scuba diving in JamaicaAll inclusive luxury vacations in Jamaica provide the perfect opportunity to experience the ocean in new and exciting ways. The Caribbean Sea offers a host of adventurous watersports and memorable activities, and Jamaica is the perfect setting for these aquatic adventures.

Jamaica is a large Caribbean island discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1494. Aside from its rich history and vivid culture, there are many ways you can explore the breathtaking, natural beauty of the island while vacationing at an all inclusive Caribbean resort. Below are a series of tips and suggestions for scuba diving in Jamaica, as well as examples of other watersports you can enjoy during your Jamaican vacation.

Scuba Diving in Jamaica: The Basics

Many Caribbean luxury resorts in Jamaica offer a quick and easy training session for beginners to learn the basics before they take their first dive. Prior to diving, you’ll need to complete a medical questionnaire to ensure that you are physically able to perform this activity. In some instances, you may need to acquire written permission from your doctor before a dive.

Some all inclusive Caribbean resorts provide quick online learning options, so if you’re a first-time diver you won’t have to spend as much of your vacation time learning the basics. You’ll learn that divers control their buoyancy by either adjusting their lung volume or by using a buoyancy compensator (BCD), a device typically supplied by the diving instructor. This allows the diver to control whether they sink, float, or stay neutrally-buoyant (floating in the same spot).

It’s also important to remember that pressure changes more rapidly by the surface. If you’re not familiar with equalizing middle-ear pressure, you could experience pain during the descent. In order to equalize air pressure, you must manually open your Eustachian tubes to allow high pressure air into the middle ear. There are a few easy ways to accomplish this. One is called the “Valsalva maneuver,” accomplished by pinching your nostrils closed while gently blowing through your nose. Another option is to wiggle your jaw or to swallow – just be sure to keep the regulator in your mouth!

Some Jamaican beach resorts will provide you with basic scuba diving equipment, including a tank, a BCD, fins, a regulator, mask, snorkel and weights. Whether you’re hoping to take your first dive by yourself or if you’re joining a group of friends for the journey, you can rest easy with PADI-led (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) trips. On these excursions, instructors will provide you with safety tips and rules before a dive.

Where to Scuba Dive in Jamaica

Jamaica is one of the most well-known Caribbean islands – and with good reason. Its miles of white, pristine beaches and turquoise waters provide gorgeous scenery. During all inclusive luxury vacations you can see the sights from a new perspective and the view from under the Caribbean Sea is just as exquisite. Experienced and first-time divers alike can enjoy the adventure of an underwater exploration.

Negril

The world-famous seven-mile long beaches of Negril may be keeping visitors in awe above-water, but these Caribbean resorts are also home to many ideal scuba spots. For beginners, the Middle Shoal Reef is home to squirrelfish, and even turtles may be seen at the edge of the sand bed. The Throne Room is a popular destination for novice divers – it’s a wide and low cavern, with spectacularly-colored sponges lining the walls and fine sediments along the bottom. There’s even a “window” that leads to a deeper reef of 70 feet. This is a diving site with truly breathtaking photo opportunities. You can experience even more vivid sea life at the Fish Pond and Sands Club, with individual coral heads, purple sea fans and goatfish.

Montego Bay Sites

Swim through some of Jamaica’s clearest and calmest waters, brimming with pristine coral reefs and colorful marine life. Shallow divers will enjoy the Sergeant Major, one of Jamaica’s recommended fish feeding sites. And don’t pass up the chance to swim through underwater caverns at Airport Reef, where you’ll frolic next to stingrays, mutton snappers, basket fish and flying gurnard.

Whitehouse

For advanced divers, this impressive coral reef resembles a long, underwater mountainous terrain! Depths are up to 70 feet, and it’s only 12 minutes from the Jamaican shoreline, not far from nearby Caribbean resorts. At only 35 feet, the Lobster Reef is ideal for less experienced divers.

Jamaica offers some of the best scuba diving in the world, with numerous dive sites featuring the magnificent natural beauty of the Caribbean.

More Watersports to Enjoy in Jamaica

If the idea of learning to breathe in more than 30 feet underwater doesn’t appeal to you, many all inclusive Caribbean resorts in Jamaica certainly have a plethora of other water activities for you to choose from.

Waterskiing along the Caribbean Sea provides exhilarating adventures, with a fresh view of the coastline. The key to a successful waterski attempt is all in your posture – keep your legs bent and position the skis so they lie between your body and the boat, with the rope between them. By bending your knees, you’ll find it’s easier to stay on the skis and absorb shock waves as you zoom along.

In addition, you can enjoy Hobie Cats, sailing or kayaking for a more relaxed experience with some of your friends. Snorkeling is an unforgettable way to catch a glimpse of the Caribbean sea creatures, without all of the training that scuba diving requires – you only need to know how to swim! If you’d prefer to stay high and dry, consider a trip on a glass bottom boat, where you’ll witness the unbelievable beauty of ocean life without getting your feet wet.

All inclusive luxury vacations in Jamaica offer so many more activities to enjoy than simply relaxing on the beach. Take the chance to really experience the Caribbean Sea – try any or all of the many watersports available at your all inclusive Caribbean resort.

About the Author

As International Social Media Manager at Sandals Resorts (Unique Vacation, Ltd.) Tiffany Mullins leads a team that is changing the way the Sandals family of Caribbean resorts communicates. Tiffany manages the Sandals and Beaches online community as well as the direction of Sandals Wedding Blog, which brings brides and inspiration together to truly create “Your Wedding. Your Style.” Tiffany now resides on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. For more information on Sandals’ all inclusive resorts, please call 1-888-SANDALS or visit www.sandals.com.

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