Top 10 Dive Sites in Antigua and Barbuda

Nguyen Kieu Trang 147 0 Error

Practically surrounded by coral reefs, Antigua and Barbuda is a great place for Caribbean diving. The underwater terrain south of Antigua drops off sharply, ... read more...

  1. The Jettias is one of Antigua's most famous shipwrecks. The Jettias Wreck, located west of Sandals Grande Antigua, is one of the island's best dive sites. It is one of the most visited shipwrecks on the Antigua coast, as well as one of the oldest. The Jettias was a 19th-century French steam-powered freighter that sank in 1817 and is only 8 meters (25 feet) below the surface. As a result, the Jettias wreck is easily accessible to tourists.

    The Jetties Wreck is now a popular diving destination. The bow, boiler, ship engine, and stern are all that remain of the wreck, a testament to both the initial damage and the centuries spent underwater. On diving expeditions to the wreck, one can see an abundance of indigenous marine flora and fauna. You can see trumpet fish, parrot fish, grunts, blue tangs, Spanish hogfish, barracuda, and snapper while diving here.

    • Depth: 8 m (25 ft)
    • Location: West of Sandals Grande Antigua, Antigua And Barbuda

  2. Pillars of Hercules is one of the best dive sites in Antigua, and it's only a short boat ride from the English Harbour. Many visitors describe the Pillars of Hercules reef, also known as Pillar's Reef, as "excellent condition". “Shaped like fingers”, visibility is fantastic at this reef, which is one of the reasons it is considered one of Antigua’s best.

    It (named as such because of the pillar-shaped eroded cliff face) is a beautiful dive site inside Nelson's Dockyard National Park where divers frequently see many marine animals. The Pillars of Hercules are well populated thanks to a constant influx of Atlantic, nutrient-rich water. Large shoals of Anthia, Mackerel, Sardines, Bream, Mullet, and Gurnard can be found on any dive. Moray Eels, Conger Eels, Octopus, and Spider Crabs abound in the nooks and crannies of this dive site, making for some spectacular photo opportunities.

    • Depth: 13 – 50ft (4 – 15m)
    • Location: Pillars of Hercules, Antigua And Barbuda
  3. Barracuda Reef is about a half-mile off the coast, halfway between Falmouth and English Harbour. This reef area, located on the island's north end, can be dangerous to dive if the current is strong, so it's only for experienced divers. The animals are difficult to photograph here because the current is usually very strong. There's a chance you'll see a couple of Eagle Rays. There are usually a large number of Turtles.

    At the bottom of the mooring line, divers will find an impressive coral garden, which is home to critically endangered staghorn coral. If you travel south from this reef, you'll come across a series of drop-offs that lead to the abyss. Along this series of drop offs between 55ft and 80ft are overhangs where you can regularly spot giant spiny lobster, green and hawksbill turtles, and nurse sharks, making Barracuda Reef one of most outstanding and popular offshore dive sites in Antigua and Barbuda.

    • Depth: 40 – 80ft (12 – 25m)
    • Location: between Falmouth and English Harbour, Antigua And Barbuda
  4. Carpenters Hole, also known as Carpenters Rock, is located in the Windward Bay region of Antigua. It is a dive site that is suitable for both experienced and novice divers. Many dive schools are willing to share their expertise in order to ensure safe scuba diving. The maximum depth is 24.4 m/80 ft, with an average depth of 13.7 m/45 ft. Carpenter's Rock's crystal blue waters and abundant marine life provide divers with unforgettable experiences.

    Along with a series of ridges and valleys, this area is home to a large variety of soft corals and sponges. However, underwater visibility is poor, ranging from 5 meters (16 feet) to 10 meters (32 feet), and the water temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit).The best period to arrange a dive at Carpenters Hole is from the middle of December to the middle of May. The hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, and the outer bands of a hurricane can affect Antigua and Barbuda. In this location, strong winds and heavy rain are uncommon.

    • Depth: 20-60ft (6m-18m)
    • Location: Windward Bay region, Antigua And Barbuda
  5. Another wreck that is worth visiting on the Antigua coast is the Montserrat wreck. These are just three of the many shipwrecks in Antigua that should be visited. An intact wreck that sits upright on the seabed, with experienced divers able to penetrate it. Montserrat's wreck is a contemporary wreck. It was built as a freighter and used as a tugboat in Antigua before being scuttled to encourage the formation of an artificial reef.

    Because of the depth, it is only suitable for advanced divers or those undergoing deep diving training. It is home to a diverse array of marine life and is largely undeveloped. The wreck of Montserrat is an epic dive because it is home to large spiny spider crabs and Caribbean spiny lobster in the aft bilge area, as well as Caribbean reef sharks circling the outside of the wreck.

