Diving North America is as varied as it can get: from the tropical waters of Florida Keys with its lively reef, the cold waters and migrating whales of Canada, to the icy cold waters of Labrador!
Here we present you some of the best places to dive Mexico, dive the USA, and dive Canada.
Off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsular stretching past Belize and on towards Honduras is the Great Mayan or Meso American Reef, at almost 750 miles the worlds second longest reef, comprised of coral atolls, fringing reefs, barrier reefs and large coral gardens. Diving Mexico, the warm, clear Caribbean waters and bountiful coral in gorgeous formations make this spot a magnet for both marine life, such as dolphins, sharks, shellfish, sea horses, and sea turtles and for divers and snorkelers. There are over one hundred different coral species that make up the reef, the harder corals adding to the skeleton and extending upwards and outwards and the soft corals making for an attractive backdrop to watch more than 500 different species of fish.
There are too many choices for divers and snorklers with something to appeal to everyone from pirate shipwrecks to shallow coral gardens to limestone tunnels and subterranean rivers which feed into the sea creating really unusual diving experiences. Diving the Isla Mujeres on the Cancun end of the reef has huge protected lagoon which has been made into a marine park which is great for new divers and snorklers and just north of the island is the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks, a local favourite and a good place to see sharks at their most passive due to low salt levels in the water.
Undoubtedly diving the Florida Keys are the best offer in the USA. The Keys are world famous as a dive destination. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is in the process of returning the reefs to their pristine beginnings. There are more dive shops and dive boats in Southeast Florida than anywhere else on the planet. With this much volume and competition, the local and traveling diver reaps the benefits of lowest prices and incredible values.
Year after year the Florida Keys attract a million divers and snorkelers, willing to discover this little paradise lying by their doorstep. Here you can find the largest artificial reef and wreck program in the country: the upper Keys have two famous artificial reef wrecks, the Spiegel Grove and the Duane, plus 60 other wrecks in the vicinity, some of them in perfect for the novice diver. There's reefs from North Palm Beach to South Ft. Lauderdale that run parallel to shore; and curious as it can be, Lobster hunting and spearfishing is acceptable in many areas (lobstering in Florida is legal from late July through March).
Southeast Florida is a haven for shutter bugs and camera maniacs: clear blue water, wrecks, abundant life, dramatic reef formations and depths that let you dive and dive and dive. Come within inches of Goliath Groupers, Stingrays, Sharks, Moray and Spotted Eels, a plethora of tropicals, invertebrates and abundant soft and hard corals.
Rated as one of the best cold water destinations in the world, Vancouver Island diving is without question unlike any other on the planet. From may to October there's a procession of whales: Humbback whales, Minke whales, Grey whales, and even Orcas! Best months are August and September. Sea Otters are there all year round!
But diving in Canada is not only about whales. Described by many as having “the best cold-water diving in the known universe”, Browning Pass is a narrow body of water situated between Nigei Island and Balaklava Island, located off the northeastern shore of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Rich nutrients flow with the currents in the Queen Charlotte Strait from the North, providing an abundance of food for the thousands of species that dwell there – invertebrates, fishes and mammals alike. The rich waters of the strait abound in life – to move your hand in the water is to move dozens of animals - and when such conditions are found in narrowly restricted areas such as Browning Pass the colossal amount of life leaves divers in absolute awe.