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Scuba Diving In Puerto Rico

Playas Tamarindo And Carlos Rosario Culebra

Scuba diving in Vieques – Vieques Submerged with Isla Nena Scuba

With rolling mountains as a backdrop and gin clear waters beckoning you in, the beaches of Tamarindo and Carlos Rosario lure scuba divers and snorkelers to the small island off Culebra, off Puerto Ricos east coast. Both beaches are located on Culebras northwest coast you can drive to Tamarindo, but youll need to hike in from Flamenco Beach to Carlos Rosario.

The mangrove-fringed waters and coral reefs protected within the Luis Peña Natural Reserve here shelter a kaleidoscope of marine life. And on underwater excursions you might spot sea turtles and huge groupers or find yourself finning within clouds of colorful reef fish.

You can snorkel right from the beach at Tamarindo, but certified divers make a point to head out with operators that visit some of the more than 50 dive sites around the island. Its also best to join a guided snorkeling tour to visit Carlos Rosario Beach, in the islands northwest corner, which can only be accessed via boat or a steep hike in from Flamenco Beach. Culebra, which is just seven miles long and two miles wide, has a good selection of small hotels, inns, and cottages where you can stay a night or longer.

Best Scuba Diving Puerto Rico

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This is the fifty-sixth in a series of reviews of the best scuba diving destinations around the world. In this post, the focus is on Puerto Rico.

In addition to this series on dive resort locations, the best worldwide liveaboard dive locations and services are reviewed in their own series. To check them out, or others in this series, click on Liveaboards/Resorts on the menu at the top and choose a title from the list.

Have you ever been diving in Puerto Rico before? If so, Id love to know about your experience. What dive shop or liveaboard did you use? Which dive spots are the best and what are the conditions there regarding the visibility, current, water temperature, sealife attractions, etc.?

Rincon Diving & Snorkeling

  • Boat Dive

    These scuba adventures take divers out on a boat to reach their diving destination. It is recommended that divers are comfortable taking a giant stride or a back roll entrance into the water.

  • Night Dive

    A night dive offers the chance to experience marine life that can only be seen in the dark. Rocks and colors appear more vivid and even familiar spots become mysterious.

  • Reef Dive

    Coral reefs are beautiful and endangered ecosystems that are bursting with life and color. Reef dives are among the most popular types of scuba diving.

  • Shore Dive

    These dives are accessed from the shore and simply involve wading into water. Dive boots are recommended to avoid injuries on the rocks.

  • Turtle Dive

    Sea turtles are one of Earths most ancient creatures, and these types of dives offer a high probability of seeing green turtles or leatherback turtles, among others.

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Mona Island Scuba Diving

Dubbed the Galapagos of the Caribbean, Mona Island in western Puerto Rico isnt the easiest diving site to get to but its clear waters and diverse marine life make it well worth the trip. Explore the many coral reefs, grottos and drop-offs teaming with turtles, dolphins, marlins and even whales during the winter migration season. But note that unpredictable currents make this site best suited for expert divers.

Tres Palmas Marine Reserve

Puerto Rico SCUBA Dive Tours

Closer to shore in Rincon, one of Puerto Ricos main board-riding capitals for the surf set, the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve convinces surfers to try a snorkel session or dive among thriving coral reefs home to some of the healthiest stands of elkhorn coral in the Caribbean.

Fishing is prohibited here, too, and the areas marine biodiversity thrives. Youll likely see enormous spiny lobsters peeking from crevices in the reef among many other typical coral reef critters, like angelfish and moray eels. And leatherback turtles are often seen cruising the colorful shallows.

For snorkeling right from the shore, bring your mask and fins to Steps Beach and head out on your own, or book an underwater tour and let guides who know the waters help you spot all kinds of swimmers among the corals and fans, including surgeon fish and striped yellow grunts.

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Three Rocks Horse Shoe

This dive site is in the shape of a horseshoe and features a narrow ledge, for beginner divers along with deeper sections for more experienced divers.

  • This dive site is suited for divers of any level
  • There are two sunken cannons divers can explore
  • Resident Moray Eels live here

What you will see: This dive site features a healthy shallow reef where plenty of nurse sharks, lobsters, and reef fish live. There are two sunken historic cannons and communication cables that have now been covered in coral growths. They provide a unique photo op.

