So you’re going on a cruise and you want to know the best place to go scuba diving? Well there are many places to dive in the Caribbean but most cruisers agree that these are the top 4 places to go diving, whether your cruise ship is stopping at that island or you are flying there directly.
The Caribbean has a majestic quality all its own with sharp drop offs and beautiful underwater landscape. There are many great places for underwater adventures with snorkeling and scuba diving. But let’s look at some of the best places for scuba diving in all of the Caribbean. If you think I missed one that should be added to the list please use the comment section below to let us all know.
The water in Cozumel is clear because of the currents around the island, and visibility is about 100 feet or more on good days. There are over 16 diving reefs, full of all kinds of marine life like nurse sharls, eels, barracudas and rays. A lot of cruisers consider Cozumel to be the best diving spot in the Caribbean. There really is quite a blend of landscapes in this underwater region. You will find everything from mountain pinnacles to underwater caves and drop offs that go way into the black deep.
If you have your underwater camera you will want to capture the virbant colors of the many different reefs as well. It should be noted that all of the dives in Cozumel are drift dives, and this is a place for all sorts of dive levels from shore diving to deep diving for people with certification.
The gorgeous reefs in the Cayman Islands are full of marine life and exquisite colors, and is highly recommended for any diver whether he has experience or not. The Little Cayman’s Bloody Bay Wall Marinen Park has a great 1,000 foot drop off and the coral in that park is full of brilliant colors. There you can also find sea turtles, and yellow-headed jawfish.
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Stingray City is also a popular hot spot for scuba divers in Grand Cayman. You can swim with the stingrays in shallow waters and even touch them if you want to. There is basically no where else in the world that you are allowed to swim this close to stingrays but these creatures are very docile in this area. Local fisherman use a certain place to clean their fish and dump the entrails and this is where the stingrays feed. Eating free meals on a regular basis has made them non-aggressive and safe to swim with.
But the thing that divers love the most about diving in the Cayman Islands is how clear the water is. On a perfect day there is up to a 200 feet visisbility, and on average you can see at least 150 feet through the clear Caribbean waters.
Sometimes bigger is better. Roatan can boast of having the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. Just off the coast of Honduras, Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands, which all offer great places for scuba diving. All around the islands there are reefs so you don’t have to look very hard to find them and there are under water mountain ranges that stretch all the way around. There are a lot of great resorts that offer these excursiosn, including Coco View resort that will give you some bottom time on your dive but also offers dives for beginners too. Off the cost of an island not far from Roatan you can see some underwater shipwrecks and volcanoes so it’s really an exciting place to dive. With over 80 species of coral and 750 species of fish you never know what you are going to see.
At Anthony’s Key Resort you can swim with and interact with dolphins at the dolphin research center as well, if you want a more shallow water experience.
The 185 mile long barrier reef at Belize is home to all sorts of marine life, coral and sponges. But if you want to see some of the bigger fish and sharks, they have that too. Divers in Belize often get a chance to see manatees, sting rays, whale sharks, and other exotic creatures.
There is one aspect to diving in Belize that no other place can offer and that is the Great Blue Hole, which is a perfectly round hole that is 1,000 feet across and 400 feet deep. Many divers will go to Belize just to see the hole. From shallow waters to deep sea diving, Belize offers it all, with ocean floors dropping to over 2,500 feet just a mile off shore. If you do go to Belize on your next cruise be sure to stay out of the city. There have been a lot of crimes reported of tourists getting robbed, but if you are on a cruise there really is no reason you should have to go into the city itself.