The Best Diving Spots in the Caribbean for Underwater Adventure
Best Diving Spots in the Caribbean to Explore Life Under the Sea
A year-round tropical paradise for divers, the Caribbean offers calm, crystal-clear waters and an incredible amount of diverse marine life, both large and small.
Made up of over 700 islands, inlets, and cays, anyone with the tiniest bit of adventure would want to dive in and explore the waters of this amazing region.
One of the best things about the Caribbean is the wide range of options. Of course, there’s scuba diving, but there are also wall dives, reef dives, drifts, cave diving, and then some. The locations of some of the best diving spots in the Caribbean will sometimes be best to experience at a resort while another may be by liveaboards.
Known as the Shore Diving Capital of the World, the coral reefs accessible from this island make it one of the best diving spots in the Caribbean. There are over 60 different dive destinations that are accessible from Bonaire’s shore and over an additional 20 more available by boat. The freedom divers have on this island is like no place else on earth.
Thought to have some of the best diving resorts in the Caribbean, they are famous for offering divers unlimited Drive and Dive as well as shore diving packages. You can drive your rental through a shop’s drive-thru service and they will load new tanks into your car, giving you the freedom to do unguided dives whenever you want!
As the pioneer in the conservation of its marine life, Bonaire unsurprisingly has a ton of creatures to get acquainted with. Its waters are home to over 57 species of coral, more than 340 species of fish, and countless others. You’ll see coral reefs teeming with sea fans, large sponges, and small critters. The types of fish often spotted are butterflyfish, sea turtles, barracudas, crabs, and shrimp.
Everyone knows about the amazing dive sites, but check out Buddy Dive Resort. They have added underwater scooters that you can rent. You can take a boat to dive, be dropped off at one site, and then head back to the resort with the scooter. This method allows divers to see up to five sites before returning.
There’s so much diversity in the Cayman Islands for scuba divers, some locals say there’s a different dive site for each day of the year. Pick between the three Caribbean islands, each offering something a little different.
Grand Cayman is the largest and most populated, offering a huge number of interesting wall and wreck sites, such as the famous USS Kittiwake, a 251-foot shipwreck. It also has Stingray City, where squids are fed to stingrays by hand; it’s definitely something to be experienced.
Little Cayman, the smallest, least developed and least populated island has its own unique diver experiences to offer. Choose from over 50 dive sites, including the Bloody Bay Wall Marine Park, known for its steep drop-offs, dramatic swim-throughs, and wow-eliciting colors.
Then there’s Cayman Brac, a mix of the other two islands, where the underwater world offers a lot of gorgeously haunting wrecks, like the Russian destroyer, and wall sites to explore. Diving from land is a standard affair, but if you don’t have much time, get a liveaboard and take in all three islands in one visit.
Turks and Caicos
Of the 40 Caribbean islands this archipelago consists of, only 8 are actually inhabited. The best diving spots are spread across Providenciales, Salt Cay, and Grand Turk.
Salt Cay is an awesome diving spot that has a lot of caverns, walls, and wrecks and Grand Turk has plunging reefs along with interesting culture and history to discover.
You can see Caribbean reef sharks in these waters nearly every day. Other marine life commonly found include orange elephant ear sponges, green turtles, angelfish, eagle rays, gray reef sharks, and much more. The turquoise waters of the Turks and Caicos offer excellent visibility and the lack of a current makes photographing marine life far easier.
Diving via resort is possible or rent out affordable Caribbean real estate. Liveaboard diving, however, is the recommended route to explore the numerous islands and all the diverse diving experiences out there.
Undoubtedly the best shark diving destination in the Caribbean and world, experienced divers are able to get up close and personal with several species of large sharks in cage-free dives. The crystal-clear Bahamas waters also make it one of the best diving spots in the Caribbean for divers of all skill levels and types. Whether you are a novice diver or underwater photographer, the calm, crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea offer amazing visibility.
On Grand Bahamas, from October to May, you can go to Tiger Beach on the island’s West End to safely dive close with tiger sharks. There are more than tiger sharks around though, keep your eyes open for Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, lemon sharks, and even hammerheads.
In Bimini during the months of January to about March, you can see hammerhead sharks swimming alongside nurse sharks and even wild dolphins. From April to June, you can head to Cat Island to dive with oceanic whitetip sharks, which are massive.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Rarely can you find a single scuba diving destination that offers you the chance to go wreck, reef and wall diving in the same day, but St. Croix is that rare gem. The island’s north shore has the deepest dives along the wall; Twin Palms or Cane Bay give you easy road access and a 10 to 15-minute swim to get to the wall’s edge. You can see up to 100 feet in the clear water, where hawksbill sea turtles, squid, and shoals abound.
Butler Bay is where the wrecks can be seen. There are five wrecks but the three shallowest wrecks are the safest to explore and are easily accessible from the shore for fit divers or via a boat-dive trip. Shallow sites out west include the Aquarium where eels, seahorses, and lobsters are hanging out on the reef.
Dive into the Caribbean’s Warm Waters
The best diving in Caribbean waters offers record-setting levels off visibility, thriving reefs that are protected and large and small creatures of all kinds.
There’s nothing like diving in some of the best dive sites in the Caribbean.