The Best Places To Dive With Hammerhead Sharks

Hammerhead up close

Hammerhead sharks are one of the easiest sharks to identify, thanks to their hammer-shaped heads, and diving with these sharks is one of the best shark diving experiences you can have.

What do hammerheads use their heads for?

Hammerhead sharks eat a variety of prey, including fish and shark species, squid, octopus, rays, and crustaceans. They use their hammer-shaped head, or cephalofoil, to locate prey like stingrays buried in the sand.

Are hammerhead sharks dangerous to divers?

Hammerhead sharks are a large species of shark, but they are not a threat to divers. They have not been responsible for fatal shark attacks, though they should be treated respectfully and cautiously. They are an impressive shark to dive with, though inexperienced divers may wish to dive with smaller sharks first to gain confidence and an understanding of shark behaviors.

Where can I dive with hammerhead sharks?

There are nine species of hammerhead shark, with scalloped and great hammerheads being the two species most often encountered by divers. They are found at some of the best dive destinations around the world.

Hammerhead shark diving in Galapagos

Hammerheads swimming in Galapagos

The Galapagos is another prime destination to experience large schools of hammerhead sharks while also enjoying this iconic destination's phenomenal diving and marine life. It is a paradise for nature lovers and shark fans. Wolf and Darwin Islands are the most isolated islands of the Galapagos and are a highway for scalloped hammerhead sharks en route to Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Divers can see hammerhead sharks in their hundreds, silky, Galapagos, and whale sharks, as well as manta rays.

The sea conditions at these islands can be rough, with large swells and strong currents, and are best visited by an experienced diver. The warm season of December to May is the best time to go hammerhead shark diving to see huge schools of sharks, though there are also large schools of hammerheads from June to November. There are a variety of Galapagos liveaboards to choose from that cater to different budgets and dive preferences.

Explore the Underwater Wonders of Evolution

Hammerhead shark diving Bahamas

Great Hammerhead shark diving in the Bahamas

The Bahamas is famous for its hammerhead shark diving and is the best place for great hammerhead shark encounters. The Bahamas became a shark sanctuary in 2011 and is home to numerous hammerheads, plus bull, tiger, lemon, and reef sharks. The best place to go hammerhead shark diving is Bimini, though they are also found (along with numerous tiger sharks) at Tiger Beach. Scuba diving in the Bahamas is suitable for all experience levels. The shark dives are conducted at relatively shallow dive sites, with divers kneeling on the sandy bottom and enjoying the sharks and crystal-clear water around them.

Hammerhead peak season is from December to February, though hammerheads are found in the Bahamas all year. The Bahamas Aggressor offers safaris that include Bimini and Tiger Beach. The Bahamas Master has special Hammerhead and Tiger Shark Experience safaris available each year.

Dive Deeper, Dream Bigger: the Bahamas Beckon You

Hammerhead shark diving French Polynesia

Hammerhead shark surrounded by fish

French Polynesia has stunning atolls to dive and an incredible variety of shark diving opportunities, including diving with hammerheads, blacktips, silky, tiger, and silvertip sharks. The Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa is a hotspot for hammerhead shark diving, and a very strong current washes this atoll channel during the incoming tide. The current attracts hammerheads, large schools of grey reef sharks, mantas, tiger sharks, and plenty of fish life.

Fakarava Atoll is so special that some liveaboards spend their entire itinerary there. Garaue Pass is the best location to go shark diving at Fakarava. Divers can enjoy many hammerhead sharks, hundreds of grey reef sharks, and manta ray cleaning stations. The current at Garaue is exceptionally strong, and this site can only be dived at slack tide. Given the strong currents and deep dive sites, French Polynesia shark diving is best suited to experienced divers. Hammerhead shark diving is possible from December to April each year when these sharks congregate in large numbers to hunt breeding eagle rays. The French Polynesia Master and Aqua Tiki II offer safaris throughout the year to explore this stunning destination.

French Polynesia
Escape to a realm of colorful marine life.

Hammerhead shark diving in Cocos Island

Scalloped Hammerhead shark

Costa Rica offers exceptional scuba diving. Cocos Island is no exception, with large schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks, as well as whale sharks, manta rays, and a variety of whale species. This unique area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is high on the wish list for shark fans. Bajo Alcyone can't be beaten for diving with hundreds of scalloped hammerhead sharks. Divers sit at 25 meters depth on top of a huge underwater mountain and watch as hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and mobula rays surround them.

Dirty Rock is another top dive site for hammerhead shark diving with hundreds of sharks, though hammerhead sharks can also be found at various other Cocos Island dive sites. Due to dive sites ' depths and strong currents, diving at Cocos Island is best suited to experienced divers. The hammerhead shark season runs from May to November. Liveaboards that visit Cocos include the Okeanos AggressorOkeanos Aggressor II, and Sea Hunter.

Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Unearth the secrets of Cocos Island's marine world

Hammerhead shark diving in Panama

Hammerhead shark up close

Malpelo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of Colombia, but accessed by select Panama liveaboards. It is a wild and remote shark diving destination with hundreds of schooling hammerhead sharks. The main dive area for hammerhead shark diving is Malpelo Island, where divers can enjoy hammerheads in schools of up to 300 sharks, plus Galapagos sharks, whale sharks, silky sharks, reef sharks, and huge schools of fish. The best hammerhead shark dive sites at Malpelo include The Twins Pinnacles, The Freezer Wall Dive, and La Gringa.

Coiba Island is often included in Panama liveaboard cruises and offers similarly abundant and diverse marine life, with scalloped and great hammerhead sharks found there. Cathedral Rock pinnacles have a cleaning station visited by hammerheads. Malpelo and Coiba Islands are challenging but rewarding dive destinations best suited to adventurous and experienced divers.

Where Adventure and Nature Meet

Hammerhead Shark Diving in Maldives

School of hammerhead sharks swimming in Maldives

The Maldives needs no introduction as a picture-perfect dive destination, also one of the top places to go hammerhead shark diving. Rasdhoo Atoll is known for the arrival of huge schools of fish in the early mornings, which attract numerous hammerhead sharks. The channel between Rasdhoo and Madivaru islands is world-famous for spotting hundreds of hammerheads and other shark species. Hammerhead Point and Madivaru are two of the best dive sites to see hammerhead sharks at Rasdhoo Atoll.

Many of the scuba diving sites at Rasdhoo are suitable for all experience levels, though the hammerhead shark dives are in deeper water and suited to advanced divers. This atoll is accessible all year, though the best time for hammerhead sharks is December to April. There are a variety of Rasdhoo Atoll liveaboards to choose from.

Unveil the Maldives' Underwater Enchantment

More top hammerhead shark diving destinations

Colorful Coral Reefs, Mysterious Shipwrecks, and Hammerhead Sharks

La Paz and the Sea Of Cortez in Mexico are known for their large schools of hammerhead sharks.

Malapascua, Philippines

Where Every Dive Tells a Story

Malapascua may be better known for thresher shark diving, but is also a top hammerhead shark diving destination. Kimud Shoal is the place for schools of up to 200 hammerhead sharks.

Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands
Plunge into Adventure and Discover Bliss

The Solomon Islands are less well known for hammerhead shark diving, though it is possible to see these sharks at Marovo Lagoon – the largest saltwater lagoon in the world.

The Brothers & Elphinstone, Egypt

Dive Deeper, Dream Bigger, in the Red Sea

Sharks are one of the main reasons to go scuba diving at The Brothers; divers can see hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, oceanic whitetips, and Silvertips. Hammerhead sharks can also be seen at Elphinstone.