If your idea of the perfect vacation includes hours spent under the water exploring reefs, ships, fish and more, this list of top Caribbean dive spots will have you packing your bags and gear tonight!
You’ll find many of these spots are available on a Norwegian Cruise, giving you the opportunity to spend your vacation exploring many different spots rather than just one.
WHY: The British Virgin Islands have a wide variety of dive sites and St Thomas, home to the capital of the island chain, is a great base for exploring them all.
Underwater caves, lava tunnels and shipwrecks entertain the experienced diver but many reefs are at shallow depths, perfect for snorkels, and visibility can reach 100ft. Divers will enjoy multiple sunken Navy ships from WWII, which have created the perfect home for bigeyes, white squirrelfish, trumpetfish and other marine life.
WOW FACTOR: Located off the southeast coast of St. Thomas, the two largest rocks that break the surface are said to look like whales—a cow and her calf. Cow & Calf boasts dramatic ledges, wide canyons and large caves
WHY: Just off the coast of Venezuela surrounded by reefs, Bonaire is almost the classic desert island. There’s little rainfall, keeping the waters clear all year and water temperatures average a warm 78-84°F, with visibility from 100-150ft.
A strong environmental policy keeps the reefs pristine and every visiting diver has to be certified as part of this. There’s a lot of easy diving but snorkeling and photography are also popular. Bonaire’s waters throng with 350 species of tropical fish, creating the feel of being in an aquarium. Experienced divers enjoy the remoter eastern coast, with its huge sponges, corals and rare fish.
WOW FACTOR: Dive straight off your hotel’s beach to the close inshore reef.
WHY: Grand Cayman is one of the most popular diving sites in the Caribbean so you’ll find everything here from schools for total beginners to advanced courses for underwater video and photography.
It enjoys good weather all year, with sea temperatures in the 80s, dropping to the 70s in winter, and visibility up to 130ft or more. The dramatic Cayman Wall is a drop-off that surrounds the three islands, the peaks of an undersea mountain range. Starting from 20-30ft, it falls 6,000ft into the abyss.
WOW FACTOR: The Stingray City Sandbar offers divers or snorkelers the chance to feed and play with giant stingrays.
Caribbean diving is an option year round thanks to temperatures that remain fairly comfortable from mid-70s in winter to the low 90s in summer. Winds are the only thing that impact a dive and are usually handled by local guides who know more sheltered bays or coves that will still provide an incredible experience.