Diving Hotspots in the Caribbean, I’m pretty sure for most of us when we hear the word ‘Caribbean’, we hear ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, and that’s all well and good because those movies were amazing. But the Caribbean is known for much more than just a muddy Jack Sparrow and a ferocious Hector Barbossa. The region is also a diver’s dream, offering a range of diving sites with brilliant dive operators and catering resorts. The competition, thus, for the best diving spot is intense.
A destination that provides wall, reef and wreck diving all in one place, St. Croix asks you to go no further. Water clarity of up to 100 feet and more reveals an abundance of life, from sea horses to squids. Whether you’re a PADI-certified diver or a newbie, St. Croix will have you hooked.
Constantly undermined as a diving and snorkeling site, Anguilla has a long reef, mini-walls, sunken wrecks and seven marine parks. Matthew Billington of Shoal Bay Scuba says, “…if you’re looking for your next Caribbean getaway, you will not be disappointed.” Spectacular coral overhangs and plenteous sea life make the underwater trip perfect.
Feel like diving with the sharks? Cara a Cara is one site off the island of Roatan that’ll hook you up. Literally meaning face to face in Spanish, you’ll experience just that at this site as Caribbean Reef sharks swim close by just like a large clingy pet. If the water flow is just right, you may even have the opportunity to swim with them, making for one unforgettable experience.
Comprising of the Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, these islands have record setting visibility, flourishing reefs and a plethora of underwater attractions. The sunken USS Kittiwake is found off the coast of Grand Cayman, making it the most famous of the trio. With over 200 diving sites, one can come across fascinating pinnacles, walls, wrecks, caverns, arches and grottos.
A ‘diver’s paradise’, Bonaire is surrounded by fringing reefs and a mind-blowing variety of marine life like rays, eels and schools of fish. It has nearly 60 diving sites with the best one being 1000 steps, where divers can swim over beautiful coral reefs and even further out over the sloping wall encountering the many species of fish. What makes it even preferable, though, is the easy shore, low cost and strong infrastructure. And so it being ranked as the No. 1 shore-dive location in the Caribbean isn’t surprising news.
Famous for the Molinère Underwater Sculpture Park and the Bianca C, a 600-foot sunken luxury ocean liner, Grenada provides some of the region’s best diving opportunities. You’d be likely to spot a variety of corals, sponges and fans along with sea life like stingrays, barracuda, octopus and lizardfish.
With its extensive oasis of reefs and walls and meeting place for large ocean creatures, this archipelago of coral islands welcomes divers from around the world. Nothing tops swimming in the ocean up close with wildlife like turtles, reef sharks and stingrays. Although a lesser known gem, these islands are home to some impressive diving sites.
Just off of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel stands out with its distinct Mayan history integrated with modern Mexican and Caribbean culture. It poses a challenge for even the most experienced divers through the Devil’s Throat, a narrow tunnel in the wall, which pushes the boundaries of recreational diving. The island has numerous coral lines and an array of fish species like the parrotfish, barracuda and wrasse. With the provision of both shallow and deep dives, it is a good choice for divers of every experience level.
An experience like scuba diving is one a person has to try out at least once in their lifetime. So all you deep water lovers out there better pack your bags and make your way to these breathtaking Caribbean islands.