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Written by Scuba Divers ~ DIVEIN.com’s Complete Guide to:

The Best Diving in British Virgin Island

Weather in British Virgin Island

AVERAGE TEMP. — 29°C / 84°F RAINFALL DAYS — 112mm / 4.4 inches

Water in British Virgin Island

AVERAGE WATER TEMP. — 29°C / 84°F

Currency

United States dollar‎ (USD)
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Language

English
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The authors:

torben lonne

Katt Andryskova

Scuba Instructor and Writer at DIVEIN.com

The British Virgin Islands is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean located East of Puerto Rice the Virgin Islands.

While all the islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and have over 50 small islands and cays along with the major islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke. The population of the British Virgin Islands is around 35,800 inhabitants, with the majority of them living on Tortola.

The Best Time to visit this beautiful paradise is from September to November, when the weather is ideal, the water conditions are calm, and the water is extremely clear. This is also a great time of the year to visit since the majority of the crowds head to the islands for the winter holidays between December to January. Keep in mind that hurricane season is between June to November, so it is important to be mindful of the weather patterns when visiting the area. Springtime and summer have the worst visibility for scuba diving, due to the high winds.

British Virgin Islands are  known as one of the outstanding Caribbean destinations for any level of diver. There is an extraordinary number of reefs, wrecks, and beautiful clear waters to entice any water. There are also plenty of new dive sites that have been purposefully created for visitors by building artificial reefs to increase marine life diversity and coral reefs.

The 15 Best Dive sites in British Virgin Island?

Sort this list to fit your scuba level and wishes

Recommended Level


  1. Beginner
  2. Intermediate
  3. Advanced

Dive Type


  1. Coral Reef
  2. Megafauna
  3. Artificial Reef
  4. Wreck Dive
  5. Snorkel Friendly
  6. Night Dives
  7. Macro
  8. Boat dive
  9. Rocky
  10. Currents
  11. Shallow Dive Site
  12. Macro Photography
  13. Pinnacles
  14. Boulders
  15. Reef Garden
  16. Wall Dive

Show only the very best


  1. Yes
  2. No

Chikuzen

Twelve miles north of the island of Virgin Gorda, this beautiful dive site features a Japanese fishing boat that drifted into BVI and sunk to create a fantastic dive destination. The dive site gained its name after the sunken boat and allows divers to explore an artificial reef with plenty of marine life.

  • The dive site is surrounded by sand, so the wreck attracts plenty of marine life
  • This is an easy dive site for any dive experience level
  • Has an infamous 600-pound Goliath Grouper cruising about

What you will see:

The wreck attracts a myriad of sea creatures, and on any dive, you can expect to see barracuda, eagle rays, nurse, and reef sharks. There are also plenty of snapper, sting rays, and an enormous Goliath Grouper. The mouth of this incredible gigantic fish appears large enough to swallow a diver whole. However, there is no need to fear this extraordinary creature. Simply grab your camera to capture some impressive photos!


Advanced Coral Reef Megafauna Artificial Reef Wreck Dive Our Favorite

RMS Rhone

Probably the most popular dive site in BVI, is the RMS Rhone. This sunken ship has become an incredible habitat to plenty of marine creatures and allows divers to explore an underwater wreck with a thriving habitat. The RMS Rhone sunk in 1867, and many artifacts can still be found scattered within and around the shipwreck.

  • Most popular dive site in the British Virgin Islands
  • Plenty of opportunities to see pelagic fish, octopus and turtles
  • A great chance to visit a historic submerged site

What you will see:

The wreck has attracted plenty of marine creatures including bat fish, pelagic schools, passing barracuda, sting rays, and the occasional swimming turtle. The locals also believe that an octopus spotted on your dive is a sign of good luck. So, keep your eyes peeled at small crevices at these masters of camouflage.


