The Best BVI Scuba Dive Sites ?
A world of underwater wonders awaits you in the BVI, and the best way to see the best BVI scuba dive sites is on a private luxury yacht charter. You’ll dive at your own pace, away from the crowds with your personal divemaster. You will get to access some off-the-beaten track dives and choose when and where you dive each day. There’s a bounty of BVI dive sites so we thought we’d compile an extensive collection of our favorites, where each site offers something unique.
Include one or all these fantastic dive sites on your BVI yacht charter itinerary and you’ll have this incredible marine world right at the tip of your fins.
Wreck of the Rhone, SALT ISLAND
The Rhone is on the top of every veteran BVI diver’s list. The Rhone is a 19thcentury sunken Royal Mail Steamer. A formidable sight to behold, the 310”-long-beast split in two sections now lying at 30 and 90 feet in depth, respectively, with both sections offering excellent visibility. The storm that hit the Rhone was a category 3 hurricane and the loss of life was substantial and, on a visit, you’ll learn more about what made this ‘unsinkable’ sink do the unthinkable. You can dive straight into the bow and explore various sections and will no doubt be overwhelmed not only with her gargantuan size but also how well-preserved she still is. Sea turtles, moray eels, octopus, sting rays and even nurse sharks call this place home nowadays, adding to the excitement.
Painted Walls, DEAD CHEST ISLAND
Just as their name suggests, the Painted Walls are a maze of multicolored canyons and vertical walls that attract a flurry of marine life, like nurse sharks, turtles, sting rays, lobster, sponges and a wonderful collection of stunning coral. When the sun hits the surface of the sea at just the right angle, this place looks like a resplendent rainbow. The Painted Walls are glorious and undoubtedly one of the 5 best BVI scuba dive sites.
The Chikuzen, VIRGIN GORDA
This sunken Korean refrigeration ship may not sound all that impressive on paper but, in reality, it is a fantastic marine-life hub. The 246-feet-long Chikuzen is stranded on a sandy stretch of sea bed that runs for miles and acts as a thriving socializing and feeding center for barracuda, sting and eagle rays., snappers, spadefish, nurse and blacktip shark as well as their apparent tribe leader: a 600lb jewfish. The Chikuzen dive is no easy feat and ideal for experienced divers only but if you’re game, and skilled, you’ll be amazed at the kind of creatures you’ll meet out here.
Alice in Wonderland, GINGER ISLAND
Arguably the most beautiful and thriving coral garden in the BVI, Alice in Wonderland is one of the best BVI scuba dive sites of all and very popular with both divers and a whole bunch of colorful marine creatures. Found just southwest of Ginger Island, Alice brims with supersized and multi-colored coral heads, sandy canyons, narrow channels and rocky ridges. Living life in this fast lane are rays, groupers, jewfish, African pompano, five species of butterfly fish and at times even reef sharks. They’ll all be your diving companions here, at varying depths which range between 40 and 80 feet.
Angelfish Reef, NORMAN ISLAND
Yet another resplendent reef to explore at length, Angelfish is renowned for its enticing web of ridges, canyons and colorful gorgonians at shallow depths. Here, you’ll discover timid sea horse and angel fish, as well as jack knifes, amoray eels, sea turtles, sting and eagle rays, crustaceans, anemones and so many more. Given the easy currents and ease of access, Angelfish Reef is an ideal dive site for beginners.
Blonde Rock Island, DEAD CHEST ISLAND
Just a few minutes’ ride from Peter Island is Blonde Rock, defined by its canyons, caverns, ledges and fire corals that hide a flurry of very distinct marine life. Blonde Rock is very much weather-dependent but on a picture-perfect day, you could spend hours here scouring every nook and cranny for glasseye snappers, Creole wrasse, French grunts, blackbar soldierfish and carangid. The only ones you won’t have to search hard to see are lobster: Blonde Rock is full of them!
Blue Chromis Reef Island, COOPER ISLAND
Named after the iridescent blue chromis that tend to prowl its sandy and coral-enriched bottom, Blue Chromis is just off Cooper Island and is one of the best BVI training dive sites of all thanks to the exceptional visibility and the fact that getting lost is near-impossible. The Reef is home to spotted drums, blennies and Petersen cleaning shrimp among the many sea fans.
Brewer’s Bay East Island, TORTOLA
Rays, nurse sharks, glassy sweepers and tarpons trawl the sandy bottom at Brewer’s Bay East, which always boasts good visibility at depths that range between 25 and 90 feet. Corals and sponges attract a kaleidoscope of fish and given this spot is off the usual BVI yacht charter trail, you’ll usually find it peaceful and uncrowded.
