From turtles and orcas to dolphins and sharks, most divers dream of catching sight of these impressive animals in their natural habitats. Here’s a look at some of the world’s best destinations for divers keen to discover these extraordinary species.Loggerhead sea turtles, Moreton Island, Australia
The Pacific coast is a prime destination for rewarding dives. While snorkelers can cruise the Whitsunday Islands and hang out with the famous fish called Elvis, divers can swim among loggerhead sea turtles off the coast of Moreton Island. Together with the neighboring Fraser Island, Moreton forms the largest sand structure in the world. However, it’s still a relatively secret destination since neighboring Fraser Island is the main draw for thousands of tourists keen to visit the world’s largest sand island.Sea lions, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Ecuadorian archipelago is a paradise for nature-lovers thanks to its extremely rich biodiversity. Some 2,909 marine species have been identified in its waters, of which 18% are endemic. In short, the islands promise divers an unforgettable experience. While marine iguanas are the usual must-see when diving in the Galapagos, sportier types can head off a little further to find sea lions, silky sharks, spotted eagle rays, manta rays and sperm whales.Beluga whales, the White Sea, Russia
Scuba divers don’t need to stick to warm water adventures. Northeast of Saint Petersburg, the White Sea offers a spectacular sight thanks to its population of beluga whales. These intriguing white whales have a distinctive melon-like protuberance on the front of their heads. The curious creatures sometimes even pop their heads up out of the water to see what’s going on around them. You won’t see belugas in summer, though, as they migrate to warmer waters.Orcas, the Lofoten Islands, Norway
Often thought of as dangerous predators, killer whales, or orcas, can be easily approached by divers when at ease in the...