Top ten dive spots in the Caribbean
With over 7,000 islands the Caribbean is a divers paradise. Stunning backdrops of lush hinterland forest, powdery white beaches and sparkling turquoise waters are matched by world-renowned underwater landscapes. From dramatic vertical walls and colourful sponges to tropical fish and palegic beasts, the Caribbean has something to offer every underwater explorer and a yacht is the perfect platform to enjoy a diving experience from.
1. Victory Reef, Bimini Bahamas
The chain of Bahaman islands that make up Bimini are home to remarkable dive sites. At Victory Reef a dive through the coral covered canyons will bring you face to face with loggerhead turtles and Caribbean reef sharks. For a truly unforgettable dive, visit in February when huge hammerheads gather.
2. French Cay, Turks and Caicos
Once used as a hideaway by a notorious pirate, French Cay is now a bird sanctuary, and from January to March is one of the best spots for large pelagic encounters. Visibility is often over 100m, and with frequent sightings of Humpback whales it is a perfect choice to do a live aboard trip. For a change of pace, sail a few miles to the nearby Molasses Reef where you’ll find an intriguing, ancient shipwreck.
3. Bloody Bay Wall, Little Cayman
The smallest of the Cayman Islands hides an absolute treasure! The ledge starts at 20 feet and plunges dramatically to a depth of 22,000 feet, covered in the biggest and most exotic sponges you will see. The dazzling coral gardens and crevices are home to a wealth of creatures, and you will see many reef fish including trigger fish, horse-eye jacks and groupers, as well as turtles, sharks and sting rays.
4. Walker’s Cay, Bahamas
For shark diving, Walker’s Cay is a unique opportunity. Sharks are chummed by local dive masters, and the now famous “Shark Rodeo” gives you the chance to dive safely with sometimes hundreds of reef sharks.
5. The Aquarium, British Virgin Islands
As the name suggests, this site off the Western Coast of Spanish Town guarantees fantastic viewing of marine life. In the warm waters of the BVIs you will see a spectacular display of tropical life, from blue tangs and parrotfish to stingrays and nurse sharks. The warm, shallow waters make this a great spot for beginner divers.
6. The Bianca C, Grenada
The largest diveable wreck in the Caribbean, since it sank in the 1960’s the Bianca C has been transformed into a fascinating microenvironment in the harbour, covered in corals, fanweeds and with a resident population of green sea turtles. Trained wreck divers can enter the ship, and experienced divers can explore the rest of the structure including the still recognisable swimming pool.
7. Cow and Calf Rocks, US Virgin Islands
Amazing rock structures make this one of the best locations for snorkelling or shallow dives in the Caribbean. A short tender ride will take you to discover rock caverns, stunning natural arches and ledges, all surrounded by swarming, colourful fish. Once your dive is finished, the rocky outcrops and boulders offer impressive scenery above the water.
8. Saba Island, Dutch Caribbean
The volcanic origins of Saba have created a spectacular underwater landscape of towering pinnacles, tunnels and lava slops. The quiet and unspoilt island offers interesting dives for every level of diver, and the warm waters are home to a huge variety of marine life, including black tip, bull and hammerhead sharks. If you are lucky, you may look up to see manta rays or whale sharks glide past.
9. The Blue Hole, Belize
At 1,000 feet wide and over 400 feet deep, this massive sinkhole is the largest of its kind in the world and the stalactite formations are sought out by divers from across the world. Set in a UNESCO World Heritage Site you will be treated to shoals of parrotfish, angelfish and reef sharks, and if you are lucky an occasional hammerhead shark may glide by.
10. Santa Rosa Wall, Cozumel
For the most colourful dive in the Caribbean, visit Cozumel. Over 500 species of fish and 100 types of coral submerged in crystal clear water create an underwater kaleidoscope that has made Cozumel world famous. With options for technical or recreational divers this area caters for everyone. The wall provides an easily accessible intermediate wall dive, or for a laid back afternoon a snorkel from the shore will find you surrounded by schooling tropical fish.
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