Awestruck: That feeling of complete wonder and amazement as your flight begins its descent into Barbados. You are blown away by the many hues of blue which make up the island’s stunning coast and the shimmers of the cream and gold sand that define the beaches in Barbados. If from your panoramic view in the sky, you've wondered, “What’s beneath that blanket of water?” To find out, grab your fins, goggles and, of course, your underwater camera; it's time to go snorkelling and diving in Barbados through the island’s crystal clear waters! Many natural wonders lay beautifully untouched, hundreds of feet beneath the sea’s surface.
One of the most essential elements of an amazing underwater adventure is the transparency of the water. This is a guaranteed feature of almost all of Barbados’ premier snorkelling and diving spots. Whether you be on a small boat or pleasure craft, there are many places where you can see down to the seafloor. In fact, on the West Coast, the visibility reaches up to 95 feet providing opportunities for some of the best snorkelling in the world! The purity and clarity of our waters make Barbados’ beaches ideal for any underwater exploration.
What’s your preference? Will it be a guided snorkelling trip off of a luxury catamaran? The charms of one of the many scuba diving instructors on the island? Or would you prefer other water activities in Barbados? Whatever your choice, you can be assured that our qualified watersports professionals will cater to your every need as you make your descent into the warm waters. Your guides also take away the hassle of having to lug your own equipment to or from the location. Our scuba schools and shacks are fully equipped with all that you need for your highly anticipated ocean expedition. Many of the instructors and guides also offer free training sessions before you head beneath the water.
A much-loved attraction for many of our tourists is diving in Barbados to discover the kaleidoscope of ancient coral reefs which beautifully adorn our waters while housing the most alluring of marine life. Varying shades of soft yellows and vibrant orange attract curious sea goers.
While the reefs around the island are plentiful, your tour guide will alert you of the necessary precautions. First, you must be gentle with the reefs. They may look enticing to touch or take, but remember that these reefs are no overnight feat. In Fact, it takes a year for a reef to grow a tiny amount - just 2cm. As such, they should be left intact to continue their purpose in the marine ecosystem.
For beginner and intermediate divers anxious to explore the reefs, the Bell Buoy would be a great introduction to the magnificence of Barbadian reefs. Measuring between 20 and 60 feet, the naturally sloping formations are inhabited by angelfish, parrotfish and strategically dotted with coral trees. This fascinating formation is found just off the coast of Accra Beach in the South (arguably one of the best beaches in Barbados). More seasoned and experienced divers would be in an aquatic paradise as they traverse the depths of Shark Bank in the southern waters. Despite what the name suggests, you will be perfectly safe as you dive.
Please don’t think your diving excursion has to be limited to the daylight hours. Can you imagine experiencing the wonders of the water under the natural illumination of a full moon? Night dives are a hit with both locals and tourists. As the sun sets, you can head out with your preferred guide as you prepare to be at one with nature. An excellent point for your night dive is Dottin’s in the west of the island. A bonus is that this is also perfect for beginners so they too can be part of the subaquatic trip. Be prepared to rub noses with barracuda and a few schools of yellowtail snappers.
The marine ecosystem is something to see up close. Sea urchins, lionfish, small sharks, sea turtles, and so many more exotic animals call our waters home. Did we mention how friendly (most) of these little creatures are? As you get up close and personal with these finned beings, their curiosity is piqued too! It’s a common sight to see our snorkelers and divers euphorically surrounded by the gentlest of ocean life. It truly is a unique and serene experience.
When snorkelling in Barbados, some apprehensive snorkelers sometimes question the possibility of being bitten by any of the bigger fish or even turtles. You’d be relieved to hear that there has never been any report of any kind of an underwater incident in Barbados! It seems that our marine creatures are friendly and inviting, just like our people!
For the history buffs out there, have you heard of the Bajan Queen? No, she is not a folklore character. In fact, ‘she’ is one of several shipwrecks found in the vicinity of Barbados’ top diving spot, Carlisle Bay in Bridgetown.
Almost four decades ago, another ship, the Dutch freighter, Friars’ Crag’ found itself at the bottom of our southern waters. At just over 50 feet below the surface, this beauty is a welcome attraction for divers who may be fascinated by the lobster, stingrays, and turtles who now inhabit the wreck.
For a real lesson in history with a touch of marine biology, there is the SS Stavronikita which is free to be explored by divers in the waters of St. James. Divers and seafarers will be fascinated by this underwater wreck which was purposely positioned beneath the waters to act as a reef in the mid-1970s. At over 100 feet beneath the water’s surface, this wreck is said to offer some of the best snorkelling in the Caribbean and is sure to be fascinating for advanced divers to traverse.
The allure of Barbados stretches from the brilliant blue of the warm skies to the gently rippled ocean bed. Your holiday in Barbados would not be complete without an exploration of the impressive and breathtaking scenes, only found beneath the water. The further you go, the more there is to see. Diving in Barbados, reveals ancient shipwrecks with fascinating histories and gigantic coral reefs unveil the lofty homes of their many inhabitants. The most hospitable of our marine life patiently wait for the day’s visitors, or, maybe they eagerly await the many nibbles you bring. So, on your next trip to the island, dive into the irresistibly refreshing waters of Barbados and discover the exciting and captivating world of all that lies beneath.