Southern Caribbean | Scuba diving Holiday

Southern Caribbean

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Southern Caribbean
Caribbean - Bahamas
From £2495 inc. flights*
    
  • Up to 5 dives a day
  • All diving from boat
  • Off the beaten track
  • Pelagic sightings
  • Great snorkelling
The Southern Caribbean tour takes in the full range and huge diversity of diving that few tourists to these islands ever see on a unique voyage in this Caribbean paradise. Get away from the day boats to explore the remote islands of Conception, San Salvador and Mayaguna. Your Carribean liveaboard is the only way to travel in this region, as you cruise between the many cays and shallows that surround each island. Dive after dive there is fresh excitement to be found. There can be no doubt - the Southern Bahamas itinerary will challenge any preconceptions you may have about diving in the Caribbean. Set against the romantic backdrop of white sands and blue skies, let us take you to nirvana.

The Southern Caribbean itinerary starts in and returns to either George Town (Bahamas) or Providenciales (Turks & Caicos) - already you are only a fin step away from pristine reef dives and dramatic drop offs. Find all manner of marine life, big and small in Mayaguana. Jacks, snapper, sargent majors and angel fish are everywhere. Jawfish, blennies, garden eels and so much more await under the incredible aquamarine waves. Parrot fish chomp on coral tops while gargantuan groupers lie resting. Reef sharks are seen frequently and it won't be long till you too can add them to your log book! Nurse sharks, lemon sharks and even hamerheads are all drawn in to the walls. Jump ashore in between dives at Samana Cay for postcard perfect beaches and your own Caribbean idyll. Turtles are plentiful, especially around Conception Island, where they nest on the beaches. San Salvador is another highlight - caves interest the reef plate creating numerous swim throughs. Giant sponges compete for space in the soft coral gardens. Come up to the shallows and you will find elkhorn corals densely packed together. Eagle rays fly past as they move from site to site and you can often see dolphin as the boat sails.

The Southern Caribbean will suit all diver levels, from newbie to salty sea dog. Some walls can be fast drift dives so some experience of currents is helpful but not essential. The wide ranging nature of this itinerary also makes it well suited to photographers. The exact itinerary shifts during the season to focus on the hot spots for that time so you are always guaranteed the best diving in the area no matter which time of year you visit. Non divers are welcome and can snorkel at many locations. Experience this tour of the remotest parts of the Bahamas and you will see for yourself that there is so much more to the Bahamas than you ever thought possible. Dive into the dream today!

Quick Facts

  • Average Water Temp: 22- 30 C
  • Average Air Temp: 22 - 32 C
  • Average Visability: 20m
  • Good for: Sharks, rays, caves & drop offs
  • Suitable for beginners: Yes

Highlights

  • This is a far ranging itinerary with plenty of wall dives and sharks to thrill. As you start and finish in different places, this is the best way to see a huge area, rife with pristine dive sites.

Testimonials

  • "1A - best liveaboard crew I've ever seen, from viewpoint of the crew, organization, service & safety feeling Caribbean Explorer II was the best so far - it was like diving with good friends."Markus Neal
  • "The Shark Reef on Long Island was amazing. To see the sharks swimming up close and personal was great... Great trip."Ryan Hall

This is a typical example of the Southern Caribbean itinerary. The schedule is subject to change according to prevailing weather conditions and is only given as a example of what you would usually encounter during your holiday.



Embarkation Points
On selected dates the boat will arrive/depart George Town in the Bahamas not Provo in Turks & Caicos. The diving will remain focused on the Mayaguana, Samana Cay, San Salvador, Conception Island and Long Island. Some trips may not visit all of these areas so as to focus on fewer selected areas. As such, the exact order of travel may change.


Trip Duration
Turks and Caicos Explorer offers 7 nights on board with up to 5 dives per day (except on arrival and departure days)

Please note the exact number of dives on a trip will depend on local weather conditions and diver experience levels etc. The above number of dives are intended as a rough guide only.

Embarkation
For either arrival point, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your liveaboard where you can settle into your cabin. Embarkation is from 15:00 and you will have dinner on board the boat. The captain will give a welcome briefing, after which you are welcome to relax on board or go ashore for the evening.

Mayaguana
Mayaguana is the most eastern and least developed island in the Bahamas. Usually a full day is spent here. The wall dives are characterised by splendid corals and sponges hang over the drop off. The currents can draw in pelagics such as sharks but thanks to it's remote nature, there is also an abundance of fish life. This whole area forms a nursery for the marine life and the shallow banks are ideal as a gentle afternoon dive.

Samana Cay
As yail to Samana Cay and Rum Cay, keep your eyes sharp for dolphins as you go. The limestone here creates distinct formations and reef systems, heavy with corals and sponges. Samana Cay is a picture perfect uninhabited island with endless white beaches. Hogsty Reef and Mira Por Vos are sheer walls and awesome drift dives. Let yourself be whisked along the reef and enjoy the ride! Vicky's Reef is a sheer wall with massive elephant ear sponges and wire corals. Can you find the tiny whip coral shrimps? Reef sharks are commonly seen patrolling along the edge. La Crevasse has caves to explore but also but with a central tall pinnacle that rises up, surrounded by small reef fish.

San Salvador
The most northerly point of this itinerary is San Salvador. This is not just the landing spot of Christopher Columbus! This deep sea mountain rises out of the surface, creating wall dives a plenty. The depths here are mind blowing. Great Cut is the result of an underwater rift, creating a deep chasm between the main wall and ridge. Double Caves boasts around 4 caves to explore. Hole in the Wall is actually a series of rolling mounds and the place to find eagle rays. Sandy Cliff often rounds off the day diving with an outstanding coral ridge to dive. There is normally a chance to go ashore.

Conception Island
Conception island is completely surrounded by reef and with dive sites such as Grouper Ledge, Missing Link, Chutes and Ladders or Tunnel of Love, you are guaranteed an excellent day's diving. Hammerheads can be found in this area. It is also a nesting area for green turtles so keep your eyes peeled for these passing by or eating soft corals. The coral blocks tend to rise up from a sandy bed, creating fingers of coral packed with horse eye jacks and snappers.

Exumas National Park
Exumas national park is home to a massive range of marine life. Amberjack Reef is overflowing with reef life such as pirate blennies and garden eels. Hundreds of horse eye jacks school around. This is also a brilliant spot to find your first reef sharks and giant groupers. The Austin Wreck is a Bahamian Defence Force Cutter that sank in 1995 and has become an excellent artificial reef as well as wreck dive. The afternoon why not try Barracuda Shoals or Lobster no Lobster reef.

Disembarkation
Once the boat returns to the harbour, you can pack your kit up and head on to the island for the evening. Dinner is not included for this last night but the crew will be all too happy to make reservations or recommendations. Wake up to breakfast before departing the boat around 9:00. You will then be transferred to the airport for any connecting flights you may need on return journey home.


If you would like to add an extension, combine this with another product or tweak the itinerary give us a call so we can discuss your dream diving holiday.

Photos

Turks and Caicos Explorer

Turks and Caicos Explorer

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