San Salvador is a beautiful island in the Caribbean that is frequently visited by divers. It’s easy to see why travelers flock to this area with its vivid coral reefs, unique marine life, and cascading underwater walls. There are several dive sites to choose from in San Salvador and any of them are worth visiting, but some sites deserve a bit more recognition than others. Certain San Salvador dive sites such as Shark Alley, Grouper Gulley, and Devil’s Claw are unlike any dive spot you’ve experienced before. If you’re planning a dive trip to the Bahamas, be sure to check out these San Salvador dive sites. We promise you won’t be disappointed!
Diving in San Salvador
San Salvador offers some of the best reef and wall diving in the Caribbean. The island’s unique structure comes from the fact that San Salvador’s surface is the top of a largely submerged mountain. The mountain has formed several underwater walls that divers are able to follow as they descend to depths of up to 15,000 feet. During your dive, you’ll likely swim into some unique marine life including green turtles, dolphins, a variety of tropical fish, and even sharks. The island’s dry season runs from the months of November through May which are the most common times to encounter a hammerhead shark, oceanic whitetip shark, and bull sharks.
With the sunny, hot weather being consistent throughout the entire year in San Salvador, diving can be done year-round here. The summer months typically experience temperatures of 85℉ and higher while the winter season ranges between 75℉ and 80℉.
Best Dive Sites in San Salvador
French Bay Wall
Some of the best dive sites in San Salvador are located in the French Bay Wall on the island’s western coast. This area provides exceptional night diving opportunities and consists of a wall so steep that it has many crevasses and overhangs for divers to explore. French Bay Wall boasts visibilities of up to 150 feet and is full of elkhorn and staghorn corals. Take a look at some of our favorite French Bay Wall dive sites below.
Grouper Gulley is just a short 6-minute boat ride from Riding Rock Resort, making it easily accessible from our facility. This dive site is anchored in a large sand plain where walls and coral reefs are abundant. The main wall is located behind the boat parallel to shore and a beautiful coral head at the edge of the reef marks the middle of the dive site. There are several gullies to swim through along the wall, two of which are right in the middle of the Gulley. The wall makes a big curve with a deep plateau that the gullies lead to. To the south, the dive site has several ledges and rolls gradually down to 120 feet. The Grouper Gulley dive site is a great reef for tame fish, small creatures, and big coral formations. Sharks, barracudas, stingrays, and turtles are often seen here while nudibranchs, neck crabs, and wire coral shrimps are found on the lip of the wall.
Shark Alley is also a short boat ride from our resort and takes just 12 minutes to get to. This dive site is aptly named as it is a common site to catch a glimpse of a shark either deep in the water or over the 80-foot plateau. There is another wall here that is staggered and drops from 45 feet to 80 feet and then again to 120 feet. Shark Alley has several large coral heads that come up to 60 feet of depth. Some feet away from the wall is a ridge formation that runs about 200 feet to the right or northeast with several coral tunnels. At the end of the ridge are a few more coral caves and a large pillar coral head can be found on top of the wall just north of the first coral head.
Devil’s Claw is the last dive site in the French Bay Wall and is just 15 minutes from our resort. Off the shore of Longbay, Devil’s Claw is a triple crevice formation with a free-standing coral head offshore of the wall. From above the three cuts look like the fingers of a claw with the coral head being the heel of the paw. This wall is also a double drop beginning at 45 feet to 80 feet and then again at 100 feet to 150 feet. Big marine life like sharks can be seen out over both deep plateaus. There are also lots of nice corals around the crevices and some big elephant ear sponges in the deeper area. This area is home to a big variety of tropical fish.
Diving in San Salvador with Riding Rock Resort
Riding Rock Resort & Marina is one of only two resorts located on the scenic San Salvador oceanfront. Built, owned, and operated by the William’s family since the 1960s, the resort is and always has been dedicated to the comfort and convenience of water sports enthusiasts. Connect with us today to plan your San Salvador dive trip and experience the best of Bahamas diving!