From submarine shipwrecks on the north coast to abundant marine life on the southern tip of the island, Martinique is a scuba diver's dream. The island's western shore is the best spot to dive, with enchanting sites waiting to be explored on both the northern and the southern ends of Martinique. The south offers coral gardens and beautiful bays that are ideal both for sunbathing and scuba diving while the north has volcanic canyons and black sand beaches.
There's no wrong time of year to go scuba diving in Martinique because the average water temperature is in the high 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit all year. And the crystal-clear water offers off the coast of this Caribbean island boast visibility of roughly 80 feet. From ancient shipwrecks to coral canyons, read on for the best places to go scuba diving in Martinique
Scuba diving off the southern coast in Anse Dufour is famous for its plentiful array of marine life, including turtles, dolphins, barracudas, and stingrays. The coral gardens available for exploration in the southern bays are simply breathtaking, and these sheltered waters are more accessible for novice scuba divers.
Diamond Rock (Rocher du Diamont) is probably the most famous dive spot in all of Martinique and is suitable for more advanced divers. Just 3 miles off the coast, the 574-foot-tall rock formation is the result of volcanic activity. The mystical dive spot is exceptionally well-known in the scuba diving world, as divers can swim through the very center of this massive, legendary site. Expect beautiful caves, that famous arch, and a plethora of anemones, sea fans, and hard corals.
The region of Anses d'Arlet is located along the island's central coast, just north of Diamond City, and is home to Nahoon Shipwreck. This explorable wreck is the remnants of a schooner which (purposely) sank in 1993. Though it lies just 120 feet beneath the ocean's surface, the wreck is not recommended for novice divers. Expect a variety of sea-life, including eels, kingfish, and turtles. And if you're lucky, you'll spot a Hawksbill turtle (pictured above), which is native to Martinique.
The picturesque central coastline of Anses d'Arlet is known for its white sand (which is gorgeous for sunbathing) and sloping rock walls (spectacular for scuba diving). But however picturesque the setting is above the water, there’s even more wondrous beauty to discover beneath the ocean’s surface. Thanks to its serene waters, this dive spot is known as “the pool” and is perfect for dive enthusiasts who are just beginning to master the sport. The calm waters are ideal for scuba divers of all levels, and the colorful underwater gardens are not to be missed.
The Great Caye of Sainte-Luce
Explore the reef-dwelling tropical marine life of the Great Caye of Saint-Luce, located just southeast of Les Anses d’Arlet. The reef is 656 feet long and—similar to Cape Solomon—is perfect for all levels of scuba divers. This dive site boasts a rich diversity in coral, and also of marine life. We recommend night diving, if at all possible, to see the squids and various crustaceans emerge from their hidden dwellings beneath the rocks and the reefs and the tropical sand. And don’t worry about the water being colder once the sun goes down, as the temperature remains roughly the same.
The Jorasses is located just beyond the Pointe Burgos Reed and Wall at the Tip of Burgos. Though it may be nearby geographically, this dive site is not to be attempted for novice scuba enthusiasts. That said, the visibility and wildlife (like mackerel, tropical fish, and stingrays) make this destination well worth a visit for advanced divers.
Pointe Burgos Reef and Wall
Just south of the Anses d'Arlet is the Pointe Burgos Reed and Wall, a 40-foot-long plateau of hard corals, barrel sponges, snappers, and sea turtles. Pointe Burgos is one of the most gorgeous dives in all of Martinique, and it is accessible to all levels of divers. Mind the current, however, as you navigate the ledge leading up to the 180-foot wall that comprises the centerpiece of this dive site. And if you love Pointe Burgos, be sure to check out Les Trois Vallées, another popular dive site in Martinique featuring walls of coral canyons.
Speaking of shipwrecks: Advanced divers should visit Raisinier, a transportation barge that is located just next to St. Peter’s. The wreck is exceptionally well-preserved, bringing the history alive. The boat burned for three days, and 53 people were left dead in the wake of Mount Pelée’s eruption. Expect sponges, elkhorn coral, barracuda, and lizardfish here. The Raisinier wreck is easily one of the best sites for scuba-inclined visitors to explore on the island.
The north of Martinique is known for its volcanic canyons—so expect to see somd black sands. And the northern coast is known for shipwrecks as well—which range from lying 32 feet to 279 feet beneath the water’s surface. But novice divers shouldn’t be discouraged, as there are an array of options suitable to accommodate all levels of expertise along the northern coastline. We recommend The Citadel, located in the village of Prêcheur, a dive site that is enchanting (and accessible) for all scuba enthusiasts.
While exploring the wrecks of Saint-Pierre is an activity that is not to be missed, you’d be remiss not to visit the Babodi Canyons while visiting the northern shores of the island of Martinique. The island’s volcanic history is evident everywhere you look, as the canyons wouldn’t exist if not for Mount Pelée, whose ancient lava flows created the canyons. Though it’s accessible for all divers, if you’re looking to visit the canyon’s bottom, you must be certified with an advanced diving level. But fear not: You needn’t visit the canyon’s floor to appreciate its aquatic visitors, such as stingrays (pictured above).
Saint-Pierre Bay Shipwrecks
We’re continuing on our northern exploration with our next choice: The shipwrecks located off the coast of the nation’s capital, in Saint-Pierre Bay. The Saint-Pierre Bay Shipwrecks are a must-visit for travelers. You will be able to experience an underwater glimpse into the past—and there are 14 wrecks in total waiting to be explored. The cause for all of these shipwrecks was the eruption of Mount Pelée on May 8, 1902, and today the wrecks are the preferred home for an array of marine life. But there's more to the region than just sunken ships: The canyons and corridors of Le Cap Enragé, a dive site just south of Saint-Pierre, is perfect for scuba divers of all levels of ability.