of $500 million and the late Fisher was certain there’s still more to be found. According to the captain’s manifest, there was more than 60 pounds of emeralds, 17 tons of silver, and 35 boxes of church gold aboard the Atocha — none of which has been found to date. Fisher’s company leads week-long liveaboard dive expeditions to search for the remains. The company estimates that more than half of their guests “strike gold”.

Coastal Greece

Coastal Greece

Few destinations offer the lengthy maritime history of coastal Greece, where ships have been sailing (and sinking) for more than 9,000 years. More than a decade ago, the government opened the country’s 12,000-mile coastline to divers. It’s proven to be a literal treasure trove ever since. The sea floor is littered with an estimated 6,000 wrecks and, in some cases, whole, intact cities are believed to be submerged. The treasures date back to as far as ancient Sparta and tend to have far more archaeological than monetary value. For that reason, it’s worth noting that most — if not all — of the treasures found there should remain submerged.

Editors' Recommendations

4 Best U.S Destinations to Travel to in July 2022
Boise Idaho

For many Americans, July means backyard barbecues, crisp summer beers, and epic road trips. But, if you’re looking to enjoy the season and the perfect weather by getting far from home, here are four destinations where July is the perfect time to visit.
The Colorado Rockies

If you love snow, you already know all the reasons to visit Colorado the other 11 months out of the year. However, the state has a distinctly different vibe during the summer in general and July, in particular. Naturally, it’s a great time to get outdoors and experience the Colorado Rockies when they’re not covered in white. Colorado’s national and state parks come alive in a unique way that’s rarely seen in winter. During the summer, for example, Crested Butte turns into an ocean of wildflowers. The annual Crested Butte Wildflower Festival is a sight to behold and an even better one to photograph. For nature lovers, it’s a worthy destination in its own right.
Travel Options

Read more
The 20 Best Places in the U.S. You Need To Visit Now
Rear view of a young man with backpack walking on Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, USA

As George Washington once said, America is a land of promise. When it comes to travel, the U.S. offers both promise and fulfillment, given the staggering diversity of its landscapes, its vibrant cities and glorious coastlines. Any “best” list of the U.S. could run into the hundreds, but we’ve undertaken the unenviable task of whittling down the selections to our favorite 20 places. We’ve included a wide-ranging geographic mix of urban icons and wilder places, with mountains, beaches and jazz-filled neighborhoods all part of the great American portrait.
New York City

America’s biggest metropolis wears numerous crowns, and there are as many ways to experience New York as there are people crammed into its rush hour A Train. You can focus on its limitless cultural potential, hitting grand museums like the Met, the MoMA and the Whitney, before getting your fill of Broadway shows or more cutting-edge theater downtown. There are fabled restaurants, rooftop bars, and verdant green spaces like Central Park and the High Line, where the people-watching is unrivaled. The best way to experience NYC, though, is simply to pick a neighborhood and dive in, wandering the streets to your heart’s content.

Read more
Best Road Trips in the World: 12 Drives Worth Flying For
Wild Atlantic Way

There are many stunning road trip routes in the United States that will take you on a journey. And if you want to go somewhere unfamiliar for a change in scenery, the world sure has a lot to offer. Some of the most enchantingly beautiful drives are so good that they're even worth flying for. Here are 12 of the best road trips in the world.

Planning a road trip? You might find some of these other guides useful, too.
Route 40

Read more