Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving in Barbados

Barbados is a diver’s paradise with its warm crystal waters and spectacular tropical sea life.

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 various hard and soft coral species, Barbados’ reefs are home to abundant 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 summer.

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 beaten 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 two 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.

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 durgon
» Squirrelfish
» Juvenile barracuda

Larger species are generally spotted on the west coast of Barbados

» Nurse sharks
» Amberjacks
» Tarpon
» Barracuda

Rare find around Barbados Include

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

Hawksbill turtles are prolific and are present year-round. Visit Asta Reef and the nearby Friars Craig Wreck for an almost guaranteed sighting.

Barbados Wreck Diving

Beginner Divers

Barbados offers the best wreck diving in the Caribbean, with over eight wreck sites. Wreck dives range from shallow beginner attacks to 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 Barbados Government intentionally sunk the Greek freighter in 1978 after being gutted by fire.

The top of the mast rises to 18 ft below the 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 gorgonians makes the Stav an experience not to be missed, as she is affectionately called.

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 abundant 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 is considered the top 10 dive spots in Barbados, along with the sea life, depths, descriptions, and locations.

Barbados Tour Operators

To come to Barbados and not take a tour of the island would be a mistake. There are so many natural, man-made, and historical wonders on our small island that it would be a shame to miss them all. Please view our list of recommended tour operators in Barbados.


View photos of scuba diving in Barbados within our Totally Barbados Adobe Portfolio.

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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 online businesses with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.