Martinique Diving

Martinique's geography features a lush and verdant interior and a stunningly beautiful coastline. Measuring more than forty miles by almost twenty miles, the island is fairly large. Topographically the land gradually rises from the shoreline to the center of the island, and also quite a bit higher around the northern area, offering a terrific opportunity for spectacular sightseeing from Mount Pelee and Carbet, the island's highest points. The Caribbean Sea lies off the western coastline and the Atlantic Ocean is to the east. The two oceans together offer many great Martinique scuba adventures for visitors. Diving in Martinique is a popular pastime with a number of opportunities for both beginners and experienced divers, including reefs and wrecks.

The coastline is replete with numerous scenic coves and bays that make fascinating and colorful underwater areas to explore when scuba diving in Martinique. For amateurs, Martinique diving is ideal as there are many easy sites that don't require much skill to reap the benefits of the sea's beauty. Just as hiking around the island reveals diverse flora and fauna, scuba diving in Martinique is also extremely enjoyable for the same reasons. Colorful sea flora are abundant as is an array of underwater life such as barracudas, dolphins, and tortoises, all native to the surrounding area. Expansive caves, fascinating wrecks, beautiful coral reefs, and unique plates all lie under the ocean's surface. All of these sights combined make for a very pleasant and exciting experience diving in Martinique.

With more than twenty Martinique diving operators and almost thirty excellent dive sites, the choices for tourists are great. Since the eruption in 1902 of famous Mount Pelee, one of the top things to do for visitors is Martinique scuba diving. With all the destruction came a dozen or so new dive sites found off the coastline along the western shores. Offshore there are many breathtaking rock formations and nearby reefs to explore while underwater. Speaking French will help you access the best of Martinique diving trips as most operators are not fluent in English. There are some that do speak English well, yet they are harder to find and are often booked up in advance.

To the west of the popular beach of Les Salines lies Diamond Rock, or Le Diamant, a well-known site for scuba diving in Martinique. This is one of the sites for wreck diving in Martinique where visitors can explore a sunken motorboat that once provided regular service between Fort de France and St Pierre, but only traces of the engine are visible. Wreck diving is one of the top things to do when it comes to deep-sea adventure and offers a wealth of island history to learn about. The Dahlia is another popular wreck that sunk in 1960 and is now blanketed by beautiful coral and teeming with vibrant, exotic fish.

One of the several nearby ships that sunk when Mt Pelee erupted was a Canadian cargo ship called The Roraima. This liner is still in fair shape with exploration of the engine room and gangways still possible. The Theresa Lo Vigo, a large sailing ship, was another casualty of Mt Pelee. With its cargo still undamaged, the ship is a great one to dive around and the broken hull is now home to many small and interesting sea creatures. The only wreck available for beginners to dive is called The Raisinier, which is a barge now flipped over onto its side on a seabed off the west coast.

Most Martinique hotels will readily arrange a Martinique scuba diving trip for guests. Some Martinique luxury hotels offer scuba lessons in large swimming pools. There are more than a dozen reef dives around Martinique, many which are sixty feet in depth or less making them completely accessible to novice divers. For those who wish to experience the beauty of the underwater world without diving, snorkeling is a terrific alternative to Martinique diving. Many resorts and hotels have snorkeling equipment on hand for guests to use. The visibility and temperature of the water affords exquisite snorkeling excursions around a few of the best spots including Anse Dufour, Anse Noire, Cap Chevalier, and Anses d"Arlet.

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