Scuba Diving Near Antigua

Underwater adventures create lasting memories

Photo credit: © Mika Specta |

Upon arriving on the beautiful island of Antigua, travelers will quickly become captivated by the inviting lure of the Caribbean Sea. While a variety of different water sports provide methods of interacting with the sea, the most popular underwater activity is diving.


Many tourists are instantly intrigued by the undersea experiences that can be enjoyed while making a splash in the warm water that surrounds the island of Antigua. Explore sunken shipwrecks, swim alongside schools of colorful fish, and soak up the natural wonder of coral reef formations – these adventures are all at your fingertips.

An Overview of Antigua’s Underwater Landscape

Divers from around the globe flock to the Caribbean to revel in the area’s warm waters and unparalleled coral reefs. Antigua offers a unique set of underwater destinations that can be enjoyed by everyone from first time to seasoned diving pros. The inviting sea maintains an average temperature of 80 degrees, and offers excellent levels of underwater visibility. 

Some of the most popular destinations include the sunken freight ship of Jettia’s Wreck, the underwater park of Cades Reef, the plentiful marine life of Mamora Bay and the exciting waters surrounding the limestone formations at the Pillars of Hercules. While many travelers associate diving solely with coral reefs, there are a variety of different underwater destinations to captivate your imagination.

Choosing the Right Activity for You

While snorkeling and diving both offer thrilling underwater journeys, the two activities are quite different. Each option offers a diverse set of advantages and disadvantages. First timers may prefer the simplicity of snorkeling. While this activity only requires a snorkel, facemask and fins, it limits your ability to reach lower depths in the water. However, diving requires certification and knowledge of technical equipment operations. This is an important factor to consider when choosing between the two activities. Snorkeling is typically an easier choice for groups with younger children, while diving is an excellent way for adults to learn a new skill while embarking on a thrilling adventure.

Another influential aspect is the differing levels of ease in terms of engaging in each activity. Diving requires a professional guide, and patrons usually have to book trips in advance to ensure availability. Regardless of these various factors, both snorkeling and diving provide an excellent way for tourists to experience the stunning Caribbean Sea.

Packages and Local Companies

Throughout the island of Antigua, a selection of establishments offers packages and services to facilitate a successful diving trip for eager vacationers.

Owned and operated by a British Captain, the Dockyard Divers has earned a positive reputation amongst Antigua establishments. This company offers a variety of packages that fulfill the needs of every traveler’s lifestyle. Those looking for a simple excursion may book one of their diving day trips, while vacationers seeking a full experience should consider reserving a Dockyard Divers dive package that includes accommodations. This company caters mainly to seasoned divers, but invites beginners to 'dive' right in.

Located near Jolly Harbour, Indigo Divers is the only PADI dive shop on the west coast of the island. Daily scuba diving lessons are available, where PADI certified instructors utilize a swimming pool to give participants the training they need to learn the basics of diving, and allow them an opportunity to practice in a protected environment. After the lessons have been completed, divers are taken to dive in various spots along the west and south coasts. Instruction is available in both English and German.

The previously mentioned companies represent only a small fraction of the many establishments throughout Antigua that offer services for travelers seeking a day out in the water. Other businesses to consider include Jolly Dive Center, and more.

You'll find several dive services, some dive shops, and at least 4 interesting dive sites in the area.

Dive Operators and Shops

Indigo Divers

The dive shops you'll be able to find can be seen in the table below.

Dive Shops Near Antigua
Name Phone Location
Aquanaut Dive Centre (268) 770-0729 1.3 mi. Southeast of Central Falmouth Harbour
Indigo Divers (268) 562-3483 0.2 mi. Southeast of Central Jolly Harbour
Dockyard Divers

If you want to go diving, you can check with Dockyard Divers. Located in Nelson's Dockyard, this nearly 30-year-old business is a top choice for those who want to both become certified in scuba diving as well as spend some time exploring the sites that lie underneath the surface of Antigua's sea. They are located in English Harbour, in southern Antigua.

Another option is Jolly Dive Center. Certifying scuba divers in Jolly Harbor for over 25 years, Jolly Diver Center is one of the most trusted named in the industry. You can sign up for a number of courses that will allow you to gain certification, or pick out a dive package and see what lies beneath. They can be reached at (268) 462-8305.

A third option is Mamora Bay Divers. Located at St. James's Club, Mamora Bay Divers is the spot that resort guests go to learn everything they need to know about diving in Antigua. They're situated in Mamora Bay, in southeastern Antigua.

A few details concerning dive service operators are provided in this table:

Dive Operators Near Antigua
Name Phone Location
Dockyard Divers (268) 729-3040 0.0 mi. Northeast of Central English Harbour
Jolly Dive Center (268) 462-8305 0.3 mi. South of Central Jolly Harbour
Mamora Bay Divers (866) 237-2071 0.0 mi. South West of Central Mamora Bay

Dive Sites

Look through the table below for some key facts concerning some of the area's dive sites.

Dive Sites Near Antigua
Name Quality Experience Max Depth Latitude Longitude
Cades Reef Very Good -- 26.2 17.0095166667 -61.8906333333
Carpenter's Hole Fair Open Water / CMAS * 80.1 17.0023 -61.7785333333
Pillars of Hercules Good -- 26.2 17.003 -61.7588333333
Snapper Hole Fair Open Water / CMAS * 80.1 17.0 -61.7615333333

To learn more concerning diving, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read this comprehensive Caribbean scuba diving article.

Taking an underwater journey while visiting Antigua promises to leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Consider your options before settling on one activity, or indulge and treat yourself to both. Either way, you are guaranteed to be dazzled by the coral reefs, sunken ships and vivid marine life that awaits under the surface of the Caribbean Sea.


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