Diving Spotlight: Jamaica

If you ask a handful of people to name a Caribbean destination, at least one of them is probably going to mention “Jamaica.”  It’s for good reason, too. Jamaica is a top travel destination for folks looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of big city living in exchange for a taste of the island life. One of the most popular activities in Jamaica is scuba diving. Jamaica has plenty of shallow water reefs, deep caverns, and shipwrecks to explore for divers of all skill levels. Here’s a look at some of the best dive sites that Jamaica has to offer.

Throne Room

Negril lies on the west side of Jamaica, and is home to plenty of caverns, just waiting to be explored by divers. One of the most notable is called “The Throne Room.”  It lies in approximately 60 feet of water and it gets its name thanks to the giant, elephant ear sponges that are shaped like thrones. The cavern is full of them!  While you’ll see plenty of coral and sponges, you’ll also see the occasional shark, along with eels, barracuda, and other tropical fish.

Widowmaker’s Cave

For the more experienced divers looking for some technical cave excursions, head to Montego Bay. Here, you’ll find the Widowmaker’s Cave. This cave has an “entrance” and “exit,” although you can choose to enter from either location. What’s considered the entrance is located in about 80 feet of water. The exit of the cave is located about 30 feet down. A chimney connects the two openings. Divers can enter at either end, though starting deep and ascending will require some safety breaks on your way up. The cave is full of some photo-worthy sites, from parrot fish and barracuda to colorful coral.

SS Kathryn

The SS Kathryn is a wreck off the coast of Ocho Rios. The Kathryn was a mine-sweeping vessel deployed during World War II. However, the ship wasn’t sunk in an extravagant battle. It was deliberately sunk to create an artificial reef. Today, its home to colorful sponges and coral, as well as plenty of other marine life. It’s a really great ship to explore, but obviously should only be attempted by experienced wreck divers.