The “rock” on which the Villa is built is surrounded by flats perfect for snorkeling and very (we mean very!) shallow water diving.

If diving in 8′ – 10′ of water is okay in your book, the dive is a thoroughly enjoyable experience – and it certainly won’t interfere with your safe dive profile! The rocks and coral heads that encase the circumference of the Villa, as captured in these aerial images courtesy of Adam Rasner, are home to many juvenile fish including drums and queen angel fish. Purple sea fans wave in the shallows in every direction. Schools of squid hang midway in the water column with Needle Fish just under the surface. All to be seen just steps off the sandy beach, as often as you wish.

It is also a great area to pop into for a familiarization dive. If you have been out of the water for some time or are using new dive gear, we encourage you to take a self-guided off-shore refresher dive to check your buoyancy and dive equipment while still within safe distance of the dive staff and facilities.

Diving the circumference of the Rock got “two thumbs up” from Mickey Charteris, underwater naturalist, photographer and author of the successful marine species identification book Caribbean Reef Life.

We had the good fortune to have Mickey with us for a week in early 2016, taking photos and sharing his knowledge with staff and guests like.

In his TripAdvisor post, Mickey wrote, “The shallow shore dives from the Rock, day or night are incredible, with a variety of healthy hard and soft corals and too many species to count, from nurse sharks and multiple rays, to the craziest decorator crabs and macro life.”

A mix of sand, turtle grass, concrete and natural boulders, isolated coral heads and sea fans galore, the “critter list” in this 10′ – 15′ of water just keep mounting. Unlimited tanks for diving this area are include in the dive packages, so be sure to give it a go on your next stay with us both during the day and as a dawn or night dive.

Here are just a few of the creatures spotted during Mickey’s shore dives around the Villa. Of course, these are just a taste of what you can see on the “real” dives at the sites in the Marine Park.