What to Do: Scuba Diving at Devil’s Reef, Jamaica

The vast crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea offer a range of exciting adventures, from parasailing to snorkeling there are more than enough ways to spend time in and on the ocean while on an island vacation. For those who’ve never had the experience scuba diving in Jamaica’s warm blue waters it is a relaxing and an thrilling activity that transports you to another world without really leaving the first. The reefs scattered along Jamaica’s coast are so appealing that even if you’ve never diving before you’ll be tempted to do it for the first time here.

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The island is scattered with underwater treasures ranging from dazzling corals to colourful tropical marine life and even shipwrecks. One of the best spots for scuba diving in Jamaica is Devil’s Reef in Ocho Rios. Located only a short boat ride away, just half a mile offshore from the popular destination spot Ocho Rios. Devil’s Reef is known (among other things) for its scorpion fish, lettuce sea slugs, coral with different attractive colours, tunnels, caverns, and the nurse sharks that dwell therein.

The underwater ridge gently slopes down to about 65 feet, and from there drops off steeply to a sandy bottom at 130 feet. Therefore, the upper reaches of the reef are suitable for Open Water divers, while the lower reaches require Advanced Open Water training. The reef is encrusted with staghorn corals and black-ball sponges, with moray eels hiding in its cracks and crevices. The area is populated by barracuda, wrasse, spadefish and snapper, with most of the fish action taking place at around 70 to 80 feet.

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Luckily for first time divers PADI certification is easily obtainable while on vacation in Jamaica, so all you have to do is take a few courses and you’re ready to dive in. Scuba diving is relatively easy to learn under the supervision of a fully professional certified PADI Dive Master. The beginner program is a unique opportunity for you to start your scuba experience. Learn the basics of scuba by an experienced instructor who will help you to set your scuba equipment, ready for you to get started. You can arrange dives and training at the Garfield Diving Station.

On the Devil’s Reef dive, the dive master will lead you through the low profile reef where you can look down to the sandy bottom at 130ft (40m). Down below, small groups of snapper swim around in the shallower sections but the schools of bogas and creole wrasse speed by and a school of Atlantic spade fish will certainly tantalize you to come out to the deep to see more of the action.

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