Diving & Snorkeling

Negril has extensive offshore reefs and cliffs, including grottoes, shallow reefs perfect for novice divers and mid-depth reefs right off the sands of Seven Mile Beach. Clusters of dwarf tube sponges are a noteworthy feature. The West End offers caves and tunnels; its overhangs are popular for night dives. Hawksbill turtles are still quite common here.

Visibility often exceeds 30m and seas are dependably calm. Most dives are in 10m to 23m of water.

Several sites will be of interest to prospective divers. The Throne is a 15m-wide cave with massive sponges, plentiful soft corals, nurse sharks, octopuses, barracuda and stingrays. Aweemaway is a shallow reef area south of the Throne, and has tame stingrays. Deep Plane is the remains of a Cessna airplane lying 21m underwater. Corals and sponges have taken up residence in and around the plane, attracting an abundance of fish, and nurse sharks hang out at a nearby overhang. Sands Club Reef, sitting in 10m of water, lies offshore from the middle of Seven Mile Beach. From here, a drift dive to Shark’s Reef leads through tunnels and overhangs with huge sponges and gorgonian corals.

Snorkeling is especially good off the West End. Expect to pay about US$5 an hour for masks and fins from concession stands on the beach. Most of the scuba-diving providers offer snorkeling tours (about US$25).

Most all-inclusive resorts have scuba facilities. Several companies offer PADI certification and introductory ‘resort courses,’ which are held in swimming pools.