Dive Shops Airports & Logistics Of Diving In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a popular tourist destination and has many dive shops. The highest concentration is around the San Juan and Fajardo area, and many of these shops offer boat trips to the eastern islands including Culebra and Vieques.

One of the highest rated dive shops in Puerto Rico is Caribe Aquatic Adventures, in San Juan, which offers PADI and Naui training, boat trips to the eastern islands, and also caters to cruise ships passengers. Also in San Juan is Aqua Adventure, offering PADI training, diving trips and other aquatic activities like scuba and snorkeling. Aqua Adventures operates and dives on the south shore as well.

In Fajardo, the highly rated Casa del Mar PADI Dive Center offers training and boat trips. They put together trips to St. Thomas dive sites like Sail Rock when the conditions permit. Sea Ventures Dive Centers is a 5 Star PADI member teaching discover scuba through instructor, and has two locations in Fajardo and Humacao. They offer boat trips for morning, afternoon, and night dives.

On the island of Vieques, Black Beard Sports is a 5 Star PADI Dive Center offering courses, diving tours for those already certified, gear sales and a repair shop. They also offer kayaking, snorkeling, biking, and hiking.

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Fallen Rock La Parguera

La Parguera, a small fishing village, is nestled along Puerto Ricos southwest shore.

Although it’s about a 45-minute trip out of La Parguera, it’s one of the area’s most sought after dive sites. There’s a V-shaped notch in a wall, with a bus-shaped, coral-covered pinnacle boulder e, creating a dramatic drop-off. It’s a deep dive the top of the reef sits at 65 feet, and drops well past 100. Clusters of chromis abound, with Caesar grunts, schoolmasters and Spanish hawkfish. This is also a spot with great chances to see open-water animals, such as ocean triggerfish, and pelagics, like mackerels, jacks, barracuda and spotted eagle rays.Recommended minimum skill level: Advanced

Best Wall Dive In Puerto Rico

Relaxing Scuba Diving | Travel Vlog Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2022 #PuertoVallarta #ScubaDiving

Puerto Rico offers scuba diving for all levels, but those folks with experience should travel to the southwest side of the island for an outstanding dive excursion at the famous Black Wall .

Located off the coast of La Parguera, the waters are extremely clear with only a slight current and very warm water.

The Black Wall is one of the few places on the island where you can see pristine coral in all its untouched glory. Divers will feel euphoric flying alongside a mountain of rainbow colors including forests of black and red gorgonians, yellow and purple tube sponges, and rare black coral orchids.

Divers can enjoy great visibility from 60 to 120 feet of this 22-mile coral reef wall that plunges to depths of over 1,500 feet.

The diversity and health of the coral on the wall attracts teems of tropical fish and sea life. Go be surrounded by green moray eels, stingrays, sharks, and lobsters on this unbeatable Puerto Rico diving experience.

Youll come face-to-face with an abundance of hogfish, black and brightly-colored triggerfish, and octopi whove taken up residence on the Black Wall. Youll also be able to spot sea turtles, and see the occasional manatee and dolphin pod swim by. If you venture deep enough, you might even get to see a hammerhead shark.


Intermediate to Advanced




Paradise Seekers Puerto Rico

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Scuba Diving Puerto Rico Island Gem Mona Island

Mona island is the jewel in the crown of Puerto Rican diving. So much so that if your scuba diving Puerto Rico trip misses Mona Island, then you havent really dived Puerto Rico. Mona island is home to some incredible pelagic diving and high-octane scuba adventures. Slipping into the water off the island, you can encounter a large variety of large animals, including Humpback whales and sharks.

The island lies 50 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, making it a long journey but won that is well worth it. While typically it is only dived via liveaboard, day boats occasionally venture out this far, and if you are offered the opportunity, you should jump at it.

The water around Mona offers unparalleled visibility that can reach a stunning 165ft/73m. its location where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean means that it is home to strong currents, and strong currents need big fish to swim in them. Diving off Mona Island, you can find beautiful corals and biodiversity. Encounters with turtles, sharks, Humpback whales, and more are regular in the right season. Many divers describe diving on Mona Island as a warm water version of Socorro or Galapagos. Due to the conditions, Mona Island is only suitable for experienced divers.

