Top Ten Places to Learn to Dive in the Caribbean

The Caribbean remains one of the most popular regions in the world for learning to dive holidays. But with over 7,000 islands across the archipelago, picking the right island for your interests is key. Whether sharks are high on the agenda or mixing diving with a good range of land adventures is your dream, discover the top ten places to learn to dive in the Caribbean.
1. Learn to Dive in Andros, Bahamas

The largest island in the Bahamas, Andros is just a hop, skip and a jump from the main island of Nassau, yet couldn't be more different. Laidback, relaxed and relatively under the radar, divers can learn the tricks of the trade at Small Hope Bay, located conveniently close to some of the best dive sites in the Bahamas, with a mix of healthy reefs, walls and plenty of shark action. Plus, the resort offers complimentary Discover Scuba Diving sessions, should you wish to dip your toe in the water before fully committing.

2. Learn to Dive in the Abacos, Bahamas

Few divers venture to the Abacos, so those who do choose to complete their course here will gain a private, personal experience. And when it comes to diving the Abacos, you really can't beat Brendel's Dive Centre. All diving is led by Brendel himself, who has been guiding in the waters of Abacos since 1985 and will ensure you experience all the best spots, often ending days feasting on freshly caught conch while cruising to a private beach.

3. Learn to Dive in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands

Most people who venture to Little Cayman are divers so there is a great atmosphere to get burgeoning divers excited about their underwater adventures. Virtually all the diving is done in Bloody Bay Marine Reserve, which is characterised by some beautiful shallow reefs in calm, bath-like water, ideal for newly certified open water divers.

4. Learn to Dive in Grenada

Grenada is surrounded by shallow, varied sites, including the Caribbean's first underwater sculpture park, interesting wrecks, healthy coral gardens and abundant marine life. Plus, the best dive centre on the island is located right on the beach, just a few sandy footsteps from Mount Cinnamon, so diving really couldn't be easier.

5. Learn to Dive in Provo, Turks & Caicos

The visibility in the Providenciales is consistently excellent (think 30+ metres), providing the perfect pool-like conditions to master the course's practical skills. Newly qualified divers can marvel at the healthy reef life in Princess Alexandra National Park as there is no commercial or sport fishing allowed, ticking off sharks, turtles, stingrays and barracuda, to name but a few.

6. Learn to Dive in Bonaire

The 'shore diving capital of the world', learning to dive couldn't be easier with shallow coral gardens and interesting marine life, from moray eels to groupers and turtles. Bonaire island itself is a haven for all types of divers with a friendly atmosphere bolstered by a shared passion for all things underwater-related.

7. Learn to Dive in Little Brac, Cayman Islands

The laidback island of Little Brac has some of the best diving in the Cayman Islands, and newly qualified divers can spot reef sharks, nurse sharks, yellow rays, tarpon, friendly groupers and schooling fish as well as the usual reef inhabitants across sheer walls, sandy slopes and sloping reefs.

8. Learn to Dive in St Vincent and the Grenadines

Private island paradise Petit St Vincent has its own Jean-Michel Cousteau dive centre, so you know you're in good hands. There is a wealth of shallow, varied dive sites surrounding the island boasting beautiful marine parks with healthy reefs and even a local wreck to explore.

9. Learn to Dive in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

While Grand Cayman may seem quite developed, there is a good selection of beachfront hotels hidden away from the hustle and bustle, with excellent house reefs to learn the tricks of the trade - Cobalt Coast even offers unlimited house reef diving, so you can continue to hone your skills after you've passed your course.

10. Learn to Dive in Curaçao

Curaçao is located outside of the hurricane belt so travellers can learn to dive year-round. The tiny Dutch island boasts excellent shore diving and is protected from strong currents, with warm water and healthy coral conditions - don't miss Mushroom Forest for its famous mushroom-shaped hard corals.

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Jacqui is our 'Top Ten Places to Learn to Dive in the Caribbean' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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