Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Jamaica

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Jamaica

Scuba diving information in Jamaica

Jamaica's underwater world is rimmed with coral reefs, etched with canyons and grottos, and sheered with vertical walls. Wall dives predominate as Jamaica’s north reef edges the Great Cayman Trench. A ledge of shallow reefs stretches around the island’s perimeter. Between Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios, the wall comes close to shore and drops from 18 meters to over 915 meters as the Cayman Trench nears the shoreline. Diving is most popular along the north and west coasts of the island due to better visibility, particularly in Negril on the leeward western tip, which is sheltered from high winds and waves. Montego Bay, Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios follow in popularity. Unfortunately, the waters around the island have been overfished and reefs have taken a heavy hit from both humans and weather. With the establishment of marine parks, fish populations are now growing. The reef is protected by an active mooring program and conservation efforts in Negril are beginning to pay off. Divers can see logger head turtles, rays and eels. Dolphins also frequent the waters. Dive sites like Airport Reef in Montego Bay, Fish Pond in Negril and Old Pier in Runaway Bay are good start for beginners. As for expert divers, there are more interesting places like the Cayman Trench Wall in Montego Bay and Grouper's Drop in Runaway Bay. Those wishing to go diving at the sunken city of Port Royal, which sank underwater after the earthquake of 1692, will need to obtain special permission from Jamaican authorities, although the visibility is low, like all the southern coast of Jamaica. Dive sites in Jamaica vary from extremely deep to very shallow, which are suitable for all levels of expertise, and from coast to coast, the dive sites are only a few minutes from shore. If you're just beginning scuba or want to become certified, Negril is a good place to start. Divers will enjoy balmy weather year round and warm clear waters. Visibility often averages 45 meters during the summer and 12 to 15 meters in the winter. To dive in Jamaica you must always be accompanied by a guide.

Geography and climate

Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean with 10,990 km² in area, located to the south of Cuba and to the west of the island of Hispaniola. The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather. On the coast, temperatures range from 22°C to 31°C and average water surface temperature is from 24°C to 27°C. Jamaica is a year-round destination, though there are seasonal differences to consider. The high season runs roughly from mid-December to mid-April. The annual rainfall averages 1980mm, the wettest months being May and October, but showers may occur at any time. Between June and November, Jamaica is prone to hurricanes. It also lies within the earthquake zone.

Entry requirements

Most citizens require a passport valid for at least 6 months, a return ticket, and sufficient funds for the entire stay in Jamaica. Some nationalities also need a visa for visits more than 30 days long. For more informations, please contact your travel agent or your city's Jamaican Consulate or Embassy.

Health and safety

There are no mandatory vaccinations to enter Jamaica, although it is recommended to vaccinate against hepatitis A, diphteria and tetanus. Malaria can be a risk, mostly near the Kingston area. There are two hyperbaric chambers in Jamaica, on e in Port Royal and the other in Discovery Bay. Jamaica has had one of the highest murder rates in the world for many years.

Time zone

UTC-5

Communications

Prepaid international phone cards make the cost of making and international call from a Jamaican land line less expensive. Several roaming agreements exist with a number of international mobile phone networks. As well as numerous cyber cafes, internet is available in many hotels, tourist offices and libraries.

Power and Electricity

110 volts/50 Hz (USA Plug)

Other Informations

Various mob attacks against gay people have been reported.

Scuba Diving locations in Jamaica

Which are the best scuba diving locations in Jamaica? Below, you will find a list of all locations of Jamaica, organized by regions, in which you can dive and snorkel.

Jamaica

Scuba diving locations and photos from each location in Jamaica

Which locations in Jamaica have underwater photos? Below, you will find the list of locations from Jamaica and for each location a list of underwater photos.

Marine Species and photos of each species in Jamaica

Which marine species can I observe in Jamaica? Below, you will find the list of marine species and the photos for each species.

Underwater Photographers and photos from each photographer with photos taken in Jamaica

Which photographers have taken underwater photos in Jamaica? Below, you will find the list of underwater photographers and their photos in Jamaica.

Scuba Diving centers in Jamaica

Which scuba diving centers can I dive with in Jamaica? Below, you can see the list of scuba diving centers in Jamaica. Click on “more info” to find out more about each scuba diving center.

There are no diving centers available

Liveaboards in Jamaica

Which liveaboard can I dive with in Jamaica? Below, you can see the list of liveaboard in Jamaica. Click on “more info” to find out more about each liveaboard.

There are no liveaboard available

Accommodation in Jamaica

Which accommodation can I rest after my dive in Jamaica? Below, you can see the list of accommodation in Jamaica. Click on “more info” to find out more about each accommodation.

There are no accommodation available