Intermediate Coral Reef Megafauna Wreck Dive Snorkel Friendly Night Dives Our Favorite

Alice in Wonderland

Located a short trip away from Ginger Island and is best suited for intermediate divers. The corals in this area are beautiful and healthy, which are worth checking out. Alice in wonderland gains its name from the enormous variety and splendor of the corals found here. You will be able to spend the entire dive admiring the gorgeous structures and peaking at the variety of creatures who hide between the staghorn, soft corals, and sponges.

  • Stunning coral varieties which come in a variety of colors.
  • Reef fish and diverse ecosystem where turtles, sharks, and more reside!
  • Light currents and shallow depths best suited for intermediate level divers

What you will see:

Just like many of the coral reef dives, here you can expect to see many reef residents. There are plenty of gorgonians, and elkhorn corals. Such as angelfish, butterfly fish, moray eels, shrimp, goby, file fish, scuttling crabs, cleaner shrimp, wrasse, parrot fish and more! If you keep your eyes on the sandy patches, you might also spot a well camouflaged sting ray. Alice’s wonderland can have visibility up to 100 ft, which gives you a great chance to spot a shark!


Advanced Coral Reef Macro Boat dive Our Favorite

Wreck Alley

This alley certainly lives up to his name, with four separate wrecks sitting on the bottom of the ocean. The most recent wreck descended below the waves in 2009, but still, have plenty of marine life swirling around. On a dive to Wreck Alley, you can dive all four wrecks in the area.

  • Dive four wrecks on one dive
  • Great opportunity to see a variety of shipwrecks in various levels of disintegration
  • Advanced diver level dive site

What you will see:

In addition to the fascinating views of several sunken shipwrecks, there is also an abundance of marine species swimming around. Fish and other animals are attracted to these manmade sunken havens for protection, and food. There are plenty of large garden eels, massive green moray eels, angelfish, barracuda, and lobsters. Take your time to explore the sunken shipwrecks, as they have become the home to many invertebrates and other fish. Grab a torch for the optimum dive experience.


Advanced Coral Reef Artificial Reef Wreck Dive Macro Our Favorite

Flintstones

When diving the Flintstones, you will be met with plenty of boulders, rocky outcroppings, and structures that are reminiscent of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble Bedrock homes. The rocky topography means many of the ledges, caves, and crevices are the perfect spots for various sea creatures to hide in.

  • Fascinating rocky topography
  • Plenty of rock dwelling creatures hiding in the crevice’s
  • Chance to see lobsters and plenty of fish

What you will see:

The nature of the dive site means that under almost every ledge, you will see the moving antenna of lobsters. These sensitive antennae move back and forward in sweeping motions, detecting any changes in water pressure. If you approach them slowly, you will be able to sneak a peek. If you move too fast, they will sense the movement and disappear into the depths of their caves or holes.


Advanced Coral Reef Macro

Ginger Steps

Ginger Steps are a beautiful natural structure of natural ledges that begin in the shallows on the southwest side of ginger island. The ginger steps descent from around 15 ft, down to 90 ft. It is a great dive site for intermediate divers since it is protected from larger currents, and swells. This means the water visibility typically remains clear.

  • Well protected dive site for intermediate divers
  • Unique underwater topography
  • Fantastic coral reef formations and variety of marine life

What you will see:

At this dive site, you have the chance of spotting octopus, eels, barracuda, dolphins and rays. Dolphins tend to be quite shy underwater, however on your boat trip to the dive site, keep your eyes peeled for these playful mammals jumping around the waves created by your boat.


Intermediate Advanced Coral Reef Boat dive

Painted Walls

A visually impressive dive site for beginner divers. The dive site leads you along a colorful canyon which makes divers swim through a unique passageway. The thin partition between the rock creates an impressive silhouette of light with fish darting across the blue backdrop. On a sunny day, which is most days in the BVI, the added color to the shallow dive site impressively illuminates the corals and fish species.

