Scuba Diving Near Barbados

The waters off the coast of Barbados are great for snorkeling and scuba diving

Photo credit: © Olga Khoroshunova | Dreamstime.com
 

The crystal clear waters off the white sand beaches of Barbados are perfect for scuba diving, with visibility between 80 to 98 feet for most of the year.

More than two dozen dive sites sit between the western and southern coasts and beaches of Barbados. This is great news for active vacationers who want to get in a little underwater adventure during their Caribbean vacation.

...some eerie underwater exploration...

 

Where to go

The waters around Barbados' west coast offers divers a multitude of underwater opportunities with a diverse range of dive sites and ocean scenery. At Dottins Reef, underwater wildlife like barracudas and turtles that can grow to up to 60 feet dwell within the nooks and crannies of the coral.Maycocks Bay Dive Site on the northwest coast of Barbados features coral reefs separated by large corridors; divers can see about 100 feet or more down these natural underwater halls.

The sunken freighter Pamir lies off the coast of Six Men's Bay. It is 165 feet long, and its hull remained together after it sunk. You can peep through the freighter's portholes and view all kinds of vivid fish and aquatic animals. Another sunken wonder off the west coast is the SS Stavronikita. This Greek freighter can be found at around 135 feet, and makes for some eerie underwater exploration.

Maps

Just off the southwestern shores of Barbados is Carlisle Bay, which is a natural harbor that has been turned into a marine park. Here divers can rummage the sea floor for empty bottles that have accumulated after generations of sailors tossing them overboard. Also, you can find other relics from ships including cannonballs, cannons, anchors, and a few shipwrecks at 25 to 60 feet or more, and all close enough for you to visit in one dive. Here you can also find the Barbados' newest shipwreck, the Bajan Queen, which was sunk in 2002.

The aquamarine sea that laps at Barbados' sandy shores houses large, vibrant coral reefs which provide shelter for millions of spectacular sea organisms. Barbados' extensive ocean habitat is perfect for divers and snorkelers because of its unique animal and plant life.

You'll find 4 dive services, a variety of dive shops, and at least 36 interesting dive sites to choose from.

Dive Operators and Shops

The dive shops worth considering are listed below.

Dive Shops Near Barbados
Name Phone Location
Hazell's Water World (246) 426-4043 0.7 mi. Southeast of Downtown Bridgetown
Roger's Scuba Shack (246) 436-3483 Downtown Bridgetown
The Dive Shop (246) 426-9947 1.0 mi. Southeast of Downtown Bridgetown
West Side Scuba Centre (246) 262-1029 1.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Bridgetown
Barbados Blue Watersports

If you're ready to take the plunge, you might want to check with Barbados Blue Watersports. Explore the world beneath the water with Barbados Blue Watersports. With this group, you will be able to go to some of the best diving sites around Barbados and swim along with sea turtles and come within touching distance of coral reefs and other marine animals. They are found within downtown Bridgetown.

Another good option is Reefers and Wreckers. There are several packages that Reefers and Wreckers has to offer, They have a basic dive option that will take you to dive sites off the coast. In addition, they offer dive courses that include a basic intro course, open water certification basic and advanced, a rescue course, and a master diver course. They also offer specialty services such as night diving, deep ocean diving, and wreck diving. You can reach them at (246) 422-5450.

Still another option is Dive Hightide Watersports. Since it opened in 1993, Hightide Watersports has been one of the most recognized names in watersports on Barbados. They specialize in diving, and can quickly get visitors skillfully trained and certified before taking them out to see dive on open waters and see some of the most spectacular underwater sites around. They're found within Holetown, in western Barbados.

The chart directly below provides details concerning dive service operators.

Dive Operators Near Barbados
Name Phone Location
Barbados Blue Watersports (246) 434-5764 Downtown Bridgetown
Dive Hightide Watersports (800) 970-0016 0.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Holetown
Eco Dive Barbados (246) 243-5816 Barbados
Reefers and Wreckers (246) 422-5450 0.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Speightstown

Dive Services

The following chart enables you to get the approximate cost of dive services in this area.

Dive Services
Offering Type Low Rate High Rate
Discover Scuba $ 90.0 $ 110.0
Double Tank Dive $ 100.0 $ 125.0
Night Dive $ 68.0 $ 80.0
Open Water Certification $ 425.0 $ 475.0
Single Tank Dive $ 54.0 $ 75.0

Dive Sites

The table directly below provides you with a few details concerning some of the area's better-known dive sites.

