For remarkable visibility and colourful reef scenes, the Caribbean is the place to go. You’ll lose yourself in schools of thriving tropical fish, diverse coral gardens and awe-inspiring vertical walls. There’s an abundance of sites to choose from, but here are three that should certainly be on your itinerary.
1. Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize
The big drawcard here is the famous Great Blue Hole. 1,000 feet in diameter and 440 feet in depth, it is, indeed, the biggest blue hole to be found anywhere on Earth. As you swim around, exploring the stunning stalactites, you’ll find yourself staring, spellbound by the endless blackness below. Wildlife isn’t so much part of the experience – there aren’t many fish. But being in such an amazing piece of terrain more than makes up for their absence.
2. West Caicos Walls, Turks and Caicos
In many divers’ books, this is one of the finest sites on the planet. Firstly, the vertical walls descend 6,000 feet into the deep. Secondly, the sheer abundance of aquatic life is enchanting. In terms of the big guys, you’re highly likely to see eagle rays and reef sharks, and possibly manta rays and hammerheads. As far as the smaller creatures go, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find yourself in company with groupers, barracudas and sea turtles. The coral is incredibly diverse.
3. Columbus Passage, Turks and Caicos
This is another spot known for its magnificent drop-offs. The reefs encircling the nearby islands meet the seemingly endless depths of the Columbus Passage. You’ll see brightly coloured sponges and corals, small tropical fish and bigger pelagics. Plus, if you’re there during the winter, you might be lucky enough to catch a humpback whale on its migratory journey towards the Dominican Republic. It’s a truly magical sight.