Preparations are underway for one of the longest running diving events in the Caribbean — Dominica’s 18th annual Dive Fest — scheduled for July 8-17, 2011. Experienced and beginner divers are expected to participate. Dominica is rated as one of the top 10 dive locations in the world.

Dive Fest educates both novices and experienced divers about the sport of scuba diving and helps raise awareness about the island nation’s unique marine environment. The waters surrounding Dominica boast healthy, thriving reefs covered in colorful sponges and coral. Seahorses, frogfish, flying gurnards and scorpion fish are commonly spotted in Dominica’s waters, but are rarely seen around other Caribbean islands.

There are a number of diving sessions scheduled for both adults and children throughout Dive Fest. Many activities are free or available at a considerably reduced rate. In addition to dive events, Dive Fest offers activities for non-divers, including whale watching, a children’s treasure hunt, beach parties and the hotly contested annual Kubuli Carib canoe race. The pinnacle event for Dive Fest 2011 is the Soufriere Kubuli Beach Party on July 17.

Hotels, resorts and dive operators across the island have great dive packages available during Dive Fest.

Dominica, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, sees itself as a haven for adventure travelers seeking vacations that include hiking and adventure, cultural events/festivals, diving and water sports, whale/dolphin watching and canyoning adventures.