For many divers nothing beats the allure of a sunken wreck, offering excitement, intrigue, mystery and history all wrapped up into one dive. There are literally thousands of popular wreck diving sites throughout the world. some of these are artificial wrecks, sunk deliberately to attract divers, others are wrecks of vessels lost due to weather or due to wartime hostilities.
Luckily for Occidental Dive Vacations clients, several of our destinations offer excellent opportunities to explore wrecks suitable for both novice and experienced divers.
Occidental Grand Aruba and Unique Sports of Aruba offer dives at The Antilla shipwreck, a German freighter that was sunk in just 60 feet of water just prior to World War II, is one of the most interesting wrecks in the Caribbean. The ship stretches over 400 feet, making it a site that needs to be explored over several different dives.
Divers are allowed to penetrate several large open compartments, where they will likely share the space with tarpon, schools of silversides or any number of colorful reef fish. Having been sunk for more than 60 years, a wide variety of sea creatures have moved in to call the wreck home including tunicates, orange cup coral, purple tube sponges, and Christmas tree worms.
The Arashi Airplane, a twin-engine Beechcraft, is an excellent site for beginner divers and junior certified divers as it sits in only 33 feet not far from Arashi Beach. Though the planes propellers are no longer in tact, the cockpit has become the home for large numbers of schooling fish.
The Sonesta Airplane off of Sonesta Island is the final resting place of a Convair 240. The craft, which has since broken into three parts, lies on a sloping reef surrounded by soft corals and colorful sponges.
Another shallow water wreck of interest is the SS Perdernales, an oil tanker torpedoed by a German submarine in World War II lying off of Hadicurati Beach. The bow and stern were towed away and reconstructed by the US military, leaving large chunks of the torpedoed mid-section scattered along a coral reef in 25 feet of water.
This wreck is an option for both divers and snorkelers to visit due to its shallow lie.
Occidental Grand Punta Cana and Pro Dive Dominican Republic offer wreck diving on the 300 foot long wreck of the Astro. Sunk more than 20 years ago, the wreck is now home to an immense "beehive" display of yellowtail snapper, grunts, blue tang and black durgeons.