These waters are magic. Though specific travel experiences will differ from area to area in the Caribbean, they will all have a few things in common: generally balmy climate, exquisitely warm, clear water; breathtaking beauty, both above and below the surface; and a sense of tropical adventure.
It should be understood that the term “Caribbean” is a bit of a catch-all. It merely indicates a proximity to the Caribbean Sea. This warm body of water is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Central America, South America and the multitude of large and small islands known as the West Indies. However, many of the landfalls divers think of as “Caribbean” are, in reality, not in direct contact with the Caribbean Sea or don’t define their geography in terms of it.
The continental shores and the islands of the West Indies can be subdivided in various ways, including culturally, geographically and politically—but for our purposes, we’ll arrange them in a few large, general groupings according to their locations around the Caribbean Sea. We’ll move in a mostly clockwise fashion, starting from the north, and give you a brief overview of some of the best diving in the world. So, put in your regulator and let’s go down to the Caribbean.