Anguilla's turquoise waters boast seven marine parks: Dog Island, Prickley Pear, Seal Island Reef System, Little Bay, Sandy Island, Shoal Bay Harbour Reef System and Stoney Bay Marine Park. Dive sites include wreck dives, shore dives, mini wall dives, night dives and heritage diving. Anguilla is known for its intentionally sunk shipwrecks. The island is home to a truly unique attraction, a 960-ton Spanish galleon, El Buen Consejo, that rests on the ocean floor with its cannons and cargo serving as a silent testament to the Caribbean's turbulent past. Anguilla also boasts a healthy double reef system, where a wide variety of corals flourish.
Weather: About 80 degrees year-round.
Average Water Temp: Mid-80Fs in summer in the north, dropping to mid-70Fs in winter. Dive season is year-round.
Average Visibility: 100-plus feet.
Travel Savvy: A passport and onward or return ticket is required. Anguilla is 20 minutes north from French St. Martin by ferry. There are a number of options available for getting to the island. Visitors can fly directly into Anguilla's Wallblake Airport from Puerto Rico via American Eagle/American Airlines and LIAT, or opt to fly directly to St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Thomas or St. Kitts for easy transfer to Anguilla
Whale sharks, a pod of dolphins, sea lions, a school of hammerheads, a large Galapagos shark, green sea turtles, hundreds of almaco jacks, blue jacks, bacalao, a school of leather bass, Pacific dog snappers, masses of bluestriped chub, yellowfin tuna and blue runners. A lifetime of sightings? Nope. A week's worth? Try again. How about a single dive? Such is life at many of the dive sites in the Galapagos archipelago.
Most divers choose live-aboards when visiting the islands as they cover the most ground and allow you to maximize your time, both on land and at sea. The dive sites are so close to one another that most live-aboards travel after dinner, allowing you to wake up at a new anchorage almost every day. Each island provides several dive sites and unique experiences. The conditions can be iffy: The water can be cool and murky, the currents and surge can be unpredictable. But one thing's for sure: This is truly one of the most exciting advanced dive destinations in the world.
Weather: The islands experience subtropical weather with average temps in the low 70s.
Average Water Temp: Varies widely throughout the islands. Temps can range from 65 to 80 degrees on the surface, but drop to the 50s at depth.
Average Visibility: Vis averages 75 feet, but can range from a few feet to more than 100, depending on conditions.
Travel Savvy: U.S. and Canadian citizens must bring a passport, but don't need a visa.****