Scuba Diving Near the BVI

A world of wonders awaits you underneath the surface of the sea surrounding the British Virgin Islands

Photo Credit: © ScubaBear86 CC BY
 

If you make plans to visit the British Virgin Islands and begin to think about which sites you want to see, take a moment to consider what lies beneath – the surface of the sea that is. The Caribbean Sea is known for having some of the best diving and snorkeling opportunities in the world, and the waters that surround the British Virgin Islands are no exception.

First-timers can participate in one or two dive courses hosted either by their resort or a local dive shop, where they will learn the basics. This knowledge will be enough to get you certification for guided dives just off the coast. Local dive experts are always on hand to train you and take you to the best dive spots around for a few of anywhere between $75 and $100(USD) for a one to two tank dive, and that is on top of the $300(USD) for certification.

Whether you choose one option or both, scuba diving and snorkeling both offer swimmers the opportunity to visit with marine life in a more up-close-and-personal manner than one might think possible. Swimming with tropical fish and exploring colorful coral reef is an experience like no other. 

You'll find 6 dive operators, a variety of dive shops, and at least 114 interesting dive sites in the area.

Dive Operators and Shops

The dive shops worth considering are provided right below.

Dive Shops Near the BVI
Name Phone Location Island
Blue Water Divers (284) 494-2847 1.9 mi. South West of Downtown Road Town Tortola
Blue Water Divers (284) 495-1200 2.9 mi. North-Northeast of Central Coral Bay Frenchman's Cay
Dive BVI Leverick Bay (248) 495-7328 0.6 mi. North of Central Santu Patia Virgin Gorda
Dive BVI Rosewood (248) 495-5513 0.8 mi. North of Central Spanish Town Virgin Gorda
Dive BVI Scrub Island (248) 495-5513 Central the BVI Scrub Island
Dive BVI Yacht Harbour (248) 495-5513 Spanish Town, Southeastern part of the BVI Virgin Gorda
Jost Van Dyke Scuba (284) 495-0271 Jost Van Dyke Jost Van Dyke
Sunchaser Scuba (284) 495-9638 Eastern part of the BVI Virgin Gorda
We Be Divin (284) 494-4320 Tortola Tortola

If you're ready to take the plunge, you can check with BVI Scuba Company. Whether you're a beginner or a master diver, BVI Scuba Company has the training programs and specialized dive charters for you. Over the years, this facility has become so popular that expansion became necessary and today there are three different locations in the British Virgin Islands. They are located in downtown Road Town.

A second option is Trimarine. There are at least two scuba instructors onboard at all times, so whether you're already qualified or need to participate in some training you're in good hands. There are over 100 dive sites Trimarine is familiar with throughout the islands, so each trip is a new experience. They can be reached at (284) 494-2490.

Still another option is Paradise Watersports Diving. The difference between them and other operators is that they focus on small groups with a more personalized service. The owner has been living and diving the island's waters for the past 30 years with some of their staff logging thousands of dives on sites such as the Rhone. They're located on Peter Island, in southern the BVI.

The table directly below lists a few details regarding the area's dive services.

Dive Operators Near the BVI
Name Phone Location Island
BVI Scuba Company (284) 540-2222 Downtown Road Town Tortola
BVI Scuba Company (284) 495-0271 Western part of the BVI Jost Van Dyke
Majestic Spirit Divers (284) 346-1061 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Paradise Watersports Diving (284) 495-9941 0.4 mi. North-Northwest of Central Peter Island Peter Island
Sail Caribbean Divers (284) 495-1675 1.0 mi. South of Central Parham Town Tortola
Trimarine (284) 494-2490 Downtown Road Town Tortola

Dive Services

The table directly below has the approximate cost of dive services in this area.

Dive Services
Offering Type Low Rate High Rate
Discover Scuba $ 115.0 $ 165.0
Double Tank Dive $ 100.0 $ 140.0
Night Dive $ 80.0 $ 125.0
Open Water Certification $ 350.0 $ 495.0
Single Tank Dive $ 70.0 $ 100.0

Dive Sites

Take a moment to read this table for some key facts concerning some of the area's dive sites.

