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Most of the diving occurs along the north coast at Negril and Montego Bay which is also great; Doctor's Cave beach features one of the most accessible spots on the island. But one of Jamaica's most famous underwater sites is Port Royal or the 'City that Sank'. On June 7, 1692, an earthquake struck largely destroying the city and causing two thirds of it to sink into the sea. It is considered the most important underwater archaeological site in the western hemisphere. Pirates from around the world congregated at Port Royal coming from waters as far away as Madagascaron the far side of Africa. Several 17th and early 18th century pirate ships are sunk within the harbor and being carefully harvested under controlled conditions by different teams of archaeologists.

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Destination Information

When to go:

Year-round, but the hurricane season runs from August to October. Some of the more remote sites can get blown out during winter.

When to Get the Best Deals:

August to October.

What to Pack:

3/2 mm wetsuit, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, sturdy shoes that can get wet for hiking, DAN card.

Water Temperatures:

Seasonal averages: 26°C/78°F in winter and 28°C/83°F in summer.

Air Temperatures:

Seasonal averages: 26*C/79°F in winter and 29°C/83°F in summer.

Currency:

US Dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Visa/Passport Requirements:

Valid passport; check with local immigration office for visa requirements.

Departure Tax:

Included in your airfare.

Immunizations:

None required

What to Eat:

Different spices, fruits and vegetables that arrived to the islands from British colonies can be credited for adding to the flavorful cuisine. You'll find wonderful variations of jerk barbeque, chicken roti, curried goat and whole grilled fish. Lobsters, shrimp and conch are also grilled, baked or mixed in stews. Local fruits like mangos, papayas, coconut and plantains usually come with meals.

What to Drink:

Rum.

Top Adventures/Shopping/Culture:

 

Customs and Culture:

This is a place with a great party atmosphere throughout the island.

Top Festivals/Events:

 

Electricity and Internet:

110-120 Volts, Internet is available in most major hotels.

Drink the water?

Bottle water is recommended.

Language:

English.

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Amazing Marine Life

Whale Shark:

These giants gather off the Maldives and can sometimes be seen during the same dive, at the same sites as manta rays.

Moray Eels:

These large eels can be seen peeking out from their lairs with their mouths usually agape exposing their formidable teeth.

Manta Ray:

These giants follow the plankton blooms throughout the islands.

Napoleon Wrasse:

Also known as the Maori wrasse, this enormous and vividly colored fish can grow to lengths of up to two metres/six feet.

Silvertip Reef Shark:

This large shark, gray with silvery fin-tips, grows up to 3 metres/10 feet long.

Spotted Eagle Ray:

These elegant rays show up when there's a little current for them to hover.

Trevally:

These schooling fish can be found circling in large formations over the reef.

Sea Turtles:

Hawksbill and green turtles can be found swimming in leisurely fashion or napping under ledges on most reefs.

Nudibranch:

Several species of these wildly colored sea slugs can be found in the Maldives.

Lionfish:

Striking in appearance with orange-and-black stripes and frilly venomous spines, these fish remind one more of a tiger than a lion.

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Top Dive Spots

Mona Island:

Often referred to as the "Galápagos of the Caribbean," this site boasts nearly 300 species of fish, as well as hard and soft corals, sea turtles, and occasionally a humpback whale, dolphin, or marlin. Be cautious of currents.

Candyland, Desecheo:

Named for the funky features of the children's board game, this site features gigantic sea fans, lettuce corals, sponges, and a wide array of reef fish.

Las Cuevas, Desecheo:

This network of canyons, arches, and swim-throughs gives the site its name, which translates to mean "the caves."

Fallen Rock, La Parguera:

Dramatic topography of coral-colored boulders and notched walls form a backdrop for chromis, caesar grunts, schoolmasters and Spanish hawkfish, as well as pelagic visitors such as ocean triggerfish, mackerels, jacks, barracuda and spotted eagle rays.

Efra's Wall, La Parguera:

This wall dive, carved by a canyon, features sea fans, whip corals, finger sponges, pore sponges, black coral, slipper lobsters, and crabs, as well as schools of black durgeons, creole wrasse, and parrotfish.

Black Wall, La Parguera:

This steep wall plunges to 30 meters/100 feet, festooned with black coral, black and red sea fans, and multicolored tube sponges. Look for hogfish, black durgeons and triggerfish.

Cayo Raton, Culebra:

Teeming with fish, this curving reef hosts queen angelfish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, horse-eye jacks, and peacock flounders.

Cayo Lobito, Culebra:

Nick-named "the hospital" due to the abundance of nurse sharks, this reef also attracts jacks and barracuda.

Patti's Reef, Vieques:

Remarkable formations of elkhorn and staghorn corals and are interspersed with a rainbow of sponges. Look for nurse sharks, mackerels and other visiting pelagic fish.

Angel Reef, Vieques:

This spur-and-groove formation hosts the gray angelfish from which it takes its name. Keep an eye out for old Spanish anchors.

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