The Man of War Shoal Marine Park is excellent for scuba diving and is home to some of the island’s last pristine reef areas. The park protects a range of habitats from globally threatened coral reefs and seagrass beds to open water.

The Nature Foundation manages and installs all dive moorings on the Dutch side of the Sint Maarten island; in case of any complications please contact the Nature Foundation.

Incredible Variety

The coral reefs are diverse with coral reef mounds, patch reef and fringing reef. Scuba divers are spoiled for choice within the Man of War Shoal Marine Park, the park even includes shipwrecks and sunken artificial reefs. The variety isn’t limited just to the type of dive sites though! Within the park and at all St. Maarten dive sites you can find species of sharks, sea turtles, rays, thousands of reef fish, lobster, conch and crabs! It also is a migratory stopover point for many marine mammals, including whales and dolphins.

Queen Angelfish on Proselyte Reef, Sint Maarten. Photo by Leslie Hickerson

St. Maarten’s most famous dive site, Proselyte Reef, is the site of a Spanish warship that sank in 1801. Artifacts such as large anchors, cannons, barrel hoops, and occasionally cannon balls are still evident on this popular dive site, which is considered a marine archaeological treasure.

Caribbean Reef Shark on dive site Fish Bowl, St. Maarten. Photo by Leslie Hickerson

Although sharks are seen frequently on all our dive sites in the marine park, the sites Big Momma’s Reef and Fishbowl are hotspots to see our friendly St. Maarten sharks. Carib Cargo provides an excellent wreck dive including abundant approaches with sea turtles, especially during night dives!

There is a great variety of depths from Mike’s Maze at 10m/30ft which features a series of swim thrus to Tiegland at 22m/70ft which has the remains of a wreck at the deepest point and a coral mound more shallow.

Diving Guidelines

When you are scuba diving the Man of War Shoal Marine Park, please follow these simple guidelines to make sure you are an Eco-friendly diver.

  • Respect the marine environment!
  • Do not chase, harass or try to ride marine life.
  • Do not remove anything living or dead from the water (except recent trash).
  • Do not throw anything overboard.
  • Do not feed marine life. It changes natural behavior and diet.
  • Leave historical artifacts undisturbed to allow future divers to enjoy them.
  • Maintain good buoyancy control – Do not stand or kneel on the bottom, except where there is sand.
  • Secure all gauges so that they cannot get caught on or drag along the bottom.
  • Do not wear gloves unless you are going up or down a mooring line or wreck diving.
  • Always pass seaward of Marine Park mooring buoys, and always steer clear of dive vessels.
  • Always place ‘diver down’ flag when diving.
  • Never leave your vessel unattended.
  • Enjoy your dive!
Anchor on Proselyte Reef, Sint Maarten. Photo by Leslie Hickerson

Dive Site Map:

Here is a Google Maps version of the Marine Park, including all of the dive sites that we maintain.

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/embed?mid=1zs6wXEAZ74CAYRTjWX93KnHvFtDbyhdJ&w=640&h=480%5D

If you like, you are welcome to reuse our OpenGIS data and create your own version of the map. But, you may not modify our data points.

You are allowed to modify their appearance, however. Feel free to add your own data points as long as they’re clearly identifiable as your own data points and not easily confused with our data points. And… do let us know about your cool creation using our map/park/site data!

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