Pensacola, located in northwest Florida, is a dive destination you don't want to miss. The emerald waters, dive locations, and southern hospitality are all ingredients for a fantastic dive trip.
To help you plan your dive vacation, I'm here to share some tips so you can experience the best diving possible.
In Pensacola, there is no one-stop shop for all things diving. Diving in Pensacola requires coordination to plan your dive in the emerald waters. Here are three easy steps to help you put your dive trip together, and you'll be on your way.
Plan your dive days and determine what level of site you want to dive. Then you'll want to call your dive charter to ensure you can get on a charter with those requirements.
When you call your dive charter, talk to them about what you want to dive and how many days you would like to dive, and then lock in those spots on the boat.
Most Pensacola diving boats are six-pack boats - only six customers per trip; we leave the cattle boat diving to the rest of the world.
Personal attention and service are what we are known for in Pensacola. Divemasters in the water are the standard practice, but each dive charter is independent and may vary in how they operate.
We have a wide range of hotels to choose from in Pensacola when you come to dive. Enjoy the beach-front condo on Pensacola Beach or Perdido Key for that fantastic sun and sand experience. Nothing is better than a morning dip in the Gulf of Mexico and soaking up the Florida sunshine on our sugar-white sand beaches; it truly is The Way To Beach.
You can also stay closer to downtown Pensacola where you can have wonderful culinary and nightlife experiences.
Unfortunately, you can't stay underwater the whole time, so pick a place to enjoy the rest of what Pensacola has to offer.
The Pensacola Bay Area has many options to stay when visiting Pensacola. Start exploring here.
The final phase in your ultimate Pensacola Dive vacation is to get your gear lined up. Because Pensacola has more locals and drive-and-dive customers, tanks and weights are not typically provided in the cost of your charter, nor do the boats have them for rental and that's where our local dive shops come in.
Our local dive shops, staffed with knowledgeable team members, are glad to help you with all your gear needs. Most of our dive shops are full-service dive centers with everything you need to rent or purchase.
It's always best to call in advance to make sure they can rent what you need.
The dive charters highly recommend nitrox, and most locals take advantage of the mix. A safe mix for most dive sites here is 30%, but check with your dive charters to ensure your gas mix is correct for your diving. If you don't have a nitrox certification, mention that to the dive shop, and they can help you get it.
If you don't have or don't want to bring BCD's and regs, that's no problem. Pensacola area dive shops have a full assortment of quality dive gear available to rent for the day, weekend, or week.
So that's it! Not too hard, huh? Once you know what to do, it's as simple as making a few phone calls, and your fantastic dive trip to Pensacola is a reality.
The dive community here is overwhelmingly friendly and is happy to help you navigate and connect with the people you need.
I can't wait to show you our underwater world of Pensacola Diving!