From shark diving in the Bahamas to the wrecks of Bonaire and the flourishing reefs of Belize, liveaboards are the best option for scuba diving in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean is a vast sea, reaching from the Bahamas in the northeast to Panama in the southwest. Most Caribbean islands and coastlines are inhabited and welcome scuba divers to luxury hotels and diving resorts. However, on any given island, dive sites can be spread over a considerable distance meaning that each diving resort has access to only a handful of sites. Therefore, liveaboards are an excellent choice for scuba divers visiting the region.
Popular destinations for liveaboard diving in the Caribbean include the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands, Belize and Honduras. Most dive safaris last between 6 and 7 nights. Diviac offers several high-quality liveaboards in each of these destinations for online booking. From budget Blackbeard cruises in the Bahamas to the luxurious Avalon II in Cuba, there is a liveaboard available for every budget.
Like any large body of water, there is something for everyone in the Caribbean.
The Bahamas are known for their shark encounters, while you’ll find stingrays and sea turtles in the Cayman Islands. Cuba is home to the Jardines de la Reina, a liveaboard-only heaven for Caribbean reef sharks, and Turks and Caicos boasts uninhabited cays surrounded by healthy coral reefs. Some of the best shipwrecks in the Caribbean can be found near the British Virgin Islands. Finally, Belize and Honduras in Central America collectively offer whale shark encounters and access to the longest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere.
You can expect to see a variety of underwater environments throughout the Caribbean. There are patches of gorgeous reef, deep wrecks, open ocean drifts, a few pinnacles, canyons, arches and caves. It is this diversity of dive sites that makes the Caribbean a sea for every diver.
Underwater conditions can be challenging at many of the dive sites visited by liveaboards in the Caribbean. However, some liveaboards welcome first-time divers with the intention of only visiting easy dive sites. Don’t hesitate to contact us about the appropriate skill level for your desired liveaboard.
BEST TIME TO GO
November to May
The best time to dive in the Caribbean is from late November to May.
Most countries and dive areas within the Caribbean are great for diving year-round. However, from June until early November, hurricanes are a distinct possibility throughout the Caribbean Sea. While it is unlikely that your trip will be influenced by one of these massive storms, many liveaboards scale back the number of dive safaris offered during these months. If you do book a trip during hurricane season, be sure to also buy trip insurance in the case that your liveaboard is canceled due to inclement weather.
Water temperatures vary from destination to destination, but you can generally expect tropical waters. Temperatures generally average between 79-84°F (26-29°C) with the warmest temperatures occurring from April to November.
Like water temperature, visibility can vary from island to island in the Caribbean. Because you’ll be diving from a liveaboard, you’ll experience the best visibility in this part of the world. Visibility at remote dive sites can reach up to 100 feet (30m) although more often you’ll have visibility between 50-65 feet (15-20m).
Finally, surface conditions during hurricane season and rainy season are likely to be at their worst. If you are prone to seasickness, it is recommended that you visit during dry season from November to May.
Most liveaboards in the Caribbean depart from easy-to-reach ports, but many of the islands will require multiple flights to reach. The most convenient way to reach these islands is through the US state of Florida.
On the other hand, liveaboards departing from Central America most often use Belize City as a home port. These operators will most likely pick you up at the airport and take you directly to the boat.