Are you looking for endless days of summer, stunning underwater volcanic rock formations, and fantastic water clarity? Well then we have the perfect scuba diving destination for you! Holiday makers and divers alike are choosing Gran Canaria as their new ‘’go to’’ scuba diving destination.
The geographical location of Gran Canaria is next to the African Coast . As a result, this guarantees weather conditions that are conducive for scuba diving with mild water temperatures all year round. The Island was formed by a volcanic eruption which created breathtaking rock formations both on the surface and underwater. The wide variety of marine life and the diverse range of dive sites makes diving in Gran Canaria pretty spectacular.
Punta de la Monja
Number one on the list goes to Punta de la Monja in El Cabron, the marine reserve. The marine reserve prohibits fishing or boating from taking place, making it the perfect scuba diving playground!
El Cabron was voted as one of the top ten dive sites in Europe, and the prolific amount of Flora and Fauna inhabiting this dive site led to it being declared a site of special scientific interest. The rugged, rocky entry makes this dive site most suited for experienced divers as it is common to experience some swell upon entering. However, as soon as you descend, you will dive through a hole formed in the volcanic rock formation to calm, deep blue water and a prolific amount of marine life.
It is possible to complete two different routes from this entry, but the most common dive is a drift dive around the marine reserve to a beach exit. Upon descending you will be greeted with huge arches and caverns that you are able to swim through. The biomass of the fish species inhabits a marine reserve increases by a whopping 450%. This is certainly the case in El Cabron, with divers frequently spotting huge Stingrays, Angel Sharks, and Moray eels. At a depth of 22 meters this is where you will encounter the shoal of Rhonchorous (sleeping fish) which is a point of interest for all diving schools and locals of the area. Thousands of Rhonchorous stay in the same location all year round, making it the perfect photo opportunity!
The rocky bottom composition of this dive site ensure that the visibility stays constant throughout the year and it is not uncommon to experience 30 meters + visibility.
With it’s huge array of arches, caves and swim throughs, La Catedral definitely deserves a spot on this list. Located just North of the capital city of Las Palmas, this incredible lava-made structure comprised of arches and caves is sure to impress any experienced diver. Many divers who have dived in all the top scuba diving destinations in the world often comment that this site is in their top five dives of all time.
A forty minute boat ride will bring you to the mooring area. As winds and waves generally tend to come from the North of the island this can lead to choppier weather conditions, making the entry/exit of this dive site slightly more challenging. However once you descend to the top of La Catedral at seven metres in depth you can then start to make your way through the twists and turns of this incredible rock formation. Be sure to bring a good torch and your camera as you will want to delve into every hole for large Moray eels, Spider Crabs and Octopus. The marine life here is extensive and often home to huge Groupers and Eagle rays.
I advise that you always dive this site with an experienced guide as the formations make this dive slightly harder to navigate. The volcanic rock formation is thirty meters high however If you qualified to do so you can descend to over forty meters in depth and look back and admire the magnificent structure of La Catedral from the deep blue ocean you now a part of.
The most spectacular and popular wreck to dive in Gran Canaria is the Arona Wreck and for good reason. This ninety-seven meter long cargo ship weighs in at just under 2000 tones and is sure to amaze all divers as it become visible on your descent down the mooring line.
Approximately an hour boat ride from the Las Palmas dock you will reach the entry point. As the wreck sits further away from shore the hour long boat trip will work in your favour as the visibility will dramatically improve. This dive site boasts over thirty metres of visibility, allowing you to absorb a large proportion of the wreck in one view from the top of the mooring line connected to a cargo beam from the wreck.
Two dives are recommended in the same day for this dive site. The first dive is a wreck penetration dive which will allow you to enter the wreck at approximately twenty-five metres in depth. Bring your torch as you enter and watch out for your overhead environment. Allow yourself to visually travel back in time as you see the old cargo holds and let your imagination run wild.
The second dive brings you around the outside of the wreck to a maximum depth of forty metres. You will notice the wreck is surrounded by large shoals of Barracuda, Grunts and Snappers as you admire the impressive vessel from a distance.
So there you have it, the top three dive spots in Gran Canaria that will enthrall all divers and leave you wanting to explore more.
About the Author
James Bamsey is a PADI scuba diving instructor in Gran Canaria with Leagues Ahead Diving. He works hard to promote ocean conservation through his dive center and share his passion for scuba diving with his students. He owns and operates Leagues Ahead Diving with his partner Sophie and the center has been open since 2017.Leagues Ahead Diving dive all sites on Gran Canaria including the famous marine reserve, El Cabron.
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