Diving in Barbados

With its warm crystal waters and spectacular array of tropical sea life, Barbados is truly a diver’s paradise.

Barbados is surrounded by a colorful array of patch and fringe reefs and two distinct barrier reefs running along the west and south coasts.

With a variety of hard and soft coral species, Barbados’ reefs are home to an abundant array of sea creatures and colorful fish life.

Excellent diving can be had year round. Water temperatures rarely go below 79°F (25°C) with visibility extending up to 100 ft in summer months between June – September and averaging between 12 – 23 ft for the rest of the year.

Most dive shops operate out of the southern and western sides of the island in the Caribbean Sea. However, several dive operators venture into the more untapped and rugged North and Eastern Atlantic waters during the summer months.

Read more about the top 10 scuba diving sights in Barbados.

Dive Courses

Dive courses in Barbados range from introductory 1 day courses to more advanced certifications such as PADI Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, Dive Master and Instructor. The variety of recreational dives can’t be beat with reef, wreck, night and drift dives.

It should be noted that Barbados offers one of the only decompression chambers in the region. Situated near the capital city of Bridgetown, the chamber is manned by 2 full time, qualified doctors trained in hyperbaric medicine.

Geography and Weather

Part of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is situated on the easternmost point of the Caribbean islands. Due to its location, the island is protected from the most severe storm patterns experiencing hurricanes only once every 50 years or so.

Gentle currents and a limestone base make Barbados unique among Caribbean dive locations. The soft white sandy bottom creates a luminous effect while sloping descents allow corals to flourish in the warm shallow waters.

Barbados Sea Creatures commonly sighted around Barbados

» Angel and butterfly fish
» Blue chromis
» Black durgeon
» Squirrelfish
» Juvenile barracuda

Larger species generally spotted on the west coast of Barbados

» Nurse sharks
» Amber jacks
» Tarpon
» Barracuda

Rare finds around Barbados Include

» Sea horses
» Brightly colored frogfish and groupers
» Hawksbill turtles

Hawksbill turtles are prolific and are present year round. For an almost guaranteed sighting, make sure to visit Asta Reef and the nearby Friars Craig wreck.

Barbados Wreck Diving

Beginner Divers

Barbados offers the best wreck diving in the Caribbean with over 8 wreck sites to choose from. Wreck dives range from shallow beginner dives to the more extreme deep dives.

To ease into wreck diving, Carlisle Bay is the perfect location to start. A marine park, this gentle bay opens up to 6 wrecks the oldest of which is the Berwin, a 45 ft French tug boat that went down in 1919 lying at 25 ft.

The largest and most famous of the Carlisle Bay wrecks is the Bajan Queen. A 120 ft tug boat, the Bajan Queen was purposefully sunk in May of 2002 to provide an artificial reef system.

Advanced Divers

For more adventurous and experienced deep sea divers, the SS Stavronikita is the ultimate wreck dive. A staggering 365 ft long, the Greek freighter was intentionally sunk by the Barbados Government in 1978 after being gutted by fire.

The top of the mast rises to 18 ft below surface with the rudder lying at over 140 ft, bottom time is limited to about 30 minutes. The serenity of the looming wreck covered in a scenic array of colorful sponges and fan-like gorgonias makes the Stav, as she is affectionately called, an experience not to be missed.

Barbados Reef Diving
Barbados is surrounded by a colorful array of patch and fringe reefs and two distinct barrier reefs running along the west and south coasts.
Barbados Sea Creatures
Barbados is endowed with a healthy and vibrantly colored reef system. When visiting the island, scuba divers can expect to encounter an abundance of sea life.
Barbados Wreck Diving
Barbados is by far the best wreck diving destination in the Caribbean.
Top 10 Dive Spots in Barbados
View what are considered the top 10 dive spots in Barbados along with the sea life, depths, descriptions and locations.

About Totally Barbados (Edit profile)

Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow their businesses online with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.