Scuba Diving in Dominica

Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is a country located on the island of the same name which has a volcanic origin and is part of the Lesser Antilles. Dominica is washed by the Caribbean Sea.
It is considered one of the world's best diving destinations since a major part of Dominica's waters forms a marine protected area (which has three marine reserves) and is preserved in its original state.
There are coral and rocky reefs that have a rich ecosystem, sharp underwater rocks and shipwrecks covered with seaweed, caves and arches along with diverse flora and fauna. Dominica is popular due to geothermal activity and the Glass of Champagne, a famous dive site with bubbles rising from the seabed everywhere around you.

Reasons to Visit

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Dominica's waters are home to a large number of whales among which the sperm whale, the humpback whale, and the false killer whale are especially interesting. Sperm whales migrate here for breeding; therefore, most of the individuals found here are females and newborn babies. Dominica's Soufriere Scottshead Marine Reserve (SSMR) attracts divers with coral and rocky reefs along with volcanic arches and caves. They are home to flying fish, seahorses, and anglers.
When exploring the depths of the SSMR, divers can see marine inhabitants in their natural environment, unique landscapes of underwater cliffs and rocky and coral reefs along with volcanic caves, grottoes and arches with sharp underwater rocks. The nature of this area offers diving opportunities for different level scuba divers: both beginners and professionals.
Champagne Reef is one of Dominica's hallmarks for divers. It is the place where crystal clear water and exceptional visibility are combined with amazing streams of bubbles. They rise from the thermal vents in the ocean floor producing an impression of a glass filled with the noble beverage. Since this reef is a popular destination, there are three moorings.
Macro photography is another reason why divers from all over the world come here. Diverse marine life allows you to capture vivid shots. Coral coming in bizarre forms, exotic fish, colorful seaweed, and deep-water landscapes with their unique colors are perfect for photography.
If you are planning a trip to Dominica, do not miss the opportunity to go whale and dolphin watching. Lately, the island has become one of the best places to see these mammals. They are found in Suffree Bay. You should enter the water carefully so as not to intimidate them. It is better to watch from a distance.
Memo Notes
Currency XCD - East Caribbean dollar

Dive Shops in Dominica

There are a lot of different dive shops along Dominica's coast that offer diving equipment rental, guided advanced dives, and yacht or launch transfer to remote locations. Offering personal service and individual training is also possible. It will be easy to find a diving instructor who speaks your language.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

The spring air temperature in Dominica ranges from 21 °C during March to 23 °C in May. As the dry season ends, Mother Nature prepares for hurricanes. The water off the coast warms up to 26-27 ˚С.

Summer

Summer in Dominica is the rainy season. The water here is as warm as fresh milk (up to 28 ˚С), and the air feels as hot as a sauna (up to 31 ˚С) due to the high humidity. The winds are strong and there is a risk of tropical storms.

Autumn

The season of heavy rains and winds in Dominica runs from September through November. The average daytime air temperature reaches 29-30 ˚С while the water off the coast warms up to 28- 29 ˚С.

Winter

December in Dominica is the tail end of the rainy season. January marks the beginning of the dry season. The air temperature stands at 27 ˚С; the water warms up to 27 ˚С in December and to 26 ˚С in January and February.

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The Best Dive Sites

The Soufriere Scott’s Head Marine Reserve is a great location for both macro photography and ordinary dives.
Do not forget to visit the heart of this place, the underwater volcanic crater, and try wall diving.
The Suburbs site is a shelf that reaches a depth of 40 meters. Diving this shelf will bring you unforgettable emotions from the beauty of the sea's depths.
Swiss Cheese and Scotts Head Pinnacle are must-dive sites on any diver's list. They have a swim-through archway and are home to blackfin squirrelfish.

Health & Safety

Dominica has high-quality healthcare, and small land area ensures prompt ambulance arrival at the scene. No vaccination certificate is required to enter Dominica. However, if you have been living in yellow fever-endemic areas for more than a year, vaccination prior to arrival is required. Besides, hepatitis is quite common on the island. Bacillary dysentery along with amoebic dysentery are also found throughout the country, so consider getting additional vaccinations prior to travel. The crime rate is extremely low in Dominica, however, petty thefts are possible. Local residents do not demonstrate and do not organize strikes despite a low rate of economic growth.

Dangerous Marine Life

Pterois are one of the most dangerous sea inhabitants off Dominica's coast. The spiny needles of their beautiful fins contain venom. One should also be careful to not step on a sea urchin and to not get injured due to sharp edges of coral fragments. Also, do not pick up jellyfish. If it injects you with venom, go to the hospital immediately.

Eat & Drinks

Dominica's cuisine is similar to other Caribbean islands. Locals are very fond of meat dishes. They prefer chicken but they also eat beef and lamb. The main course is always accompanied by sweet and spicy fruit sauces: banana sauce, passion fruit sauce, pineapple sauce or by Bello sauce which is very popular. Divers should definitely try a local delicacy — stuffed crab backs. Adventurous tourists can try Mountain Chicken (fried giant ditch frog). Dominicans are great at making rum cocktails, however, they almost do not consume wine. Tap water in Dominica may be unsafe to drink. Bottled water is inexpensive and can be found in any store.

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