Scuba Diving Near Puerto Rico

Scuba diving and snorkeling are two of the most popular water sports in Puerto Rico

Photo credit: © Ribe |

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.

Ocean Paradise

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.

Best Dive Sites

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.

Words of Caution

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.

Dive Operators and Shops

The dive shops available are summarized down below.

Dive Shops Near Puerto Rico
Name Phone Location
Blue Water Scuba (787) 288-0707 Bayamon
Coral Scuba Shop (787) 817-3716 Arecibo, Northwestern part of Puerto Rico
Divers Locker (787) 258-4338 Caguas
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
Puerto Rico Free Divers (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.

Dive Operators Near Puerto Rico
Name Phone Location
Aqua Adventure (787) 729-2626 Condado District
Atlantis Dive Center (787) 997-0840 Aguadilla
Borinquen Scuba World (787) 269-4641 Bayamon
Casa del Mar (787) 860-3483 Central Fajardo, Eastern part of Puerto Rico
Dnd Sea (787) 404-4677 Utuado, Western part of Puerto Rico
East Puerto Rico Diving (787) 689-1781 Humacao
Island Scuba (787) 309-6556 Guánica, Southwestern part of Puerto Rico
La Casa del Buzo (787) 758-2710 San Juan
La Pocita Underwater Park -- 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
Unlimited Divers (787) 273-7044 San Juan
West Divers (787) 899-3223 Lajas, Western part of Puerto Rico

Dive Services

Be sure to look at the following table for an indication of what typical dive services cost in this area.

Dive Services
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

Dive Sites

The chart right below offers some key facts concerning some of the area's major dive sites.

Dive Sites Near Puerto Rico
Name Quality Experience Max Depth Current Latitude Longitude
Big Rock/Little Rock -- -- -- -- 18.3537791795 -65.566280503
Cayo Icacos Very Good All Divers 30.0 < 1 knot 18.3869882053 -65.5888938904
Cerro Gordo Good All Divers 26.0 < 1 knot 18.4859424395 -66.3417797089
Cordillera Keys -- -- -- -- 18.3803632908 -65.5669105053
Crash Boat Piers Very Good All Divers 80.0 < 1 knot 18.4564724007 -67.1651535034
El Imperio Excellent Rescue / CMAS *** 197.0 1-2 knots 17.9552031695 -65.9624938965
El Natural Excellent Open Water / CMAS * 65.0 -- 18.4633112033 -67.1705608368
Escambron Very Good All Divers 25.0 < 1 knot 18.4680839562 -66.0897593498
Isla de Cabras Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 25.0 1-2 knots 18.4719407319 -66.132352829
La Cueva del Indio Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 35.0 -- 18.4932481089 -66.6426377297
La Reja Excellent Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 40.0 < 1 knot 18.4861052433 -66.3374881744
La Trampa de Buzo Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 114.0 > 2 knots 18.4803459639 -66.3245706558
Lobos -- -- -- -- 18.3752844706 -65.5733186194
Mar Chiquita Fair Open Water / CMAS * 66.0 < 1 knot 18.4740980463 -66.4837007523
Palominito's Wall -- -- -- -- 18.3396037731 -65.5645638892
Palomino Reef -- -- -- -- 18.3449807882 -65.5728036353
San Slide Fair All Divers 70.0 Negligible 18.3418005538 -65.561750412
Spurs & Grooves -- -- -- -- 18.3379743415 -65.5666238257
The Trench -- -- -- -- 18.3356931115 -65.5691987464

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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