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We selected the 7 best scuba diving destinations for certified Open Water Divers. It doesn’t matter if you have recently obtained your certification or have many dives in your logbook, take note. Because the following selection of reefs, wrecks and underwater experiences are suitable for all levels.
Cozumel is barely 50 km / 31 mi. long. However, the biggest appealing of the island is not on the surface, but in the waters around it. The Caribbean Sea water’s visibility here is an average of 30 meters /99 feet. The second-largest barrier reef in the world is located on its coasts. Retain names like Colombia, Palancar, Punta Sur, Santa Rosa, Paso del Cedral or Jurassic Park, because they are some of the most beautiful reefs in the area.
Butterfly, angel, and parrotfish, along with moray eels, barracudas, turtles, eagle rays, and nurse sharks are some of the species that populate Cozumel’s sea bed. Here, you will also find unique endemic species such as the splendid toadfish of Cozumel.
Visit the island and you will understand why Cozumel is considered the Caribbean diving capital and one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. Besides, it doesn’t matter if you have many years of experience or you have just got certified, Cozumel will leave you speechless and wishing to come back as soon as possible.
Mayan Riviera, Mexico
The dive headquarters of the Riviera Maya is Playa del Carmen. It makes the Riviera Maya one of the best scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean to enjoy this sport is the variety of options you can enjoy. Tropical fish, nurse sharks, rays, barracudas and beautiful coral reefs await you in the Riviera Maya.
Playa del Carmen is also one of the few places in the world where dive with bull sharks is possible from November to mid-March.
Puerto Aventuras, on the other hand, keeps another world exclusive suitable for Open Water divers. We are talking about the Cenotes. There, the extraordinary visibility of the water will allow you to enjoy backlights and haloclines in a unique environment.
Saona Island and Catalina Island, Dominican Republic
Let’s turn our attention to the beautiful beaches and crystal-clear lagoons of two islands, Catalina Island and Saona Island. They belong to the Dominican Republic. Both divers and snorkelers can enjoy two of the best scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean, visiting them. The two beautiful Dominican islands are surrounded by amazing coral reefs, and the fantastic Catalina Wall, in Catalina Island, stands out from their depths. The great variety of marine fauna and flora, such as sponges, turtles and colorful tropical fish, are also not disappointing.
Besides in the Dominican Republic and with only an Open Water certification you can dive wrecks like the St George near Bayahibe and Aston in Punta Cana.
The average water temperature is 26-31º Celsius 78.8- 87.8º Fahrenheit, making diving suitable all year round.
Jamaica is in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Nature has been extraordinarily generous to the island, making it beautiful in every way. This gift makes it one of the best scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean.
Besides, it has an unbeatable climate, so that, practically every day of the year it is suitable for diving. Divers of all levels will enjoy the great variety of fauna in its waters. Rays, sharks, sea turtles, colorful fish, medium, and high depth sea walls, without forget its beautiful corals, make Jamaica a dream come true for any diver.
Among its many diving points, those around Montego Bay stand out, since they are within its protected marine park.
The Queen’s Gardens, Cuba
The Queen’s Gardens are probably one of the best scuba diving destinations in Cuba. There the reef is shallow and protected by currents, making it suitable for diving by amateurs of all levels.
In the Queen’s Gardens, diving with silky, grey, lemon, or reef sharks as well as huge groupers and alligators is a highlight.
Without a doubt, the Cayman Islands are one of the best scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean. PADI claims that they’ve been attracting diving enthusiasts practically since this sport was invented.
While it is true that some of the dive sites are quite difficult and require an Advanced Open Water certification, others are very accessible. Beautiful corals and marine life are the attraction of the islands, where encounters with rays are especially noteworthy in Stingray City.
The island of San Andres, Colombia
The island of San Andres is one of the best scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean, and one of its main tourist appealings.As beautiful is that part of the Caribbean that many people know these waters as the “sea of seven colors”. There is a very stunning coastal reef with great marine diversity.
The Blue Hole and the Pyramids are some of its highlights. The first one is approximately 30m/98 feet depth so it is only for advanced divers. However, Pirámides is suitable for all levels, as long as the sea is calm. So, if you want to dive, it is not advisable to visit the island in the rainy season. In this diving point, the manta rays will be the protagonists of your dive, although this dive point’s film has any more characters.
This is our list of the 7 best scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean for Open Water Divers. Tell us, which ones are on your wish list?