Dive

Divers Unite for the Best Caribbean Dive Spots

Whether you’re an expert diver or just love the ocean and all of its creatures, Mexico and the Caribbean are stuffed full of dive gems unlike anything you’ve seen before. Here are a few places we’d recommend making the trip to see:

Caribbean Dream: Turks and Caicos

Tucked in the middle of the Caribbean, Turks and Caicos is an ocean lovers dream. This 170 sq. mile island is home to some of the bluest waters, lushest landscape and richest coral walls – a diver’s dream. The entire island is home to endless amount of cays and reefs, which is why CheapCaribbean.com travelers have named this island as one of their favorite spots to dive and snorkel.

A few of the best spots on this island consist of lots of aquatic life and even a few great shipwrecks. The shipwrecks off the coast of Turks & Caicos can be found at Birch’s Lookout, Northwest Reef and Blue Hills. All of these sites are the final resting places for a whole slew of sunken ships lost to the ocean years ago. If you’re a diver looking for stunning coral reefs and sea creatures, spots like Grand Turk and South Caicos are buzzing with big fish and underwater walls that are packed full of sponges and corals. Sea turtles populate these waters pretty heavily year round, and for those of you diving during the winter months, you can try to catch a humpback whale as they pass through their winter migratory route.

Turks and Caicos Diving Trips from Cheapcaribbean.com

A pool view overlooking the ocean blue makes it incredibly hard to turn down an iconic dive on this Caribbean island.

To complete this “Diver’s Paradise,” you’ll need a fine selection of resorts. Turks and Caicos is home to a vast majority of four and five star resorts that are meant to accommodate all walks of life, from dive fanatics to honeymooners looking for a quiet getaway. Chose from resorts like Seven Stars Resort, which brings together exploration and luxury. Equipped with loungers by the ocean, a beachside pool, top-of-the-line cuisine and all the extra amenities, Seven Stars Resort is the perfect place to rest your head after an adventurous day of diving and snorkeling.

The Dark Diving Horse: Cozumel

Cozumel is located about 60 miles off the coast of Cancun. It’s opposite of Playa del Carmen and sits in the Yucatan Channel, giving it it’s diving fame. This island houses mild currents and shallow coral gardens, coral pinnacles near the wall drop-off and vertical walls in the deeper water currents making it perfect for all skill sets.

Cozumel dive vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Take a deep dive in one of Cozumel's expert dive spots and catch beautiful marine life like this sea turtle.

A few of the top diving spots on this island are Paradise Shallows and Reef for beginners, Tormentos Reef for intermediate divers looking for quick currents and rich aquatic life and Barracuda Reef for an expert diver. Among the other 20 or more dive sites, these were voted top picks by CheapCaribbean.com traveler’s like yourself. Paradise Shallows and Reef provides exactly what it’s name states – shallow waters to get acquainted with and marine life that’s sure not to disappoint. Tormentos Reef is known for its fast currents and ever-changing sand formations. There’s also a decent amount of Angelfish, grouper and snapper in these waters.  Barracuda Reef is deemed an expert dive spot because of its depth and the strong drift that comes from the north. There’s no island beyond the end of this reef making it a tough dive and one that the Port Caption monitors heavily. You can expect to see large pelagic like reef sharks and eagle rays looking for converging currents.

Cozumel Dive Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Located right on the crystal clear waters of Cozumel gives you a great view of the diving waters you'll soon take on.

After hours spent exploring the ocean floor, you’ll want somewhere to call your temporary home. Cozumel is a great vacation, no matter your level of interest in diving, because of the resort options you have. You can easily spend all your days snorkeling and diving away, or have a nice mix of relaxation and exploration. El Cozumeleno Beach Resort is a recommended choice when planning your diving trip. This 4-star resort is located right on the beach and offers close proximity to some of the best dive spots on the island. Feel free to end your day with a swim up to their bar for a refreshing cocktail or finish the night off at one of three bars, including a disco. El Cozumeleno is the perfect compliment to your next dive trip.

