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The Best Caribbean Islands for Scuba Diving

Today, I am excited to share with you the 13 best Caribbean islands for scuba diving. Why? Because curiosity is one of the most potent motivations, we humans have. Seeking knowledge, pushing our limits, and embracing the unknown drive us forward and enable us to grow.

In a world dominated by virtual realities, artificial intelligence, and cybernetic realms, brands attempt to “manufacture” experiences, making us believe that buying a T-shirt is more than just pressing a button and entering credit card numbers. But divers can’t be fooled. We understand the true essence of living – experiencing, feeling emotions, and embarking on thrilling adventures.

Discovering the top Caribbean islands for diving and immersing yourself in their pristine waters is an authentic way to live life. That’s why today, we have compiled a ranking of the 15 best Caribbean scuba diving Islands – not just to tell you about them, but to encourage you to experience them firsthand.

1. Best Caribbean Islands for Scuba Diving with Dressel Divers

I’m not going to deceive you, not even try. We want to introduce you to the best Caribbean islands for scuba diving, and above all, we want you to experience this with Dressel Divers. As a matter of fact, our company has diving centers on 4 of these wonderful islands that are perfect for diving. We know these locations well, and we specifically chose them for a reason. That’s why we thought it would be best to start this article by mentioning them.

Without further ado, here are, in our opinion, the four best Caribbean islands for diving.


1.1. Cozumel: By Far, The Best Caribbean Island for Diving

What can we tell you about Cozumel that we haven’t already shared? We’ve covered it all: from our diving page dedicated to Cozumel, an article highlighting the best reefs on the island, to the catalog showcasing Cozumel’s marine life

But, although we can’t add anything more, we do continue singing Cozumel’s praises:

  • It boasts some of the most beautiful and splendid coral reefs in not just the Caribbean but the entire world.
  • On the island, you’ll find walls that plunge into the abyss, coral tunnels, giant pinnacles, and awe-inspiring coral formations that surpass your wildest imagination, along with over 45 dive sites.
  • Most of these formations are located within protected parks, ensuring they are well-maintained and preserved.
  • And if the reefs are impressive, wait till you see the diverse marine life, featuring unique species found nowhere else in the world.

For all these reasons and more, Cozumel is undoubtedly the best Caribbean dive island, even more, if you are a reef and drift diving lover. Still skeptical? Come see it for yourself and experience the wonders of Cozumel firsthand.

1.2. Catalina Island and Saona Island in the Dominican Republic

Dear fellow diving enthusiasts that are on the hunt for the absolute best islands for diving. You’re in for a treat!
Based on the fact that the entire Dominican Republic shares a landmass with Haiti, it deserves to be among the best diving islands due to its shipwrecks, protected coral reefs, abundant marine life, and two small islands that are a treasure for divers.

Best Scuba Diving in Catalina Island. First up, we have the enchanting Isla Catalina, nestled near La Romana. This gem is a favorite among both beginners and seasoned divers alike. Its appeal is crystal-clear waters, surrounded by vibrant marine life and breathtaking coral formations. From 5 meters (16 feet) down to a thrilling 43 meters (141 feet), you’ll discover a world teeming with toadfish, seahorses, and even squids!

With spots like the Catalina Wall and the captivating Catalina Aquarium at 12 meters (39 feet), you’re in for a real treat!

Next on our list is the dreamy Saona Island, located in Bayahíbe. Brace yourself for a tropical escape to paradise! As you step foot on this mesmerizing island, you’ll be greeted by stretches of pristine white sand, and the iridescent turquoise waters beckoning you to dive right in.

The coral reefs here have flourished, creating an underwater wonderland waiting to be explored. Saona Island is also a vital nesting site for turtles, adding to the island’s allure. Dive down to depths ranging from 9 to 40 meters (30 to 131 feet) to witness the vibrant marine life dance before your eyes. Keep an eye out for snapper, grouper, rays, and the playful schools of fish that call this place home.

So, if you’re ready, explore these fantastic Caribbean Islands for diving.


1.3. Jamaica

When choosing Jamaica as your dive destination, the first things that will captivate you are the ever-changing shades of emerald green, sapphire blue, and deep indigo, each revealing the treasures that lie beneath the surface: sandy bottoms, seagrasses, and reefs.

Our first stop is Montego Bay Marine Park! Get ready to explore vibrant coral gardens and a dazzling array of marine species. We applaud the island’s efforts in conservation and protection!

Heading west, you’ll reach Negril, where you’ll once again dive into protected waters, enchanting reefs, and captivating caverns.

