If you want to experience some unique experiences while you are on a vacation then you need to choose the best diving destinations. Here are 18 diving destinations in the Caribbean where you can explore the ocean and enjoy your dives to the maximum.
Dive into the Caribbean and you will learn that there are many amazing places in the sea. It’s no wonder that divers come from all around the world to see it. There are hundreds of coral reefs in the Caribbean and they are filled with tropical fish.
1. Isla Margarita
Margarita is the largest island in the Caribbean. It is also one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Located on the coast of northern South America in the Gulf of Venezuela, the island is also known as La Isla del Amor (The Isle of Love). It is a place where you can find a lot of natural beauty and attractions. The beauty of this island has attracted many tourists.
There are many things you can do here. It is possible to travel by boat from Puerto Cabello to Isla Margarita. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the island. Another way is to arrive on the island by plane. The first airplane service to reach the island was in 1956. Since then, the island has been visited by many travelers.
The beautiful beaches of Margarita island make it unique. For example, you can visit Playa de Los Alemanes. This beach has white sand and turquoise waters. You can enjoy the view from the top of the island. The island also has the biggest coral reef in the Caribbean Sea. If you’re looking for scuba diving, you should go to Playa de las Perlas.
3. Caye Caulker, Belize
Off the coast of Belize, there is a little Caribbean island called Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker is one of the best destinations for scuba divers. It has so much to offer including beautiful white-sand beaches, warm blue waters, and great dive sites.
The island lies on the south side of the country and is only a one-hour boat ride away from the mainland. This is a popular destination for scuba diving lovers. It is considered to be one of the best Caribbean dive destinations. Caye Caulker is best known for its rich reef systems which provide divers with great opportunities to explore and discover new marine creatures.
The warm waters are ideal for diving. You can easily access the reefs by simply renting scuba or snorkeling equipment. You can rent a boat or charter your own boat if you wish to explore the entire island. There are a lot of wonderful locations to explore. You can visit the North Beach, the South Beach, the West beach, the East Beach, and Sunset Beach. The waters surrounding the island are full of colorful fish and coral reefs. If you are looking to explore some amazing underwater worlds, you should go for a Caye Caulker dive.
4. Dana Point, California
You will find Dana Point on the Pacific Ocean shoreline. It is located between San Clemente and Laguna Beach. This is one of the best Caribbean dive destinations. It is popular with both beginner and experienced divers. It offers over 200 scuba diving sites and numerous wrecks. The reef is very close to the shore. All the sites offer spectacular diving and you will enjoy every site here.
There are no artificial reefs at this location, but you will be able to see plenty of natural coral formations. Some of the best sites here are located at the Lighthouse Reef. The Lighthouse Reef consists of coral cliffs that are up to three kilometers long. The reef is almost 500 meters deep and it has a spectacular view. The site offers a wide range of dive depths.
One of the best activities here is diving with sea turtles. It is one of the top marine turtle habitats. The Lighthouse Reef is surrounded by a sand flat that is less than 30 feet deep. This makes for easy diving conditions. The dive sites in this location include Coral Canyon, the Underwater River, and the Underwater Falls. The Lighthouse Reef is also a protected area. You can visit the site from April to November. You can book a trip to Dana Point with DiveDana Point. They offer great deals and excellent service.
5. Palmyra Atoll,Guam
Palmyra Atoll is located near Guam, Kiribati, and American Samoa. Palmyra Atoll is about 1,200 miles from Hawaii and it is one of the most remote places in the world. In case you want to visit Palmyra Atoll, make sure that you book your tickets well in advance. It is a popular tourist destination so it is recommended that you reserve your trip as early as possible.
The main island of Palmyra is almost half the size of Hong Kong. On the island, there are many interesting sights. You can take a tour of the famous coral reefs. These reefs are full of colorful tropical fish, exotic corals, and huge coral polyps.
You can also go snorkeling and swim around the beautiful coral reefs. Some of the coral reefs in Palmyra are perfect for snorkeling. However, most of them are too shallow for swimming. This makes them perfect for diving and snorkeling. Diving the Palmyra reefs is very easy.
Palmyra has many fascinating and beautiful sights that you shouldn’t miss while you are visiting. You should definitely go here if you want to experience nature in its rawest form.
6. Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo is located about a 3-hour drive east of San Jose in the province of Guanacaste. Puerto Viejo is located on the northern coast of Costa Rica and is home to one of the most stunning beaches in the country. Its location also makes it a perfect destination for those who love scuba diving.
