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La Palma

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La Palma scuba diving: immerse yourself in the undiscovered wonders of the seabed

By | 17 May, 2024 | 0 comments

Image of the La Palma seabed

Diving is one of the Canary Islands’ most popular leisure activities. Know why? The islands’ volcanic origin combines with spectacular marine fauna and flora, creating ecosystems of unparalleled beauty.

La Palma, known as the ‘isla bonita’, is no exception: the depths of the coastal areas are home to a rich variety of marine species. From colourful coral to mackerel, ornate wrasse fish, moray eels, turtles, manta rays and endless others…

Read on and get our Princess Canary Islands tips on where La Palma scuba diving is at its best.

Beauty and tranquillity at La Salemera

La Salemera zone on the island of La Palma

Meet La Salemera, a fishing district on the coast of Mazo in the south-east of La Palma. The La Salemera diving area is located off Arenas Blancas beach, between the Punta de las Salineras sea wall and Arenas Blancas lighthouse.

With three coves to choose from (each with its own dive site), it’s the ideal enclave to practise scuba diving. What mysteries lie there?

Tranquillity reigns supreme: this is the perfect place for you if you want to completely disconnect from civilisation for a few days. It tends to be pretty quiet, but in the summer months it gets a little more lively.

Abundant fauna: there are three spectacular volcanic coves, with small black-sand beaches and rich marine fauna. You might see anything from small fish (like eels, moray eels and Canary damsels) to octopus, crustaceans and other larger fish like groupers and rays. You might even see a turtle, if you’re lucky. And then there are the incredible underwater landscapes; you’ll find black coral just 15 metres down from the surface, for example (generally found more than 30 metres deep).

Useful information for scuba diving

  • Dive site: 3 dive sites in the cove surrounding the lighthouse, some deeper and others less so.
  • How to get there: it’s easiest to get there by car. It’s a 35-minute journey from our La Palma Princess hotel.
  • Is there a car park? Yes, there’s plenty of space to park around the lighthouse.
  • Experience level: medium (and please note: due to the currents, you should avoid diving here between the months of May and August).

After your dive, why not sample some delicious local cuisine? We recommend the Restaurante Playa Salemera, with a wide range of local fresh fish on the menu as well as traditional Canarian cuisine (including moray eels, ‘murion’ (a fish from the Gymnothorax family), limpets, roasted cheese with ‘mojo’ sauce, and ‘gofio escaldado’ with octopus). And all at great prices, from around 20-30 euros per person.

Los Cancajos, one of the island’s main tourist hubs

Image of Los Cancajos coast

Los Cancajos in the municipality of Breña Baja is a tourist hot spot in the eastern part of the island. This well-known area is home to an abundance of natural pools, with walls carved from volcanic matter and sand. It’s also very close to Santa Cruz de La Palma, so after your dive, you can take the opportunity to look around the island’s capital.

A wide range of dive sites: At Los Cancajos beach you can come up close and personal in shallower depths with several species including ornate wrasse and bream. It’s particularly popular for beginners’ scuba diving courses thanks to its minimal currents, and is a great snorkelling spot, too. If you want to go deep, you can dive 20 metres to the sandy bed, and see gorgonia corals and eels, or visit La Garra, a unique rock in the area.

A corner of the island where the sun rules: it’s a wonderful place to enjoy the beach. Boasting an average temperature of 23 degrees all year round, the sun always shines here.

Plan your trip: you’ll find several scuba diving schools in the area, offering courses along with all the equipment you need.

Useful information for scuba diving

  • Dive site: 3 dive sites: los Cancajos, between 12 and 15 metres deep; La Garra, from 12 to 17 metres deep, and La Charcha, which is much shallower. We recommend La Charca or La Garra if you’re looking for the ultimate La Palma scuba diving experience.
  • How to get there: it’s easiest to get there by car. It’s a 45-minute journey from our hotel.
  • Experience level: low (ideal for scuba diving novices). And remember, between June and August, the trade winds are much stronger. This means more waves, making scuba diving more challenging.
  • Is there a car park? Yes. It’s easy to park in the area.

