When you think about scuba diving, do you imagine white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and sparkling blue water? If so, you aren’t alone. Plenty of divers focus all their attention on tropical exploration. But there’s more to this adventure sport than coral reefs and warm water.
Today, more and more divers are taking the inland plunge: diving in freshwater environments far from the coast. These often challenging and rewarding destinations deliver unique opportunities for underwater photography and once-in-a-lifetime adventures in otherworldly landscapes, sometimes surrounded by dramatic backdrops like alpine forests and barren deserts. Read on for a rundown of some of the best lakes for scuba diving, plus pro tips for making the most of your time in the water.