Off the southwest tip of Antigua, Cades Reef is Antigua’s most popular diving and snorkeling spot. A section of the reef has been designated as an underwater park, and visitors can find more than a dozen dive sites throughout the inner and outer sections of the reef. One of the popular spots on Cades Reef is The Chimney, a dive site on the outer reef, where huge pillar corals create a staircase formation that descends from 40 to 80 feet deep. You can swim through a tunnel in the rock face where you can sometimes spot sleeping nurse sharks. On calm days, visibility at Cades Reef can be 100 feet, and the reef attracts all the usual Caribbean reef fish, including parrotfish, trumpet fish and barracuda.
Cades Reef is about five to 10 minutes by boat from Carlisle Bay or Jolly Harbour. Visitors can book trips to the reef with a variety of scuba diving and snorkeling tour boats.