Scuba diving holidays in Runaway Bay, Jamaica

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Scuba diving holidays in Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Jamaica's northern coast offers a diverse diving opportunities, so book a scuba diving holiday in Runaway Bay to explore the island's diving sites. The clear waters conceal many treasures, including coral reefs, caves, walls and a variety of marine life.

Located 20 minutes west of the popular resort town of Ocho Rios on Jamaica's north coast, Runaway Bay is the ideal resort to stay in if you are looking for a diverse range of sites located close to the shore. The clear, azure waters conceal a variety of treasures, such as coral reefs, underwater caverns, spectacular walls and sunken boats, and the colours and diversity of marine life is breathtaking.

Jamaica's north coast boasts a very diverse coral reef structure, and many of these reefs lie close to the shore in clear, calm waters. Fortunately, the dive sites around Runaway Bay are protected and boats are forbidden to enter these restricted areas, so this important ecosystem is not disturbed. One of the best reefs to explore is Pockets Reef, a spectacular wall dive that starts at 80 feet and drops to 150 feet. The wall is covered in large trees of deep water gorgonians and black coral, as well as bright blue vase sponges, red sea fans and elephant ear sponges. All kinds of fish species can be spotted here, including schools of grunts, damsels, soldier fish, rainbow runners and Creole wrasse.

Other reefs worth visiting include Ricky's Reef, where you will find a cave decorated with sponges, gorgonians and lettuce coral; Shipwreck Reef, a shallow reef which is full of nooks and crannies, and Shallow Reef, a beautiful shallow reef area covered with sea fans, sea rods and pillar corals. Plenty of tame fish reside here as dive masters often feed them, as well as lobsters, octopuses, basket stars, crabs and many more marine creatures. This is an excellent night diving spot.

No scuba diving holiday in Runaway Bay would be complete without visiting the famous Cayman Trench, which runs along the north coast of Jamaica between Ocho Rios and Runaway Bay. This is one of the deepest points in the world's oceans. The wall of Cayman Trench starts at approximately 20m/60ft and plunges to over 1500 feet and is home to a spectacular range of hard and soft corals, fans and sponges of varying sizes and colours, as well as a myriad of marine life such as spotted and green moray eels, crabs, lobsters and all sorts of fish. This area is a diver's dream.

There are numerous other diving sites in Runaway Bay to mention, but one popular site not to miss is Canyon, where a deep cavity in the reef forms two vertical walls that start at around 35ft (10m) and drop as deep as 140ft (42m). The sides of this majestic formation are adorned with all sorts of coral species such as cactus coral and spiralling wire coral, as well as vibrant sponges, gorgonians and fans. A rich variety of marine life can also be observed here. Gray snappers, Spanish grunts, spotted eagle rays, moray eels, horse-eyed jacks, sea cucumbers and Creole wrasse are just some of the creatures residing here.

Whether you are a novice or an experienced diver, dive centres in Runaway Bay will direct you to the best sites suitable for your level of experience, whilst providing equipment and training where required by professional instructors. This will enable you to get the most from your diving holiday in Jamaica and enjoy as many underwater experiences as possible.

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