  • Impressive rocky structures for a beautiful dive atmosphere
  • Shallow dive site allows the sun to penetrate the turquoise waters
  • Stunning corals and variety of aquatic life

What you will see:

The swim through the canyons will bring you near schools of dancing fish, camouflaged creatures hiding near the sandy bottoms, and exquisite coral structures all around. You will see an abundance of healthy staghorn, soft, and other hard corals lining the walls and the gorgeous reef. Keep an eye out for sting rays, green turtles, and more! There are also plenty of slipper lobsters hiding among the white, orange, purple, yellow, and green sponges.


Intermediate Coral Reef Rocky

Twin Towers

The dive site is named after the two huge coral covered boulders that provide a unique dive site for visitors. The currents tend to be strong, and the depths surpass beginner certification, therefore it is advisable to be advanced for this dive site. There is a beautiful sloping shoreline, mini caves, and massive schools of reef squid.

  • Massive schools of reef squid to check out.
  • Strong currents and great depths mean this dive site is perfect for advanced divers
  • Unique topography attracts large fish for a fantastic dive experience

What you will see:

The two impressive coral covered boulders by themselves are stunning, with them rising from the depths towards the surface. The twin towers are covered in soft, hard, and fan corals and supporting a diverse ecosystem of reef fish. Take some time to watch the interactions between the eels, groupers, angelfish, and the occasional passing turtle for a glimpse into the underwater world. There is also a chance to spot eagle rays and tarpons gliding by.


Advanced Coral Reef Megafauna Currents

The Aquarium or Fisher Rocks

The aquarium is aptly named by having some of the most diverse reef fish and thriving corals all around. It is a gorgeous underwater oasis attracting one of the largest varieties of reef fish in the British Virgin Islands. It’s a dive site situated between the Baths and Spanish town and features minimal current and great visibility for beginner divers.

  • Large variety of reef fish frolicking around
  • Plenty of small caves, boulders, and crevices.
  • Mild currents and consistently good visibility making it a great dive site for beginners

What you will see:

The shallow waters mean that the light can penetrate the dive site, giving divers the opportunity to see the exquisite biodiversity and coral colors on this reef. If you ever dreamed of hopping into an aquarium with plenty of colorful fish, vibrant coral, clear water, and no current, then this is the dive spot for you.


Beginner Coral Reef Shallow Dive Site Macro Photography

The Chimney

This dive site is known as one of Jacques Cousteau’s favorite dive sites in the world. It is a shallow dive site which makes it ideal for any level of divers. Divers will be met with some truly astonishing sights of canyons, ridges, and impressive structures that lie parallel to the shore. The dive site leads to a steep corridor which is illuminated by light, where divers can swim through and towards the ‘Chimney’.

  • One of Jacques Cousteau’s favorite dive sites
  • Shallow water with clear visibility
  • Ideal dive site for beginner, or advanced divers!

What you will see:

The shallow water and great visibility allow divers to marvel at the extraordinary reefs, rock structures and resident fish. Expect to see angelfish, moray eels, groupers, snapper, trigger fish, amberjack and more. There are also green turtles which occasionally cruise by, along with sting rays and other ray species that can be spotted into the deeper blue.


Intermediate Coral Reef Macro Pinnacles Boulders Reef Garden

The Kodiak Queen

This navy fuel barge is one of the five ships that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 2017, the ship was purposefully sunk and added to the underwater installation which rests off the shore of Long Bay on Virgin Gorda. It is an 80 ft long ship that was placed next to a kraken of the sea monster sculpture underwater. The Kraken of the sea has its tentacles wrapped around the hull of the ship!

  • Unique dive site of a historic navy ship
  • A fantastic sculpture of a kraken combined with the ship for a great photo opportunity
  • Easy dive site for divers of all certification levels.

What you will see:

Wrecks, in general, attract a lot of sea life, but unlike many of the wrecks in the BVI, the Kodiak Queen has only been under water since 2017. This means it would still be relatively intact and give divers the opportunity to see this monstrous man-made creation sitting on the bottom of the sea. Once a few more years pass, the wreck will be unrecognizable due to being covered with soft and hard coral structures. Head on over to this dive site with your camera, and have a chance capture the progression of nature taking over.


