Scuba Diving in Barbados

Welcome to the enchanting island of Barbados, known for its brilliant beaches and lots of underwater wonders. Diving in Barbados is brilliant because of the many coral reefs teeming with marine life and plenty of sunken shipwrecks. The island’s waters are famed for their remarkable clarity, offering divers unparalleled visibility to witness the wonders of the deep.

Barbados caters to every level of experience for both scuba diving and snorkelling. With a variety of dive sites, there is something for everyone. Professional diving schools dot the island, providing opportunities for training and certification, and ensuring that even beginners can safely enjoy the thrill of diving. You can even try your hand at spearfishing in Barbados via one of the organised trips that combine diving and fishing.

The best scuba dive sites in Barbados

Barbados has some of the most captivating dive sites in the Caribbean. From historical wrecks to flourishing coral reefs. In this section, we will explore some of the must-visit diving sites that make Barbados a leading diving destination.

Carlisle Bay: Wrecks and Rich History

A treasure trove of shipwrecks, Carlisle Bay is a haven for wreck diving enthusiasts. This marine park boasts several shipwrecks, some dating back over a century.

The wrecks in Carlisle Bay have become thriving artificial reefs, attracting an array of marine life including sea turtles, stingrays, and schools of tropical fish.

The Stavronikita Wreck Dive

An iconic dive site: The SS Stavronikita, is an old Greek ship that is one of the most famous wreck dives on the Island. Villa Sunnyside is close to the beach that the SS Stavronikita lies off, near Folkstone Marine Park. It is more for advanced divers. The Stavronikita is now a spectacular artificial reef, covered in vibrant corals and teeming with marine life.

Bell Buoy: Reef Dive

Divers can expect to see a variety of hard and soft corals, creating a vibrant underwater tapestry. This site is also known for its diverse fish population, including parrotfish and barracuda.

Shark Bank: For More Adventurous Divers

A Deeper Challenge: Shark Bank is a deep dive site for those looking for a bit more adventure. Located further out to sea, this site offers deeper dives and stronger currents.

Barbados Diving Boat 'pirate ship'

Barbados Scuba Diving Tours

Whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn the basics of scuba diving or an experienced diver looking to advance your skills, you will find a range of companies offering scuba diving boat trips in Barbados.

Barbados Blue Scuba Diving

Barbados Blue Scuba Diving stands out as the only 100% AWARE facility on the island, boasting a team that includes two on-staff marine biologists, one being Andre Miller, a recognized PADI Global Ambassador. This company is deeply committed to ecological preservation and education in scuba diving and snorkelling. Their focus is not just on offering a range of scuba diving and water sports experiences but also on the ecological aspects of these activities.

The team at Barbados Blue has been instrumental in drafting local scuba diving and marine protected area regulations, showcasing their dedication to environmental stewardship. They have a rich history of organizing underwater and beach cleanups for over a decade and have played a significant role in coral transplantation and monitoring projects across the Eastern Caribbean. Barbados Blue offers an opportunity for divers to learn about and participate in conservation efforts, making it an ideal choice for those who want to enjoy and protect the marine environment.

Seahorse Divers

Seahorse Divers, led by David Hutson (aka Seahorse Diver), is known for its personalized and intimate diving experiences. David, with over 30 years in the diving industry, is renowned for his extensive knowledge of the local reefs and wrecks, making him a highly sought-after dive leader. His reputation is so strong that divers often return year after year to dive specifically with him, regardless of his workplace at the time.

Seahorse Divers may be relatively new as a business entity in Barbados, but the expertise and experience behind it are profound. The inception of Seahorse Divers came to fruition through the investment of a long-time diver and admirer of David’s passion and commitment to providing enjoyable diving experiences. This company is particularly noted for catering to small groups and offering personalized attention, ensuring that each diver’s experience is enjoyable and memorable. It’s the go-to option for those seeking a more tailored and intimate diving adventure in Barbados.

Is Barbados good for diving?

Yes, Barbados is an excellent destination for diving. The island offers a range of diving experiences suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced divers. Here are some reasons why Barbados is a great choice for diving:

  • Diverse Dive Sites
    Barbados boasts a variety of dive sites, including vibrant coral reefs, intriguing shipwrecks, and diverse marine life. Each site offers a unique underwater experience.

  • Clear Waters
    The waters around Barbados are known for their clarity, providing excellent visibility. This makes it easier to observe and appreciate the colorful marine life and intricate coral formations.

  • Rich Marine Life
    Divers in Barbados can expect to see a wide array of marine creatures, you can swim with sea turtles, tropical fish, rays, and occasionally sharks. The island’s healthy coral reefs serve as thriving habitats for these species.

  • Wreck Diving
    Barbados is particularly famous for its shipwrecks, which have become artificial reefs teeming with life. These wrecks, ranging from historical to more modern vessels, offer fascinating dives.

  • Suitable for All Levels
    Whether you’re a beginner diver looking to get certified or an experienced diver seeking new challenges, Barbados has options for everyone. There are numerous dive shops and schools offering PADI certification courses and guided dives.

  • Warm Waters
    The Caribbean waters are warm year-round, making diving a comfortable experience without the need for thick wetsuits.

Given its diverse underwater landscapes, clear waters, and rich marine life, Barbados stands out as a top diving destination in the Caribbean.

Teddy Ellmore on a Sailing Ship Barbados

Is there shark diving in Barbados?

Shark diving is not a primary attraction in Barbados, as the island is not widely known for its shark populations or specific shark diving experiences like cage diving or shark feeding dives. The waters around Barbados are home to a variety of marine life, but they do not typically feature large populations of sharks, especially the larger species commonly sought after for shark diving adventures.

However, it is still possible to encounter sharks while diving in Barbados, but these encounters are usually incidental and not the main focus of the dive. The types of sharks that might be seen are smaller and not aggressive.

For divers specifically interested in shark diving, other destinations in the Caribbean and around the world are more renowned for these types of experiences. These locations often offer dedicated shark diving tours where divers can safely observe and learn about these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

Are there great white sharks in Barbados?

Great white sharks are not found in the waters surrounding Barbados. The Caribbean, including Barbados, typically does not have the environmental conditions favored by great white sharks, such as cooler ocean temperatures and specific prey populations.

Great white sharks are more commonly found in cooler waters, such as those off the coasts of South Africa, Australia, California in the United States, and some parts of the Mediterranean Sea. They tend to prefer temperate seas and are not typically associated with the warmer waters of the Caribbean.

The Final Word on Scuba Diving in Barbados

As we conclude our look at Scuba diving in Barbados, it’s evident that this Caribbean island offers a unique and captivating underwater experience. The clear, warm waters of Barbados, rich in marine life and dotted with intriguing shipwrecks, provide an ideal setting for divers of all levels.

Using reputable dive operators like Barbados Blue Scuba Diving and Seahorse Divers offering guided tours and PADI-certified courses, divers are assured both safety and enjoyment.

john, Lucy, Teddy & Margo at hunts gardenss
Lucy Bridge

I love to travel with my family. Over the years, we’ve found ourselves coming back to the magic of Sunset Crest. So much so, that we finally decided to take the plunge and buy Villa Sunnyside in 2022!