Scuba diving holidays in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

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Scuba diving holidays in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

If planning on booking a diving holiday in Ocho Rios, on Jamaica's northern coast, you can guarantee excellent diving centres and beautiful scenery underwater. Dramatic walls, vibrant coral reefs and famous Dunn's River Falls are some of the highlights.

Once the home of Ian Fleming, author of the famous James Bond novels, Ocho Rios (also known as "Ochi"), is one of Jamaica's fastest growing holiday resort towns. Not only is it renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches and lush flora, but it also offers excellent shopping, restaurants and water sports facilities. Scuba diving is one of the most popular activities here, and there is a wide range of exciting dive sites to discover.

Dazzling coral reefs, dramatic walls, caves, wrecks and a rich variety of marine life are typical of the Caribbean's underwater treasures, but Ocho Rios boasts some unique dive spots which are well worth exploring. A good place to start is Top of the Mountain, a 60-foot dive near the spectacular Dunn's River Falls. The site is adorned with many different corals and gorgonians, and many fish species such as squirrel fish and glass-eye snappers reside here.

If you want to participate in wreck diving, dive centres in Ocho Rios will introduce you to the Wreck of Kathryn, a 140-foot steel hull that was deliberately sunk in 1991 to form an artificial reef. It now sits in 50 feet of water with good visibility. The structure remains intact, offering easy access to divers who can swim into the wheel house, whilst the shallow section boasts beautiful coral walls which almost reach the surface. This separate dive area is known as "The Caverns", where you will find an abundance of tropical marine life inside.

One of the best spots for scuba diving in Ocho Rios is Devil's Reef, which is a must for both open water divers and advanced divers. Located east of Ocho Rios, this beautiful site drops from 60 feet to over 200 feet, with a sand shelf at 130 feet, and is renowned for its tunnels, caverns and diverse marine life. Scorpion fish, moray eels, lettuce sea slugs, nurse sharks and a plethora of fish species can be observed here at different depths, as well a wide variety of hard and soft coral species.

Other interesting dive sites to visit during your diving holiday in Ocho Rios include Jack's Hall and Dickie's Reef, amongst others, but it would be well worth venturing slightly further along the coast to Runaway Bay. Not only is the reef itself inhabited by an exciting array of tropical fish and other marine life, but you can also explore Canyon, one of the best dive sites in the area. 20-foot parallel rock walls and dramatic underwater seascapes await you, so visiting this site is a must.

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