    • Depth: 110ft – 130ft (34 – 40m)
    • Location: upright in 130ft towards the Leeward side of the Island from Falmouth, Antigua And Barbuda
  6. Cade's Reef, one of the most beautiful dive sites in Antigua and Barbuda, can be found on the island of Antigua's southwest coast. It is a well-known snorkeling dive site in Antigua. The reef runs parallel to Antigua's southwest coast for 3.2 kilometers/2 miles, and is home to a diverse array of reef fish and coral reef. The site has better visibility than the shallower area inside the reef, making it ideal for a second dive or a night dive. It is made up of a stingray-infested patch of reef surrounded by sand. It's a bright, colorful dive because it's shallow and well-lit by the overhead sun.

    Snorkelers may be able to see a diverse range of reef fish and vibrant corals. Sea fans, sponges, moray eels, sea turtles, sergeant majors, batfish, spadefish, barracuda, octupus, sea urchins, and even the nurse shark can all be found among the marine life. A park called "Underwater Cade's Reef Antigua Park" was established in a specific area of Cade's Reef due to the abundance of marine life.

    • Depth: 8 m (26.2 ft)
    • Location: Southwest coast, Antigua And Barbuda
  7. Starting at 40 ft and reaching about 80 ft in depth, Chimney's Reef is best suited for divers with a wealth of confidence and experience. The name of this reef comes from its features – the rock face beneath the ocean at this location has a hole that goes up to the top of the ledge. It’s quite a sight to see and experience, as you swim along with Atlantic spadefish, black jacks, angel fish, barracudas, and nurse sharks, some of which love hanging out in the chimney. This extensive reef is ideal for drift diving.

    The terrain in Chimney's Reef is similar to the other sites on the outside of Cades Reef, but there is also a tunnel at 60 feet that can be penetrated, though you must be confident in your buoyancy as you exit the tunnel at 40 feet. The rest of the terrain is littered with small holes and overhangs created by eroding ancient coral. Check for eels and lobsters inside the holes, or at least in the ones where an anemone hasn't already taken up residence.

    • Depth: 12-24 m (40-80 ft)
    • Location: Chimney's Reef, Antigua And Barbuda
  8. Monk's Head, one of the most beautiful dive sites in Antigua and Barbuda, has been given its name because of the shape of the reef—round with a sand top and a fringe around the edge. Visibility in this area is not usually as good as on the outside of the reef. We can see from the surface that the visibility is not good and it turns out like dropping into a pint of English beer—warm, cloudy and with strange bits floating in it. But suspended plankton means fish feeding and there are numerous fish on this site.

    Monk's Head is a dive site worth visiting while in Antigua. This reef's maximum depth is around 50 feet, making it ideal for scuba divers who want to keep things simple. You can look for trumpet fish, parrot fish, snappers, Creole wrasse, Atlantic spadefish, and southern stingrays while diving this circular coral knoll. You also see some large tube worms, their graceful crown of radioles filtering the rich water for food.

    • Depth: 15m (50 ft)
    • Location: Monk's Head, Antigua And Barbuda
  9. Typical of the diving in this area, Red Rocks is a sloping reef leading to a sloping sandy bottom with endless nooks and crannies to explore. This coral reef is incredible! The gulleys between the rock and coral slopes are worth investigating, as the many overhangs harbour various interesting creatures. It's a densely packed sloping soft coral reef with massive barrel sponges, tube sponges, sea fans, sea whips, sea rods, sea fingers, sea plumes, and a variety of hard corals in between. Giant Caribbean spiny lobsters and nurse sharks are commonly found while exploring the deep overhangs in sandy gullies along the route.

    You can frequently see moray eels, octopus, barracudas, triggerfish, burrfish, porcupinefish, and hawksbill turtles at Red Rocks, which has a fantastic diversity of marine life. In 70 feet of water, a gradually sloping reef leads down to a sandy seabed where southern stingrays hide and brown garden eels bob.

    • Depth: 35 – 70ft (11 – 21m)
    • Location: Red Rocks, Antigua And Barbuda
  10. Sunken Rock dive site is located just off the headland where Eric Clapton has recently constructed a new home. Rock fans can pay their respects both before and after the dive, as the dive takes place around a massive rock the size of a city block. The rock pinnacle is just awash, 3 feet below the surface, and the swells will break over it as the swells build. The site is best dived early in the morning before the waves build up, or late at night after the seas have calmed down.

    Sunken Rock is a spectacular dive and Antigua's only known wall dive, with a vertical drop off on the outside of the rock ranging from 6 to 80 feet. Sunken Rock's seascape is stunning, and diving there is frequently enhanced by being surrounded by a swarm of Caribbean reef sharks. Ocean triggerfish and, on rare occasions, dolphins can also be seen here.

    • Depth: 6 – 80ft (2– 25m)
    • Location: close to Indian Creek and Mamora Bay, Antigua And Barbuda

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