The Triple Threat: Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands is another area that’s home to some top-notch dive spots as picked by our travelers. Consisting of three small islands, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, The Cayman Islands are tucked in the Caribbean Sea, which brings warm water temperatures and great water visibility.

One of the top rated dive spots to check out in the Caymans is Stingray City. It’s an area suitable for snorkelers and divers where you will literally find hundreds of southern stingrays swimming in these waters. Stingrays began congregating here years ago because the local fisherman would find their catch and throw the excess overboard, leaving lots of food for these stingrays. Stingray City is an area of 12 feet deep water where you can feed the stingrays in the shallow parts or dive down deeper to get a better view.

Cayman Island Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Swim among the fascinating stingrays in Stingray City on Grand Cayman Island.

The Cayman Islands are also home to shipwrecks from years ago that are perfect for the wandering diver. Wrecks of Captain Keith Tibbetts in the Cayman Brac or the wreck of the Cali, a masted schooner blown up by the British Corps of Army Engineers in 1957 make for great shipwrecks to explore.

For the diver looking for cays or reef walls, be sure to check out Devil’s Grotto on Grand Cayman Island which is a series of long and intricate underwater tunnels surrounded by breathtaking coral and ample amounts of marine life, or Little Cayman’s Bloody Bay Wall is one of the most well known dive spots on The Cayman Islands. This underwater ledge starts at twenty feet and goes all the way down a thousand feet, all the while packed full of caverns, exotic sponges and stunning coral gardens.

Cayman Island Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

With a stunning beach view at Grand Cayman Marriott, you'll be itching to get in the water and take a dive.

The Cayman Islands are stuffed full of wonderful dive and snorkel spots but also offer luxury accommodations, making this Caribbean destination the total package. Resorts like Grand Cayman Marriott Beach All-Inclusive give the boutique hotel option a new meaning. Most of the resorts on these islands are on the smaller side but still bring five-star amenities. Grand Cayman Marriott Beach All-Inclusive offers 303 guest rooms with restaurant options, spa, dive shop and bar, just to name a few. There’s also a free-form pool stretching 85 meet with a spa tub to unwind in after a long day of exploring. And if you’re looking for a quick spot to snorkel, there’s a 100-yard beachfront snorkeling reef 50 yards off shore.

It’s safe to say that divers are part of community with a wandering spirit and exploring intuition. Cheapcaribbean.com has been founded on those same unique principles and works to make your vacations, whether diving inspired or not an exceptional reality. So isn't about time that we all took a dive...

Fall in to Flip Flops: All About Holiday Travel

Mexico Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

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Saturday marked the first day of fall. We’re on the horizon of changing leaves and cooling temperatures. That means that it’s time to start thinking about your winter or holiday vacation. The next few months will be full of big holidays and busy schedules, which is all the more reason to sail away to a quiet, sandy beach.

Private Luxury Meets Family Fun: Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun & Dreams Puerto Aventura Resort & Spa

Riviera Maya is the perfect destination to jet away to, when looking for a getaway that’s secluded but offers something for everyone. Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun is the perfect illustration of this mentality. This 4 ½ star resort is a Mexican paradise. Nestled on 5,000 feet of the whitest sands and bluest waters in the Caribbean, Now Sapphire offers Unlimited-Luxury®, which takes your private oasis to the next level.

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Truly escape reality with the luxury that comes standard at Now Sapphire.

With Unlimited-Luxury®, guests can indulge at one of the seven five-star gourmet restaurants or lounge on a beachside Bali bed or thatched-roof palapa. Kids can have a vacation of their own at the resort’s on-site kids and teen clubs. There are also four glittering pools, with an adults-only option where mom and dad can swim right up to the bar and order their favorite concoctions. This Unlimited-Luxury® comes standard to all hotel guests, in an effort to really take you away from the hustle and bustle that is the holiday season.