Charco Verde, a highly accessible paradise

Image of Charco Verde beach

Charco Verde beach is located in the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane on the island’s west coast, just two kilometres from Puerto Naos. This black-sand beach is perfect for scuba diving. Why? It’s one of the sunniest spots on the island. Perfect!

Diving into crystal clear waters: the incredible visibility is what makes this area so special; even from the surface of the water. It makes it perfect for snorkelling.

You can go by boat: there are places with spectacular landscapes a little further from the coast. So, if you want to make the most of this scuba diving experience, we recommend going by boat. Various companies offer these trips.

Next-level experience: you can dive through several underwater arches. The deepest is one of the most impressive. Located 16 metres below sea level, you’ll come across true marvels of the sea. You could see Canary shrimp and lobster being escorted by huge armies of trumpetfish making their way around the area.

Useful information for scuba diving

  • Dive site: several dive points to the north and south of the beach.
  • How to get there: it’s easiest to get there by car. It’s a 45-minute journey from our hotel.
  • Experience level: low-medium-high. It depends which dive site you choose. Due to the eruption of the Tajogaite volcano, you should always remember to check the official safety recommendations.
  • Is there a car park? Yes, there are two spacious parking areas near the beach.

Diving close to the Fuencaliente lighthouse

Beautiful picture of Fuencaliente lighthouse

If you’d like to go scuba diving close to our La Palma Princess hotel, you’re in luck! On the Fuencaliente coast, you’ll find a small beach known as Playa del Faro de Fuencaliente. It’s the perfect spot for beginners. Its location, close to the La Palma Marina Reserve, makes it ideal for scuba diving, with impressive marine life including trumpetfish, moray eels, manta rays and cuttlefish.

An incredible and diverse landscape: it boasts striking large basalt rocks surrounded by an abundance of marine life including sponges and algae in a spectrum of colours. You can choose from a number of dive sites.

The most famous diving area is the underwater cemetery, also known as the ‘Cruces de Malpique’, and the Malpique tower, a site with a rich history behind it and declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. When you get down to 20 meters deep, you’ll see forty crosses in honour of forty local martyrs who died in the sixteenth century off the coast of Fuencaliente. It’s a popular spot, visited by people who want to get a snap of the peculiar scene as well as night diving fans.

Las Cabras is another well-known dive site, and the clear water there makes for sensational visibility. From the pebble beach, you can dive to an underwater cliff, where you’ll see species including groupers, bandtail puffers and even incredible manta rays.

You could also kick off your adventure from the Punta de Los Molinos dive point, where you’ll see an underwater volcanic landscape, or from Fuencaliente lighthouse. The La Palma Marine Reserve Visitor’s Centre is located in the old lighthouse.

We recommend doing this activity with a local professional.

Close to home: Our La Palma flagship the La Palma Princess resort, is just 10 minutes away by car. Super close!

Beware of the currents: you need to take care, as strong currents can form. Follow all safety guidelines and avoid scuba diving on days you’re advised not to do so.

Useful information for scuba diving

    • Where to kick off your adventure: Faro beach next to Las Salinas and the Fuencaliente lighthouse will get you to all the dive points mentioned above.
    • How to get there: our hotel is just 10 minutes away by car, or 14 by public transport.
    • Experience level: medium-high
  • Is there a car park? There’s plenty of space to park at the lighthouse.

These are just some of the top dive sites for La Palma scuba diving. There are also plenty of spectacularly beautiful underwater spots on the west of the island. However, they’re currently prohibited. They’re located in the gas exclusion zone following the Tajogaite volcano eruption (e.g. Puerto Naos or La Bombilla). If you have any questions, we recommend getting in touch with the La Palma Tourist Office.

Also remember there are several diving companies who work with top professionals. They can offer guidance and give you the equipment you need to enjoy this experience to the max, showing you the incomparable wonders of the seabed.

Categories: Canaries, La Palma, Lifestyle

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