Scuba Diving Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is not just any other diving destination in the Caribbean. It consists of many offshore islands and more than 360 miles of coastline – all of which offer diving opportunities to avid enthusiasts. Discover the underwater world of Puerto Rico and find out why it is a must-add to your diving bucket list.
puerto rico diving
If you love diving or snorkeling, you are in luck when you travel to Puerto Rico. This Caribbean island nation is teeming in opportunities when it comes to exploring the underwater marine and coral life. In fact, diving is one of the most sought after activities in Puerto Rico for tourists.
This island nation is endowed with the best natural conditions for diving – from clear and warm waters, rich sea life, and lovely corals. The deep maritime history of this island means it is not uncommon to find shipwrecks in many of its waters.
The average water temperature in Puerto Rico remains at a steady 29 degrees Celsius in the summer, or 24 degrees Celsius in the winter months. When diving in the summer, the use of wetsuit is not required. But in the winter, a 2mm full wetsuit is a must.
In terms of water visibility, Puerto Rico’s dive sites are quite impressive. Water visibility is good up to the 80-foot depth range. For most other islands in the area, you can even expect good water visibility up to 100 feet.
The sea life is also endowed with diversity. You can find sea walls and reefs filled with brain corals, elkhorns, black tree, and other forms of sponges. Many divers are also able to spot dolphins, flounders, eels, groupers, sardines, barracudas, and trumpetfishes, among other things.
In particular, Puerto Rico is popular for its shipwreck dives. Due to the maritime history of this island nation, many ships sunk at its waters. These wrecks have now become an artificial reef, which offers more opportunities for avid divers to explore.
BEST DIVE SITES
This is a remote diving spot that requires travel of up to 50 miles. This island marks the point where the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet. In order to dive this spot, you need to book a special trip with dive operators on land.
You will be rewarded for taking that long trip, though. This island offers a plethora of diving environments and marine life consisting of soft and hard corals, sharks, humpback whales, and caves. For this dive site, you need to have intermediate to advanced diving skill.
If you love exploring swim-throughs, this dive site is a must when you visit Puerto Rico. This dive site is like an underwater playground for dive enthusiasts as it has many canyons and arches (as many as 20 of them!). Check out if you can spot the triangular-looking windows that resemble the mask of Darth Vader.
This is another remote dive site that will take 45 minutes to get to. It is located in La Parguera and is one of the most popular dive sites in the area. Its distinctive characteristics include the V-shaped notch on the wall, coral-covered boulders, dramatic descents, and sharp drop-offs.
This is a deep dive site with up to 65 feet in depth. In some parts, it can even drop to 100 feet. You will be able to spot Spanish hawkfish, triggerfish, pelagics, barracudas, spotted eagle rays, jacks, and mackerels.
If you are looking for a dive site that offers encounters with various fish species, Cayo Raton is the one. In terms of the number of fish species you will encounter, this is the most not only in Puerto Rico but in the whole Caribbean. This is a semi-circular reef that plunges down up to 60 feet below the water surface. It is recommended for intermediate level divers.
This is another intermediate-level dive site in Puerto Rico, which is suited for those looking for wall dives. This deep wall dive can reach depths of up to 60 feet. The highlight of this dive is the opportunity to spot black corals, red gorgonians, yellow and purple tube sponges, and more.
For beginners, this dive site is a good one to start with in Puerto Rico. This is an easy, shallow dive with a maximum depth of 40 feet. It is also easily accessible from the shore with plenty of opportunities to explore. Among the marine encounters here include pelagics, nurse sharks, mackerels, sponges, and staghorn corals, to name a few.
Another great dive site for beginners is Angel Reef, which is rarely dived.
This dive site is vibrant with lots of life and color. In this dive site, you will find a canyon carved on the wall. You will find lots of gorgonians in this deep dive with the reef starting at 55 feet deep. It can go as deep as 100 feet, as well. Other species you will encounter are black durgeons, striped parrotfish, and creole wrasse.
BEST TIME TO DIVE
Puerto Rico offers great diving conditions all year round. But if you want to enjoy the dive sites minus the crowd, you can book a trip during the off-season from June to November. But if you want the optimal dive conditions at the top sites, plan your trip from December to May.
COMMON TRAVEL QUESTIONS
A dive trip to Puerto Rico should be in your bucket list, especially if you consider yourself a diving or snorkeling junkie. Below is a list of common questions asked by tourists who visit Puerto Rico to help plan your trip.
Is it safe to travel to Puerto Rico?
Yes. Puerto Rico is a safe country, especially in major cities like San Juan. But as with any other cities, there are safe neighborhoods and there are some not-so-nice ones. Stay informed about the places you go to and stay street smart.
What should you pack for Puerto Rico?
If you come to Puerto Rico for diving, make sure you pack your swimwear and other diving essentials. For the most part, Puerto Rico has a tropical climate so it is best to pack light clothing that helps you stay fresh, especially when you travel in the summer months.
What other things to enjoy in Puerto Rico aside from diving?
Even when you are on land, Puerto Rico has a lot to offer. You can visit one of many nature parks, zip over a rainforest canopy, tour underground rivers, sea kayak, or go surfing.
Is diving expensive in Puerto Rico?
It will depend on which dive sites you choose to book for your tour, as well as your tour dive operator. The prices range from $100 to $165 per person for each dive trip.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States which name translates to Spanish as “Rich Port”. With a total area of 9,104 km and a population of 3,674,209, this place is full of mountains, waterfalls, and tropical rainforest. It also features colorful structures and massive, centuries-old fortresses.
Capital city of Puerto Rico: San Juan
Closest neighbors to Puerto Rico: East of the Dominican Republic, northeastern of the Caribbean, west of both the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands and and it’s also at the southeast of Florida, USA.
Best times to visit Puerto Rico: Best time to visit is Mid-April to June for it is spring and the weather is still sunny and breezy. June is the hottest time of the month but you are able to witness San Juan’s best events where street fair and tasting booth are present.
How to get to Puerto Rico: There are 13 non-stop flights from Puerto Rico to the US that will take you just 4 hours from New York to San Juan.
Visa requirements for Puerto Rico: There is no visa and passport required for US citizens, you’ll just need to show some official government-issued identification such as driver’s license.
Currency of Puerto Rico: The currency is United States Dollar.
Official Language of Puerto Rico: The official languages are Spanish and English.
UNESCO World Heritage sites in Puerto Rico
There are 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Puerto Rico.
- La Fortaleza
- El Morro
- Castillo de San Cristóbal