Barbados is one of the most popular destinations in the West Indies for scuba divers. This Caribbean paradise is a dream for divers because of the well-preserved marine conditions that offer pristine diving environments. It is known as nesting ground for turtles and barracudas so you are likely to encounter them.
Scuba Diving Barbados
Barbados is a center for diving in the Caribbean. But it has a harsh history of snaring many ships that passed near its waters. In fact, this explains why there are over 200 shipwrecks near the islands of Barbados. These shipwrecks have now become artificial reefs that are sought after by experienced divers.
If you are not an experienced diver or wreck diving enthusiast, there are still plenty of opportunities for newbie divers here. It is also a delight for the budding marine biologists or marine life lovers, in general. The well-preserved marine environment has enabled various species to thrive which includes sea turtles, eels, rays, and parrotfishes.
Barbados enjoys a total of 3,000 annual hours of sunshine. The island also enjoys consistent northeast trade winds so you can expect pleasant conditions for diving, regardless of the time of year you visit.
Barbados is also a great spot for obtaining your PADI Wreck Diver course, along with courses for digital underwater photography and AWARE Fish Identification.
Best Dive Sites
Carlisle Bay is a diver’s dream. This is a shallow dive site in Barbados that offers plenty of things to see for a wide range of divers – beginners to advanced.
You can also explore a few wreck dives on this site – some dating back to World War I. These wreck dives have transformed into artificial reefs that is home to schools of fishes, turtles, and seahorses.
This dive site features a barrier reef and drop-off with drift diving opportunities. The diving conditions at Carribbee also offer the chance for year-round diving. The depth range for dives here can be anywhere from 60 to 120 feet. Among the marine creatures you are likely to encounter are eagle rays, turtles, and barracudas.
The Boot is a fringing reef with up to 60 feet in depth. The name for this dive site is derived from its shape, which is similar to a boot. The dive site boasts of a mixture of soft and hard corals, but most of the divers who come here do so to spot some turtles. The common turtle species spotted here are green and hawksbill turtles.
If you are looking for another wreck dive in Barbados, you must add The Pamir to your list. This boat offers great condition for year-round diving. This boat is intact and is positioned upright. It is 170-feet tall and can be dived for as deep as 50 feet. Among the marine life encounters here are lobsters, sergeant majors, blue tangs, and frogfishes.
This is the largest shipwreck site in Barbados and is therefore a must for diving enthusiasts. This ship was towed to Barbados after burning at sea for four days. It currently sits about 130 feet below the water surface along the west coast of Barbados.
This 356-feet Greek freighter is situated upright. You can dive for a maximum depth of 140 feet, which is best reserved for experienced divers. It is known for its beautiful coral growth, as well as jacks and barracudas.
This dive site is best explored during the summer the water is calm and the currents are mild. Only a few divers are given the privilege to dive this site. Those who are lucky enough to be given the permit can indulge in some shark sightings. You can also see hard corals and some caverns during your dive.
This reef dive is known for its sandy channels. If you are into drift diving, you need to add this site to your itinerary. You can dive any time of the year for a depth of up to 130 feet. Some of the marine life sightings on this site include Bermuda chub, hog fish, and rays.
Best Time to Dive
Barbados offers year-round diving conditions with its moderate climate. But if you want to get the best out of your diving experience, make sure you book your diving trip during the summer months.
This ensures that the water temperature is warm (at an average of 26 degrees Celsius).
Diving in the summer months also offer great water visibility at a range of 40 to 70 feet.
How to Get to Barbados
To get to Barbados, you must travel via the Grantley Adams International Airport. From the airport, it takes about 30 minutes of travel to reach the southern coast or up to 60 minutes to reach the northern side.
There are several airlines that service flights to Barbados which includes American Airlines, British Airways, and Jetblue.
Highlights of Barbados
Barbados is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean region. This island nation is gifted when it comes to natural beauty. From the shimmering stretches of sand to the fishing towns and old plantations, there are plenty of things to see or do aside from diving.
For a relaxing holiday, there are plenty of pristine beaches to choose from but one that you cannot miss is the Bathsheba Beach. Aside from its picturesque seaside spots, it is also coveted by surfing enthusiasts to ride over the swell of the Soup Bowl – an iconic wave that is suited for experts only.
For a historic experience, head to the capital city of Bridgetown. Relish your eyes in the sight of the neo-Gothic Parliament buildings and historic sites. You can also enjoy some idyllic moments at the quays of Bridgetown Harbour. It is a great place to soak in the atmosphere and culture of Barbados.
There are more interesting attractions you must check out in Barbados such as Hunte’s Gardens, Harrison’s Cave, Carlisle Bay, and Mullins Beach.
Barbados is an island nation that is part of the Lesser Antilles region in the Caribbean. The island covers a total land area of 432 square kilometers. This island is located just outside of the Atlantic hurricane belt.
The island is located in the Atlantic Ocean and is the easternmost island in the Lesser Antilles. The topography of Barbados is flat, which is different from the other islands in the region. The highest point in the country is Mt. Hillaby, which is 1,120 feet above sea level.
There are two seasons experienced in Barbados: the dry and wet season. The dry season runs from December to May with an average temperature of 21 to 31 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the wet season is from June to December with an average temperature is 23 to 31 degrees Celsius. Barbados therefore enjoys a moderately tropical climate all year round.
Barbados is an independent island situated at the western Atlantic Ocean east of the Caribbean Sea and a part of Lesser Antilles.
The total area of 439 km² and population is 279,254 inhabitants. Barbados is pretty safe so you can roam around more. You can do a unique underwater tour in a submarine, hiking, and discover one or two villas in the middle of sugar cane plantations.
Capital city of Barbados: Bridgetown
Closest neighbors to Barbados: Neighboring countries are Martinique at the northwest, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at the west, Trinidad and Tobago at the south, and Granada at the southwest.
Best times to visit Barbados: Every time is the best time to visit Barbados depending on your preferences. Hurricane season is from June to November and accommodations are not expensive. You will likely have a wonderful time since hurricane seldom visits Barbados.
How to get to Barbados: There are two scheduled airlines fly non-stop to Barbados from the UK. There are approximate flight times from Barbados to London is 7 hours 30 minutes, Toronto-Canada is 4 hours, New York is 5 hours, and Miami is 3 hours 30 minutes.
Visa requirements for Barbados: No visa is required for US citizens however passport is needed with the duration of 6 months of stay.
Currency of Barbados: The currency in Barbados is the Barbadian Dollar.
Official Language of Barbados: Bajan is the official language of Barbados.
UNESCO World Heritage sites in Barbados
There is 1 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Barbados.