Scuba Diving in Puerto Rico: 5 Dive Sites You Should Check Out

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Scuba Diving Puerto Rico is one of our best dive sites in the world

scuba diving Porto Rico should be at the top of every diver’s list of destinations. The small island is home to some incredible diving and is one of the best places to dive in the Caribbean. The island and its surrounding waters enjoy a fantastic climate. With air temperatures between 70F/21c and 83f/28c all year round. While the water temperature remains between 79F/26c and 84f/28.8c.

With a pleasant climate, you can visit Puerto Rico all year round, although the best time is around November and December. However, please be aware that we are at the peak of tourist season and things can get hectic. If you prefer to visit at a quieter time, June to November is a great time. During this period the waters and climate are still fantastic, with a variety of wildlife to be seen.

If you are concerned about hurricanes, there is no need to worry. Although there are many warnings, Puerto Rico is somewhat off the hurricane track. Hurricanes are rare, with the last two major hurricanes occurring in 2017 and 1931.

Location

Las Cuevas

A real Las Cuevas underwater amusement park should be on every itinerary for a Puerto Rico scuba diving trip. The site is home to an extensive collection of tunnels, caverns, canyons and arches. The site is relatively shallow, with a maximum depth of 30ft/9m. making it the ideal dive site for beginners or an easy second dive of the day.

Located off the island of Desecheo, the site is only accessible by boat; however, it is well worth the trip. Las Cuevas is home to a rich and diverse marine life scattered throughout the caverns and tunnels and on the reef outside. While exploring the walls of caves and arches, you can find small crabs, lobsters, and small shrimps. It is best to bring a torch to help you with your discoveries. There is still plenty of sea life swimming outside the caverns and tunnels. You can encounter many different reef fish and sometimes sharks sleeping on the sandy bottom.

Cayo Lobito

Arguably the Puerto Rican capital of nurse sharks, a scuba diving trip to Puerto Rico wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Cayo Lobito. A small shore dive site located off Culebra, Cayo Lobito is not a deep dive and is open to advanced and intermediate divers with a dive depth of around 75ft/22.5m

As you descend over the barrier reef you will find a large reef followed by nurse shark after nurse shark and another nurse shark. After getting bored with the nurse sharks, you’ll find you can also find trevally, barracuda and a range of other reef fish on site. Closer examination around the coral will soon yield a host of other small creatures, shrimps, crabs and nudibranchs.

Besides the great marine life and relatively easy diving conditions, Cayo Lobito is also well known for its exceptional visibility.

B-29 bomber wreckage

Diving the B29 wreck is the highlight of any scuba diving trip to Puerto Rico. This unique bomber crashed into the ocean in the water off Aguadilla in 1946. The wreck is only open to advanced divers as it lies on the seabed at depths ranging from 111ft/34m to 120ft/37m and is two to three miles off the coast of Aguadilla.

The aircraft was piloted by Second Lieutenant James B. Giacomo and Second Lieutenant James A. Barrett, while the flight engineer was Master Sergeant Edward Herrick. Speaking about the accident, Lt. Giacomo said the plane flew over the water for about 400ft before the nose dug into the sea and sank. The impact placed tremendous stress on the aircraft’s superstructure and the B29 broke in two around the radar dome. According to the surviving crew, the tail section sank rapidly, disappearing in about 45 seconds. The front of the aircraft hovered on the surface for approximately 4 minutes before plunging into the sea.

You can see the effects of the crash impact as you dive into the wreckage. There is a large debris field in the middle of the sandy, coral bottom. In the middle of it can be seen the canter of the fuselage section with 140ft/60m wings. You can still see the four engines hanging from the wings. The propellers were torn off in the crash, and all four can be found neatly stored nearby on the seabed.

Diving into the B29 is a great dive into history and a rare opportunity to dive with a WWII aircraft still in remarkably good condition. Over the years the cell has grown a lot of coral and there is a lot of marine life on the wreck. Coupled with the excellent visibility on site, make the B29 one of the most memorable dives of your Puerto Rico scuba diving trip.

angel reef

Angel reef would fit the description if you had to describe the perfect dive and snorkel site. This pristine dive site offers some of the healthiest and most vibrant coral and marine life of any Puerto Rico scuba diving itinerary.

Angel Reef is suitable for all levels of divers and is relatively shallow, ranging from 40ft/12m to 60ft/18m. healthy coral supports a diverse marine ecosystem with many reef fish roaming around. You can see large schools of butterflyfish, damselfish and gray angelfish, to name a few.

When you dive Angel Reef you can also immerse yourself in history as the wing is home to fish and a host of old Spanish anchors abandoned centuries ago. With perfect easy conditions, shallow depth and rich marine life, Angel Reef is ideal for everything from a relaxing second dive for experienced divers to a trial dive or even a snorkel for non-divers.

Scuba Diving Puerto Rico Gem Mona Island

Mona Island is the crown jewel of Puerto Rican diving. So much so that if your Puerto Rico scuba diving trip misses Mona Island, then you haven’t really dived in Puerto Rico. Mona Island is home to incredible pelagic diving and high octane diving adventures. As you glide through the water off the island, you may encounter a wide variety of large animals, including humpback whales and sharks.

The island is 50 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, making it a long trip, but well worth it. Although it’s usually only dived via liveaboard, day boats sometimes venture that far, and if given the chance, you should jump on it.

The water around Mona offers unrivaled visibility of up to 73 meters. its location where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean means it is home to strong currents, and strong currents need big fish to swim in. While diving off Mona Island, you can find beautiful corals and biodiversity. Encounters with turtles, sharks, humpback whales, etc. are regular in the right season. Many divers describe diving on Mona Island as a warm water version of Socorro or the Galapagos. Due to the conditions, Mona Island is only suitable for experienced divers.

One thing to note is that if you want to visit the land of Mona Island itself, you need a permit. You can obtain a permit from the local environmental department.

Click here for more of the world’s best dive sites

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Our Top Dive Sites of the World guide is brought to you by Suunto. We recommend using a Suunto dive computer scuba diving or snorkeling at one of these dive sites. Suunto is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of dive computers providing dive instruments for recreational, technical and freediving. You can learn more about Suunto.com.

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