Beginner Intermediate Coral Reef Artificial Reef Wreck Dive Macro Photography

The Playground

As part of the National Park, the playground is known to be one of the best dive sites in the British Virgin Islands. It features a large formation of pillar coral, many outcroppings of boulders, all of which have become the home and base structure to a variety of coral species.

  • Plenty of coral reef and fish life variety
  • Relatively easy dive spot for all levels of certification
  • Opportunity to see turtles, eagle rays, and reef squid.

What you will see:

This dive site between the anchorage of Green Cay and Sandy Pit allows divers to see plenty of coral reefs, and resident marine creatures. The pillar coral and boulder coral attract plenty of angelfish, parrotfish, eels, eagle rays, and reef squid. Grab your camera and enjoy snapping photos of this thriving reef system.


Advanced Coral Reef Megafauna Boat dive Currents Wall Dive

The Visibles

This is an advanced dive site which features strong currents attracting a variety of sea creatures. The water flows over these coral covered pinnacles. The pinnacles rise from depth towards the surface of the water, and are encrusted in sponges, soft, hard corals, and gorgonian fans.

  • Pinnacle dive sites
  • Great chance to spot green turtles
  • Spotted eagle rays are occasionally seen cruising past this point

What you will see:

This pinnacle dive site attracts sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, schools of horse eye jacks and more. There are also plenty of angelfish, triggerfish, eels, groupers, barracuda and more!


Beginner Coral Reef Megafauna Currents Pinnacles

Angel Fish Reef

An ideal turtle viewing spot for intermediate level divers is located off the tip of the Normal Island. There are extensive sea grass beds which provide grazing opportunities for the sea reptiles. It is a great shore dive, as it is not too far from the coast.

  • Intermediate level dive spot
  • See if you can spot a sea turtle grazing
  • The area has an abundance of various marine life, and beautiful corals.

What you will see:

Along with sea turtles, the grassy sandy bottom attracts plenty of creole wrasse, lube tangs, trigger fish, and even the occasional sea horse. Sea Horses are masters at camouflage and can easily blend in with the sea grass beds, seamlessly appearing as just another tuft of grass swaying in the swell. If you keep your eyes in the deep blue, you will also have the chance to spot a barracuda.


Intermediate Coral Reef Megafauna Macro Photography

Blonde Rock

One of the best pinnacle dives is Blonde rock, these sea mounds rise from 60 feet underwater to just around 15 feet below the surface. The dive site is located in-between Salt and Dead Chest islands. The rock that comprises this seamount if honey combed, with plenty of over hands, crevasse, and ledges which provide ample habitats for sea creatures.

  • Incredible pinnacle dive site
  • Plenty of marine species aggregate here
  • Unique topography and stunning rock structures

What you will see:

The seamount attracts plenty of black bar soldierfish, glass eye snapper, and plenty of fairy basslets. In the deeper blue, you will have the chance to see dog snapper, horse eye jacks, and massive megafauna. There are plenty of chances to see white tip reef sharks, turtles, eagle rays, and more!


Intermediate Coral Reef Megafauna Macro Pinnacles

When you are visiting the British Islands, diving is not the only thing you and your family can participate in. The turquoise waters and warm weather mean that many of the activities are water based. So why not cruise around the archipelago on a chartered boat? This will give you fantastic flexibility and a private tour of the area. BVI is known as one of the prime sailing and boating getaways.

The natural formations on the islands are also stunning, with the Baths on Virgin Gorda a beloved photography destination. If you are looking for something truly unique, spend a night on the island of Anegada, which is one of the flattest islands you will ever see. Imagine a thin green line separating the azure water from the blue sky. The Islands also have an extraordinary variety of street food options based on the unique concoctions of nationalities that have made these islands their home.

Now, you’re ready to go diving in the British Virgin Islands. If you do have any questions, leave a comment below.

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