As an avid diver and someone who has lived and travelled in the Caribbean for almost two years, I’ve done my fair share of diving in these waters. The coral and sea life in this region is astounding, with brilliantly colored soft corals, large fish and mammal species, plus plenty of turtles and invertebrates as well. Diving in the Caribbean is a treat for anyone who enjoys the scuba lifestyle! In this article I’ll share with you 5 of my favourite, lesser-known dive sites in the Caribbean (so far).
1. The Bianca C, Grenada
Grenada itself is a yet to be discovered scuba mecca and the country’s unexplored charm above the water, transcends below the surface – there is simply nobody around! Grenada’s world-class dive sites are almost always empty, and the Bianca C is no exception.
This sunken gem is definitely one of the country’s best dive sites and was even listed as one of the “top ten” best wreck sites worldwide by several diving magazines. The ship is justifiably known as the ‘Titanic of the Caribbean’ due to its sheer size and underwater presence. The Bianca C has few rivals in the realms of warm water wreck diving.
The enormous 180 metre long (600 foot) Cruise Liner sank in 1961 and sits upright on its keel in 50 metres (165 feet) of water. Visibility can range from 15 – 25 meters (50 – 82 feet), though during my dives here I was limited to the lower end of this spectrum. It doesn’t matter though, because even a glimpse of the Bianca C in all of her sunken glory is worth the trip to Grenada.
Note: Most dive shops are situated on Grand Anse Beach in Grenada. If you are staying outside of this area, it’s worth renting a car to avoid waiting for public transport. Check out Alamo.com for up to 20% discounts in Latin America & The Caribbean. Also contact us for awesome discounts on diving with the best shop on the island, Dive Grenada!
2. Christ Of The Abyss on Ambergris Caye, Belize
This dive site is named for the sunken statue of Jesus at around 15 meters below the surface, but for me, the real highlight was the abundance of sharks swimming around the reef. For the entire dive, I was followed by four or five nurse sharks and two reef sharks who kept returning to pay me a visit. I could watch sharks for hours, so to have them following our group around for such a long period of time really made this an outstanding experience for me.
I dove with Belize Pro Dive Shop on Ambergris Caye and they weren’t feeding any of the sharks which was great. The sharks seemed naturally curious as they swam in and out of the many coral caves that made up the colourful seafloor.
3. Manchones Reef on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Diving off of the coast of one of Mexico’s most funky islands, Isla Mujeres (Island of Women), was a wonderful experience. Manchones Reef is in a marine protected area and the dive sites there are teeming with sea life. During my dives in the area, I saw turtles, sharks, eagle rays and giant eels. I went with Squalo Adventures and they were professional, eco-minded and safety oriented.
I find that any time I get the opportunity to dive at protected sites, I notice a remarkable abundance of fish life. At Manchones, our dive group was constantly surrounded by huge schools of snapper and barracuda!
4. Robyn’s Reef on Bequia Island, SVG
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a small archipelago nation just a few kilometers north of Grenada and like their neighbour to the south, the diving on these islands is relatively undiscovered.
I spent 8 days on Bequia Island and in that time I went on 5 dives with Dive Bequia. I was impressed with all of my dives in the area, but my favourite was the drift site of Robyn’s Reef, where our group casually floated over a garden of impossibly vibrant corals. I hovered over blue coral vases and occasionally found large crabs and lobsters hiding in their darkened cauldrons.
I always love a drift dive because it means that I don’t have to waste my energy (or air) paddling to move around. The coral on this dive was especially bright and healthy and I would love to return to do more dives around St. Vincent & The Grenadines (particularly around The Tobago Cayes).
5. Cayo Jutias, Cuba
This was the only dive I ended up doing in Cuba, but I would love to return to do more one day. Cayo Jutias itself was a beautiful little island fringed by white sand beaches, mangrove forests and healthy coral.
Unfortunately, all dive shops in Cuba are state-run and I didn’t have the best experience with the dive shop there. The instructors were surprisingly impolite and insisted on feeding the fish even when I requested that they didn’t (I was the only customer on the dive).
But aside from the actual dive shop, the scuba diving was great. The many coral reefs that were broken up by deep sand bottom canyons were very fun to explore. I spotted some rays, an octopus and some grass eels poking their head up from the sand.
When I return to Cuba for more diving, I’d love to try the more popular live aboard trip to Jardines de la Reina and hopefully I’ll have better experiences with the dive shop staff!
What Are Your Favourite Caribbean Dive Sites?
Please share with me in the comments below. Hopefully I’ll be able to test them out for myself in the coming years and write about them on Goats on The Road. Thanks for reading!
This article was brought to you by Alamo however, all thoughts and opinions remain my own.