10 Best Places for SCUBA Diving in The Caribbean

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Prepare for your next Caribbean vacation by learning about the best places and islands to go scuba diving in the Caribbean that offer the most tantalizing underwater views and diving experiences.

While the beaches and restaurants are enough to draw tourists to the Caribbean, you may want to take your sightseeing to the next level by diving in the Caribbean. The breathtaking underwater views of tropical fish and coral reefs will make your Caribbean vacation an unforgettable experience. 

When you go scuba diving in the Caribbean, you will have the opportunity to see the remains of shipwrecks, the colorful coral reefs, varieties of exotic marine life, and the underwater landscape. The warm, clear waters of the Caribbean make it the perfect place for scuba diving. While you can enter the deepest waters by dive boats and boards, novice divers have the option of diving right from the shoreline. 

Even if you have never gone scuba diving before, you can still have an amazing experience by keeping it simple with drift dives that provide equally spectacular views. Scuba diving is an activity that you won’t want to miss out on your next Caribbean vacation. Here are some of the best places for diving in the Caribbean:

Dominica

If you really want to connect with a variety of marine life, including sea turtles and whales, you should check out the scuba diving on Dominica Island, which is otherwise known as Nature Island. You can enjoy the unique jacuzzi-like experience of diving in warm bubbling waters courtesy of the geothermal vents caused by underwater volcanic activity. When you dive or snorkel in Dominica, you will get to observe and experience vast marine life, including seahorses and urchins.


Belize 

This Central American country offers an amazing scuba diving experience due to the deep waters of the iconic Blue Hole which is one of the deepest holes in the Caribbean that drops down 400 feet into the darkest depts of the Caribbean.

 While the Blue Hole is a diving location that’s best suited for more experienced divers, the views include unique marine life that you won’t find on any other dive. If you aren’t thrilled with the idea of plunging that deeply into pitch black water, the Half Moon Caye Wall is another awesome place for diving in Belize that provides views of eels and brightly colored coral reefs. 


Grand Cayman 

Grand Cayman is the most popular destination for diving in the Caribbean out of all three of the Cayman Islands. If you are brave enough to dive deeply, the North Wall is a diving locale that’s loved by many, going as deep as six thousand feet and offers views of rarely seen marine life, such as the spotted eagle ray. 

Once again, divers who aren’t keen on deep dives have the option of shore diving on Grand Cayman which offers spectacular views of coral reefs. If you are fascinated by history, then you may want to check out the notorious Kittiwake shipwreck that can be found fifty-five feet beneath the surface of the Grand Cayman waters. Another famous feature of the Grand Cayman diving experience is Stingray City where you can swim alongside thousands of tropical stingrays. 


Bahamas

Of course, the Bahamas has made the list with its seven-hundred islands that offer several of the best places for diving in the Caribbean. If you are interested in underwater shipwreck tours, then New Province Island is the perfect place for you to dive as there have been numerous shipwrecks that occurred in the waters over the span of three centuries. 

The Shark Wall is another great place to dive in the Bahamas that offers divers the opportunity to be amazed at the sight of some of the most beautiful coral in the Caribbean. Alternatively, you can swim through the vast barrier reefs of Andros, which includes the famous Tongue of the Ocean. 


Grenada

If you have become enchanted by the historical sight of shipwrecks and are fascinated by underwater landscapes, then Grenada is the ideal place for you to dive in the Caribbean. The view is the underwater equivalent of touring the Grand Canyon with its plateaus and drop offs that make it amongst the best locales for underwater exploration. 

Shipwreck fanatics can investigate the wreckage of the Blanca C cruise ship, while marine life loving divers can swim through the waters of Isle De Ron to enjoy the sight of tropical fish and breathtakingly beautiful reefs and caverns. 


St. Vincent and the Grenadines

If you love exploring underwater landscapes and unique coral reefs, then you will thoroughly enjoy diving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In addition to traditionally colored corals, you can have the experience of taking in the sight of black coral reefs, and some of the most remarkable underwater cliffs and drop offs at Anchor Reef. 