To the east of Montego Bay, Ocho Rios awaits, boasting the SS Kathryn, an artificial reef created from a shipwreck in the 1950s.

There are many more reasons that make Jamaica one of the best islands for diving, but we still have plenty more to share! Come and discover them for yourself.

Best Caribbean Islands for Scuba Diving - Jamaica mejores islas caribeñas para bucear

2. Another Ten of The Best Caribbean Islands For Scuba Diving


2.1. Bonaire

Bonaire is a dream come true for shore divers. Situated in the southern Caribbean Sea, its topography offers an unbeatable selection of the finest diving spots in the region.

Bonaire’s reputation as one of the best Caribbean islands for scuba diving is well-deserved, thanks to its over 80 different dive sites on the island.

For those seeking advanced-level dives, the Hilma Hooker wreck awaits at 100ft (30m) between two stunning reef systems.

Labeled by distinctive yellow rocks, some of the most thrilling shore dives in Bonaire include Angel City, 1000 Steps, and Karpata.

Another of the top diving spots in Bonaire is the Bonaire National Marine Park, home to species like rays, turtles, and sharks.

So, if you’re a diving enthusiast seeking to dive into the 15 best scuba diving islands, Bonaire should be at your list!


2.2. The Bahamas

In The Bahamas, you can scuba dive along what some devotees believe are the remains of the lost continent of Atlantis.

The Bahamas beckons with a siren song of underwater marvels, inviting you to explore its depths and unveil the magic that lies beneath its turquoise waters. From ancient shipwrecks to vibrant reefs, from playful sea turtles to majestic eagle rays, each dive promises a unique and unforgettable experience.

New Providence offers a spectacular underwater world with stunning dive sites showcasing rainbow-hued fish, large sponges, and diverse coral reef life. Shark Wall is one of the most famous dive spots for shark diving. Grand Bahama provides thrilling wrecks, including Theo’s Wreck. Marsh Harbour presents the Abacos Train Wreck and Adirondack, perfect for shallow dives. For a unique experience, explore Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, the world’s first marine preserve. Lastly, San Salvador offers exceptional wall diving and abundant marine life. All these appeals put the Bahamas among the best Caribbean Islands for scuba diving.


2.3. Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands boast an impressive 365 officially named dive sites, making it an irresistible destination for divers and put directly in the best Caribbean islands for diving ranking. There are three beautiful islands.

Among the islands, Grand Cayman stands out with its calm, clear waters, dramatic vertical walls, and captivating wrecks.

Cayman Brac, with its relaxed tropical vibe and easily accessible dive sites from the shore, has won the hearts of divers from all over the world.

Meanwhile, Little Cayman is renowned for its awe-inspiring walls that seem to plunge into unfathomable depths. However, it also boasts spectacular shallow reefs.

Best Islands for Scuba Diving - Cayman - mejores islas para bucear

2.4. Saba

Saba is one of the best islands for diving because offer diverse and exciting diving opportunities. The reefs are teeming with tropical fish and healthy coral, and close-to-shore walls are covered in sponges. Deep-water seamounts attract pelagic creatures and Shark encounters are frequent, adding to the thrill.

There are various dive sites around Saba, each with unique characteristics:

The Pinnacles: Rising from the ocean floor, covered in corals and sponges, attracting abundant fish life, including groupers, jacks, and turtles. Shark encounters are common.

From Torrens Point to Diamond Rock: Offers underwater caves and tunnels to explore, along with a wide array of aquatic life, such as Blue tangs, Goatfish, and Parrotfish.

The Ladder Bay Area: Unveils Saba’s volcanic origins.

Tent Reef Area: ideal spot for night dives, with sightings of octopuses, sleeping turtles, and spiny lobsters.


2.5. Roatan

Roatan, the largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands, offers incredible opportunities for macro diving, stunning coral reefs, and a wide variety of dive spots suitable for all levels. All of this places Roatan on the list of the best Caribbean islands for diving.

Among the many exceptional dive sites, the famous “Hole in the Wall” offers a captivating vertical descent alongside the reef wall, suitable for beginners as well. Sea Quest Shallow is a fantastic choice for those seeking vibrant corals, schools of fish, and the possibility of encountering rays and moray eels. The impressive El Aguila wreck, a three-piece, 210ft-long (63m) wreck paired with an adjacent reef, adds to the island’s diverse catalog of dive sites.


2.6. Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos Islands are an archipelago situated on a vast underwater plateau rising 7,000 feet (2,100 m) from the ocean floor, with most of the islands located directly on the northern edge of this plateau.

