Review, Scuba Diving in Colombia, All you need to Know
Located in the North of South America, Colombia is a country of strong contrasts sheltering high mountains, lush valleys, alpine lakes and snowy volcanoes. As you can imagine, the wonders of Colombia are not just on the continent: the country has an exceptional coastline of 3,208 kilometers spread over two distinct coasts overlooking the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. There are tropical beaches, a series of beautiful islands, beautiful natural marine reserves and the third largest barrier reef in the world. The country like the neighboring countries, Ecuador and Panama, offers some of the most beautiful diving sites in the world. A diving trip will allow you to discover all these sunken treasures and will not fail to make you want to come back.
Where to go for diving in Colombia?
You can choose between the Caribbean and the Pacific during your diving trip to Colombia. Caribbean dives are quieter and clear, while the Pacific is a bit wilder.
Diving in Isla de Providencia and San Andres
Technically closer to Nicaragua than Colombia, this island is a little visited destination in the Caribbean because it is far from the mainland.
The small island Isla de Providencia has the third largest barrier reef on the planet and the largest reef has an area of 255 km2. The sea surrounding Providencia is a UNESCO protected area known as the Sea Flower Reserve. This reserve has an incredibly clear water and is an excellent alternative to the very popular San Andreas. There are about 40 different dive spots including drop offs, caves, blue holes and even shipwrecks such as the Planchon, a German WWII ship and pirate ships. You can dive here among the most beautiful corals of South America and maybe have the chance to observe four species of sharks.
How to get there? : You must first go to San Andres (Avianca, LAN and VivaColombia cover this route). From there you have two options: a flight to Providencia by Satena or a 4-hour catamaran trip between the islands.
Diving in Malpelo in the Pacific
Unlike the island of Providencia, which can be reached by plane from the mainland, Malpelo Island is a uneven rock located in the Pacific Ocean. This exceptional dive site can only be reached by boat as part of a diving cruise. However, the game is worth it because Malpelo is one of the few places in the world where you can dive with hammerhead sharks, humpback whales and the strange Fierce shark. Some divers even had the chance to see groups of more than 500 sharks around Malpelo. It would be a shame to miss this show.
How to get there? : It is a bit more difficult. You must go there on a dive boat and, beforehand, find out from a travel or tourism agency which companies are currently serving Malpelo and on what dates.
Immersion in Gorgona Island in the Pacific
To dive in the Pacific, the island of Gorgona is another possible choice. This inhospitable island was formerly used as a prison and was transformed into a nature reserve that serves as a breeding ground for humpback whales. There are an impressive number of diving sites where you can see a large number of Pacific species.
How to get there? : It is possible to fly from Cali. Take a boat for divers or a ferry from Buenaventura or a boat from Guatapi. There is a hotel connected to the national park or you can visit them on a diving boat.
Immersion in Gorgona Island in the Pacific
To dive in the Pacific, the island of Gorgona is another possible choice. This inhospitable island was formerly used as a prison and was transformed into a nature reserve that serves as a breeding ground for humpback whales. There are an impressive number of dive sites where you can see a large number of Pacific species.
How to get there? : You can fly from Cali. Take a boat for divers or a ferry from Buenaventura or a boat from Guatapi. There is a hotel connected to the national park or you can visit them on a diving boat.
Capurgana and Sapzurro
This area located on the border of Panama near the Darien province has preserved a beautiful coral reef, partly because of the lack of access and lack of tourism. There are more than 30 diving sites, and from Capurgana you can arrange a diving trip to the fantastic islands of San Blas. The best time to dive is between May and November and there are many good quality diving centers in the city.
How to get there? : By plane from Medellín, or alternatively by land to Turbo, followed by a three-hour boat trip across the Gulf of Uraba (small friendly advise): sit at the back of the boat)
Taganga Caribbean Sea
Taganga ranks last as this region does not compete with the other areas mentioned above. There is, however, a great variety of flora and fauna, including many species of corals. The interest of the place is mainly due to the large number of diving centers that offer training at very competitive rates.
How to get there? : By plane or by land to Santa Marta from anywhere in Colombia, then by bus, bus or taxi motorcycle to Taganga.
When to go diving in Colombia?
With a coastline spread across two ocean frontages, you can dive in Colombia all year round. If you want to see hammerhead sharks in Malpelo, you should focus on the months of January to May.
Whether in the Caribbean Sea or in the Pacific, visibility varies from 15 to 30 meters depending on the diving site.
The ocean currents in Colombia can be very strong off the coast as in Malpelo. Do not hesitate to question the diving club on site.
Required Level : Colombia offers a fantastic playground for all levels of divers. Beginners will be able to spend their dive baptism or their Open Water Pad in the Caribbean Sea. Experienced divers can explore the fantastic reefs of Providencia, Malpelo or Gorgonia in greater depth.
The average water temperature is 28 ° C.
What to see while scuba diving?
A diving trip in Colombia will give you the opportunity to discover some of the most beautiful diving sites in the world but also to observe species seen nowhere else like the ferocious shark that can reach up to 5 meters in length. Other species of sharks swim in the waters of Colombia such as whale shark and hammerhead shark but also manta rays, humpback whales, angel fish, surgeons, butterfly fish or moray eels.