One thing to note is that if you would like to visit the land of Mona island itself, you need a permit. You can obtain a permit from the local environmental department.

A Sampling Of Puerto Rico Scuba Diving Sites

Desecheo Island Sites

  • Las Cuevas: arches, canyons, and swim-through with a rich coral reef, suitable for all levels
  • Candyland: 80 feet maximum depth, colorful coral heads, huge sea fans, sponges and lettuce coral, swarms of tropicals, experienced level

La Parguera Sites

  • Fallen Rock: 65-100+ feet , a 45-minute boat ride from La Parguera, a sharp drop-off from a notch in the wall, schooling chromis, grunts, Spanish hawkfish, ocean triggerfish, mackerel, barracuda, jacks, and spotted eagle rays
  • Efras Wall: 55-100+ feet , colorful corals and sponges, gorgonians, golden zoanthids, variety of sponges, black coral, wall and canyon, crabs, slipper lobsters, schooling black durgons, striped parrotfish, Creole wrasse, experienced level
  • Black Wall: 60-130 feet , a deep wall with huge red and black gorgonians, black corals, colorful tube sponges, hogfish, triggerfish, and black durgons, experienced level


  • Cayo Raton: 60 feet , rich corals and invertebrates, a flat semicircular reef that descends to 60 feet, dense schooling reef fish, queen angelfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish peacock flounders, and horse-eye jacks, all levels
  • Cayo Lobito: 75 feet , lots of nurse sharks, schooling jacks and barracuda, experienced level
  • WIT Power Tugboat: 36-40 feet , 90-foot tugboat sunk in 1984, rich invertebrate encrusting, reef tropicals and macro critters, turtles, all levels


Escambron : good introduction area for Puerto Rican scuba diving and as a training and refresher location

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Playa La Chiva Vieques

With a name like chivaGOAT in Englishthis beach has got to be one of the greatest of all time . Playa La Chiva is one of the prettiest white sand beaches for snorkeling and sunbathing along the southern shores of Vieques, an island off Puerto Ricos east coast.

When you first fin out from the beach into the shallow and clear waters rippling with seagrass, you might wonder if theres anything to see besides plants. But keep your eyes peeled because your chances of spotting green turtles that feed on the seagrasses are highand large southern stingrays are often spotted flapping their ways through the shallow, sun dappled scenery, too.

Best Scuba Diving & Snorkeling Tours In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico SCUBA Dive Tours

We were set to dive with the shop and they called us to say conditions were not great and did we still want to dive. I have a lot of respect for them doing this as many shops push for you to dive even in marginal conditions. The fact that they were honest and called us ahead to give us the option to cancel was very much appreciated. Especially as my son is a new diver. I will come back and dive with them and highly recommend them to others based on this outstanding customer service.

While visiting PR for our family vacation, we decided to celebrate my son’s 12th birthday with an excursion of his choice. He chose AquaAdventures and we were not disappointed. Our tour guides were Amazing,friendly, and super helpful. Especially as we had brought a 12yr old on his birthday. They made it a special birthday he’ll never forget and an amazing vacation memory for the entire family. I was very surprised by the price. It was half the cost per person of other excursions that weren’t nearly as fun, so it was a no brainer. Just look at our photos and you’ll see for yourselves how much fun we had.

My daughter and I went for the Snuba and Snorkeling Tour and had a great time. The instructors Jay and Matthew were super friendly, fun and professional. They provide drinks, snacks and a light lunch. We had a great time. We were delighted and we want to return soon. Thanks guys!!!

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Northwest Coast Puerto Rico

The 20-mile long wall, located about 4 miles offshore, has a series of slopes and sheer drop-offs that start at 9m/30ft and continue to 36m/120ft. The Wall is home to sponges, elkhorn coral, gorgonians, black coral and many more underwater creatures. Shoals of fish form columns underwater creating quite a site for visiting divers. Local waters are also full of barracudas, mantas, black durgon, triggerfish, large dog snappers, queen angels, Spanish hogfish, rays, turtles, moray eels, large crabs as well as sharks and sometimes even dolphins. Currents are low, less than 1 knot, and visibility is more than 30m/98ft, so the site is a great spot for underwater photographers. This dive is suitable for divers of all levels.