Dive Sites Near the BVI
Name Quality Experience Max Depth Latitude Longitude
Airplane Wreck Dive -- -- -- 18.4793801042 -64.4563096762
Alice in Wonderland Good -- 100.1 18.38615 -64.48155
Alice's Back Door -- -- -- 18.3949881055 -64.4741034508
Alphie Rock Good -- 26.2 18.4001333333 -64.6912833333
Anegada Wrecks -- -- -- 18.7012529176 -64.3860626221
Angelfish Reef Fair Open Water / CMAS * 47.9 18.3089333333 -64.6292166667
Aquarium Good Open Water / CMAS * 60.0 18.4328666667 -64.449
Beatta Wreck (Wreck Alley) Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 89.9 18.3696833333 -64.5109833333
Black Forest Fair -- 75.5 18.35085 -64.6122833333
Blonde Rock Good Open Water / CMAS * 87.9 18.3686833333 -64.5513333333
Blue Chromis Reef Good -- 59.1 18.3726666667 -64.511
Brewer's Bay Dive Site -- -- -- 18.4467793648 -64.6500617266
Brewers Bay Inside Good -- 29.5 18.4405666667 -64.6502333333
Brewers Bay North Side Very Good -- 85.3 18.44895 -64.6539333333
Brewers Bay Pinnacles -- -- -- 18.4449372153 -64.6600395441
Brewers Bay West Point Good -- 72.2 18.4458 -64.6607166667
Bronco Billy Good Open Water / CMAS * 47.9 18.4830333333 -64.4622833333
Brown Pants Very Good Open Water / CMAS * 55.1 18.31575 -64.5974666667
Cane Garden Bay North Side Fair -- 29.5 18.42835 -64.66125
Caraval Rock -- -- -- 18.3715303347 -64.4889736176
Carrot Shoal Good Open Water / CMAS * 59.1 18.3251 -64.5788666667
Carval Rock Good Open Water / CMAS * 102.0 18.37295 -64.4901333333
Cathedral Excellent -- 24.9 18.4433 -64.7809666667
Chikuzen Wreck Fair Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 75.5 18.6188166667 -64.51615
Chimney Good Open Water / CMAS * 51.8 18.4812833333 -64.4613833333
Chromis Reef -- -- -- 18.3806226359 -64.5168042183
Cistern Point Fair -- 44.9 18.3811666667 -64.5167833333
Coral Gardens -- -- -- 18.4862027307 -64.4600272179
Coral Gardens Fair Open Water / CMAS * 49.9 18.4797833333 -64.4565833333
Dead Chest North -- -- -- 18.3696975619 -64.564204216
Deadchest West Good Open Water / CMAS * 65.0 18.35975 -64.5690833333
Devils Bay Dive Fair -- 39.4 18.4279 -64.4456
Devils Kitchen Good -- 59.1 18.3740666667 -64.4992666667
Diamond Reef Dive Site -- -- -- 18.4604778233 -64.5231771469
Dip N Scrub Fair -- 63.0 18.4652333333 -64.51965
Dolphin Rocks -- -- -- 18.4975172113 -64.456486702
Dry Rocks East Good Open Water / CMAS * 60.0 18.3849833333 -64.5013
Dry Rocks West -- -- -- 18.3905085694 -64.5149803162
East Guana Dive Site -- -- -- 18.4690667895 -64.564332962
Fearless Wreck Fair Open Water / CMAS * 82.0 18.37375 -64.5924833333
Flanagan Reef Dive -- -- -- 18.3271717729 -64.6526741982
Garden Good -- 40.0 18.3864 -64.73295
Garry's Grotto Good Open Water / CMAS * 29.9 18.50415 -64.4167666667
Ginger Backside Good -- 91.9 18.3890833333 -64.4857333333
Ginger Steps Excellent Open Water / CMAS * 91.9 18.3844333333 -64.48045
Grand Central Station Good Rescue / CMAS *** 65.0 18.4906833333 -64.5795833333
Great Dog Good -- 52.5 18.4838333333 -64.4619333333
Great Thatch West End Very Good -- 78.7 18.3827333333 -64.7536333333
Indians Dive Site -- -- -- 18.3344638154 -64.6274614334
Inganess Bay Wreck Fair Open Water / CMAS * 89.9 18.37135 -64.5141666667
Invisibles Very Good Open Water / CMAS * 57.4 18.52665 -64.3433666667
Island Seal (Wreck Alley) Very Good -- 85.3 18.3697333333 -64.5105666667
Jack Bay Point Excellent -- 23.0 18.7433333333 -64.3143833333
Joe's Cave -- -- -- 18.483653817 -64.4745969772
Josiah's Bay Fair -- 29.5 18.4478 -64.5911
Kellys Reef Fair -- 45.9 18.3228833333 -64.6215166667
Kingfish Banks North Excellent -- 72.2 18.54185 -64.6955
Kingfish Banks South Excellent -- 68.9 18.5175666667 -64.6705166667
Lee Bay Diving Site -- -- -- 18.4714683666 -64.5359122753
Lioness Good -- 11.2 18.70405 -64.3883
Little Thatch Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 118.1 18.38365 -64.713
Loblolly Bay Dive Site -- -- -- 18.7433910931 -64.3121409416
Maria L. & Pat Wrecks (Wreck Alley) Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 88.9 18.3693 -64.5107
Marina Cay Fair -- 16.4 18.46 -64.5261
Markoe Point Good Open Water / CMAS * 65.0 18.3645 -64.49985
Mountain Point -- -- -- 18.5050665658 -64.417154789
Mystery Anchor Good Open Water / CMAS * 49.9 18.3840833333 -64.4704666667
