The opportunity to go scuba diving adds — quite literally — a whole other level to your all-inclusive holiday, giving you the opportunity to explore reefs, wrecks and all the colors of the underwater realm…
Sandals and Beaches Resorts, Various Locations
Scuba diving is fully included at all Sandals resorts, as well as at Beaches Resorts. Both require a scuba certification to dive, but you can take an introductory “PADI Resort Certification Programme” at the resorts for $100, allowing you to dive the next day. Combined, these two resort operators cover many of the best dive sites in the Caribbean, from Montego Bay in Jamaica to St. Lawrence in Barbados. PADI — the Professional Association of Diving Instructors — voted Sandals one of the top 5 dive operators in the Western Hemisphere, so you know you’ll be in good hands. And good flippers.
Small Hope Bay Lodge, Andros Island, Bahamas
If you’re looking to stay away from the big chain resorts like Sandals, then Small Hope Bay Lodge might be more your style. Located on the relaxed and secluded Andros Island, Small Hope is aimed at people looking to fish, dive and reconnect with nature. Established in 1960, Small Hope Bay Lodge was the first dive lodge in the Caribbean, and the resort’s beachfront cabins are a stone’s throw from the Andros Barrier Reef — one of the largest in the world. The resort offers more than 60 dive sites, including wrecks, coral gardens and stunning blue holes. With onsite instruction for beginners and a handful of different all-inclusive dive packages, Small Hope is a top choice for novices and scuba experts.
Couples Sans Souci, Jamaica
Want to mix a little romance with your diving? Then consider Couples Sans Souci. This tranquil Ocho Rios resort has great food, an award-winning spa, and plenty of easy trails for strolls in the lush and unspoiled natural surroundings. Then there’s the scuba diving, with options for certified and uncertified divers. You can explore nearby reefs, swim with dolphins, watch trumpet fish and sea turtles, and get all nervous around nurse sharks (don’t worry, they don’t bite — not normally, anyway). The resort also runs night dives for an additional $50, providing a whole new nocturnal experience among octopi, moray eels, drum fish and stingrays.
Cozumel Palace, Cozumel, Mexico
The island of Cozumel, just off the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, is one of the top spots for scuba diving in Mexico. And at the all-inclusive Cozumel Palace, you’ll be just a short hop away from the extensive Palancar Reef, a firm favorite among in-the-know scuba divers. You’ll need to use resort credit for your daily two-tank dives, but you’ll benefit from the resort’s partnership with the Aqua Safari dive shop, a world-class five-star PADI dive center. Expert or beginner, you’ll have the best guides and instructors, and a selection of vibrant reefs to explore.
Curtain Bluff, Antigua
Not only does Curtain Bluff have one of the largest wine collections in the Caribbean (which, by the way, makes it a great place for surviving the zombie apocalypse), it also offers a huge array of activities. For watersports fanatics, this means plenty of swimming, water skiing, kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling and scuba diving — all included. The resort’s twice-daily snorkeling trips, by boat, are a particular highlight, making it a great place to combine both snorkeling and scuba diving. Curtain Bluff is located on the southern coast of Antigua, which is where you’ll find the island’s best dive sites including the ever-popular Cades Reef.
Cayman Brac Beach Resort, Cayman Islands
We finish this list with two serious all-inclusive dive resorts, beginning with Cayman Brac Beach Resort. Cayman Brac is an island about 90 miles north-east of Grand Cayman, and — like the Cayman Islands in general — it’s a mecca for scuba divers. The Cayman Brac Beach Resort doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other all-inclusives, but serious divers won’t mind at all. A seven-night package here includes a whopping 17 boat dives to a variety of dive sites, including stunning wall dives and beautiful shallow dives, all among the colorful coral and fish. You can also go on a wreck dive to the sunken Russian Frigate 356, parts of which you can actually penetrate and explore inside.
Anthony’s Key Resort, Roatan, Honduras
And finally, our second serious dive package: the all-inclusive Anthony’s Key Resort on Roatan, 40 miles off the northern coast of Honduras. This is a place for active vacationers, so don’t expect too much in the way of modern entertainment systems of flat screen TVs (and there’s no booze included). But do expect a moderately-priced holiday with an abundance of water-based activities, including plenty of unforgettable dives. The seven-night dive package, for example, includes three single-tank boat dives per day and two single-tank night dives per week. From the resort you can easily explore many of Roatan’s 35 dive sites, including reefs, wrecks and deep fissures, all in crystalline waters with an occasional dolphin or two. Now that’s a serious dive holiday.