Dive down and explore another world!
Seeing a shipwreck up close is an otherworldly experience. There’s the rusting metal, the mystery of how it sank, and often coral crusting the hull or waving on the deck with the ocean currents. Oh, and sea creatures inside!
It takes a brave traveler to dive or snorkel these ghostly ships, especially when you may see nurse sharks or giant groupers using the wreck as a home—but it’s truly a one-of-a-kind adventure that will leave you with a great story! History buffs and naval enthusiasts will love learning about sunken submarines and warships.
Here are the top shipwrecks to check out in the Caribbean:
Bimini, Bahamas: The SS Sapona
Let’s start with a shipwreck you can see above the waves! Only a few miles off the coast of Bimini in the Bahamas, you can see the eerie shape of the S.S Sapona sticking out of the water. You can now easily set sail for this island paradise and do some shipwreck snorkeling or dive between the pillars of its rusting body.
It was made during World War I and ran aground after a hurricane. Today it’s a refuge for tropical fish and a popular snorkeling and diving spot. Want a spookier experience? Do an after dark dive for the chance to see nocturnal sea creatures, like octopus!
Barbados: The Berwyn
Barbados is packed with exciting underwater adventures—it has one of the healthiest reef systems in the Caribbean and the many shipwrecks make snorkeling and diving more exciting.
The Berwyn is a tugboat that took shelter near Bridgetown in World War I after being attacked, but was mysteriously sunk by its own crew soon after. Whatever the reason, (maybe they wanted to stay for the beautiful beaches?), you can see this coral-covered oddity in good condition standing proud on the ocean floor.
St. Thomas: Multiple
Did you know that St. Thomas has more shipwrecks in its water than any other U.S. Virgin Island? Each offers its own allure, like the WIT Concrete that houses lobsters in its nooks and crannies, nurse sharks, and southern stingrays on its deck.
There’s also the Miss Opportunity lying on its side, so divers can explore between the decks—if they’re brave enough!
Grand Cayman: The MV Captain Keith Tibbetts
The Cayman Islands have more than 350 dive sites, so it’s not surprising you can see a wide array of sunken ships, like US submarines and ships from the United Kingdom in this British Overseas Territory.
One of the most popular dive sites is a frigate from the Soviet Union that measures 330 feet! The MV Captain Keith Tibbetts is now a top dive spot and you can still see the turret guns protruding from the sunken deck, which adds to the otherworldly experience.
Roatan, Honduras: Odyssey
A fairly new shipwreck, the 300-foot Odyssey was intentionally sunk in 2002 not far off the shore of Roatan after it was damaged by a fire. It was a planned diving site and the ship has holes cut right into the side for divers to easily explore it!
As one of the largest diving sites in the Caribbean that’s surrounded by colorful coral reefs, you probably can’t see the entire thing in one go!