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#7548 - 10/28/08 07:00 AM Best diving in Caribbean?
jochro Offline
just got here

Registered: 10/28/08
Posts: 1
My husband and I are new to diving, and would like to take our first diving vacation to the Caribbean. Which islands have the best diving?

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#7549 - 10/28/08 04:57 PM Re: Best diving in Caribbean? [Re: jochro]
BobG Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 424
Loc: Irvine, CA
There is wonderful diving throughout the Caribbean. The Cayman Islands are world renowned for their diving and offer a wealth of dives suitable for all levels of diver. It is often one of the first destinations divers head to for their Caribbean scuba vacations. The Virgin Islands, the ABC's (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao), The Bahamas and many, many more offer the chance to enjoy warm tropical water and relaxing conditions. Your best bet would be to research the islands that will offer you the things you may enjoy when you are NOT in the water and pick from there.

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#7550 - 02/28/09 04:34 PM Re: Best diving in Caribbean? [Re: BobG]
underseasian Offline
new diver

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2
Depends if you are holidaying to dive or if you want something else while you are there? If you want something else try looking at some of the cayes around southern Belize, a complete undiscovered gem that has spectacular diving (ever heard of the Blue Hole!!!) off great walls just 10 mins by boat and inland stuff that will blow your mind - Mayan ruins, big cats and caves that just have to be seen to be believed. I spent 10 days at Thatch Caye off the coast from Dangriga over Christmas and was stunned by the area. The staff were fantastic and the diving was just us on the boat and no other dive boat on the water, truly special in this day and age of mass production diving....

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#7551 - 03/07/09 01:52 PM Re: Best diving in Caribbean? [Re: underseasian]
wannadive Offline
avid diver

Registered: 03/07/09
Posts: 5
BELIZE!! Lighthouse reef and Glovers Reef from a liveaboard is spectacular. Roatan island off Honduras is another great experience with a bit of everything...canyons, walls, shark dives, whale sharks. O my!

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#7552 - 04/17/09 09:18 AM Re: Best diving in Caribbean? [Re: wannadive]
scubastace Offline
new diver

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I think this depends greatly on what kind of adventure you are looking for. Having worked as a scuba instructor - I find people are of two generalist buckets. They are either group enthusiasts, or explorers.

Group enthusiasts prefer to find a resort style setup, dive with a crew of people - and have lots of big places that are full of people to dine or drink (in moderation of course, because you're diving ;-p ). For that - I could recommend - Grand Cayman, Northern Belize, Cozumel, Providenciales in Turks & Caicos, Grand Bahama, most of the Virgin Islands, the ABC's - Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao. Some of the resorts in the Dominican Republic can be like this too. I do not recommend Jamaica, and have heard that all but off island diving in Puerto Rico is not worth it. Although I don't have first hand knowledge there so I may be wrong.

For explorers, there are still several places that are unexplored/pristine. Turks & Caicos - Grand Turk, South Caicos & Salt Cay all have spectacular wall diving and will be intimate experiences. All dives are 5 mins from shore, and the wall goes down 7000 feet. Some of the outer islands and southern locations in Belize are good too, although I believe the diving on that wall only gets really good when you go south. Panama, Nicaragua and Honduras have really spectacular locations that are not all that touristed. Harder to get to and more spanish involved, but the fish life is 10x that of Belize. If you go to Honduras - Roatan is better than Utila for these divers, as Utila is crowded with college kids. Roatan is actually unique as it could have the group enthusiast vibe too - all depends on where you stay. And the Bahamas are FILLED with places that are great. Lots of sharks there still, and fish life is generally good. Stay away from any island with a giant hotel and the diving will likely be superb.

Also - some of those live aboards are fabulous ways to go. You really get out to places that are unexplored, and get your own little party that stays with you all week (may be a good thing or a bad thing!).

I'd also weigh the timing you are going as well. January through May the west indies are great because the whales are coming through. Hurricane season... you either want to go far north and pray or really far south. Late fall, its colder so going farther south may mean warmer diving.

Good luck - you really can't go too wrong. Never had a bad dive in my life - all of them are great for their own reasons!

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#7955 - 11/09/10 10:22 PM Re: Best diving in Caribbean? [Re: scubastace]
niechen Offline
new diver

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 4
it could have the group enthusiast vibe too - all depends on where you stay. And the Bahamas are FI<strong><a href="http://www.saleuggsbootsuk.com/">ugg boots classic mini</a></strong>LLED with places that are great. Lots of sharks there still, and fish life is generally good. Stay away from any island with a giant hotel and the diving will likely be superb.

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#7956 - 11/09/10 10:22 PM Re: Best diving in Caribbean? [Re: niechen]
niechen Offline
new diver

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 4
Roatan is better than Utila for these divers, as Utila is crowded with college kids. Roatan is actually unique as it could have the group enthusiast vibe too - all depends on where you stay. And the Bahamas are FILLED with places that are great. Lots of sharks there still, and fish life is generally good. Stay away from any island with a giant hotel and the diving will likely be superb.http://www.saleuggsbootsuk.com/

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#7983 - 01/07/11 07:19 PM Re: Best diving in Caribbean? [Re: jochro]
DCjr Offline
just got here

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 1
Welcome to Scuba, you will be so glad you took the time to learn this wonderful sport. The first trip I would make is to Grand Cayman.You will instantly fall in love with the warm water, unreal visibility, and some of the best dive operators on the planet. My suggestion, call Renee at Cayman Diving School (345) 949-729 or info@caymandivingschool.com. I have logged over 200 dives in Grand Cayman with just about every operator and Renee and her staff are by far the best. Small non-packed boats, flexible schedule's superior knowledge, and some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Ask Renee to bring along Malen, one of her best dive instructors and has a huge experience. I assure you it will be one of the best stress free diving trips you will ever experience. Tell Renee I said see you this summer!
Dennis Tucson, AZ.

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#7988 - 01/19/11 01:38 PM Re: Best diving in Caribbean? [Re: DCjr]
musikman Offline
just got here

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1
I love Cozumel. The island is not spectacular but the people are great and the diving is beyond compare. Visibility is unbelievable and you can see the sun coming through the surface at depths over 100 feet. Most of the diving in Cozumel is drift diving as there is almost always some kind of current. It makes for a very relaxing dive to enter the water from the boat, drift along the reefs and be picked up at the other end after 35-60 minutes of scenic beauty. There is plenty of sea life to identify and is a photographer's paradise due to the clarity of the water. Average water temperature is 78-80 degrees.
http://web.me.com/gschlei/CZM10

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#8056 - 06/12/11 11:40 PM Re: Best diving in Caribbean? [Re: jochro]
maxciriloy Offline
avid diver

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 5
The Cayman Islands are world renowned for their diving and offer a wealth of dives suitable for all levels of diver.
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