Where to Scuba Dive in Puerto Rico

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Divers and snorkelers, you're in luck. Puerto Rico's remarkable geographic diversity above ground extends beneath the surface to its aquatic kingdom. Whether you're taking your first plunge into shallow waters or are a seasoned pro who loves the black depths of the ocean, you can find the perfect spot to scuba dive in Puerto Rico.

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The Wall

Off the coast of La Parguera, on Puerto Rico's southwest coast, lies the island's most famous dive destination. The Wall is 22 miles long, with drop-offs of more than 1,500 feet and visibility from 60 to 150 feet. Divers especially love Fallen Rock, an underwater promontory which separated thousands of years ago and carved a deep trench in the ocean floor. Today, this passageway is home to a plethora of marine life which can be observed, including octopi, sharks, moray eels, and forests of black coral orchids.

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Culebra

On the island of Culebra, you'll find several interesting dives, like the Wit Power, the site of a sunken tugboat resting a mere 40 feet below the surface. As far as shipwrecks go, this is certainly one of the most accessible, and because the Wit Power has been here since 1984, divers will find plenty of coral, turtles, fish and other marine life. And just off Carlos Rosario, a beach near the world-famous Flamenco Beach, is a vibrant coral reef that is much loved by both divers and snorkelers for its fabulous display of coral and fish. For advanced divers, the Geniqui Caves offers a chance to explore underwater tunnels and admire a unique underwater vista by lamplight.

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Vieques

Vieques is considered a great choice for "easy" or beginner dives because of its many abundant reefs. Among the best dive sites are Anchor, Angel and Blue Tang Reefs, all shallow reefs offering a wonderful experience for novice divers Cayo Afuera, which is plainly visible from Esperanza Beach, is also easy to get to, and has a great shallow reef to explore. Nearby, Esperanza Pier is a great place for shore divers and snorkelers alike. You can swim out to the tiny Isla Chiva, about 200 yards off the coast, a small, easily accessible island. Off its western side is a lovely reef.

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Mona Island

Known as Puerto Rico's own Galapagos, Mona is an uninhabited island about 50 miles off the coast of Mayagüez. Home to a lots of iguanas, seabirds and turtles, the island has even more to offer below the surface. Over 270 species of fish can be found here. In addition, dolphins, sharks, and, at certain times of year, even humpback whales with their young can be spotted.

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Desecheo

Rincón attracts every type of water-lover, from surfers to snorkelers and scuba divers. For divers, Desecheo Island, about an hour off its west coast, is the place to be. Uninhabited to humans, the island offers dazzling coral reefs and plenty of marine life. Yellow Reef is especially prized for its bright tube coral, and Desecheo's underwater caves are great destinations for expert divers.

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