Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Jamaica
Ready to check out the best sites in Jamaica for scuba diving, snorkeling, shore diving, free diving or other ocean activities? Zentacle has 16 dive sites, snorkel spots, beaches, and more. Discover hand-curated maps, along with reviews and photos from nature lovers like you. No matter what you're looking for, you can find a diverse range of the best ocean activities in Jamaica to suit your needs.
#1 - Hannie's Reef
Beautiful wall dive and more. Excellent vis...80+ feet. High coral diversity, many lobsters, and even the rare green eel. Very steep wall, as deep as 100+ feet. Located in Reading, Montego Bay, next to the highway. Drive until you see a pier (there should be 2 piers close by, use the shorter one). Park alongside the highway, walk and enter from the end of the pier. Swim about 20+ metres out, descend to about 60 feet, and dizzive!!!
#2 - Pear Tree Bottom
This is a wonderful multi-level dive site with interesting spur and groove formations near to the shore. Start with a deep dive along the astonishing wall come up through the interesting swim throughs and enhance the experience with the safety stop time spent exploring the spurs and groves of the shallows. After the dive drive on to Ultimate Jerk Centre just before of Discovery Bay and satisfy your hunger with good jerk pork and great Red Stripe beers. GPS point is 18 degrees 27.675 minutes North and 77degrees 21.637minutes West. Drive along the North Coast Highway, Less than 1.5km from the west of Runnaway Bay where the road comes very close to the sea just after the bridge. There is a small cove with usually a single fisherman and parking (not formal parking) for up to four cars. Wade out less than a hundred meters and dive!!!
#3 - Kathryn and Caverns
Jamaica, Ocho Rios
The SS Kathryn Wreck is a 140 foot WWII steel mine-sweeper. It was sunk to act as an artificial reef in 1991. Bio: Black coral, Nurse sharks, etc. 10 minutes from Ocho Rios Kathryn and Caverns is also known as SS Kathryn Wreck.
#4 - Yow's
Dive is straightforward swim out of the cove and head down. This is a wall dive with lots to see. Skill level, great easy dive no difficulty so even if you are new it will still be doable. Some fish visible, sharks and turtles a possibility. 18 degrees 28.63 minutes North 77 degrees 27.636 minutes west. If you have a GPS the coordinates above will lead you to it. If you do not then just drive along the north coast (east to west) past Rio Bueno just before Braco you will see a restaurant on the seaward side with a big sign that says "Yow's" drive in and park. Walk to the coast turn right, go to the small cove and dive right in. Buy a RED STRIPE beer when you get and support their kind accommodation of divers.
#5 - Runaway Bay Wall
If you are lucky the current will be running and you can spend the next hour (or portions thereof depending on depth) enjoying a relaxing cruise past a wall alive with a myriad of creatures. You will see corals, sponges, whips, fans, feather duster worms, schools of fish, long spined black urchins, common urchins, rays possible, turtles and nurse sharks are also possible. The current facilitates an effortless cruise that will have you flying along side exquisite topographical features and the deep blue below. Driving from Ocho Rios to Montego Bay is small town called Runaway Bay. In this town is a hotel called Franklin D. Resort or FDR. From this hotel you can swim out head east and dive to a beautiful wall and this is the dive site so dive!!
#6 - Prospect Reef, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Jamaica, Ocho Rios
Prospect Reef, Ocho Rios, Jamaica is a 4.0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Jamaica, Ocho Rios which is accessible from shore based on 2 ratings.
#7 - Montego Bay
Montego Bay is a 4.0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Jamaica which is accessible from shore based on 1 ratings.
