Scuba Diving San Juan

Scuba Diving San Juan: The Ultimate Guide

Once a fortified city that was almost impossible to gain access to, San Juan is now the thriving capital of Puerto Rico. San Juan is regarded as one of the most culturally diverse destinations in the world with the added draw of the tropical Caribbean. And that’s all accessible without a passport for US citizens!

San Juan isn’t your average Caribbean destination. It’s rich in culture and full of captivating natural beauty. It’s the central hub to exploring the island and also the most popular cruise port in the Caribbean.

Aside from its enchanting natural beauty and culture, San Juan offers some of the best scuba diving in Puerto Rico. Natural reserves, famous wall diving, and pristine diving conditions, scuba diving San Juan is sure to have something for everyone.

Scuba Diving San Juan

What’s Good About San Juan Diving?

San Juan gives a feel of an island paradise with serene beaches and a world of captivating natural beauty to take in. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer for divers.

Pristine Diving Conditions

With an 80º Fahrenheit average water temperature and over 100 feet of visibility, San Juan offers world-class diving conditions making it suitable for all divers, new and experienced.

Location

San Juan’s prime location leads it to be one of the best spots in Puerto Rico for all diving activities. With its location in the Caribbean Sea, you’ll never fall short of finding exhilarating diving experiences.

Beautiful Dive Sites

There’s no lack of top-class dive sites in San Juan, with brilliant training sites for new divers as well as islands with impeccable visibility and stunning vibrant reefs.

San Juan Scuba Certification

Scuba Certification

There is no requirement to be certified to scuba dive in San Juan. In fact, there are many tour operators that cater specifically to those without any diving experience at all, making it an ideal place to get your first taste of the underwater world.

However, it’s always recommended to get scuba certified to give yourself the best, most enjoyable diving experience possible. While you’ll have a great time scuba diving San Juan as a first time diver, there’s a lot you can miss out on such as stunning glowing night dives and deeper diving.

In addition, becoming scuba certified will help you feel more comfortable and confident underwater. This leads to maximum enjoyment and safety from your diving experience and something worth considering.

San Juan Scuba Diving Requirements

Scuba Diving Safety

San Juan doesn’t have any specific rules or requirements when it comes to scuba diving. As always, tour operators state that you must be in good physical condition and have some swimming ability. Children must be at least 10 years old to scuba dive with a tour operator.

With that said, it’s always a good idea to have a dive buddy when you’re out scuba diving in San Juan, as it is anywhere else. This is particularly the case if you’re out diving without a tour operator or guide. In this situation, it’s also good practice to make use of diver down flags.

Best Dive Sites in San Juan

From world-class training sites to islands full of wonder and natural beauty, San Juan has something for every diver. The incredibly clear Caribbean water will ensure you miss none of the action as you explore vibrant reefs and discover hundreds of species of tropical fish. Here are some of our favorite diving sites in San Juan.

La Cordillera Reef

Island Diving

The reefs along the La Cordillera Nature Reserve are a great place to get your feet wet in Puerto Rico. The Reserve is comprised of a string of ten uninhabited islands, whose clear Caribbean waters allow for a great dive. 

One of the most popular of this string is the picturesque Caya Icacos. The locals have set up great options to take by boat visitors to Caya Icacos and the other islands of La Cordillera for snorkeling and scuba diving, so it is possible to do a little island hopping in your adventure. 

Due to its uninhabited nature, these islands do not offer divers any facilities, so make sure you’ve packed adequate food, drink, and gear for a day without any. 

The sealife makes the lack of facilities worth it, however! The lovely and thriving coral reefs alone enrich every dive. You may also spot a creative mix of marine life – sea turtles, octopus, and stingrays frequent this thriving sea community. 

The water is warm and the visibility is good, offering a great diving experience. Check out our highlight dive package below for your opportunity to explore here! Accessible from Fajardo!

Culebra

Diving San Juan

When you are new to the wonderful world of dive, there aren’t a lot of sites better than Culebra to wet your suit at. There are so many different places in this municipality to explore for diving, that even the most experienced diver will still have a thoroughly enjoyable experience. 

One of the unique features of Culebra is the plethora of sights to see under the sea there. Explore sunken ships and other vessels, take in vibrant coral reefs, and venture into caves filled with mystery. 

With this dive, you want to spend a little time above water, as well. This reserve is home to many protected land animals, including birds and lizards. In fact, one of the first bird sanctuaries in the United States or its territories was established here in 1909. 

Check out our recommended experience from Fajardo below if you’re interested!

Guaynabo

San Juan Reef

An area not always known for its diving, Guaynabo is a hidden gem for diving aficionados. There are plenty of awesome land activities to explore as well here in Guaynabo if you can make the time. One of the most popular destinations in the Caparra – the island’s first European settlement, now a National Historic Landmark.

As for diving, there are a couple of large diving schools that run their businesses out of Guaynabo, as its beaches serve well those learning scuba diving, or those seeking to advance in their diving education. These instructors recognize the value of Guaynabo’s shores and waters and can find the best sites for coral reef dives. 

Find more details of this tour and dive below.

Best Time to go Diving in San Juan

In terms of diving conditions, San Juan wouldn’t be a bad choice any time of the year. San Juan offers that feeling of island paradise all year round and diving conditions change little from month to month.

As a result, you can expect water temperatures of 80º Fahrenheit and underwater visibility of around 100 feet all year round.

With that said, if you’re looking to visit at a time you’ll find less crowded waters and better deals, aim to visit from June to November.

How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost in San Juan?

If you’re looking at booking an experience through a tour company, you’ll find prices between $100-$150. What’s more, all gear and fees will be included, leaving you nothing else to pay.

In addition, a PADI Open Water Certification will set you back around $500, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Scuba Diving Gear in San Juan

Scuba Gear

There are several dive shops situated within San Juan so you’ll have no issue renting equipment for your dives.

What’s more, if you choose to go with a guided tour operator as shown above, equipment rental is included in the price.

However, if you’re a more keen and experienced diver, it might be time to start buying your own gear!

Be sure to check out our buyer’s guides if you’re looking for scuba gear. There you’ll find all of our top recommendations for a range of scuba gear!

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