Transitions from flat sandy ocean floors at 40-50 ft (12-15 m) near the coast to vertical plateau walls vary, creating countless interesting dive sites. Along the northern edge of the plateau, divers can enjoy exciting spur and groove diving, while the western and southern edges offer impressive wall dive sites.

What truly makes Turks and Caicos worthy of being on the list of the best Caribbean islands for scuba diving is the opportunity to observe large pelagic species. From January to March, massive schools of migrating marine life pass through the islands, accompanied by the main protagonists: humpback whales.

As for sharks, the most commonly sighted species around the islands are Caribbean reef sharks and lemon sharks, although hammerheads, nurse sharks, and bull sharks can also be seen occasionally.

In short, the Turks and Caicos Islands are an unforgettable destination for diving enthusiasts in the Caribbean.


2.7. Grenada

This Caribbean gem has over 50 amazing dive sites waiting to be explored.

Grenada’s reefs are teeming with fascinating creatures, from the elusive walking frogfish to graceful nurses and reef sharks. And don’t be surprised if you bump into some barracuda, eagle rays, turtles, sponges, and vibrant corals along the way!

For a one-of-a-kind experience, head to the marine protected area, where the mesmerizing Underwater Sculpture Park awaits. It’s like visiting an art gallery, with silent stone statues that captivate both divers and marine life alike.

But there’s even more to add to this package and that propels Grenada to the top spots among the best islands for diving. We cannot forget the cherry on top – the world-famous Bianca C, fondly known as the ‘Titanic of the Caribbean.’ It is a legendary wreck an adventure and a must for any passionate diver.


2.8. Martinique

Albert Falco, one of Jacques Cousteau’s companions and the captain of the RV Calypso, devoted 28 years of his life to Martinique, splitting his time between diving around the Caribbean Island and Marseille, France. And it’s no wonder why he was so drawn to this captivating island. The secret lies beneath the waves, where a rich underwater environment thrives with life, including coral reefs, dolphins, turtles, barracudas, and more.

But the real reason why Martinique ranks among the best Caribbean islands for scuba diving is its archaeological treasure. The eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902 caused over a dozen ships to sink in the bay, creating one of the most famous wreck dive sites in the entire Caribbean.

So, if you’re seeking a diving paradise that combines adventure, history, and a vibrant marine environment, look no further than Martinique. Just remember that the predominant language spoken here is French.


2.9. Cuba

Cuba, oh yes, Cuba is perfect for scuba diving. Rhymes aside, let’s be honest, with all the spectacular diving spots around Cuba, this island in the middle of the action couldn’t be anything less. Cuba truly deserves to be among the best Caribbean islands for scuba diving, and here’s why:

The water temperature stays around 24°C all year round, and visibility can reach up to an incredible 40 meters.

You’ll be amazed by the diversity of marine life, with over 50 species of coral and 200 species of sponges. And that’s not all – specific places around Cuba offer encounters with up to 30 species of sharks!

Saint Lucia boasts one of the best-preserved coral reefs, creating a breathtaking underwater paradise.

Discover the intriguing Nuevo Mortera, a unique meeting point for bull sharks that promises an unforgettable diving experience.

Venture to Jardines de la Reina, a pristine marine ecosystem with virgin islands and mangrove forests, where you can even dive with crocodiles – now that’s a thrilling adventure!

Cayo Largo del Sur is a stunning island with over 32 dive sites, offering a plethora of underwater wonders to explore.

For a touch of history beneath the waves, Santiago de Cuba awaits with tunnels, caverns, and impressive shipwrecks from the Spanish-Cuban-American War, ready to be explored.

The Zapata Peninsula is a biosphere reserve, so, imagine by yourself.

And let’s not forget the impressive wall dives at Caleta Buena and Punta Perdiz – an absolute must for any adventurous diver.


2.10. Aruba

Some of the best diving sites in Aruba are shipwrecks that sank due to accidents or were intentionally sunk as part of an artificial reef program. One of Aruba’s most precious treasures is the SS Antilla, one of the finest shipwrecks in the Caribbean. Another one is the Pedernales Wreck, also known as the Phoenix of Aruba, which was a tanker, or the Jane Sea, a 250-foot (76 meters) long freighter.

But Aruba is not only among the best Caribbean diving islands because of that, it also offers fascinating dives along underwater walls.

In summary, all these things that sound so impressive, they have always been like that. That’s the reason these are the 13 best Caribbean islands for scuba diving. So, yes, we love being told, but we like living the experiences firsthand more and being able to tell them ourselves. Therefore, come and dive into the marvels of these Caribbean Islands.

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