Located right in the heart of the Caribbean, in the middle of the British Leeward Islands, Antigua is most notable for its sunny, dry weather. In fact, it has one of the driest weathers in the whole Caribbean region, an asset when the rest of the islands are wilting under the humidity of the tropical climate.
Antigua, an island that makes up the other half of the island nation, Antigua and Barbuda, is also known for quiet, laidback atmosphere. The island is made up of low-lying limestone rocks with several volcanoes lining up its coasts, providing sheltering harbor from the violent storms that often erupt over the mighty North Atlantic.
Offering spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea and no less than 365 beaches (one beach for each day of the year) it is little wonder that Antigua’s economy is anchored heavily on the tourist industry.
Though most popular for its plethora of gorgeous white sand beaches, diving in Antigua is also another activity offered by the island to tourists looking for new Caribbean spots to explore. Both the islands of Antigua and Barbuda are almost entirely surrounded by beautiful coral reefs that are well-preserved and teeming with exotic marine life. The turquoise waters just off the coastlines offer excellent diving in Antigua with its many walls, shipwrecks, and shelfs.
Because the island is set on shallow banks, diving in Antigua means you’ll be doing most of your dives in shallow waters. However, if you want to try spots that offer more of a challenge, there are also dive sites in the south side with over 100 feet of depth. An example of such dive site that offers over 100 feet of diving in Antigua is Sunken Rock.
In most Caribbean islands, diving is done on the fringing reef or around offshore rocks. Diving in Antigua, however, affords real coral reefs on the north, south, and east sides. Since these reefs are relatively shallow, around 50-75 feet of depth, some of them have been damaged by hurricanes that pass by the south side of the island. Still, diving in Antigua is often done in shallow reefs like Cades Reef with its underwater park and Boons Reef.
The waters in most dive spots in Antigua are tranquil with little to no current. Water temperatures when diving in Antigua also average about 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Centigrade. Underwater visibility ranges from 50 to 140 feet. You can clearly see the plentiful marine plants and animals thriving beneath the crystal waters of Antigua.
When you’ve had enough diving in Antigua, the neighboring island of Barbuda offers shipwrecks waiting for you to explore. In fact, a great number of these wrecks in Barbuda remain unexplored.