The only place you get to see 100 feet underwater is at the movies – unless you venture to some of the most dramatic dive sites on the planet. That’s where you shed your 3-D theater glasses for a mask and breathing apparatus, strap on weight belt and fins and head down.

The Caribbean is rife with great places to dive. Let’s look at two of them:

The Cayman Islands nestled just south of Cuba, are recognized by folks who dive for their dinner as sporting some of the top dive destinations in the world. The visibility really can be startling. Be you a beginner or pro, adventures are abundant: marine life, dazzling coral, ship wrecks. The first thing you want to do is hook up with a professional dive operator. They’ll get you to the right spot. In all but the winter months, the calmest, clearest dives are to be had in the west. When the winds are gentle, flowing from the south/southwest, there are some terrific shore dives on East End. Head’s up: most of the time East End dives aren’t for beginners. They’re recommended only for experienced divers. Strong swimmers. Again, rely on professional dive operators.

If it’s wreck diving that revs your regulator, there are few better places than Aruba. It’s the self-proclaimed ‘Wreck Dive Destination of the Caribbean.’ While fascinating, wreck diving is not necessarily for novices. Find a good dive operator, and then find some visual treasure. The submerged crown jewel of Aruban wreck sites is the Antilla, a German freighter. She is close to 400-feet long.

If you don’t dive, there are people here who can train you. Carve out an afternoon for some real-world schooling, and take a resort course. Do an hour-and-a-half of classroom instruction, and a one-hour trip to the pool. This gives you the skills to dive as far down as 30 feet. Get comfortable there, and come back again to get more comprehensive certification.

Story by Jerry Chandler

(Images: riekiss, Soul Aperture)

About the author

Jerry ChandlerJerry Chandler loves window seats – a perch with a 35,000-foot view of it all. His favorite places: San Francisco and London just about any time of year, autumn in Manhattan and the seaside in winter. An award-winning aviation and travel writer for 30 years, his goal is to introduce each of his grandkids to their first flight.

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