Scuba diving holidays Best dive sites in the Caribbean for beginners to expert divers

Are you wondering which Caribbean island has the best diving? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. This tropical paradise has the best shore diving for beginners, deep wreck adventures for technical divers, and is a playground for underwater photographers.

The turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea are dotted with hundreds of friendly and picturesque islands. A glorious landscape of white sand and tropical scenery, the Caribbean islands may be the world's most perfect piece of paradise especially if you enjoy scuba diving

Popular Caribbean islands for scuba diving

The Bahamas

Grand Cayman possesses one of the best wrecks in the Caribbean, the USS Kittiwake. It rests at around 65ft (19m) and is accessible for all abilities (the top of the wreck starts at 15ft/4m). Interestingly, the USS Kittiwake was actually artificially placed here in 2011 after being donated by the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD).

Aside from wrecks, the Caymans also boast Stingray City. This is a collection of sandy banks that house huge arrays of stingrays accessible for both divers and snorkelers. On Little Cayman, you’ll also be able to explore the perplexing Bloody Bay Wall site that most divers dream of visiting. This really is some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the Caribbean!

US Virgin Islands

Peaceful St. Croix is the largest of the USVI’s three main islands. Its versatile waters blend the best of both worlds, as beginner-friendly shallow reefs meet thrilling wall dives and swim-throughs. For instance, Cane Bay Wall drops from 40ft (12m) to over 3,000ft (900m), with plenty to see within recreational limits — from seahorses and stingrays to 300-year-old anchors.

Continuing the theme of ‘something for everyone’, the selection of shipwrecks at Butler Bay — from tugboats to giant oil barges — caters to newer divers, seasoned divers, boat divers, and even shore divers. This is some of the best wreck diving in the Caribbean.

Finally, Frederiksted Pier is outstanding, especially after dark. Indeed, night divers regularly spot octopuses, squid, frogfish, crustaceans, and other nocturnal critters.

St Barths

Scuba diving in St Bart's warm Caribbean waters offers lovely coral reefs. The colors are magnificent, largely because of the shallow water (the channel between St Barts and St Martin reaches no deeper than about 30 m) and the sandy bottom, which reflects the sunlight.

There are plenty of small and colorful reef fish. In addition to gorgeous reefs, St. Barts also plays host to a wreck dive, The Kaïali. In 30m of water, this site contains two entrances and is suitable for advanced divers.

There are also several large caverns scattered around the island’s walls, adding diversity to the 22 dive sites scattered around the island. For divers visiting this luxury Caribbean paradise, it's good to know there's some enjoyable diving just minutes away.

Turks & Caicos

Located southeast of the Bahamas, the archipelago of 40 islands split in two by the Turks Island Passage that drops to 2,200m. The most popular island for tourists and also for scuba diving is Providenciales. Its known for colorful reef walls and for spotting nurse sharks between July and September.

Between January and the end of March, diving in the 2200m trench means seeing amazing marine life with humpback whales, turtles, and dolphins.

The islands also boast incredible wall dives over the submerged cliffs and if you are looking for some wreck diving then Turks & Caicos is the place to visit. HMS Endymion sank off the shores of Salt Cay and is not to be missed.

Dominican Republic

Scuba diving around the Dominican Republic is very popular with divers from around the world because it caters for all levels. Many of the dive sites on the southern coast are suitable for beginners as the currents are calmer. Advanced divers are treated to deep wrecks and wall diving. A popular dive site is called Silver Bank and in season, you can humpback whales who come to calve.

Whilst diving, you can see mangrove forests, deep wrecks and a massive reef structure with swim-through caverns and extensive coral formations.

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