Mexico Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

Spend your days juggling luxury and fun at Now Sapphire.

If you’re looking to kick your vacation up a notch to the utmost level of service and luxury, you’ll want to take advantage of Now Sapphire’s Preferred Club option, which adds some additional amenities. As a Preferred Club member, you’ll have personalized check-in and checkout with concierge services and access to the Preferred Club lounge and pool, among other things. Make sure to take advantage of the pillow menu that comes with this option.

Don’t Settle at Dreams Puerto Aventura Resort & Spa

Another of Riviera Maya, Mexico’s finest resorts, Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa, is a fine option when looking for a vacation with a little bit of everything. Offering the same Unlimited-Luxury® option, there’s no denying that Dreams Puerto Aventura won’t disappoint either.

Looking for a little ocean adventure? Dreams Puerto Aventuras is home to the world’s leading scuba-diving training organization. The Dreams Puerto Aventuras PADI dive center is the perfect place to learn to dive or take a dive into the world’s second-largest coral reef, if you’re more experienced. Also, spend a little time sprawling on the ocean trampoline or fall freely from the Euro bungee. This Dreams resort is the perfect water enthusiast’s getaway.

Mexico Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

Add a miraculous dive into the depths of the crystal clear waters to your vacation itinerary at Dreams Puerto Aventura.

After you’ve submersed yourself in the Caribbean Sea life, spend a day lounging on a comfy beach chair or take a dip in the pool. Be sure to stop by the swim-up bar for a premium concoction that’s impossible to resist. And, adults can stop by the adults-only 30-person Jacuzzi for a relaxing soak. The kids have access to the Explorer’s Club. It’s packed full of fun, engaging activities for all ages. After these fun-filled days, you’ll want to grab the family and stop by one of seven restaurants or four lounges. This Riviera Maya private oasis is the perfect combination of Unlimited-Luxury® and adventure.

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These crystal clear waters are calling your name. Answer that call.

The Dominican Republic Welcomes Your Majesty

The Majestic Colonial Punta Cana is exactly what it’s name says – majestic. This 4-star resort is located on Bavaro Beach and is home to powder white sand and sparkling blue Caribbean seas and packed full of activity for the whole family.

Dominican Republic Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

The Majestic Colonial got it’s all-inclusive title from all the amenities, food and activities that come standard.

For the adults, grab some free snorkel gear and head out to shallow waters to explore what’s on the ocean floor. Be sure to take advantage of the free introductory scuba class for those interested. With access to kayaks, water-polo and a full 18-hole golf course just 200m from the resort, you can see how Majestic Colonial earned it’s name.

Dominican Republic Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

Caribbean waters and their complimentary sports and activities should be included in your prescription for a perfect vacation.

When you’re looking to just chill out pool or beach side, slide into the free-form, lagoon-style pool that twists and turns throughout the entire property. The beach is also home to comfy loungers for your enjoyment. Finish up the day by perusing one of the seven gourmet restaurants or catching some live entertainment at one of the 10 bars or lounges. The Majestic Colonial Punta Cana is the ideal compliment to winter blues and your pocketbook, so there’s almost no reason to say no. So say yes.

Holiday and winter travel doesn’t just have to mean extended weekend trips to relatives. Why not take the whole gang and head to the sunny, warm beaches of the Caribbean? There’s no doubt you work hard for your family and it’s about time it paid off. A Caribbean vacation at a great deal is really the only option. Why not reward yourself this season?

No passport, No problem!

Your guide to traveling to the Caribbean sans passport!

You’re dying to head to the Caribbean, but your passport has hidden itself in the bottom of a drawer somewhere, or maybe you never even had one. Quick! What do you do? Head to Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, of course! With no passport, it’s no problem... These two stunning destinations are perfect no passport beach getaways.

