The Caribbean offers some of the finest sites in the world for scuba diving and snorkeling. The usually crystal clear warm water offers those travelers with an interest in the underwater world endless opportunities.
The Caribbean extends in a broad arc of over 4000 km from the Bahamas in the north to Guyana and Suriname in the south. For the underwater adventurer, the Caribbean includes coral reefs, large and small sand barriers, mangroves, lagoons, and river estuaries in which to dive. Dive sites offer stretches of reef teeming with tropical fish and walls that drop from six to 6000 meters, wrecks and caves to explore, coral-clad pinnacles and underwater fumaroles that bubble volcanic gases, thousands of tropical fish and marine mammals such as sharks and dolphins.
The Caribbean caters well for scuba divers. There are dive-shops on most of the islands and it is perfectly possible to try the sport out for the first time while you are there. You do not need to be trained in advance or to go on a specific scuba diving holiday. With the PADI ‘resort course’ that is available in most islands, it is quite possible to get underwater within a day–it consists of safety instruction and a tester in a pool followed by a guided open-water dive on the reef.
The Caribbean is the area which includes the Caribbean Sea, which is located to the southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, and to the north of South America. Many of the 7,000 or more islands form a huge arch around the Caribbean Sea, making it a natural borderline. North of the this line, the Bahamas are also regarded as part of the Caribbean. In the north of the Caribbean you can find the bigger islands, like Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. A string of smaller islands runs from Puerto Rico to the mainland of Venezuela. Many of the countries surrounding the Caribbean Sea also have islands in front of their coast. At the center of the sea, you will find only a couple of remote islands, sometimes nothing more than rocks.
North of the this line, the Bahamas are also regarded as part of the Caribbean. In the north of the Caribbean you can find the bigger islands, like Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
Although compared to most other regions/continents in the world there are almost no real big cities, several are worth a visit of their own, most notably Havana. Others are mentioned because of the fact that they (can) act as a gateway to the Caribbean, more than other places.
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