Top 5 Scuba diving sites in Colombia

There are not many countries in the world which are able to offer such diverse experiences for divers as Colombia. With coasts touching the Caribbean and the Pacific, these two oceans are as different as the rain forest and the desert.

Colombia is all about nature and diversity, and this is not surprising given that the country is the second most bio diverse in the world. Between 10-14% of the biodiversity of the planet is found on the surface of Colombia, which occupies only 0.8% of the world’s area.

A great way to experience this nature and diversity is by Scuba Diving. These are the hottest diving spots in Colombia according to Juan Perez, Director Proexport (London):

San Andres

San Andres offers a paradise setting. Photo: Colombia Travel

1. The Cays at San Andres and Providencia

An archipelago in the Caribbean, often referred to as the sea of seven colours, San Andres and Providencia offer a small longitudinal ridge that extends from south to north. It is surrounded by a sea of multicoloured coral reefs, covered with coconut and palm trees. The culture and scenery that can be found make it an unforgettable paradise. 

The two islands offer around 40 great diving spots but the Cays, which are located a few hours away between the two islands offer some of the best diving. Fish of all colours and variety can be found such as butterfly fish, sergeant, bishop, countless fish globe, sea horses, stingrays and barracudas. Experience wreck diving, cliffs and caves, in pleasantly warm waters with good visibility.

2. Neguange and Taganga, in Santa Marta

Santa Marta is the oldest colonial city in the Colombian Caribbean, with many historical sites, monuments and buildings that are part of the colonial architecture and culture of the country.

There are many dive sites to experience, including Bahia Betin, Morro Grande Island and Morrito, Bahia Granate, Bonito, Ensenada de Cocha, Isla de la Aguja, Bahia Gayraca and Neguange. With more than 39 coral species you can see  a variety of fish such as damsels, French angel, butterfly, puffer fish and barracuda.

Close to the Sierra Nevada, home of ancient civilizations which still exist today, is one of the most beautiful places in Colombia. The bays of Santa Marta, Taganga, Concha, Gayraca make an exciting environment where many species live. You can find quiet areas to dive and others that require some experience to handle the strong currents that can be found in the Atlantic.

3. Bahia Solano

Located on the Pacific, Bahia Solano is characterized by beautiful sunsets and colourful sunrises.  Along with El Valle, a town situated south of the Colombian Pacific which has huge beaches, this is one of the best opportunity to enjoy an exotic and superlative nature.

Diving enthusiasts who want to see snappers, groupers and giant rays can visit Piedra de la Esperanza and Punta Diego in Utría, Barco Hundido in Huina, San Telmo in Juna, Chado, and El Faro, among others. It is also a traditional place for whale watching from July to November.

Sharks Malpelo

School of sharks in Malpelo. Photo: CAUT Flickr

4. Malpelo

Located 560 km from the continent, Malpelo is a small rock located in the westernmost point of Colombia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It emerges from the depths of the ocean surrounded by eleven rocks. It has always been on the map but only 20 years ago left its condition of anonymity to become a natural laboratory, an oceanic biodiversity sanctuary and a unique site for diving. If you are looking for an edgy adventure and have strong diving experience, this is the place.

Diving is practically the only activity to be done at Malpelo.  The whole place is just one diving spot, diving randomly all around the rock is always great.  Malpelo is ranked and certified as one of the top ten places in the world to see sharks such as Hammer Head, White Tip, Whale, Tortoise and Solrayo (called “the monster”).

5. Gorgona island

Gorgona is known as “Science Island” for being a living laboratory visited by biologists and researchers, eco tourists and divers. It is a national park composed of one main island and some islets.  It was once a prison until 1984, the island is a natural reserve full of wild and extravagant beauty.

With more than 20 diving spots, over 200 species of fish can be enjoyed, as well as turtles, whale-sharks (the largest living fish species), and the impressive humpback whales who visit from July to October.

Wild Colombia would like to thank Juan G Perez, Director of Proexport (London) for offering to share his knowledge of Scuba diving sites in Colombia. Proexport is the institution in charge of promoting Colombian non-traditional exports, international tourism and foreign investment to Colombia. You can find out all about it here

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