Shipwrecks beckon curious divers to come and explore and act as a home for all manner of marine life. Here are our reader rankings for the 10 best wreck dives.
These rankings are part of our 2017 World's Best Platinum Awards, a readers survey. For more on the survey and method, click here.
TOP 10 WRECK DIVES
|Spiegel Grove, Key Largo, Florida||17.24%|
|Hilma Hooker, Bonaire||15.27%|
|Kittiwake, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands||13.77%|
|Vandenberg, Key West, Florida||9.18%|
|Capt. Keith Tibbetts, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands||8.15%|
|Rhone, British Virgin Islands||7.35%|
|Eagle, Islamorada, Florida Keys||6.42%|
The Top 3
USS Spiegel Grove | Key Largo, Florida
Newer divers who have to stick to the exterior of this 510-foot landing ship can appreciate the cranes and gun mounts on the stern. They can also take their time exploring the bridge, which starts in 60 feet of water.
Plus, the outside of the ship is where the majority of marine life, including barracuda, grouper, grunts, jacks and angelfish, congregates. Moreover, Florida’s third-largest artificial reef, sunk in 2002, has enjoyed ample time underwater to establish massive communities of sponges and corals, enough to satisfy anyone who prefers reefs to metal.
Advanced divers trained to penetrate can spend an hour or longer inside, taking in the galley, still with its ovens, sinks, stoves and prepping tables, as well as the mess hall, engine rooms, pump rooms, living quarters and brig, aka ship jail.
Hilma Hooker | Bonaire
This 235-foot former drug-running vessel is a perfect self-guided dive, not only because it’s accessible from shore, but also because its bow points due south, making for simple navigation. Plus, its depth, starting in 53 feet of water, is an added bonus.
USS Kittiwake | Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
This 251-foot auxiliary submarine rescue vessel ranks among the Caribbean’s largest artificial reefs and most popular thanks to easy access for recreational divers. Tropical Storm Nate forced the ship onto its port side and closer to a nearby reef in October.