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Reefs and corals can also be found on the two largest offshore banks; Pedro Cays and Banks located approximately 80 km south south-west of the island and Morant Cays and Banks approximately 60 km to the southeast. After Montego Bay, Negril established a marine park. Additional parks have also been established which has restored the coral reefs and marine life. Most visitors to Jamaica stay in or very close to the resorts they are staying at.

Jamaica has a crime problem as well as a poor infrastructure.

About scuba diving in Jamaica

The tourism areas are isolated from the problems common in other parts of the nation. The leading tourist areas are:. There are over active dive sites in Jamaica. These are concentrated near the leading tourist areas which are also near the MPAs.

Best Diving Resorts in Jamaica

If those are the type of dives you are looking for, then seek out the north coast. There seems to be a recurring theme when I talk to divers who have dived Jamaica or seeing comments online. I am sure I have said it myself. Visibility is 70 feet ca. Some the Marine Protective Areas have been active over 20 years, plenty of time for corals to mend and fish to return. The coral reefs have claimed many victims over the centuries!

Shipwreck divers have many to chose from, more than they could dive in a week. Wall dives, cavern dives, and drift dives are other attractions.

Scuba Diving, Snorkeling & Water Sports

Here are a few dive sites that are often considered some the best of Jamaica. Jamaica offers a variety of dive sites. Once you have dived there it is hard to understand, why it is not considered a major diving destination. When using the entrance you need to be really careful not to damage the coral around the opening.

Ricks Cafe- Cliff Divers

The walls on the inside are covered with colorful sponges. The bottom is covered with fine sediments which when disturbed will immediately reduce the visibility.

Leaving the throne room, you swim through a large opening forming a window of sorts; coming into the deeper reef at 70 ft. You can find a variety of sponges here along with soft gorgonians. On the sand flat you will see the usual occupants: furry sea cucumbers, stingrays, jacks and some lane snappers. Golden crinoids are tucked in between star and brain coral, and in the surrounding sandy area sand tilefish hover near their burrows.

Kingfish, the Jamaican name for ceros, can be seen passing by. These silvery fish are generally solitary and are seen on reefs and drop-offs near deep water. Very large aggregation of French grunts at cleaning stations on coral heads. Squirrel fish aggregations at other cleaning sites. Turtles often seen on the edge of a sand bed. Many blue chromis, creole wrans, parrots, etc. Gallery — Interesting overhangs and ledges.

Coral reef with lots of places to explore. Large crabs, turtles, nurse sharks, sting rays, morays, black coral and the occasional Sea Horse are often seen here. There are many overhangs and ledges. Nurse sharks and very large sting rays are common. Swim through the arches and notice the purple and yellow fairy bassets. They align themselves to the substratum and are upside down on the ceilings of the arches and caverns.

Resort divers stay at the reef around 30ft. Weather dictates which side of the island to use. Shallow Plane — Wreck dive of a Cessna Airplane resting next to a beautifully overhanging reef. This dive is an extension of Arches reef dive. Sands Club — The reef has a medium profile and is made up of individual coral heads, soft gorgonians, and purple sea fans. French Grunt, Goatfish and Squirrelfish gather at the base of barrel sponges and yellow and brown tube sponges. Black surgeon and yellow and brown chromis can be seen. Many more cluster of brown tube sponges grow on the wall, which is deeply undercut in many places.

These overhang are overgrown with black coral, wire and whip coral and a multitude of sponges. You may discover a spotted drum, or a very shy queen angelfish against the wall. Fairy basslets hang upside down from the ceiling and the encrusting sponges add splashes of color.

Diving in Jamaica | PADI Travel

Fish Pond — This site is perfect for training. Majority of the reef is flat, and consist patches of sand and colorful sponges, corals, goatfish and snapper.

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  5. At times the current is very strong. Nurse sharks and large sting rays are seen here often. Note: This dive site is not commonly used. Frenchman Hole — A dive located directly offshore from Orange River — many ledges. A cave very similar to the Throne Room, known for nurse sharks and the odd hammerhead.


    Morays, groupers, etc. This site is seldom used. Tug Boat — This wreck was sunk in to provide the sealife with an artificial reef. Settled on a sandy patch, the reef in this area is worth checking out as well. Swim in through the boat and out into beautiful coral. The tug boat is 55ft in length. This is where our Divemasters love to hang. Small plane sunk to provide reef. Drift along the outer edge before the Caribbean drops off to the deep. Chinese Reef — This is a great diving site where you can see many different fascinating things.

    From the numerous brown and black corals to the huge sponges that occupy the reef. This dive is known for spade fish and barracuda. Beautiful coral, barrel, sponge, gorgonians, etc. The reef forms an intricate system of tunnels that are home to squirrelfish, goatfish, porcupinefish, bar jacks and grunts.

    Make sure you know how to get to the dive shop, line up transportation beforehand and allow extra time to get back to the ship.