With temperatures in that “it feels sooo good outside range,” St. Thomas, USVI, and San Juan, Puerto Rico is simply perfect-o. The tropical mountains on one side, and ocean breeze on the other, create a ridiculous panoramic that pictures don’t do justice.

Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort

If you’re not interested in the multitude of water activities like snorkeling, windsurfing, zip lining, kite boarding, scuba diving, sailing, fishing, parasailing, and kayaking… there’s also some duty free shopping and superb historical heritage to check out and write home about.

The best part of St. Thomas is the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef Resort. It sits on the side of a cliff, which might be the coolest thing we’ve seen in quite some time. We've also got a whole lotta love for the Conrad San Juan, Puerto Rico in no passport paradise. Give us a break, palm tree swaying in the wind… you can’t be this perfect all the time! Or, can you?!

Conrad San Juan, Puerto Rico

Two words. Infinity. Pool. They’re so cool when you look at the edge and it looks like they’re dropping off into the ocean. Especially when the sun is stuck at high noon and you can’t tell which blue is pool and which blue is ocean.

Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort

See, you really don’t have to wait for a new passport to book your summer vacation to the Caribbean. The options for no passport travel have just arrived!

PS – Don't miss out on our Mega Marriott exclusive cheapcaribbean.com sale. Hurry, book now thru Thursday at any Marriott resort for insane savings!!

The Eighth Underwater Wonder of the Diving World…

Snorkeling in Little Cayman at Bloody Bay Wall

We have our favorite places to snorkel in the Caribbean, but we wanted to ask our facebook fans where the best spot is. The answers came pouring in… Aruba, Dominican Republic, Cozumel, St John… over 500 of them! Once we tallied them up, to no surprise, the Cayman Islands reigned supreme! (and we definitely agree)

Just to fill you in on a little bit about this ridiculously beautiful place, The Cayman Islands are made up of Grand Cayman, where the famous Seven Mile Beach lies, and its two sister islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The deepest part of the Caribbean is between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, which makes snorkeling at the Bloody Bay Wall at Jackson’s Point all that more exciting.

Cayman Islands Map

Cayman Islands Map courtesy of Lonely Planet

Since Little Cayman is about 80 miles northeast of Grand Cayman, the 30 minute flight from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman is the best way to go. They do this several times a day, so getting there early to take advantage of every single glorious minute is not a hassle. It’s an excursion that offers up one of the world’s top 3 dive sites for your snorkeling pleasure. Even the sand is different from Grand Cayman, a little bit rockier making it perfect for coral and sea life. The waters are calm and clear for the best viewing (yes, viewing, not touching, fishes are slimy!) experience! There are enough sites near the Bloody Bay Wall to keep your attention for at least an entire day!

This place is the real deal. From 18 ft. to 6,000 ft. in two steps, flat… it’s serious business. If you’re not careful, your heart will drop off once you swim over the shelf of the wall. Mask, flippers, whatever you need to make yourself right at home, be sure to bring it with you. This place is a protected marine reserve for a reason – and that reason is purely for your viewing pleasure.

Did you know these little exotic colored sponges literally live for thousands of years? They certainly do. How they maintain such brilliant color, we’re not exactly sure, but we thank them for giving us something spectacular to look at!

This gem in the middle of the Caribbean has so many different types of critters, it’s unreal. You’ve got conch, stingrays, every kind of flourescent fish you could imagine, and it’s over a mile long, to boot. With all these sea creatures swimming around, it’s a good thing you’re pretty high up on the food chain!

Time really does fly by when you’re having fun. This is one of those adventures that lives in the category of amazingness. As we’ve dubbed the Bloody Bay Wall at Jackson’s Point as the Eighth Underwater Wonder of the Diving World, we can’t imagine life without checking this spot off of the bucket list.

Westin Casuarina

We recommend staying on Grand Cayman for its soft, powdery beaches, and doing some Island hopping to Little Cayman for an unforgettable snorkeling experience in the Caribbean.