Antigua is an island in the West Indies and the main island in the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Although it covers an area of only 281 square km (108 square miles), this small island has about 365 beaches! Sapphire clear blue water, white sand, and palm trees, all in one idyllic piece of land that’s inviting both above and undersea.
Almost completely surrounded by healthy coral reef, with several walls and shipwrecks for a more thrilling adventure, diving in Antigua is certainly not a dull experience. The island is set on a shallow bank and features minimal currents, which can only mean that its underwater treasures are perfect for divers of all levels. Divers are delighted with an array of tropical marine life, including some big stuff such as nurse sharks and rays.
Nurse sharks, the bucket list creatures of Antigua
Diving in Antigua is possible year-round, but some tropical storms that typically hit the island from July to October can decrease diving conditions like visibility.
The water temperature in Antigua is excellent throughout the year and warms up well above 20°C/68°F.
Most of the dive sites in Antigua have little to no current.
Underwater visibility in Antigua usually ranges from 50 feet (15 meters) to over 30 meters (100 feet). Visibility can decrease during the rainy season.
Hercule’s Pillars – A dive site named for the interesting rock formations above the water. Underwater, divers will find a large plateau of coral with a large diversity of species of reef fish.
Red Rocks – This spot is very rich in coral growth, whips, and sponges. The visibility is always very good and there’s hardly any current. Marine life includes everything from small reef fish to lobsters, stingrays, and nurse sharks.
Sunken Rock – A great dive site for advanced divers. It features huge boulders that drop to over 30 meters (100 feet), which have created several valleys. Beautiful gorgonian sea fans, red soft coral, black coral, and barrel sponges to be seen here.
Jettias Wreck – This shipwreck is extremely old, having sunk in 1817. The old French steam-powered freighter now lies in water 25 meters (82 feet) deep. Lots of coral growth on the broken parts of the ship and many small fish to be seen around the remains.
Montserrat Wreck – An intact wreck that sits upright on the seabed. Penetration is possible for experienced divers. Because of the depth, it is only suitable for advanced divers or those undergoing deep diving training.
Rendezvous Bay – Huge barrel sponges and healthy corals, and lots of holes and ledges to explore. It also offers the advantage of being less visited than other spots. Stingrays, lobsters, and octopus are regularly seen here.