Scuba Diving Near The Valley

Photo Credit: © Simon Hooker CC BY
 

Anguilla is considered to be a great Caribbean locale to visit if you are looking to escape the fast paced, crowded, big-city life. To further get away, try exploring a whole new world; a world where it is quiet and calm, where you can go at your own pace and experience no interruptions.

This world, of course, is below the surface of the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Anguilla, which you can explore by diving and snorkeling.

The waters surrounding Anguilla range in visibility from 60 to 100 ft below the surface, and tend to stay around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Divers can expect to see a number of tropical marine animals on their underwater trips, including turtles, Tarpon, eels, and Spotted Eagle Rays.

Choosing the Right Activity for You

Scuba, which is an acronym for “self contained underwater breathing apparatus,” allows the participant to delve deeper into the sea by utilizing an air tank in order to stay submerged for an extended period of time.  Scuba diving does take some training, and many of Anguilla's resorts offer scuba classes as one of their amenities.  If your hotel does not offer these classes, there are numerous dive shops on the island that cater to new scuba divers.

Those that are looking for an underwater activity with less requirements may want to look into snorkeling.

You'll find several dive operators and at least 16 interesting dive sites to choose from.

Dive Operators

If you're ready to go diving, you can check with Anguillan Divers. PADI training takes place in a fresh water pool, and once certified you can move to the sea for wreck, cave, and reef dives. Dive trips leave from Cove Bay every morning at 8:30 a.m. They are found in Meads Bay, in western Anguilla.

Another good option is Vigilant Divers. In order to provide optimal training, only four guests are brought out on each boat. You can sign up for a number of different safety courses and tours depending upon your skill level. They can be reached at (264) 235-4096.

A third good option is Shoal Bay Scuba. Shoal Bay Scuba is so well-recommended that they now have two locations in order to serve the high volume of customers with the high level of care and safety they expect. Shoal Bay Scuba is locally owned and the island's only full-service PADI dive resort which specializes in both courses and actual dives. They're located in Shoal Bay East, in northern Anguilla.

The chart just below summarizes some information concerning diving services in the area.

Dive Operators Near Anguilla
Name Phone Location
Anguillan Divers (264) 497-4750 0.3 mi. Northwest of Central Meads Bay
Shoal Bay Scuba (264) 235-1482 3.2 mi. North-Northeast of Central the Valley
Vigilant Divers (264) 235-4096 The Valley, Central Anguilla

Dive Services

Check out the table just below to learn more about the typical cost of dive services in this area.

Dive Services
Offering Type Low Rate High Rate
Discover Scuba $ 85.0 $ 120.0
Double Tank Dive $ 85.0 $ 120.0
Night Dive $ 50.0 $ 90.0
Open Water Certification $ 375.0 $ 390.0
Single Tank Dive $ 50.0 $ 65.0

Dive Sites

The following table has some information concerning some of the area's dive sites.

Dive Sites Near Anguilla
Name Quality Experience Max Depth Latitude Longitude
Angel Reef Good -- 65.0 18.2642333333 -63.0254333333
Beacon Good -- 69.9 18.2482666667 -63.0511
Captain Turtle Good -- 65.0 18.2488333333 -63.0500166667
Crystal Reef -- -- -- 18.25265 -63.04
Frenchman's Reef Good Open Water / CMAS * 100.1 18.2503166667 -63.0470333333
Lobster Reef Good -- 100.1 18.2667666667 -63.0351666667
MV Catheley H Wreck Good -- 60.0 18.21045 -63.0935333333
MV Commerce Good Open Water / CMAS * 82.0 18.2459833333 -63.0802333333
MV Ida Maria Wreck Good Open Water / CMAS * 60.0 18.22215 -63.13765
MV Oosterdiep Excellent -- 82.0 18.1983666667 -63.1406666667
MV Sarah Very Good Open Water / CMAS * 85.0 18.2525 -63.1344833333
No Name Reef Very Good -- 55.1 18.2144333333 -63.1171166667
Prickly Pear Fair -- 55.8 18.2616333333 -63.1750333333
Sea Fan Good -- 40.0 18.2564166667 -63.0318166667
Shoal Bay Reef Good -- 85.0 18.25745 -63.0354333333
The Garden Very Good Open Water / CMAS * 111.9 18.2490333333 -63.0918166667

For more information concerning snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for both experienced divers and beginners, check out our extensive discussion of diving in the Caribbean.

Tips

  • Be aware of currents and stay watchful of your location. Getting too far off course can make returning difficult.
  • Wear a watch so you don't lose track of time.
  • Do not feed the fish.
  • Do not touch the animals or coral. Their protective layers can be stripped away.
  • Never stand or walk on a reef, and tread carefully in shallow water around reefs. (Shuffle your feet to avoid stingrays, and watch out for sea urchin spines.)
  • Never wear jewelry. Caribbean fish, barracudas especially, seem to be drawn to shiny objects that look like their natural prey, small silver fish.
  • Avoid jellyfish, fire coral, and other stinging creatures.
  • Never reach into holes or crevices; animals - especially moray eels - like to make their homes in them.
  • Shark spottings are rare, and sharks that are spotted are usually passive. If you do see a shark, stay calm, and if necessary, move slowly out of the water.
  • Never remove anything from dive sites and reefs; it is illegal to do so.

Anguilla appears to be a sleepy island upon first glance, but in actuality it is alive with beautiful marine life just waiting to be discovered.  Plan to make a day of snorkeling or diving, and bring home memories that will last you a lifetime.

 

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