Puerto Viejo is not only a beautiful tourist spot with pristine beaches but it is also home to many amazing underwater adventures. There are dozens of incredible dive sites within the area that offer breathtaking views, a lot of wildlife, and even some amazing reefs.
There are so many options when it comes to choosing a location for your dive. The best way to go about it is by reading reviews and recommendations. For instance, you should know that there is a dive site called “Pinnacle” that offers some of the best snorkeling around. This is a great option if you don’t want to spend much time underwater. It is an easy site and is very calm.
There are several reasons why Puerto Viejo has become one of the most popular diving locations in the Caribbean. The first reason is its location. Puerto Viejo is not located in one of the main cities in Costa Rica but rather, in a small fishing town. This is the perfect environment for tourists to relax.
7. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Diving from the mid-Atlantic islands is very exciting. Many people who dive from these islands are adventure seekers. The biggest attraction for them is the depth and the beauty of the underwater world. You’ll be surprised how wonderful and interesting these islands look from a distance.
You’ll also get to see amazing creatures like dolphins, sharks, and fish. These underwater sites are perfect for scuba diving, which is just one of the activities you can do in Fernando de Noronha. You can also snorkel around these islands, swim with dolphins, and visit the coral reefs.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars in these places where you can relax and have a drink. You’ll find all kinds of entertainment on the island as well. Fernando de Noronha is located close to the South Atlantic Ocean, so you’ll have a lot of chances to see beautiful waterfalls.
The ocean water here is crystal clear, so you can enjoy taking pictures and even swimming in the ocean. Other activities that you can do on Fernando de Noronha are kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, and fishing. This island is popular among divers who are looking for a quiet vacation spot.
8.Yucatán Peninsula’s cenotes, Mexico
When you visit Cenotes (the Yucatan’s natural sinkholes), it is very interesting to explore them. These caves were made by nature, which is why you find lots of beautiful colors, shapes, and formations inside of them. The cenotes are also home to many creatures that live there. Millions of fish live in the cenotes, and they are also home to sea turtles.
These caverns are popular spots for tourists, especially scuba divers. Scuba diving is one of the things that you will enjoy while you are in Mexico. While you are in these caverns, you will enjoy seeing the fish, sea turtles, and coral reefs that you see. These caverns are also very interesting.
They have a number of different colors and shapes. One example is the blue cave that has different shades of blue. You can walk in the cenotes to see all of these beautiful colors.
Bare Island is famously recognized as the world’s capital of shore diving. In fact, apart from being able to dive over 60 sites from the shore, Barese Island offers over 20 others accessible by boat if tourists come from Klein Bonaire. Also, the islands offer diving freedom to divers unlike anywhere else in the world.
For divers looking for a beach dive experience, Bonaire offers “Drive and Dive” packages. You drive in your car-packaged coolers to your dive shop. They load tanks right into your car! Guests can stay overnight at one of over 200 eco-friendly hotels beside the ocean.
It’s worth checking out Salt Pier, as it features lots of schooling fish so you can enjoy some sight fish diving. Keep an eye out for the multicolored whale shark when you’re there, as it’s a particular attraction of this region
The variety of marine life in Bonaire is no less exciting, considering this area is the pioneer of marine protection in the Caribbean Sea. This area offers incredible amounts of hidrocsoral, Galurk, corals, and more than 340 varieties of fish.
In Bonaire the list of marine life that you can encounter while diving is long. There are seahorses, worms, different selachian creatures, tarpon, turtles, barracudas, and more. The biggest surprises you’ll encounter while diving in Bonaire is snakes, sharks, penguins, sea turtles, and large tarpons.
Bonaire is also located nearly outside the hurricane belt, making it accessible to divers no matter the season.
10. Cozumel & Riviera Maya, Mexico
Cozumel is ideally suited for scuba diving year-round. You will likely see turtles, morays, sharks, squid, colorful fish, reef corals, and drift diving if safety allows. Eagle rays and blacktip reef sharks are commonly seen.
Clearly, the glorious island is a huge favorite for international travelers of all ages, as it offers a wide variety of activities, such as swimming with dolphins, fantastic snorkeling, a visit to Mayan ruins, bar hopping, and more. This final obstacle is what makes Cozumel such a worthwhile destination.
If cavern diving is what you’re into, the Riviera Maya in the Yucatán Peninsula is where you want to be. The peninsula, which was once buried beneath the ocean’s surface, is now brimming with various flooded caves and caverns, known as cenotes. Scuba divers can now swim around to marvel at these ancient formations, an experience that many describe as magical.
