Last year I stayed in Coron for 1 month. Prices are about 30% lower than in Thailand. And they have many wreck dives for all skill levels.
I would say central america caribbean side would be a good option.
More specific, please?
Cebu, Philippines, the best dives are 3 to 4 hours away, malapascua, moalboal and it has connecting ferries to other parts of Visayas that has great diving.
Tulum and Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Belize and Panama would be good options as well but I’ve not been there personally.
I’ll second the recommendations for the Philippines
Coron is very pretty but with slow internet, Cebu is a proper city with less charm than the rest of the island… (like Moalboal if you want to stay somewhere a five minute walk from an excellent snorkelling spot) and somewhere like Dumaguete would be a decent compromise between the two
Beyond Phuket, Thailand has plenty of other decent options like Ko Lanta, Ko Tao or Samui
Bali is the other obvious bet; even if you were to base yourself in inland Ubud which seems to be the working nomad Mecca, trips to dive sites should be possible.
Samui/Phangan has almost no diving, compared to Koh Tao, which is a local diving Mecca.
I’d say Koh Lanta in Thailand is a great spot for you - cheap living, great diving spots and centres, and there is good internet in plenty of places, including KoHub www.kohub.org coworking space (so a great community too)
Another vote for Koh Lanta. I spent 2.5 months there this year and a month last year primarily for the diving originally, but KoHub appeared November 2014 and makes it an attractive nomad spot as well. Very happy with the folks at http://lantadiver.com
As a divemaster with over 800+ dives across Asia and the Caribbeans I can tell you that Koh Lanta is currently the only nomad hotspot with exceptional diving, the only downside is the diving season is only from November - May. Here’s my digital nomad guide to Koh Lanta.
Koh Phangan is an up and coming nomad hotspot with KoHub with a fantastic dive site called Sail Rock locally, but it’s pretty much the ONLY dive site there worth going to.
The other option which is what I do is base myself in Chiang Mai and take cheap flights to do liveaboards in the similan islands (guide to diving the similans), Koh Phi Phi, or the amazing diving in Borneo.
Here’s a dive I did in Koh Lanta and why I like it so much.
Here is diving on Phi Phi which is decent as well:
Sri Lanka would be a perfect place to scuba dive. Very affordable living with good internet too!
Koh Lanta has decent diving (apparently. I’ll know for sure in a few weeks) and a co-working space called Koh Hub http://kohub.org/.
Manila, Philippines! The capital city of the Philippines with better infrastructure than any city here. The diving spots are just 3 hours away. To the north is Subic with shipwrecks - good for recreational and technical diving. To the south is Anilao and Verde Island with over 40 dive sites, you can’t go wrong. I’m a frequent diver in Anilao and yet I have not dived ALL 40 of them. Really great sites for macro, muck diving, current, etc. Also, Verde Island is the center of marine biodiversity. All of them just 3 hours away from Manila.
Malta (specifically Gozo) is world renown for diving and snorkeling. It’s beautiful and I found an incredibly cheap AirBnB in Marsalforn, though I didn’t meet any nomads there. There are some nomad meetups on the main island of Malta, from what I understand. Anyway, it was great break, and the wifi was good.
Over the years I spent time in Dahab Egypt on the Red Sea. It’s an economical and low-key kind of a place. Recently a work/ live space for entrepreneurs and digital nomads opened there. http://www.coworkinn-dahab.com
Added some more diving spots here:
Dahab is fun with lots of different activities beyond exploring the underwater wonderland. @yanokwa and I were just there and enjoyed it. We heard it’s possible to get Internet speeds up to 8Mbps around town but in reality we never got more than 1.5Mbps and often much worse so we generally tethered. Coworkinn Dahab doesn’t really have a space or a community yet but Mira who is starting the project is very sweet. Expect to have to work out of open-air restaurants and mostly tether for any of serious web-based work.
Fiji is not a bad place, you can dive almost everywhere, you also have stunning spots like the rainbow reef and also beqa shark diving. Cost of living is decent and internet is pretty good, as long you are not going to super remote islands. (but even at remote islands there is still a big chance you have internet access)
Well, you might want to add Ubud (Bali) is 1-2 hours from the sea (at least and traffic can be painful in Bali).
Cebu City has reasonable good internet but it’s a long drive from dive spots too. Dumaguete would be 1/2 day trip from Cebu City, same for Malapascua (sweet little island, internet was OK-ish with 3G, better get 2 different providers, resorts can have good internet there).
More than scuba, Dahab is a watersport heaven: freediving (apnea), scuba diving, kite surfing, wind surfing, you name it.
Dahab is the home of The Blue Hole (100m deep), the most legendary freediving spot in the world. Where many world record of depth on one breath have been broken.
I went in details about Dahab for digital nomads in the thread below