The continental shelf surrounding Puerto Rico is home to several coral reef formations that help various forms of sea life thrive.
...swim alongside a number of colorful fish species...
Just off of the island's South, East, and West coasts, there is extraordinary aquatic life flourishing within the reefs, and the water is perfect for diving. With underwater caves, seawalls created by the continental shelf, trenches, and many more spectacular marine sites, divers will find that Puerto Rico's waters are great for exploration.
The vivid array of sea life living beneath the waves off the coast of Puerto is enough reason to plan a scuba-diving or snorkeling trip during your vacation. Snorkelers and divers can swim alongside a number of colorful fish species including lobsters, grouper, and a multitude of other aquatic animal species.
Not only are the cities of Puerto Rico rich with history, and brimming from fascinating architecture and culture, but the underwater world surrounding this island country has its own stories of the past to tell. Artifacts that were sunken by powerful hurricanes, including ships and even a 500-pound cannon dating back to the Dutch invasion of 1625, now lie at the sea floor. The submerged relics make the perfect treasures for scuba divers to seek during underwater explorations.
The best dive sites to see while vacationing in Puerto Rico are off of the island's South, East, and West coasts. Off of Puerto Rico's East Coast, a chain of small islands leading toward Culebra closes off the moderate warm waters of the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. Moving southeast, near Humaco, vacationers will find that some of the largest creatures of the sea return to these waters annually. If you're visiting Puerto Rico during the right time of year, you may be able to spot a herd of migrating manatees or a pod of whales.
More seasoned divers will enjoy a scuba adventure to the Great Trench just off the South Coast. Also off of the South Coast, between the cities of La Parguera and Guanica, curious scuba divers can inspect seawalls and underwater caves to discover surprising marine life. About three hours away from the capital city of San Juan is Mona Island, whose waters are home to unspoiled coral reefs located at depths of around 80 feet.
Scuba diving is a great ways to enjoy a Caribbean vacation in Puerto Rico, but there are some safety precautions underwater adventurers should consider. First, always be aware of your surroundings while in the ocean. It's easy to drift far away from your starting point without even noticing. Also, take note of the time, and don't remove anything from the water. This is illegal, and you could face a heavy fine. Beware of jellyfish, urchins, and other stinging ocean animals when walking in the shallows. Shuffle your feet on the ocean floor.
You'll find 13 dive services, a variety of dive shops, and at least 19 good dive sites to choose from.
The dive shops available are summarized down below.
|Blue Water Scuba||(787) 288-0707||Bayamon|
|Coral Scuba Shop||(787) 817-3716||Arecibo, Northwestern part of Puerto Rico|
|Ocean Sports||(787) 268-2329||Carolina, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Paradise Scuba Puerto Rico||(787) 899-7611||La Parguera, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|(787) 579-8150||Fajardo, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Scuba Dogs Gardenville||(787) 783-6377||Guaynabo|
|Scuba Dogs San Juan||(787) 977-0000||Viejo San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Sea Ventures Fajardo Dive Center||(800) 739-3483||Central Fajardo, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Sea Ventures Palmas Dive Center||(800) 739-3483||Palmas Del Mar, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Taino Divers||(787) 823-6429||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|The Dive Shop||(787) 833-6455||Mayagüez|
Look through the following chart for a list of the area's dive services.
|Aqua Adventure||(787) 729-2626||Condado District|
|Casa del Mar||(787) 860-3483||Central Fajardo, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|(787) 404-4677||Utuado, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Island Scuba||(787) 309-6556||Guánica, Southwestern part of Puerto Rico|
|La Casa del Buzo||(787) 758-2710||San Juan|
|--||1.2 mi. East of Central Viejo San Juan|
|Ocean Sports||(787) 268-2329||San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Rincon Diving||(787) 506-3483||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|(787) 273-7044||San Juan|
|West Divers||(787) 899-3223||Lajas, Western part of Puerto Rico|
Be sure to look at the following table for an indication of what typical dive services cost in this area.
|Offering Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Discover Scuba||$ 110.0||$ 150.0|
|Double Tank Dive||$ 95.0||$ 125.0|
|Night Dive||$ 85.0||$ 110.0|
|Open Water Certification||$ 550.0||$ 750.0|
|Single Tank Dive||$ 65.0||$ 95.0|
The chart right below offers some key facts concerning some of the area's major dive sites.
|Very Good||All Divers||30.0||< 1 knot||18.3869882053||-65.5888938904|
|Good||All Divers||26.0||< 1 knot||18.4859424395||-66.3417797089|
|Very Good||All Divers||80.0||< 1 knot||18.4564724007||-67.1651535034|
|Excellent||Rescue / CMAS ***||197.0||1-2 knots||17.9552031695||-65.9624938965|
|Excellent||Open Water / CMAS *||65.0||--||18.4633112033||-67.1705608368|
|Very Good||All Divers||25.0||< 1 knot||18.4680839562||-66.0897593498|
|Good||Advanced Open Water / CMAS **||25.0||1-2 knots||18.4719407319||-66.132352829|
|Good||Advanced Open Water / CMAS **||35.0||--||18.4932481089||-66.6426377297|
|Excellent||Advanced Open Water / CMAS **||40.0||< 1 knot||18.4861052433||-66.3374881744|
|Very Good||Advanced Open Water / CMAS **||114.0||> 2 knots||18.4803459639||-66.3245706558|
|Fair||Open Water / CMAS *||66.0||< 1 knot||18.4740980463||-66.4837007523|
For more information about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this comprehensive guide to diving in the Caribbean.
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