New Caribbean Travelers’ Series – Introducing the Caribbean
Welcome to Part 2 of the Caribbean Traveler’s Series, ‘Introducing the Caribbean’ being featured here at The Caribbean Current Magazine. ‘Introducing the Caribbean’ is a series focusing on the every need of travellers looking to spend time in the region. This is the second post in the series and we are happy to have you.
Whether you wish to dance to rhythms of reggae, salsa and soca or you want to have some drinks garnished with little umbrellas as you watch the sunset from a beautiful white-sand beach. It could be that you’re looking for adventure and mystery or maybe you are simply coming on business, ‘Introducing the Caribbean’ is the only guide you will need to have a great time while embracing the uniqueness and character of the vibrant and dynamic region known as the Caribbean.
Come – experience a region with pride in its unique history, stunning landscape and influential culture. Welcome to the Caribbean!
The Caribbean – A Diver’s Paradise
The Only Guide You Will Ever Need
Going scuba diving in the Caribbean offers one of the most exhilarating experiences one may encounter. For the diving enthusiast, it offers an eclectic combination of the most dramatic wall terrains, vibrant coral and sponge composites, and flourishing habitats of both small tropical-reef and larger pelagic fish.
The Caribbean does not offer great diving experience simply on the grounds of beauty. The region also features areas environmentally well suited to diving. Optimal diving conditions such as visibilities of greater than 100 feet and average “in the water” temperatures of 83 degrees say it all for the region.
Are you hoping to go diving in the Caribbean during your next vacation? While all the major islands offer diving as an attraction, including trips, lessons, and equipment, here are the top picks.
• Cayman: Anyone who knows about diving in the Caribbean knows about the Grand Cayman. The island is part of a three island group to the northwest of Jamaica. Offering a great diving experience, indeed, the Grand Cayman is a world class diving destination.
There are over thirty diving operators on Grand Cayman. Moreover, a full range of professional diving services is available, including diving instruction, equipment sales, rentals, and repairs; underwater photography; and video schools.
•St. Croix: Increasingly known as a top diving destination, St. Croix hasn’t yet overtaken Grand Cayman but has a lot going for it. Beach dives, reef dives, wreck dives, night-time dives, wall dives-they’re all here! The highlight is the underwater trails of the national park at Buck Island, off St. Croix’s mainland. Other desirable sites include the drop-offs and coral canyons at Cane Bay and Salt River. Located 105 km southeast of Puerto Rico, Davis Bay is a 3,600m-deep (11,808-ft.) underwater ravine off the Puerto Rico Trench, the fifth-deepest body of water on earth.
•Turks and Caicos: The allurement of Turks and Caicos is that the deep shores of these islands offer a rich assortment of relatively unexplored sites. In fact, many miles of 6000 foot vertical wall drop-offs offer some of the best wall diving in the world. This includes spectacular sea lanes where divers often spot whales from January to March.
Furthermore, a dazzling collection of unusual underwater wrecks make diving in the Turks and Caicos one of the most fulfilling ventures. A popular underwater wreck is the HMS Endymion, which sank during a storm in 1790.
The Turks and Caicos further stands out with featured miles of ‘drop off’ areas along the cost of Grand Turk. Here, the sea walls plunge into the uncharted depths of blue holes more than 6,888 ft. below sea level. As you descend, you will see magnificent colonies of black coral, rare forms of anemone, purple sponges, stunning gorgonian, and assortment of fish.
•Puerto Rico: Puerto is unique in that it has a large continental shelf surrounding it on three sides. This provides it with an abundance of coral reefs, caves, sea walls, and trenches for divers of all experience levels to explore. In fact, in southern Puerto Rico, the continental shelf drops off precipitously several miles off the coast, producing a dramatic underwater wall 32km (20 miles) long and teeming with marine life.
•Saba: The beaches in Saba are nothing to brag about, but this small island is blessed with some of the Caribbean’s richest marine life. As such, it is one of the premier diving locations in the Caribbean. It has 38 official diving sites to prove it. The uniqueness of Saba is found in the landscape of diving areas. The unusual setting includes underwater lava flows, black sand, large strands of black coral, millions of fish, and underwater mountaintops.
•Bonaire: Like Saba, the reefs surrounding Bonaire are not only highly accessible reefs but pristine underwater sites. They too were created from volcanic eruptions. In fact, the island is the tip of an underwater mountain, with fringe reefs right off its beautiful beaches.
•Bahamas: Want an exciting domesticated feeding of reef sharks. Organized dive whereby group kneels on sandy bottom while dive-master wearing protections chums Caribbean reef shark.
•Virgin Gorda (B.V.I.): Many divers plan their entire vacations around exploring the famed wreck of the HMS Rhone, off Salt Island. This royal mail steamer, which went down in 1867, is the most celebrated diving site in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean is a wonderful region filled with great diving sites. From the wall diving of the Turks and Caicos, to the Northwest Point Drop-off, Grand Cayman to the shallow reefs and colourful fish of Bonaire or the amazing shipwrecks of Grand Turk, one thing is obvious: narrowing the range of scuba spots to the Caribbean by no means lessens the variety and wonder that can be found. Miles of reefs house a myriad of vibrant marine life complete with spectrum of corals, sponges, small tropical fish, mid-sized groupers, barracudas, and many larger pelagics. A diver’s or photographer’s haven, the region will welcome you with pristine, clear waters and a wonderful aquatic environment.
By Norvan Martin
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