Scuba Diving Barbados
The fringes and reefs found off Barbados blossom with healthy sponges, coral and plant life. There are several types of reefs, each one unique in its own special way.
Just a plane ride away lies the real fantasy island, Barbados. An island that gives a dreamlike, intimate feeling to your trip, Barbados also offers sun, two seas, and an indescribable richness of color. The island abounds with exotic locations and exciting history, while the extensive variety of culture, sports and activities make Barbados the gem of the Caribbean.
The island is the farthest East of any of the Caribbean/Atlantic islands. It is the fourth island north of Venezuela.
SCUBA DIVING BARBADOS
The fringes and reefs found off Barbados blossom with healthy sponges, coral and plant life. There are several types of reefs, each one unique in its own special way. The barrier reef, located 1/2 – 2 miles from shore contain large coral heads which form the habitat for thousands of beautiful fish and are perfect for snorkeling. Larger organisms are also found on these reefs, feeding on the smaller fish. The Hawksbill turtle can also be found on these reefs. Barbados also has many wrecks and old wreck sites, adding yet another dimension to scuba diving opportunities.
HIGHLIGHT DIVE AREAS
SS Stavronikita – The most famous wreck on the island, this purposely-sunk Greek freighter, now part of the Folkestone Underwater Park, hosts a rainbow of huge tube and rope sponges. The Stavronikita lies in 36 metres/120ft of water with the stern at 30 metres/100ft and the bow at 21 metres/70ft.
Carlisle Bay Marine Park – This shallow, calm bay is home to a cluster of numerous wrecks. You’ll see the Berwyn (a World War I French tug boat that went down in 1919), the Eilon (sunk in 1996), Ce-Trek (a cement boat sunk in 1986), the Bajan Queen (party boat sunk in 2002) and the Cornwallis (a freighter sunk during World War II and relocated to the marine park).
Pamir – Another purpose-sunk wreck, the 50-metre/165-foot Pamir has wide openings for divers to peer into and sits in around 18 metres/60 feet of water. Sitting upright in a sheltered spot, this wreck provides fish, fauna, and fun in one experience. This is a good dive for beginners and a good warm up dive for the Stavronikita.
Barracuda Junction – This site usually delivers on its name and you can expect to see barracudas prowling the reef which has an array of colorful corals and sponges and is usually teeming with reef fish.
Maycocks Bay – This reef runs perpendicular to shore in large fingers that are separated by wide alleys of white sand. See lots of reef fish and outstanding coral and barrel sponge formations.
Cement Factory Pier – Explore the underwater remnants and structure of this old pier that are now home to a variety of marine life. Explore while surrounded by huge schools of fish and find lobsters and other critters hiding in holes.
DIVE SEASON: Year around
VISIBILITY: 60 to 70 feet, with triple-digit days in the summer months.
WATER TEMPERATURE: Mid-80sF (29C) in the summer to high 70sF (26C) in the winter.
WEATHER: Summer temps push into the high 80sF (31C) while winter temps fall into the high 60sF (20C).
FEATURES CREATURES: On the reefs and wrecks, look for brilliantly colored parrotfish, reef squid, Bermuda chub, grouper and tube sponges. Also keep watch for barracuda, stingray, moral eels and nurse sharks.
CLIMATE: Tropical. July to December is the wet season. December to June is the dry season. The temperature range is 75 to 82 F.
LANGUAGE: The official language is English.
ELECTRICITY: Most electrical outlets are wired with 110-volt AC (50 cycles) current, same as within the U.S., so you can use your U.S.-made appliances. The very few electrical outlets that follow the British and European systems (220-volt AC) are rare, and when they do appear, they’re clearly marked and designated with a plug configuration that makes it virtually impossible to plug a U.S.-made appliance into it without a special adapter and/or converter.
CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS: The currency is the Barbados Dollar whose rate is permanently fixed at 1/2 of the US Dollar. Most Barbados hotels, restaurants and businesses will accept credit cards. Travelers cheques in U.S., U.K. and Canadian funds are also cashable at many outlets. Some smaller restaurants and businesses operate on a cash-only basis, so it’s best to have some local cash on you as you explore the island.
GRATUITIES: Most hotels and restaurants add at least a 10% service charge to your bill. If service is extremely good, you may want to supplement that. If it has not been included, you may want to tip your waiter 10% to 15%. Taxi drivers expect a 10% tip.
PHONE & INTERNET SERVICE: Globally, the country of Barbados was ranked by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and UNICEF to be one of the most wired countries in the world on a per capita basis. Telephone service is also readily available throughout the island.
VISA & PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS: All visitors are required to have a passport. Some nationalities require a visa. Here is a list of the nations that required Visa.
CUSTOMS: Most items for personal use (within reason, of course) are allowed into Barbados, except agricultural products and firearms. You can bring in perfume for your use if it’s not for sale. You’re also allowed a carton of cigarettes and a liter of liquor.
DEPARTURE TAX: There’s a departure tax of BD$27.50 or US$14, payable in either currency.
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