Swimming with sharks is the ultimate divisive bucket list item. While some people dream of sharing their personal space with nature’s greatest predator, others would run screaming if presented with a diving cage. Although we’re all for people making their own decision on the matter – if you don’t want to do it, you don’t want to do it – we would advise BUCKiTDREAMERs to keep an open mind. What seems like a terrifying experience could end up being the best one of your life!

Before you dive in head first with these big beauties, you gotta know where the best spot is to catch them in their natural habitats. If you’re feeling brave enough, fill your BUCKiTDREAM planner with the following shark hotspots and you’ll be having a close encounter with these BFGs in no time. Let’s go!

Earn Your Stripes at Tiger Beach, Bahamas Chances are, if you’ve ever seen a picture of a tiger shark, it was taken at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas. The tropical surroundings, crystal clear water and friendly inhabitants make it the perfect spot for getting the best #sharkshot. The tiger sharks here are photographed so much that some of them are even minor celebrities! There’s Emma, the largest and oldest shark on the beach, Hook, who’s famous for her distinctive bent lower jaw, and Princess, who is just about the sweetest shark you’ll ever meet.

To get the chance to meet these celebs, book a cage-free tour with Stuart Cove, who’ll not only organize every aspect of the thrill-seeking trip for you, but they’ll also have a professional photographer on hand to document the whole experience.

Become One with the Deep Blue in Beqa Lagoon, Fiji If you like your shark diving with a side of luxurious pampering, then Beqa Lagoon is for you. In the heart of tropical Fiji, Beqa Lagoon plays home to a whole host of shark species, most notably tiger and bull sharks. There are only a few rare places in the world that you can get properly up close and personal with tiger sharks, and tiger shark cathedral – a shark dive spot owned by the Beqa Lagoon Resort – is one of the best ones.

While it might seem annoying to be restricted to staying at the Beqa Lagoon Resort in order to visit tiger shark cathedral, when you see the resort itself, it won’t bother you so much. This place oozes luxury everywhere you look, from the open air spa to the sprawling pools, so you’ll have plenty of ways to wind down after a day’s diving in the cathedral.

If bull sharks are more to your liking, go for a shark dive with Beqa Adventure Divers and marvel at the behemoth creatures from the seabed as they swirl above you.

Face Your Fears at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico The crystal clear waters surrounding Isla Guadalupe, Mexico is what make this a truly unique shark diving spot. On any given day, you can see 150 feet down, meaning you can dive much further than you could in any other shark diving hotspot. Because of this, the shark tour operators don’t need to use chum to attract the sharks, as you are down where they naturally roam free. This makes for a much more natural experience.

Guadalupe Great White Sharks does an excellent all-in trip for shark enthusiasts wanting to explore the area. On the 5-6 day trip, all your meals, drinks, travel and equipment are provided for you. If you want even more of an adventure, opt for their 10-15 night trip, where you’ll get the added bonus of being able to explore the giant kelp forests of the San Benito Islands.

Keep Up with the Action at Cocos Island, Costa Rica We’re going to warn you now – diving in the beautiful waters around Cocos Island is not a relaxing venture. Shortly after diving in, you’ll be caught up in a whirl of hammerheads, tiger sharks, monstrous Galapagos sharks, white tip reef sharks and whale sharks.

Yes, it can be a lot to take in – especially when you throw in the manta rays, marble rays, and sunfish – but when you get your head around it, you’ll be treated to some of the most beautiful seascapes you could ever dream of. The Undersea Hunter Group organizes unforgettable 10-day trips around these beautiful waters.

Consider Getting a Bigger Boat in False Bay, South Africa The bottle-green waters of False Bay play host to some of the most exciting shark activity in the world. And when we say sharks, we don’t mean those flimsy lemon, tiger or even hammerhead sharks. These are the real deal, the El Capitan of shark species – the Great White.

Nestled on Seal Island, about a 25-minute boat ride from the mainland, False Bay is absolutely teeming with fur seals – a.k.a. a great white’s favorite snack. When diving here you’ll see all of the feasting action up close and personal, both in the cage and from the deck of the boat. It’s particularly awesome to see the sharks catapult themselves high above the water in their quest to devour their prey.

African Shark Eco-Charters offer great, lively shark excursions that won’t break the bank. You can choose to go for an afternoon, a few days or even a whole week, depending on how much shark action you want to fit in.

When the adrenaline wears off, make sure you share every aspect of your underwater adventure on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to inspire other thrill seeking BUCKiTDREAMERs. If your nerves couldn’t quite handle the experience and you need a drink, why not check out the 10 Best Bars in the World next?

SaveSave