Bronco Billy’s Island, GEORGE DOG
Colorful coral ridges create a pathway of archways and canyons at Bronco Billy’s Island, a hive of marine life that houses grunts, spotted drums, dog snappers and a host of their multi-colored friends.
Carvel Rock Island, COOPER
A beloved hiding spot of lobsters, barracuda, kingfish and moray eels, Carvel Rock Island comprises enormous boulders drenches in multi-hued corals. This is a challenge to the inexperienced but a startling site for more advanced divers.
Coral Gardens (Aero plane Wreck), GREAT DOG
Part of the artificial reef program carried out in the BVI in 1993, the airplane wreck of a Shorts 360 is found at Coral Gardens, among a coral haven that attracts a multitude of fish. From southern rays to sand divers, snapper, grunts, sennet, turtles and even the occasional reef shark, this site offers unchallenging diving and an absolute visual feast.
Devil’s Kitchen , COOPER
A fickle site that’s a real gem on a day of calm seas, Devil’s Kitchen boasts an array of tropical marine life among its soft and hard coral.
Inganess Bay Island, COOPER
It’s amazing to see how such a relatively-new wreck, sunk in 1996, could have already created such a haven for marine creatures. As opposed to the Rhone, the wreck at Inganess Bay is intact and there are a couple of sections into which you can swim.
Joe’s Cave, WEST DOG
This coral-encrusted cave, which juts out of the sea surface, is a treasure-trove of marine life. Joe’s Cave is quite a magical place to explore at length, with the colors coming to life as soon as the sun enters through the arrow opening at the top. There are innumerable places for marine life to hide, so expect to meet lobsters, groupers, eagle rays and schools of glassy sweepers.
Wreck Alley Island, COOPER
This triple-wreck hub attracts an abundance of fish, including moral eels and barracudas, as well southern rays and even reef sharks if you’re lucky. The oldest of the wrecks is the Marie L, which was intentionally sunk in the 90s, followed shortly-after by a tugboat, Pat, and the Beata, who found her forever home here in 2001.
The Indians, near NORMAN ISLAND, The Indians are four rocky pinnacles that jut up from the ocean floor to about 30 feet above the water. They provide a dramatic backdrop for schools of trunkfish, wrasse, angelfish and spotted drums enjoying life among the vast collection of coral, sea fans and sponges. We think this is one of best BVI scuba dive sites for night diving.
Santa Monica Rock Island, NORMAN
Offering consistently good visibility, this stunning and quite extensive underwater pinnacle is drenched in fire-coral and offers so many hiding nooks for small fish, barracudas, pelagics, spadefish and moray eels.
Seal Dog Island, WEST SEAL DOG
Heavy swells can make this site a challenge at times but the efforts are well worthwhile. Soft and hard corals cover Sea Dog’s oversized boulders, attracting large schools aof fish as well as the occasional shark.
The Visibles Island, GEORGE DOG
If it’s an abundance of marine life you’re after, then set your sails towards The Visibles, where large schools of barracuda, snapper, angle fish, spotted drums, eagle rays and both reef and nurse sharks come to play.
Twin Towers Island, GREAT TOBAGO
You’ll need to keep an eye on your depth at Twin Towers, a glorious site that drops to an impressive 135 feet. Soft and hard corals cover the sides of boulders here, which attract different marine life at varying depths.
Vanishing Rock (Dry Rocks East) Island, COOPER
Rocky ledges and multitiered pillar coral formation attract an astonishing number of sea life, including Spanish hog fish and butterfly fish, as well as lobsters and nurse sharks who love hiding in this maze.
Wall to Wall Island, WEST DOG
A calm and contemplative haven for both fish and diver, Wall to Wall Island boasts wonderful rock and coral recesses that rise from its sandy bottom. An abundance of marine life, including grunts, squirrel, angel and big eyes, will captivate you no end.
The Indians: Near Norman Island, The Indians are four rocky pinnacles that jut up from the ocean floor to about 30 feet above the water. They provide a dramatic backdrop for schools of trunkfish, wrasse, angelfish and spotted drums enjoying life among the vast collection of coral, sea fans and sponges. Night diving here is particularly rewarding.
Mountain Point VIRGIN GORDA: Huge rock formations create a labyrinth of caves and grottoes. Stunning coral on a sandy bottom Look for garden eels, stingrays and the occasional eagle ray. Abundant fish life including turtles and maybe a nurse shark or two.
On a crewed BVI yacht charter, your dive master or instructor will assist you in choosing the best BVI scuba dive sites for your ability.
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