Looking to go diving in Cozumel? Interested in familiarizing yourself with the land-based resorts in the area or discovering the various dive sites? Check out the diving tours here for multiple options.
11. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
Offering a thrilling array of amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities, Jardines de la Reina is one of the Caribbean’s most exciting destinations. You might even spot a great white shark diving below your fins and watching a healthy colony of Caribbean reef sharks drift past you below. Silky sharks are also fairly common here, depending on the severity of the year and the lure of the season.
Anybody that hangs around big crocodiles will eventually have the opportunity to dip their toes in Australia’s world-famous saltwater crocodile crocodiles. Imagine heading into the water while they stare straight at you hungry.
Coral reefs are known as being the most photographed and most photographed in the world. The Jardines de la Reina reserve is one of the best preserved of these reefs and thereby offers some of the best opportunities to view them directly. Sharks and crocodiles aside, you can see the massive groupers, loggerheads, hawksbill and green turtles, snappers, colorful tropical fish, and loads of smaller fish and other animals.
12. The Cayman Islands, UK
The Cayman Islands has so much diversity to offer to divers that it is sometimes hard to see the difference between days, especially diving! It will be the largest, most developed, and well-connected of the three islands such as Grand Cayman. If you know what else is full, it might be a better idea to visit Cayman Brac – it’s kind of between, not too quiet and not too crowded.
Grand Cayman has an interesting collection of wreck and wall sites, as well as watery Stingray City, where you can hand-feed stingrays in the aptly named Stingray City. A unique experience that should not be missed! Add the world’s largest shipwreck, the US Warship Kittiwake, to your sailing itinerary too.
The dive experience in Cayman Brac is like those found in Grand Cayman, with beautiful wall and wreck sites to explore. There’s a must-see on the map, the MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts, a Russian destroyer that sank in the mid-1980s.
Both on and off the reef, expect to see a lot of colored oversized sponges in the water, along with several different sizes marine animals such as moray eels, backfins, turtles, groupers, tarpon, jawfish, angel fish, nudibranchs and puffer fish.
Looking to go diving in The Cayman Islands? Check out the diving tours here for multiple options.
A wonderful thing in the Caribbean, the Bahamas is the best place to shark-dive.
In the Bahamas, divers can head underwater and dive with various large shark species, keeping a close eye on the clear waters and crystal-clear visibility. This makes the Bahamas great for diving and underwater photography.
Come to Tiger Beach: West End for an up-close-and-personal diving adventure with vast schools of tiger sharks. Watch out for lemon sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, and even hammerheads.
In an effort to see lots of marine life, visit Bimini in the first quarter of the year to see amazing hammerhead sharks alongside the big Caribbean reef sharks and the tiny nurse sharks. This tour combined with a wild dolphin-watching excursion will be your best bet to view both ocean life wonders of the world.
You can also plan a visit to the pristine Cat Island in April-June to dive with large oceanic whitetip sharks.
Most of the diving in the Bahamas is water-based, however, it has some wonderful qualities and some treasures within boating that are largely intact for the average diver. Because of these boating qualities, along with the availability of several diverse tour operators, conditions are specifically suited for divers.
Liveaboards also go to the Bahamas! You can pick the ferry that best suits your desires, with some boats departing from Florida and crossing to Bahamian waters. There’s even a liveaboard out there for you at all budget levels!
Looking to go diving in the Bahamas? Check out the diving tours here for multiple options.
14. Roatan, Honduras
Roatán is among the largest Caribbean islands found off the Honduran authorities on the coast of the eastern part of La Honduras. Boats will also be needed to enjoy Roatán. The islands have lots of beautiful dives scattered throughout the sea. According to a famed scuba diver, Roatán’s water provides close to 100 sites for diving.
Opportunity lives in and around this region, home to many species of fish. This area is abundant with big animals like grouper, hawksbill turtles, eagle rays, sharks, dolphins, sharks, and many fish species. You can also find smaller animals like cleaner shrimp, starfish, various seahorses, and rays. Sadly, you will also find several lionfish as well.
Past divers who enjoy diving over a cruise ship (like the Roatán Aggressor) are encouraged to return via the Roatán Aggressor. The only contemporary liveaboard out of the area also visits Roatán Aggressor, Coco’s Sea Mount, and Cayos Cochinos – sites not usually revisited by day boats that can be encountered via other outward-bound liveaboards out of Roatán. Because liveaboards are a bit smaller and operate on cruising schedules (often carrying divers for 3-4 round trips with a break in between), they are able to visit a greater number of dive sites in the area.
