Best time to visit Barbados

Diving in Barbados

Get your fins wet while uncovering tropical waters with colorful undersea species and ancient wrecks

Diving in Barbados
Carlisle Bay
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Barbados has enough underwater treats to impress you. The sheer number of 200 wrecks is worth going scuba diving near the island, not to mention warm tropical water and vibrant coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea. The most common sightings include parrotfish, Bermuda chubs, bar jacks, groupers, lionfish, and yellowtail. Besides, you'll likely encounter different sea turtles, seahorses, reef squid, and other elusive marine creatures.

A lot of Barbados scuba diving shops offer rental equipment and classes. The shops arrange a variety of snorkeling and scuba diving excursions. Most divers explore the Caribbean seabed on the west coast, while occasional adventurers look for some open-ocean thrills on the east coast.

Best time for Barbados diving

Diving in Barbados is a year-round option. But the best time to enjoy the submarine world is the dry season, from December through May. In terms of visibility, which is 40 to 70 ft (12–21 m), Barbados might not be number one in the world. Yet, this feature is minor comparing to all the advantages of scuba diving here.

Barbados dive sites

Carlisle Bay

Carlisle Bay near Bridgetown is one of the best dive sites in Barbados. Carlisle Bay Marine Park hosts at least five wrecks, such as the Berwyn, the Ce-Trek, the Eilon, the Bajan Queen party boat, and the Cornwallis. The bay's quiet, calm and shallow waters add more appeal to watching golden spotted eels, seahorses, turtles, and reef fish among the wrecks.

Folkestone Marine Park, Holetown

Another place for wreck diving is Folkestone Marine Park near Holetown. Its main highlight is Stavronikita, stranded 120 ft (37 m) below the water surface and half a mile off the shore. This site is not suitable for novices. Besides, local guides usually accompany even experienced divers. Alternatively, you can also go snorkeling—the inshore reef teems with sea anemones and sponges.

Also, Holetown has other dive sites, relatively shallow and suitable for both beginners and advanced divers. Dottins, Little Sandy Lane, and Barracuda Junction promise reef fish abundance.

Maycocks Bay

Maycocks Bay is the northernmost favorite dive site on the west coast, noted for spectacular reef islands and a plentitude of barracudas. Divers also frequently spot bluehead wrasse, damselfish, parrotfish, trumpetfish, and dozens of other reef species.

Atlantis Submarine

As a bonus in Barbados, you can explore all the beauty of the underwater world from the comfort of the Atlantis Submarine. The mini-sub accommodates 48 passengers and descends to the depth of 150 ft (45 m), taking you up close to the lively reefs and shipwrecks. All you need to join such a trip is some courage and early reservations. No certification is required.

Scuba diving map Barbados

Now that you know the best dive sites look at the Barbados diving map to find the best accommodations nearby. Making your bookings in advance is always a great idea.

Practical info

What are some common species of fish that divers can see in Barbados?

Divers exploring Barbados' dive sites can spot a variety of marine life, including parrotfish, Bermuda chub, bar jacks, groupers, lionfish, yellowtail, sea turtles, reef squid, seahorses, and other elusive marine creatures. Maycocks Bay offers a spectacular reef and lots of barracudas, while other dive sites have an abundance of reef fish. Barbados offers an excellent opportunity to explore a vibrant undersea world filled with diverse marine creatures. Show more

When is the ideal time to go diving in Barbados?

Though diving is possible year-round in Barbados, the best time for diving is considered to be the dry season, which runs from December through May. The visibility ranges between 40 and 70 feet (12-21 m) during this time, making it an excellent time to explore the undersea world of Barbados. Off-season diving may be possible, but nothing compares to seeing the full spectrum of marine life that Barbados has to offer during an ideal season. Show more

What are some top dive sites near Bridgetown?

Dive enthusiasts must check out Carlisle Bay, near Bridgetown, where they can explore at least five fascinating wrecks and encounter exotic marine life like golden spotted eels, turtles, seahorses, and reef fish. With calm and shallow waters, Carlisle Bay is an excellent site for diving enthusiasts. Many dive shops offer rental equipment and introductory classes, making diving in Barbados an accessible activity for everyone. Show more

What marine park is home to a stranded wreck that is recommended for advanced divers?

Stavronikita, a stranded wreck located 120 ft (37 m) below the surface of the water and half a mile off the shore, is at the center of the Folkestone Marine Park near Holetown. This site requires proficiency in diving and is not suitable for novices. However, local guides usually accompany even experienced divers, making exploration of the park's inshore reef an unforgettable experience for anyone interested in snorkeling and diving. Show more

Do you need to hold a diving certificate to take a trip on the Atlantis Submarine?

No certificate is required to join a trip on the Atlantis Submarine. The mini-sub accommodates up to 48 passengers and descends to depths of 150 ft (45 m), offering a serene view of reefs and shipwrecks. Consider making ahead of time reservations, though. Even without diving experience, anyone with an interest in the captivating underwater world of Barbados is welcome on board the Atlantis Submarine for a one-of-a-kind experience. Show more

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Last updated: by Olha Savych