Papayo Divers

Papayo Divers will take you undersea on another level. They offer experiences like diving, kayaks, snorkeling scuba diving and bio bay tours. This company brings you the ability to enjoy different water activities on one day!

Address: Route #324, km. 1.9, Lajas, PRPhone: 787-808-0077 | 787-951-3014

A Paradise For Scuba Divers

Puerto Rico is a paradise for scuba divers, offering beautiful coral reefs, abundant wildlife, and excellent visibility. You can find incredible dive sites all over the island, whether you want to stay close to San Juan or venture to one of the smaller islands.

With scuba diving experiences for every level, from complete beginners to experienced divers, youre guaranteed an unforgettable dive. Discover some of the best scuba diving in Puerto Rico!

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The Best Scuba Diving In Puerto Rico

With the continental shelf surrounding it on three sides, Puerto Rico has an abundance of coral reefs, caves, sea walls, and trenches for divers of all experience levels to explore.

  • Metropolitan San Juan: This easy beach dive off the Condado district in San Juan is not as spectacular as other dives mentioned here, but it’s certainly more convenient. Lava reefs sculptured with caverns, tunnels, and overhangs provide hiding areas for schools of snapper, grunts, and copper sweepers. In the active breeding grounds of the inner and outer reefs, divers of all levels can mingle with an impressive array of small tropical fish — French angels, jacks, bluehead wrasse, butterfly fish, sergeant majors, and more — along with sea horses, arrow crabs, coral shrimp, octopuses, batfish, and flying gurnards. Visibility is about 10 to 20 feet . The Condado reef is also ideal for resort courses, certification courses, and night dives.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

Scuba Diving Puerto Rico: 5 Dive Sites You Should Experience

Scuba Diving in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Scuba diving Puerto Rico should be near the top of every divers destination list. The small island is home to incredible diving and is one of the best places to dive in the Caribbean. The island and its surrounding waters are blessed with a fantastic climate. With air temperatures ranging between 70F/21c and 83f/28c year-round. While the water temperatures stays between 79F/26c and 84f/28.8c.

With a great climate, you can visit Puerto Rico year-round, although the best time is around November and December. However, be aware this is the height of the tourist season, and things can be hectic. If you prefer to visit at a quieter time, June to November is an excellent time. During this period, the waters and climate are still fantastic, with a diverse amount of wildlife to see.

If you are concerned about hurricanes, there is little need to worry. Although there are plenty of warnings, Puerto Rico is somewhat off the hurricane track. Hurricanes are rare, with the last two major hurricanes happening in 2017 and 1931.

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Best Scuba Diving In Puerto Rico

Fajardo Diving

Palominitos wall / Sandslide: Depth: Drop from 15 to 80 feet. A sand slide takes you down to 80 feet deep, forming a semi wall with a large variety of coral, se fans and sponges. The marine life is very diverse, including manatee, dolphins, green and hawksbill turtles, spotted eagle rays, barracudas, groupers, lobsters, moray eels, cowfish, boxfish, blowfish, and more. Little caves are the favorite places of lobsters, pufferfishes, and eels.

Cayo Diablo

Rated as one of the best sites off the east coast, Cayo Diablo is not one but several different sites. Not all the dive operators can always get there because they do not have the proper boats. It is the most remote reef from Fajardo and it takes less than twenty minutes to reach it onboard our boats. Definitely, Cayo Diablo is the place to be. A coral garden dials around the island. Coral is abundant and healthy. A regular controlled current tends to lead schools of barracuda and eagle ray from time to time, visibility is often the best in the area.

Palomino reef: 30 feet

This is a shallow and easy dive. No currents, perfect for beginners and permanently calm since are protected by Palomino Island from the wind. It is a good alternative for a windy day. Sergeant majors, schools of colirubias , lobsters, snappers, small reef fishes and anemones.

Big Rock/Little Rock: Depth 35 – 60 feet

Lobos: Depth 6-35ft

The Trench: Depth 15-65 ft

Spurs & Grooves: Depth 10-70ft

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