Antigua is almost completely surrounded by well-preserved coral reef, walls and shipwrecks making it a brilliant diving destination. Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, Antigua’s waters will provide you with the perfect dive.
Antigua is set on a shallow bank and the southern and eastern coasts are surrounded by shelfs, providing excellent conditions for spectacular shallow diving and snorkeling. With little to no current in most places, good visibility and an array of tropical marine life, you are guaranteed to make friends with schools of sergeant majors, nurse sharks, turtles or even a giant lobster whilst you are there.
One of Antigua's best-known offshore sites is Cades Reef, which is a 7 mile stretch of reef partly contained in a designated underwater park. Another popular destination is the Wreck of the Andes, and the beauty of this shipwreck is that you don’t need any scuba gear to access it as it sits in less than 30 feet of water. Destined for Chile with a cargo hold of tar, this three-masted merchant ship sank in 1905 after catching fire, and now rests in Deep Bay waiting to be explored.
If you are new to diving, then the Pillars of Hercules is perfect. It is so called due to the unique rock formations above the site and offers one of the greatest examples of diversity of reef life in the Caribbean. A true gem.
Jettias Wreck, an old French steam powered freighter sunk in 1817 and sits at a depth of 25 metres.. The wreck is broken up into mainly the bow, the boiler, the engine and the stern. There is coral growth and lots of small fish surrounding it, including parrot fish, grunts, trumpet fish, blue tangs and Spanish hogfish. Occasionally a large barracuda puts in an appearance along with a large dog snapper.
For more advanced divers, the ledge of Sunken Rock on the south coast is a popular site for both day and night dives. The huge boulders start at just 1m below the surface and drop to around 35m. Rock formations have created trails and valleys. After the drop off of the boulders, it becomes a mostly vertical dive, with gorgonian seafans, barrel sponges, red soft coral and bushy black coral. Parrot fish and angel fish swim around the colourful surroundings and barracuda, sting rays and occasionally turtles and dolphins can also be spotted.
With hundreds of wrecks and brilliant conditions, Antigua has lots to offer every diver out there.
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