Scuba diving the Caribbean has to be a top destination to visit. Not just because of the clarity of the water or the colorful marine life you find here, but for the diversity of the dive sites from the gentle sloping seabed to the dramatic drop offs.
There are scuba dive sites around the Caribbean that offer something for everyone regardless of skill and experience. Here you have the opportunity to experience reef diving and wall diving in waters that offer up to 100ft of clear visibility and pleasant water temperatures of around 80 degrees.
Diving the Caribbean
With so many excellent sites it would probably be possible to compile a top 50 list, and of course any list would be subjective, different people want different things for their dives. But this list of five represents those sites where the divers that have experienced them have labelled as spectacular, either for the beauty of the underwater environment or the overall dive experience.
They are presented in no particular order, and if you were to compile your own list these sites may not even appear, but for those who have never been to the Caribbean and are looking forward to dipping that first toe in the water, they are a great starting point for letting you know just what you will be able to experience when you do get there.
The West Caicos Walls – Turks & Caicos
This is a wall divers dream location with miles and miles of vertical wall and incredible drop offs. Here the geothermic currents have combined with the cooler ocean waters to create some stunning features, which have been inhabited by thousands of colourful sponges and corals, and possibly more fish than you can identify with everything from small tropical species to barracudas.
One thing to bear in mind as you explore here though, is to keep at least one eye on the shadows off in the distance as this is also home to reef sharks and the occasional hammerhead and stingray, as well as less intimidating nurse sharks and sea turtles, eagle rays and manta rays.
Dive Belize – Half Moon Caye Wall – Lighthouse Bay
On this top notch dive spot in Belize you will find a combination of reef and wall diving, with some incredible Staghorn coral that has grown to over 20ft. Whole colonies of garden eels sway almost hypnotically in the current, the sand chutes exposing where they root themselves.
Here you will experience a good mixture of tropical fish as well as graceful Eagle rays, large groupers and majestic sea turtles, if you have an underwater camera, this would be an excellent place to test its abilities.
Dive British Virgin Islands – Wreck of the RMS Rhone
This is the wreck of the RMS Rhone, a royal mail steamer that went down off the coast of the British Virgin Islands in 1867 during a hurricane.
This is quite possibly one of the most famous dive sites in the whole of the Caribbean, and because of the way that is has been colonized by the marine life that took advantage of its many sheltered areas it has been given the designation of Underwater National Park.
As such, divers should be aware that there may be conditions attached to their dive in and around the area to ensure that the natural environment that has developed here is disturbed as little as possible.
Dive Bonaire – Salt Pier
If you are into underwater photography then Bonaire is definitely a site you should head to. Here you will find incredible sponges and a vast array of corals, with plenty of frogfish and seahorses swimming around too.
One of the great things about this site is that you can walk in straight from the beach to get to the reef and the drop offs.
Though the quantity and diversity of the small reef fish here may make it feel as though you are swimming in a manmade aquarium, it really is a 100% natural environment.
Dive the Bahamas – Victory Reef
Victory Reef offers an incredible dive experience and other than the regular life found on the reef you will find yourself swimming with incredible loggerhead turtles.
The reef is filled with canyons and peaks of coral that look like delicate lace which are home to some big game fish that swim into the region as well as the reefs more usual inhabitants. Keep your eyes open for the ever inquisitive reef sharks as you explore this underwater coral maze.
We probably missed a few dive sites.
Let us know in the comments below what your top dive sites in the Caribbean are.
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This article is published by The Scuba Page, the online magazine for Scuba Dive lovers around the world. The Scuba Page is part of RUSHKULT : the online booking platform for adventure sports. Visit the RUSHKULT platform to book your next Scuba Dive training, guided trip and accommodation.