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Caribbean Underwater Exploration

Caribbean vacationers can find a lot of water recreational activities, including swimming, surfing, wind surfing, water skiing, and many other activities. However, it is what is underneath the sea that attracts many visitors. Some of the most picturesque coral reefs, tropical fish, and shipwrecks can be found in the depths of the Caribbean Sea. The following are options for tourists interested in underwater exploration:

Glass Bottom Boat
Many tourists explore the Caribbean Sea depths without getting wet by booking a glass bottom boat tour. These boats are outfitted with see-through hulls that permit passengers to observe sea life, coral reefs, other the other wonders of the sea. This is great for families with young children or people who are not comfortable with snorkeling or scuba diving. Companies exist on most islands that sponsor glass bottom boat tours.

Atlantis Submarine
On St. Thomas, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Barbados, and Aruba, vacationers can book underwater trips on the mini Atlantis submarines. Different tours options exist on each island. Vacationers on Grand Cayman can book passage for a night tour through the islandís majestic marine park. Tourists on Barbados and Aruba can book tours descending about one hundred feet to explore shipwreck remains. On St. Thomas, tours can be booked on an Atlantis submarine leading through the beautiful Snapper Valley. Tourists booking trips on the Atlantis submarine in Cozumel will be led through the Chankanaa Park. Between 30-50 people can usually fit on these submarines. This is a great activity for people with young children and others physically unable to swim underwater.

Helmet Diving
Helmet diving is another option for people uncomfortable with snorkeling or scuba diving. During a helmet dive, people follow a designed path underwater, usually only about 10 feet beneath the surface, while wearing a glass helmet with oxygen pumped into it through a tube. Venues throughout Nassau and Bermuda offer helmet diving.

Snorkeling is a safe and fun way to observe colorful coral reefs and tropical fish during a Caribbean vacation. Tourists wanting to snorkel can rent equipment, so they do not need to bring it with them on their vacation. Many companies sponsor snorkeling tours throughout the Caribbean. Snorkelers are encouraged to never snorkel without other people or touch coral reefs or fish while they are submerged in the water.

Scuba Diving
There is perhaps no better way to explore the sea depths than scuba diving. However, before a person will be permitted to dive, he or she will have to become scuba certified since it can be a dangerous activity for inexperienced divers. Hotels throughout the Caribbean provide certification classes. However, even after initial certification, depth restrictions will still be placed on divers. Certified divers must present a certification card before they will be permitted to dive. Scuba gear is available for rental on most islands.


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