Equal parts terrifying and exhilarating, sharks have long been some of the most intriguing creatures to cruise the deep, blue sea--so much so that on TV, we've dedicated an entire week to every frightening and fascinating aspect of this fish for 28 years.
Of course, even more exciting than seeing these sharp-toothed ocean predators on the tube, is the chance to witness their captivating beauty up-close, in real life.
Some divers (typically those who are more experienced) are brave enough to literally "swim with the sharks," meaning they do so freely without the protection of a cage.
However, if you're curious but not quite ready to get that friendly with these large sea creatures, a cage dive will likely better suit your appetite for a shark-viewing adventure.
From South Africa to Las Vegas (yes, you can see sharks in the middle of the desert), the following destinations are some of the world's most spectacular places for a face-to-face, but cage-protected view of these truly fascinating fish.
Gansbaai, South Africa
Often referred to as the “Great White Shark Capital of the World” Gansbaii is a premier cage diving location that promises to offer a truly thrilling experience. “This area is the best place in the world to get up close to great white sharks and most of the TV documentaries and shows about thegreat white shark
have been filmed from this location,” said Lina Stock. Stock recently went cage diving off the coast of Gansbaii and is co-creator and author of Divergent Travelers
. “The sharks hunt and move through this area year round. There is a small island off the coast that is home to over 60,000 fur seals, so during the winter months you can even witness great whites hunting and breaching out of the water in pursuit of the seals. The cage diving is first rate with knowledgeable and seasoned people running their businesses.” Suggested Outfitter: White Shark Safaris Photo Credit: ShutterstockClick Here to See Places You’re Most Likely to See Sharks...From Behind a Cage
With an extremely unique and diverse wildlife population, a dive into the waters of the Galapagos offers the chance to encounter several species of sharks, including hammerhead, Galapagos, dusky and whale sharks. Plus, while you’re exploring beneath the sea
, you may even have the opportunity to see other creatures like sea lions and large schools of tuna. Suggested Outfitter: Shark Diver Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Guadalupe Island, Mexico
According to Travel Nation, Guadalupe Island, or Isla Guadalupe, has become a top viewing spot for great white enthusiasts over the past 12 years or so. Crystal-clear underwater visibility and warm water temperatures (averages range from 67 to 72 degrees F) make it an especially inviting dive location, as well as a premiere destination for big-game fishing. Suggested Outfitter: Shark Diving International Photo Credit: ShutterstockClick Here to See Places You’re Most Likely to See Sharks...From Behind a Cage
Yes, the Atlantic Ocean is home to several species of sharks, too. Maybe it's not the most popular location for swimming with these large and intriguing sea creatures, but a dive off the coast of Montauk in Long Island, New York offers the chance to see mako, thresher and blue sharks, sometimes a dozen at a time. Suggested Outfitter: Sea Turtle Charters Photo Credit: Shutterstock
- Katie Rosenbrock, The Active Times