15. Turneffe Atoll, Belize
Turneffe Atoll in Belize is the largest of the three atolls that comprise the world’s second-largest barrier reef. Situated southeast of Ambergris Caye, it is certainly one of the most beautiful locations in all of Belize. This large offshore atoll reef offers a plethora of sites for both beginners and advanced divers, and its clear visibility and varied marine life are like no other I have tasted before. It is truly a dream! I would highly recommend this great atoll located off Belize’s coast.
The excellent conditions of the Caribbean Sea side will provide many marine inhabitants. From Mahi Mahi to white-spotted toadfish, eagle rays, tarpon, moray eels, various reef sharks, and nurse sharks, we will see them all.
Belize in general is a great place for both the adventurous and the romantic. When you’re not scuba diving, there’s a lot for you to do: cave tubing, river rafting, eco links, waterfall rappelling, and Maya ruins tours.
More and more divers visit Belize and stay on Ambergris Caye, where there are many resorts working with local fishermen and local dive shops. If you are interested in diving, several dive operators will take you on day trips out to Turneffe Beach and its surrounds, as well as other places nearby Belize.
16. Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos Islands is an archipelago consisting of a few islands inhabited by Turks and Caicos inhabitants.
The most popular and traditional sights across the Bahamas include Providenciales, the continent’s most populated island, and Grand Turk with its beautiful protected below-sea-level reefs and interesting history and culture to discover.
Divers see Caribbean reef sharks on virtually every dive on our Turk and Caicos trip in 2019. Another marine life is plentiful as well, such as schooling jack, white caps, snappers, corollas, cockles, lions, hide and hair, angelfish, cubs, eagle rays, and many others. Visibility is often excellent and is one of the best in the Caribbean. The absence of current in the water makes underwater photos easier as before, afternoons.
Liveaboard diving is a way to go to explore the islands other than chartered diving tours. By this, I mean that Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Company and Turks & Caicos Explorer Company are the only operators of liveaboard diving.
Dominica is not as crowded as other Caribbean capitals, and it provides divers with some of the best diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, and wakeboarding on the planet. The country appeared in the soul-searching literature of Lonely Planet last year as one of the 10 best countries to visit in the world.
One component of Dominica’s allure is the rugged topography of the island. Rugged peaks and ridges on land meet steep underwater volcanoes and craters. Furthermore, there is virtually no current, making exploring those crannies and holes very attainable.
Submerged vents occur all over the Caribbean. These features also help warm up the waters of the sea and are known for being especially rich. One such site can be found in Dominica. It is reached by the shore and is a wonderful spot for night diving. It would be great for visiting the seahorses.
While diving, in Dominica, divers are likely to encounter fixed and marine life: electric rays, seahorses, frogfish, gurnards, Caribbean reef squid, sea snakes, and batfish. Furthermore, they will also find spotted and spinner dolphins.
Dominica also happens to be the mecca for whale watching in the Caribbean. Though it is as yet difficult to discern down the right which continent’s coast Dominica sits on, with the Indian and North Atlantic Oceans equally representing this part of the globe, speculation has it that this easternmost island of the Caribbean is a bit left of center.
Dive spots in Dominica are accessible through short boat tours offered by several land-based tour operators around the island.
Less searched yet no less spectacular than its neighboring nations Brunet Island and Bonaire is an exceptional locations for scuba divers and underwater photographers hoping for varied sites and rich marine life. It’s also a great place for any photographer who seeks tranquil settings.
Much like Bonaire, Curaçao hosts a wealth of swimming critters to please discerning diving macro enthusiasts. Some of the small sea life that you can see include rosy frogfish (Hydrolagus equulus), pygmy angelfish (Centropyge argi), flip-flop angelfish (Alyarella Antarctica), banded corals, scarlet corals, saddled sponges, fin squids, slopehead sea snail, Pederson’s and spotted cleaner shrimps, gobies, yellow-banded crabs, and neck and speck clawed crabs. Stakhopolsky and Nudibranch respectively are also found every time you dive.
The majority of popular dive sites in Curacao are mushroom forests and Blue Room. It’s yet not discovered deluxe vacation ballroom, both of these sites are located directly off of the main runway, which gives the dives a unique positional perspective.
These exceptional destinations offer some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean. Which will you choose for your next dive getaway?
Looking for amazing tours in the Caribbean? Check out here for multiple options.