Diving Overview for Colombia
Colombia, the land of sun, sea and party, famous for its coffee and emeralds, is fast becoming one of the top diving destinations in South America.
You can dive on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. The Caribbean side is more developed and attracts a greater number of divers than the Pacific coast where the currents are a little stronger but dive sites are less exploited.
On the Pacific coast, Bahia Solano is a popular diving area and Gorgana ‘Prison’ Island, a jail until 1985, now a sanctuary for marine life, are fantastic places to see sea lions, dolphins and migrating whale sharks.
For those adventurous divers, try Malpelo Island (500km off the Pacific coast –permit required). This is an excellent place to see huge schools of hammerheads, silky sharks and other sharks, mantas, giant tunas, sail fish and the odd passing whale shark.
The Caribbean coast has some excellent dive sites and more sheltered conditions. There are beautiful reefs around Isla Rosario, Santa Marta and Taganga which is becoming a popular area for diver training courses. The beautiful city of Cartagena, a world heritage site, has some good diving and trips to Isla Rosario and Isla Baru.
Some of the best diving is around the Colombian province of San Andreas and Providenica which offer spectacular diving with almost 2 thousand square miles of reef, caves, tunnels and wrecks to explore. San Andreas and Providencia are actually located off the Nicaraguan coast but remain Colombian territory and despite any trouble on the mainland, these laid-back islands remain peaceful and secure. Diving here is spectacular, water temperatures are usually over 30°C and many divers dive without wetsuits over the shallow reefs. Expect to see an abundance of brightly coloured corals, thousands of beautiful fish, fat moray eels and plenty of large pelagic fish from rays and turtles to passing sharks. There are several shipwrecks full of large barracuda and even an aircraft to explore.
Diving is possible all year round with average water temperatures of 26°C (warmer in the north and warmer again in summer!) and good visibility. Some sites experience strong currents, especially on the Pacific Coast.
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