Whether you enjoy diving the beautiful coral reefs with an abundance of sea life or around centuries-old shipwrecks, there are endless possibilities for your next dive vacation in the Caribbean. Here are just five of the top locales.
By Barbara L. Nelson, Content Writer
The island of Roatan, located 30 miles off the coast of Honduras, is a diver’s paradise and offers wall dives, shipwrecks, shallow corals, macro marine life and some giants of the ocean, like the incredible whale shark. It is very versatile for divers since the dive sites are just a few minutes from the coast, and there are plenty to choose from.
Roatan’s Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is world-renowned. It is the largest of its kind in the northern hemisphere and the second largest worldwide. Only the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is larger in scope and size than the reef in the waters around Roatan Island.
The island has been very well protected by the marine park that stretches 17 miles off the coast from the island and protects about 10,400 miles of reef. In addition, the island has been protected from hurricanes, which has prevented the destruction of coral by the force of nature.
Cozumel is rated among the world’s top ten dive destinations and has a lot more options after a day’s dive, including five-star hotels, several Mayan ruin sites and great cuisine and nightlife, which makes this the perfect getaway.
Jacques Cousteau named Cozumel as one of the top 10 dive spots in the world. One of the main reasons for its popularity is its pristine turquoise water, which creates near-perfect visibility of up to 50 meters.
Whether you are a complete beginner or a scuba aficionado, Cozumel is the perfect diving spot where you can see colorful coral and abundant growth of sponge, a rainbow of spectacular marine flora, fauna and sea life such as eagle ray, barracuda or toadfish. Home to more than 500 species of fish, 60 species of coral, 350 mollusks and marine mammals, algae, and seagrasses, Cozumel will not disappoint.
Bonaire is the shore diving capital of the world, with 89 different dive sites, 54 of which are accessible from the island’s sandy coast. It is home to a world-class reef, with wreck diving from the shore or by boat and several dive sites open to self-guided exploration.
And it’s not just the easy access that makes this place special. Bonaire’s diving is world-class, with plunging walls, sprawling kaleidoscopic coral gardens, and marine life galore. It also has historical attractions, protected parks filled with whales, dolphins, sharks, rays and sea turtles, charming villages, laid-back resorts and an authentic island feel.
Above water, this island is a paradise for sun worshipers, outdoors enthusiasts, and beach bums – with plenty of protected natural areas and stunning sandy beaches waiting to be explored.
Little Cayman, the smallest of the three islands of the Cayman Islands, was once a playground for pirates and a safe-haven for swashbucklers. Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are now one of the Caribbean’s most serene vacation destinations for scuba divers looking to get away from it all.
Little Cayman dive sites comprise several vertical walls, beautiful coral gardens and boulder formations, with the best sites located along Bloody Bay Wall, which includes 15 different sites. Here you’ll see multicolored sponges, gorgonian sea fans and other coral formations that are home to a multitude of sea life. Jackson’s Bight at the northwest end of Little Cayman is another dive area to explore. It boasts several different dive sites that offer a slightly different seascape with chutes, tunnels and crevices to explore. Divers may also explore the only diveable Soviet warship in the Western Hemisphere.
Enjoy an island escape with contemporary comforts and charm that offers everything you could want from a remote dive holiday, including luxurious comforts, secluded beaches and beautiful seascapes, and a laid-back island lifestyle. Plus, you can discover the islands’ rich history of pioneers and privateers.
A picturesque archipelago, bathed in some of the clearest water on the planet and located just off Florida’s east coast, the Bahamas is an ideal liveaboard (a scuba diving purposely-built boat) diving getaway that offers a mix of international service and Caribbean charm.
The Bahamas has earned itself a reputation as the shark capital of the Caribbean, where sites such as Tiger Beach and Bimini can bring you as close as possible to some of the largest predators in the sea – tiger sharks and great hammerhead sharks. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park and Eleuthera have some of the richest reefs in the Caribbean that are home to large schools of jacks and barracuda, as well as many smaller species such as jawfish and gobies. The area is one of incredible beauty, with a seemingly endless chain of white or pink powder beaches and alluring turquoise waters that are ideal for liveaboard cruises. Here you will find blue holes, wrecks, and walls.
The Bahamas is also well known as a center for adventure. Almost every warm water-based activity imaginable is here, plus some eco-tourism opportunities. You can base yourself at a first-class hotel or all-inclusive resort in Freeport or Nassau or choose a remote island getaway on one of the hundreds of outer cays.
The Bahamas also offers unmatched visibility and a wide range of diving opportunities for divers of any level, which makes the Bahamas a strong contender for those seeking the best diving in the Caribbean.
Let Damon’s Getaways book your next dive vacation so you can relax and enjoy your next dive getaway. There are many stay options and offers, including dive packages and dive resorts, and so much more. Tell us what you want, and Damon will design your next dive vacation.