The Japanese Garden offers the most relaxing diving experience of the Caribbean that offers breathtaking views of sea fronds and corals as you swim along a naturally winding white sand path and take in the sight of tropical fish. 


Bonaire

Although Bonaire is the smallest of its sister islands, the volcanic roots of this island resulted in the most pristine reefs that you will ever find in the Caribbean. If you are looking for a simplistic, yet beautiful and eco-friendly diving experience, you may want to try scuba diving in Bonaire.

When diving at Bonaire’s Front Porch you can swim alongside jawfish and eels as you follow the fifteen-foot reef and explore a historical sunken tugboat. While Bonaire may not seem to offer much when it comes to diving, most of its coral reefs have been virtually untouched by man making it one of the most natural diving experiences. 


Turks and Caicos

If you are enchanted by the sight of coral reefs, then Turks and Caicos is the ideal place for you to scuba dive in the Caribbean as it boasts the largest coral reef system that includes expansive views of pristine reefs, tropical fish, shipwrecks, and even glimpses of whales during certain seasons at the Princess Alexandra National Park. The perimeter of this vast reef system spans sixty-five by two hundred miles making Turks and Caicos a scuba diving locale that you can continue to explore year after year. 


The Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands is another great place for diving in the Caribbean, especially if you appreciate the historic value of investigating and exploring notorious shipwrecks. The 1867 wreckage of the HMS Rhone is amongst the most popular diving destinations in the Caribbean, making it a wreck that you will definitely want to add to your sightseeing list. 

Alternatively, you may want to check out the tiny island cluster, known as the Dogs, that offers views of a unique underwater landscape that includes reefs and caverns. However, the HMS Rhone is the attraction that draws the most scuba divers to the Virgin Islands.


Puerto Rico 

A United States territory, Puerto Rico consists of a large island surrounded by tinier islands that are set aside a continental shelf. In addition to gorgeous coral reefs, the underwater caves make Puerto Rico the perfect place for diving and exploration in The Caribbean. If you are brave enough, you can even take the bold chance of swimming with the nurse sharks that lurk in the waters of Cayo Lobito.

But swimming alongside sharks isn’t for everyone. If you prefer to play it safe, you can enjoy the sight of the one of most colorful coral reefs in the Caribbean, known as Candyland. This highly recommended scuba diving destinations will leave you speechless once you witness the beautiful array of colored corals and sponges. 

Candyland is a must-see attraction to add to your list on your next vacation to Puerto Rico. Although Puerto Rico provides some of the best beaches and most tasteful Latin cuisine, the true gem lies deep beneath the waters. 


The ex-USS Kittiwake was a Submarine Rescue vessel (ASR-13). She was part of the 6th Submarine squadron (SUBRON 6) homeported at the Destroyer-Submarine piers in Norfolk, VA. The location for sinking the Kittiwake is at the northern end of Seven Mile Beach, on the West or lee side of Grand Cayman.

Final Thoughts

If you thoroughly enjoy scuba diving or are an amateur diver seeking to maximize the experience of your next Caribbean vacation, these locales are hands-down the best places for diving in the Caribbean. Although you can find stellar hospitality, beautiful white sand beaches, luxurious hotel accommodations, and delicious ethnic foods at many destinations throughout the Caribbean, there is only a handful of places that are perfect for scuba diving. 

Sure, you can try scuba diving in any body of water throughout the world, and given the tropical location of the Caribbean, you will catch glimpses of coral reefs and tropical marine life at most Caribbean diving spots, but there seems to be a little compromise when it comes to the best places for diving in the Caribbean. 

So, when you are packing your bikinis and swimming trunks to head out on your next Caribbean vacation, don’t forget to pack your scuba gear or at least inquire about places that rent out scuba gear at your desired destination. While there is much to love about Caribbean vacations, you are missing out on the full experience unless you tour the depths of the Caribbean waters.

About The Author
Rebecca
Rebecca is from Trinidad & Tobago and is a proud Caribbean enthusiast. When she isn’t at work or writing for EpicCaribbean, she spends time with her husband, reading Trinidad & Tobago travel guides, eating Trinidadian food, and dreaming of visiting Dominica.

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