Nine Finger Reef -- -- -- 18.4435835791 -64.712240696
Painted Walls Very Good -- 47.9 18.3633 -64.5654333333
Pirates Purchase Good -- 90.9 18.43975 -64.7785333333
Playground -- -- -- 18.4542342707 -64.710636735
R.M.S. Rhone Dive Good -- 78.7 18.3693833333 -64.5352666667
Rainbow Canyons -- -- -- 18.3307159884 -64.6239852905
Randys Reef Good -- 36.1 18.3582833333 -64.5904
Red Bluff Point -- -- -- 18.3692699122 -64.510216713
Red Point -- -- -- 18.3255840969 -64.6726322221
Rhone Reef Good -- 59.1 18.3676666667 -64.5336666667
Rhone's Anchor -- -- -- 18.362305181 -64.5972061157
Ring Dove Rock Good Open Water / CMAS * 60.0 18.32555 -64.62265
Rocks and Beans Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 82.0 18.4405 -64.7803333333
Round Rock -- -- -- 18.4043743919 -64.4553279877
Sandy Cay Good -- 36.1 18.435 -64.71105
Santa Monica Rock Good Open Water / CMAS * 101.7 18.2997666667 -64.63875
Seal Dog North Good Open Water / CMAS * 91.9 18.4974 -64.4555
Seal Dog West Good Open Water / CMAS * 91.9 18.5068833333 -64.4357
Shark Point Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 72.2 18.3288666667 -64.5641666667
Smuggler's Cove Dive Good -- 19.7 18.3952 -64.7032166667
Spyglass Good -- 60.0 18.3222666667 -64.6166333333
The Aquarium -- -- -- 18.4387592549 -64.4470667839
The Baths Dive Fair -- 39.4 18.4294666667 -64.4453833333
The Blinders -- -- -- 18.4232675771 -64.4443416595
The Caves Good -- 49.2 18.3155166667 -64.6243833333
The Chimney -- -- -- 18.4819290815 -64.4615077972
The Flintstones -- -- -- 18.4852666072 -64.4739103317
The Indians Fair Open Water / CMAS * 49.2 18.3312 -64.629
The Playground Excellent -- 98.4 18.4550666667 -64.7097833333
The Sandy Spit Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 98.4 18.45 -64.7091666667
The Visibles -- -- -- 18.4933659419 -64.4637823105
Thumb Rock Good Open Water / CMAS * 44.9 18.37005 -64.5103
Times Square -- -- -- 18.492796152 -64.5780229568
Tip of Scrub Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 62.0 18.4720666667 -64.5020666667
Tow Rock Good Open Water / CMAS * 76.1 18.4893333333 -64.4931833333
Towing Point Dive -- -- -- 18.4943935939 -64.5376878977
Turtle Head Excellent -- 55.8 18.6296 -64.7733166667
Turtle Pass -- -- -- 18.4283162667 -64.7338485718
Twin Towers Excellent -- 95.1 18.46 -64.7253
Vanishing Rock Fair -- 42.0 18.37805 -64.5200833333
Visibles Good Open Water / CMAS * 47.9 18.4949333333 -64.4646166667
Wall To Wall Good Open Water / CMAS * 65.0 18.4810833333 -64.46545
West Dog Dive Good -- 52.5 18.4814333333 -64.47445
White Bay Wall Fair -- 62.3 18.4398333333 -64.7666166667
Wild West Wall -- -- -- 18.4352783293 -64.7668933868
Wreck Alley -- -- -- 18.3721005267 -64.5133280754
Wreck of the Fearless -- -- -- 18.3631197839 -64.5933866501

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out our comprehensive Caribbean diving page.

Tips

  • Before you dip your toes into the sea and begin your underwater journey, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Most importantly, however, is simply to respect the sea and all of her creatures.
  • Know where you are at all times. With underwater exploration it can be easy to float off and lose track of time. Wear a waterproof watch to avoid this occurrence, and if you notice you have gone too far from where you should be, head back immediately.
  • Always wear waterproof sun block. The sun's rays can do damage to your skin even from under the sea.
  • Take care not to wear jewelry or other shiny objects which could attract unfriendly fish.Make sure to use a dive flag to let other boaters and divers know where you have gone under water.
  • Never feed or touch the fish, stand on or handle coral, reach into unknown holes, or take anything from the sea.
  • Remain calm if you encounter a sea creature that is known for being dangerous – particularly a shark. If you feel it is necessary to get away, try and do so calmly and slowly so as not to draw attention to yourself.

There is no experience in the world quite like diving the Caribbean Sea and exploring all of her underwater majesty. Make plans in advance if you're up for the challenge, and you'll quickly see how addicting the sport can be.

 

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