#8 - Whitehouse Reef
Although this is a dive site hyped by the local resorts, it isn't all that interesting or challenging for the diver. The swim from shore to reef is long; long enough that most recreational divers would consider it a boat dive. There isn't much between the shore and reef, aside from vast swaths of sea-grass. Lots of invertebrates and small fish can be found in the sea-grass area, but they can be hard to find, especially for the inexperienced diver. The seagrass area ranges from 2m/6'to 6m/20' deep. As you approach the barrier reef the water becomes steadily shallower, eventually leaving you in water 2-4m (6-12') deep. The site itself consists of scattered boulders in a mixed sand/rock/seagrass plane. Various sponges and both soft and hard corals - especially fan corals - coat the boulders, which range in size from fist-size to the size of a compact car. Around these 'islands' many small colourful fish can be found, along with various invertebrates such as nudibranchs. The adventurous can continue past the barrier reef itself, although this can be quite dangerous given the extremely shallow water (parts of the reef are exposed at low tide; and water averages less than 1m/3' throughout the top of the reef) and frequent large breaking waves. In addition, the outside of the reef is extremely far from shore, and it is quite easy to follow the bottom (which stays at 9-10m/30-35' for a long ways) to a point where getting back to shore could be a real issue. The sea-side the reef is quite steep, and rapidly drops to 9m/30' in depth. Life here is much more abundant, with the reef consisting of very large boulders (house-sized) covered in all sorts of corals. Many fish circle these reefs, plus the usual Caribbean critters like morays and lobster. Overall this dive presents many dangers. The area between the reef and shore is filled with motor and sail boats from the surrounding resorts - all operated by individuals who most likely do not know what a dive flag is (or, for that matter, know how to run a boat). Additionally, large waves breaking over the reef, and currents on the sea-side of the reef, add additional dangers to divers whom leave the shelter of the shore-side for the more interesting sea-side edge of the reef. Combine all that with a long swim to the site, and the relatively large distance between interesting items, makes this dive quite risky for fairly low return. Although this site can be dived from shore, your best bet is to take one of the free resort dive or snorkel boats instead. The cost is the same, and you can avoid the long - and somewhat dangerous - trip to/from the site. This dive is located on the man-made barrier reef in front of Whitehouse, Jamaica. The barrier reef is easily visible from the town, or local resorts, and is located 200m-500m off-shore (depending on exactly where you enter the water). The closest approach is from the Dutch beach at the Sandals Whitehouse Inn. Simply surface-swim or SCUBA along the bottom due south until you hit the barrier reef.
#9 - Couples Negril
lots of lionfish. Been told there are some sharks (unsure of species), didnt see any on my trips easily accessed by boat Couples Negril is also known as Bloody Bay.
#10 - Rhodes Hall
The reef is within 100 yards from shore and is close to the surface in many locations. There is a wide variety of channels, sand flats, wall faces, small caves and crevices, and interesting coral formations. Inside the reef depths range from four to eight feet just off shore, outside the reef, depths range from 30 to 95 feet. It's protected status insures minimal boat traffic and viewing of a dazzling array of tropical fish that breed withing the Marine Park. There are at least two small boat and one airplane wreck within range of the marine park. There is hotel within view of the reef, with a diving operation facilitating diving the reef on a daily basis Part of the Samuels Bay National Marine Park. The only access to the dive site is through Rhodes Resort at Rhodes Hall Plantation, an independent district located between the communities of Green Island to the east and Orange Bay to the west. Rhodes Hall is 5 miles east of Negril beach.
#11 - Shaw Reef
Shaw Reef is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Jamaica which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.
#12 - Golden eye
Jamaica, Ocho Rios
Great place to see nurse sharks This is accessible from Beaches Boscobel Resort and spa
#13 - Tugboat
Tugboat is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Jamaica which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.
#14 - Joseph's Cave
We climbed through a fence, jumped off the 20' cliff into about 15-20' clear calm water, and were able to swim right into the cave. It has an opening about 10' high over the water, and the water was about 10'deep. The cave goes back about 100 or more ft. to an underground beach. Very strong smell of some sort of burning weed, things got kind of foggy, and we found ourselves in the company of real pirates. They were nice to us, because we promised them some beers if they let us go. Joseph showed us the way out from under ground, for a small ransome. A very interesting experience, to say the least. Negril.
#15 - Breezes Runaway Bay
Breezes Runaway Bay Resort, all inclusive. Boat and Short dives are free if you are certified. Dive Master and Equipment onsite, including the boat. Boat Dive then a dive with swim into shore.