Dive Sites Near Barbados
Name Quality Max Depth Latitude Longitude
Accra (Dive Site) -- -- 13.0667174347 -59.5972496459
Allens (Dive Site) -- -- 13.2148267544 -59.6466881225
Asta Reef Good 82.0 13.0725833333 -59.6058833333
Asta Reef (Dive Site) -- -- 13.0698945302 -59.6061760375
Bajan Queen Shipwreck Good 39.4 13.0726 -59.6028
Berwin Shipwreck Good 26.2 13.0726 -59.6028
Boot -- -- 13.0606975627 -59.5790535399
Brightledge Dive Site -- -- 13.2735299849 -59.6551179886
Caribee (Dive Site) -- -- 13.0586909061 -59.5969063231
Carleynes (Dive Site) -- -- 13.0623697641 -59.6037727782
Carlisle Bay Dive Site -- -- 13.0858320986 -59.621386528
Carlisle Bay Shipwrecks Excellent 55.1 13.0833333333 -59.6166666667
Castle Dive Site -- -- 13.0687240261 -59.6085792968
Ce-Trek Shipwreck Good 42.7 13.07305 -59.6033333333
Clarkes Bank (Dive Site) -- -- 13.119552227 -59.6477180907
Close Encounters (Dive Site) -- -- 13.0593597934 -59.5694405028
Dottins Reef -- -- 13.1830726982 -59.6435982177
Eillon Shipwreck Good 55.8 13.0725833333 -59.6034
Fishermans (Dive Site) -- -- 13.1860811542 -59.6435982177
Folkstone Dive -- -- 13.1915444459 -59.6400299669
Friars Craig Good 55.1 13.0724333333 -59.6059333333
Greatledge Dive Site -- -- 13.2472977234 -59.6565771103
Johnsons (Dive Site) -- -- 13.1680298637 -59.6446281859
Lord Combermere (Shipwreck) -- -- 13.13058591 -59.6422249267
Maycocks Bay Dive Site -- -- 13.2960005931 -59.6560192108
Mount Charlie (Dive Site) -- -- 13.048991836 -59.566350598
Muff (Dive Site) -- -- 13.0563497861 -59.5807701537
Old Fort (Dive Site) -- -- 13.0720683088 -59.6133858153
Pamir Excellent 60.0 13.2583333333 -59.6538666667
Pamir Dive Site -- -- 13.2601635811 -59.6597957611
Pieces if Eight (Dive Site) -- -- 13.0693928863 -59.6037727782
SS Stavronikita Very Good 141.1 13.1443166667 -59.6430166667
Sam Lord's Good 39.4 13.1231166667 -59.4281833333
Spawnee Dive Site -- -- 13.2333032423 -59.6546459198
Stavronikita (Shipwreck) -- -- 13.1372727495 -59.6411949584
Victors Reef (Dive Site) -- -- 13.1389444309 -59.6422249267

To learn more about diving, including helpful suggestions and tips for both experienced divers and beginners, read our comprehensive Caribbean diving page.

Things to Remember

The breathtaking underwater scenery off the coast of Barbados is truly spectacular. While you're beneath the waves, remember a few important safety considerations for both snorkelers and divers.

  • It can be easy to become disoriented or stray too far away while underwater, so always be aware of your positioning in the ocean.

  • Though it may be tempting, don't feed the fish or touch the animals living in the coral reef. This can be harmful to the animals' protective covering.

  • Some of the animals living in the sea can be hard to see and you may easily step on a creature, such as a stingray or urchin, that can hurt you like. Shuffle your feet when walking in the shallows.

  • Fish like barracudas are attracted to shiny objects, which may resemble their prey; don't wear jewelry while snorkeling and scuba diving.

  • Finally, don't take objects from dive sites, because it's illegal.

Costs

The cost of your scuba diving excursion will depend on several factors. First of all, before you can scuba dive, you must be a certified diver. To become certified you have to take classes with a licensed scuba instructor, which can cost around $350(USD) for a week long certification course. Once you become a certified diver, you will have to pay for dive runs, which cost around $120(USD) to $170(USD) for a one-tank dive and $110(USD) to $240(USD) for a two-tank run.

You should budget for the cost of the equipment rental. Most dive runs will include the cost of your scuba equipment in the cost of the overall dive.

 

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