The largest islands of the West Indies stretch across the center of our “Caribbean” for about 1,300 miles. Including Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, they comprise what is known as the Greater Antilles. However, our discussion of central Caribbean diving would not be complete unless we also included the small but famous Cayman Islands.
While political concerns still cloud the present and future of diving off Cuba, the excellent underwater offerings continue to attract divers. There are many good dive sites near shore in shallower water, but the drop-offs along the continental shelf are the most dramatic. This is especially true off the smaller islands and islets that line Cuba’s southern coastline. Here you will find walls and caves, magnificent growths of sponges and gorgonians, groupers, Eagle Rays, schooling tropicals, and encounters with pelagics.
Though sometimes overlooked by divers, Jamaica has a lot to offer underwater as well as topside. Montego Bay is a feast for the eyes. Colorful tropicals, seafans and sponges dominate the scene. A few minutes by boat off Negril Beach and divers will find mini walls packed with invertebrates, and even a huge cavern.
The large island of Hispaniola is another area often overlooked by divers. At the western end, the country of Haiti has several underwater options, including many historical shipwrecks. At the eastern end of the island, the Dominican Republic has a wealth of diving opportunities. The southern coast offers excellent wreck diving and even some inland freshwater cave systems. The eastern coast has an 80 mile reef system featuring spur and groove formations and a host of marine life. Diving off the Samana peninsula ranges from breathtaking drop-offs and towers to lush reefs covered with Elkhorn and black coral.
Most of the best of Puerto Rico diving is found a few miles offshore. The eastern end of the island is home to excellent reefs, particularly off the small islands of Vieques and Culebra. The southern coast has lush walls and heavy concentrations of fish life. Off the western end of Puerto Rico, Desecheo Island is an oasis of marine adventure rising from the deep, crystal clear water.
The small Cayman Islands probably offer more fantastic diving per square mile than anywhere else in the Caribbean. With dedicated live-aboard dive boats, comprehensive marine parks, hundreds of moored sites, premiere dive operations and topside facilities of all varieties, these islands are a diver’s mecca.
While there are terrific dive sites off the East End of Grand Cayman and in the Northern Sound, the greatest concentrations of dive sites are focused on the western end. Here there are vibrant shallow reefs and walls, canyons, tunnels and caves, wrecks and so much marine life your eyes will pop.
Cayman Brac offers consistently great underwater visibility and fantastic shallow reef and wall diving. A huge Russian frigate waits in only 60 feet of water.
Legendary walls are the highlight of Little Cayman diving. And these walls are often accented by canyons and swim-throughs and chimneys. There are great shallow reefs available as well.
Bob Soto’s Diving
The Seaview Dedicated Dive Resort. Cayman’s Newest
(and Oldest) Dive Hotel. On the quiet side of
Georgetown. Now operated by Bob Soto’s Diving
and Lone Star Bar & Grill and, yes…Will Kelly
is back as GM. Best 24 hour/day shore diving in
Cayman! Refurbished. GREAT RE-START RATES FOR
Call Will at (345) 945-0558
Fax (345) 945-0559
PADI Instructor Courses. LEARN WHERE YOU
WANT TO EARN. Eight IDC’s and IE’s in 2001. Full
training, accommodations, meals, pools, shore
diving…everything at the Treasure Island Resort.
Not the cheapest…just the best value. Training
with the oldest and most respected diving company
in the world in 80 degree water is just a bonus.
Call Ash McKnight, Course Director
(345) 949-2606 Fax (345) 949-8731
WINTER LAND-DIVE PACKAGES with optional airfare,
unlimited boat and shore diving and other great
extras. Great Values!
1-888-753-7400 Fax: (345) 949-8731
For warm and friendly Caymanian service and more
flights to the Cayman Islands there is only one
choice, Cayman Airways. We offer the most flights
from Miami, Tampa, Houston, Orlando & non-stop
service to Kingston, Ja & Cayman Brac. For more
information or reservations call your local travel
agent or Cayman Airways @ 1-800-G-CAYMAN.
One of the top diving destinations in the world!
Dive, snorkel, relax and enjoy “Caribbean Tropical
Paradise” in your very own 1, 2, or 3 bedroom
fully equipped condo on spectacular Seven Mile
Beach. We offer both resort and smaller-sized
properties. Discount diving packages available.
Cayman Condo Reservations, 1-800-999-1338
CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE
Conveniently located in George Town harbor and
the newly built Comfort Suites. Foster’s operate
a fleet of 4 spacious dive boats customized for
your convenience. Full service facility with instruction
and a variety of diving daily. Low cost packages,
airfare and accommodations, free diving transfers
and excellent shore dive.
800-83-DIVER / GT Shop (345) 959-5679
Fax: (345) 945-5133
CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE
Caymans finest technical diving specialist
joins the newest resort on the island, Cobalt
Coast Resort. Dive Tech offers a full-service
dive center with dive packages, daily boat trips,
night dives, shore dives from Cobalt Coast and
Turtle Reef. The complete dive experience at the
intimate oceanfront resort. 1-800-992-2015 or
new tradition in Grand Cayman is now open ! The
ALL NEW Holiday Inn Grand Cayman offers 233 spacious
rooms, large pool & jacuzzi, restaurant, lobby
bar, beach snack shack, fitness center, plus one
of the best views of famous Seven Mile Beach.
Full-service Dive Center located on site. Just
call 1-800-HOLIDAY to make your reservations.
OUT THEIR WEBSITE
our site here.
Cayman’s premier resort complimented by Reef
Divers’ award-winning dive operation. Dive legendary
Bloody Bay Wall, enjoy friendly staff and wonderful
meals at the Caribbean’s #1 rated, full-service
dive resort, Little Cayman Beach Resort.
Diver, the only luxurious live-aboard in Cuba,
diving the South coast, departing weekly from
Cayo Largo. Incredible pristine diving. Americans
Call 1-800-327-3835 or 813-323-8727
Talk to our customers, and get the real story
on Treasure Island Divers. Visit our website at:
www.tidivers.com and go to our “Talk to Our Customers”
page. We stand on our reputation. Unlimited dive
packages year-round, great boats, great staff–and
giving you the best service is what we’re all
P.O. Box 30975 Grand Cayman, BWI •
Toll Free U.S. & Canada: (800) 872-7552 • (954)
351-8998 • Fax: (954) 351-9740
CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE
The Southern Cross Club’s 11 air-conditioned
beachfront cottages are spread over 800 feet of
white-sand beach. World famous diving, sport fishing,
outstanding cuisine and a great international
staff complement this rare and beautiful resort.
Maximum of 12 divers per dive boat. Spoil Yourself,
you deserve it.
US Reservations: 800-899-2582 • 619-563-0017 website:
right off shore, day or night, and see Sunset
House’s beautiful 9-foot tall bronze mermaid.
Her arms stretch out protecting Sunset Reef, making
it one of the most talked about dive sites in
the world today. Rebreathers and Nitrox are available.
Take an all-day 3-tank trip or half-day 2-tank
trips. Everything you need is here: Sunset Divers,
Sea Harvest Restaurant, “My Bar” and Cathy Church’s
Underwater Photo Centre.
Tel: 877-854-3228 • Fax: 345-949-7101
Sunshine Suites Hotel
new suites with fully-equipped kitchens. Four-Star
accommodations – nicest on the island. Special
facilities for divers: gear washing area and double-locked
equipment storage. Dive packages available jointly
with Fisheye Diving. Very competitive rates. Top-rated
Toll Free 877-786-1110