Diving in Dominica: The Whale Watching Capital of the Caribbean
With its beautiful marine life, untouched habitats, and populated marine reserves, diving in Dominica certainly deserves to be considered the world’s best.
Dominica, also known as the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island country located in the Caribbean Sea. It sits between Martinique and the French Islands of Guadeloupe.
Dominica got its name from Christopher Columbus. He used the Italian word “domenica” which means Sunday. Dominica is often referred to as the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean” because 2/3 of the island is covered with tropical rainforests that are homes to about 1,200 different plants.
Dominica is also the home of the world’s 2nd largest hot spring, the Boiling Lake. Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a World Heritage Site, can also be found on Dominica.
Diving in Dominica
The beautiful colored coral reefs and unique underwater wildlife in Dominica will pique every diver’s curiosity.
- One of the places you should check out is Champagne Reef. With this easy dive site you can enjoy its bubbly hot springs.
- Champagne Reef is also easily accessed from the beach so it is definitely recommended for an evening of night diving.
- Divers will be amazed at the numerous reef fish and aquatic critters there are. Species of seahorses, frogfish, and flying Gurnards that are rarely found on adjacent islands are frequently seen in Dominica.
- Dominica is also well known as the Whale Watching Capital of the Caribbean. The crystal blue waters feature op to 22 species of whales.
- Sperm whales can be seen year round in Dominica.
- Found living in Dominica’s Caribbean seas are spotted and spinner dolphins. They love to show off their acrobatic talents as divers watch with astonishment.
The climate for diving
Dominica’s waters remain a magical showground for diving. Not spoiled by industrial development or pollution, diving conditions are superb with the average water visibility of 20-30 meters (59 feet) and average temperature of 27oC (81oF).
The weather in Dominica has a hot and a subtropical temperature. From June too October is rainy season but December through May is the ideal time to visit the island. A word of caution: because Dominica is geographically located in a hurricane region, it is vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms.
Anyone interested in diving, from beginner to Jacque Cousteau wannabees, Dominica is indeed a great place for all kinds of divers with these 6 incredible dive sites of various difficulty levels:
1. Rina’s Hole
Is shallow diving your thing? Here in Rina’s Hole you will run into populations of moray eels, giant anemones, and huge sea fans. This magnificent dive site also offers divers to see large groups of chub, species of stingrays, and also nurse sharks.
2. Dangleben’s Pinnacle
This dive site is perfect for intermediate divers. Dangleben’s Pinnacle is a series of 5 pinnacles with various shapes and depths. Forming a fascinating underwater landscape this is a breathtaking maze that acts as a passageway for yellowtail snappers, turtles, jacks, and barracudas.
3. Scott’s Head Pinnacle
Considered one of the island’s highly acclaimed dive spots, Scott’s Head Pinnacle will keep you diving over and over again. It has a depth of 10 meters (35 feet) and divers can usually spot blackbar soldierfish, grunts, and lobsters. Also seen by divers are deep-water seafans and multihued gorgonians.
4. Toucari Bay
From extraordinary corals to colorful marine life, Toucari Bay has everything a diver would want. Dive this site for octopus, rays, trumpet fish, parrotfish, and more. Love exploring underwater tunnels? Then Toucari Bay is a perfect place making it an overall great dive.
5. Crater’s Edge
Vibrant colored sponges create a rainbow-like wall here at Crater’s Edge. This site promises divers intense pleasure with every dive. Crater’s Edge allows divers to actually see baitfish trying to escape their hungry predators. This is something truly amazing too see!
6. The Suburbs
Take in the beauty in the diving arena of The Suburbs. This rocky drop-off is often visited by schools of black durgons, large barracudas, massive stingrays, and turtles. The Suburbs also has impressive coral life including huge barrel sponges and wide sea fans.
Knowing More About Dominica
If you are taking a break from your diver’s suit, why not put on those hiking shorts and shoes and trek on over to the Morne Trois Pitons National Park? This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a wonderful refuge of diverse wildlife and a live museum with streams and waterfalls.