5 Must-See Dive Sites in the Caribbean
Discover incredible underwater worlds on a Caribbean yacht charter
Seascapes are all very well. But if you only limit yourself to what you see above the water on your Caribbean yacht charter, then you are missing out on some truly awe-inspiring sights in your tropical playground.
There are infinite possibilities for underwater exploration in the Caribbean, from historic shipwrecks to colourful coral reefs teeming with fish and other strange sea creatures in a kaleidoscope of colours, and vertical walls that drop away to the abyss. And with some of the richest marine biodiversity in the world, including whales, sharks, and stingrays, you won’t be alone in this subaquatic universe for long.
Many Caribbean charter yachts come with their own dive stores, compressors, and instructors – some are even PADI-certified dive centres – and for those that don’t, your charter broker can arrange a rendezvous dive, where all the kit is delivered to your yacht.
With handy features such as generous swim platforms for easy access, on a Caribbean yacht charter you can get kitted up on board before diving right in.
Read on for some of the most dazzling dive sites in the Caribbean and get ready to unleash your inner Jacques Cousteau.
North Wall, Grand Cayman
Charter guests in the Cayman Islands are spoiled for choice when it comes to dive sites, but Grand Cayman’s wall, which actually includes four walls (north, south, east, and west) and drops to 3,000ft in some places, is considered one of the world’s best.
Though each of the walls has its qualities, the North Wall is where you will find Stingray City Deep, where less experienced divers can hang out with the local stingray community 15ft below the water, while seasoned scuba divers will love exploring the sheer vertical drops – divers here have likened the descent through its clear blue waters to sky-diving through the sea.
Tiger beach, The Bahamas
For the thrilling experience of diving with tiger sharks, this shallow sand flat is the place to come. With clear waters, it’s a real rush to be able to watch as large numbers of sharks swim around you between the main breeding months of October and January (smaller numbers of sharks can be seen here year-round).
Divers often report seeing lemon sharks too, and though the diving is only around nine metres, the excitement of the encounters with these ocean predators is enough to maintain a high level of excitement.
Though Mexico’s Sea of Cortez may get all the attention – not least for Jacques Cousteau’s endorsement of it as the ‘aquarium of the world’, Mexico’s Caribbean Sea has some pretty good dive spots too. Cousteau himself praised its visibility and “wonderful marine life”.
Cozumel, where the sea stays warm pretty much all of the year, offers a long diving season – 300 days of the year – though for the calmest conditions come from May to September, when even beginner divers should find the sea-state favourable.
The multicoloured coral reef is luminous against the vivid blue sea and there are innumerable caves to explore, plus marine-rich walls and drifts – look out for turtles, sharks, anemones and even the endemic Cozumel toadfish as you go.
Kodiak Queen, British Virgin Islands
Our brokers are big fans of dive sites in the BVIs and it’s not hard to see why – plough the depths of the waters around its dreamy islands and you’ll discover coral gardens, sandy bottoms, and no shortage of shipwrecks – evidence that tropical storms do sometimes have teeth.
The newest wreck to dive in the BVIs is found just off the coast of Virgin Gorda and though it was once a WWII warship, it ended up here by design rather than tragedy. Abandoned here after its days as a converted fishing trawler had come to an end, today it’s a fully-fledged art installation and artificial reef, which had an 80-foot model of a kraken sea monster wrapped around it before being deliberately sunk. For a more authentic shipwreck dive, try the 19th-century remains of RMS Rhone, also in the BVIs.
Champagne Reef, Dominica
Chartering a yacht in the Caribbean is very much living the champagne lifestyle, so this dive site, off Dominica, seems fitting.
Volcanic thermal springs on the seabed create a bubble effect that’s like swimming through champagne – at least we imagine that’s what swimming through champagne would feel like – while the underwater plummeting cliffs of the reefs and soaring volcanic mountains are every bit as dramatic as Dominica’s above-the-water landscape.
Add to this the vibrant colours of the sponges, coral and fish, and a dive here is an unforgettable experience.
For any further information on dive sites in the Caribbean, contact us.
14th February 2022 |