THE DIVE SITES IN PUERTO DEL CARMEN
Here, close to the coast, lovers of the big cliffs will be in their element on various routes. The shallow sandy slope is joined by a cliff that descends deeper than 45 metres. A carpet of colourful sponges covers the reef wall, home to spectacular animals such as; groupers, orange corals and dancing shrimps. It is also an ideal place to meet sea dwellers.
Diving east along the reef wall we find a memorial plaque and an urn, then we reach a small wreck around which the giant grouper called Felix is hanging out. From there we climb back up towards Playa Chica.
EL MUELLITO Y LA PLAYA
The exotic name of the dive site promises a lot. Under water, already at a shallow depth, we move between densely overgrown and inhabited rocks. The play of light reflections between the sun’s rays and the sandy soil makes this place seem tropical. Usually this spot is only used by snorkellers or by divers for the safety stop, as the deeper reef rock face, which is very close by, has even more to offer.
The route to the cave leads over a sandbank. Where we expected a desert, we are surprised here with abundant life. Here we can see garden eels, lizardfish, hairy turbot, pubic crabs, angel sharks and shoals of mullet, marble bream and gilthead.
When we arrive at the reef wall, a curious grouper is sure to be waiting for us, accompanying us for a bit on our way. At the cave entrance we find a small black coral bush, which gives us an idea of the dense forests further down. The way back runs opposite the beach “Playa Chica” over a flat sandy bottom lined with rocks, whose life entertains us during the safety stop.
CUEVA DE LAS GAMBAS
We start the dive in Playa Chica. First, we float through the crystal clear, blue Atlantic Ocean at a depth of about 12 metres. Then comes the epic moment: the last O.K. query and then it’s free fall down into the depths. From 20 metres the reef edge comes towards us and the first big groupers join our side. Arriving at 40 metres, we discover a beautiful, large tree coral.
We now dive around the corner of the reef and the entrance to Grotte opens before our eyes. The groupers take advantage of the rays from our lamps and greedily pounce on the shrimp.
Unfortunately, our computers show little no-decompression time, so it’s time for a slow climb. We now follow the reef edge and arrive at our deep stop. Trumpet fish everywhere and a small wreck just a few metres below us.
Now we slowly climb over the sand into the shallow water and hover over many sand eels.
Finally we arrive at Playa Chica Bay and dive out our safety stop. Reefs on both sides and neon reef fish and sea peacocks everywhere.
Normally we start this dive from shore. From the pier in Playa Chica, you move through shallow water that is always rich in fish. You continue diving over the large underwater dunes, through the field of garden eels to the entrance of the “Blue Hole”, a small tunnel with a short course but great charm, as it starts in the sand and opens into the open water. There are several caves and interesting niches in the reef wall where you can look for underwater creatures. From whole shoals of dancing shrimp to a small orange coral and many typical fish, everything can be found. Since we can also encounter many deep-sea fish here, one should never completely lose sight of the deep blue.
PECIOS DEL BARRANCO DEL QUÍQUERE
The turquoise blue of the water and the easy access invite you to snorkel. From the shore, a staircase leads to the foot of the cliff where the dive begins. The divers initially move away from the coast at right angles to the first two wrecks. It makes sense to approach the third wreck by dinghy, as it is very far out and at great depth. Therefore, we can devote ourselves to the other two in peace, or search the sandy bottom in the surrounding area for angel sharks, garden eels and large stingrays. We should always keep an eye on the dive computer, as it can easily happen to exceed the no-decompression time here.
VERIL DE FARIONES
A whole range of diving excursions can be made along this stretch of coast, especially to great depths. This is the spot in the Canary Islands that offers the steepest slope in the immediate vicinity of the coast. After a comfortable entry from land, you reach the forests of black coral at a depth of 60 m after just a few minutes.
The large groupers that find hiding places in the niches of the reef wall are particularly noticeable, as are the crustose and clubbed anemones that grow on the reef wall and, of course, the forests of black coral that are only accessible to technical divers due to the depth. Quite a few divers have their favourite dives on this reef wall.
The dive begins right at the line of buoys that mark the beach swimming area. Once on the bottom, we dive further down over sandy bottom to a rock arch through which even a diver can fit. Leaving the reef wall on our right, after a few metres we come to a memorial plaque for Richard, a very popular dive guide who discovered and popularised this area. He died while travelling abroad in circumstances unrelated to diving.
PECIOS DE PUERTO DEL CARMEN
This dive is ecommended for those that love shipwrecks. In just one dive, you can visit the remains of up to six wrecks. Curiously, the shallowest ones are the best preserved and one of them even protrudes from underneath the rocks of the jetty, offering a completely unusual view.
The remains of the ships offer a completely different scenery than any other dive on the Island, which makes it a site in high demand by divers that visit Lanzarote for the first time.