Dive Travel / Puerto Rico
in this commonwealth of the United States, the fourth largest island in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico's varied geography offers a wide range of diving as well as topside opportunities. Its favorable location, straddling the semi-protected Caribbean Sea and the open Atlantic, means that divers get the best of two realms, with sheltered reefs, pelagics from the deep, vertigo-inducing drop-offs and networks of caves and tunnels.
Rincon is where land-based dive operators run trips westward to Desecheo Island, where phenomenal visibility and a treasure chest of dive sites await. One of them is Las Cuevas (the Caves). Because it's shallow, with a max depth of only 30 feet, Las Cuevas is the ideal, chillout second dive, with plenty of canyons and arches to explore. If you've ever played the board game Candyland in your childhood and remember all its odd-shaped mounds, you'll quickly realize why there's a Desecheo dive site named in its honor. That's what the coral formations resemble, and you'll also see plenty of tropical fish. The aptly named Sea Fan City hosts a tremendous array of purple and white sea fans and barrel sponges at a 45-foot garden spot in white sands.
Southern and eastern Puerto Rico also feature great diving. La Parguera, on the island's southwest edge, features at least two dozen spots. Both Black Wall and Efra's Wall have forests of black coral and Fallen Rock is a likely spot for encounters with pelagics.
Eastward, Puerto Rico has two smaller satellite islands ripe for diving - Culebra and Vieques. The establishment of the Culebra Marine Reserve Park ensures that its dive sites are protected. Cayo Lobito is a 75-foot dive where nurse sharks and jacks are plentiful, while Cayo Raton is known for smaller residents.
You may have heard of Vieques in the news - U.S. Naval bombing exercises have drawn the ire of Puerto Rican nationalists - more than for what lies beneath the surface. Unlike other areas of Puerto Rico, there's ample opportunity for shore diving on Vieques. Boat trips shuttle divers out to Angel Reef, where, because it's seldom dived, corals are in excellent shape, and Patti's Reef, which features more swim-throughs.
The average temp in summer is 85; in winter it's 83. Temps are lower at higher elevations.
85 in summer and 75 in winter.
60 to 80 feet around the main island, and upwards of 100 feet around Mona and Desecheo.
The U.S. dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are available in tourist areas.
Atlantic Standard; Puerto Rico does not observe daylight saving time.
English and Spanish are both official languages.
110 volts, 60 cycles, same as the U.S.
Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, no passport is required for U.S. citizens.
There is no departure tax.