Top four locations for scuba diving in Gran Canaria
Are you a diver looking for some of the best scuba diving in Gran Canaria or are you a beginner looking to try scuba diving? Look no further. Leagues Ahead Diving have compiled a list of the four best dive sites on Gran Canaria that will suit all of your diving needs. Find your favourite dive site and contact us to book any of these 4 locations or any of our other dive sites.
*The experience level does not imply that the dive site is dangerous. You should always dive within your limits and training qualification. In the guide, the experience rating applies to the fact that the dive site has a greater maximum depth or that the entry to the dive site itself is more challenging than an easy calm beach entry ( which would be rated a one star like Amadores.) Enjoy the guide!
SCUBA DIVING IN GRAN CANARIA – AMADORES
Experience Level = ★✰✰✰✰
- Maximum depth: 14 meters
- Minimum level of certification: Discover Scuba Divers
- Entry: Shore
What is the entry to the dive site like?
Amadores is a sandy beach shore entry. It is only a short 1 minute walk from the carpark to the entry point which is located on the left side of the beach.
What is the topography of Amadores?
The most common dive route is outside the bay following the left arm of the artificial breakwater. This route has a maximum depth of 13 meters and allows you to explore the marine life hiding in the breakwater. The topography on the left of this dive consists of an artificial reef allowing you to identify plenty of marine life that Gran Canaria is renowned for. If you look to your right on this dive you will see a sandy bottom where Stingrays and Angel Sharks like to hide.
What marine life can i expect to see?
At 5 meters and approximately five minutes into the dive, you will be greeted by a large shoal of juvenile sleeping fish. When Scuba diving in Gran Canaria you will also be able to spot large Cuttlefish, Octopus and huge numbers of Atlantic Damselfish and Bluefin Damselfish.
SCUBA DIVING IN GRAN CANARIA – TUFIA
Experience Level = ★★✰✰✰
- Maximum depth: 22 meters
- Minimum level of certification: Discover Scuba Divers
- Entry: Shore
Is the entry difficult?
- Like Amadores Bay, Tufia is a beach entry and accesible for all levels of diving experience.
- It is a little more exerting than Amadores Bay because of a hill you have to walk down to get to the dive site and of course, walk back up once the dive is completed!
What is the topography of Tufia?
This dive site in Gran Canaria was created by a volcanic eruption. Because of the eruption, this dive site epitomizes what scuba diving Gran Canaria is like. The volcanic rock sculpture is the perfect habitat for the rich marine life of Gran Canaria to inhabit.
This dive site has two different routes. One route has a maximum depth of 22 meters so we recommend this to certified divers Open Water or above. The second dive has a maximum depth of 12m so is perfect for those who are of a Scuba Diver rating or those who are looking to refresh their scuba diving skills. A beautiful cavern that is located at 15m in depth is a point of interest for our divers.
What is the marine life like in Tufia?
Tufia is home to an abundance of marine life. It is not uncommon to spot an Angel shark hiding on the reef below or the giant Stingrays which our divers can expect to see when they book a dive in Gran Canaria. On rare occasions, you can spot turtles.
SCUBA DIVING IN GRAN CANARIA – EL CABRON
* As El Cabron is the most renowned dive site in Gran Canaria, we have outlined four of the most common routes for you!
- Route 1 Discovery Bay ★☆☆☆☆
- Route 2. Punta de la monja ★★★☆☆
- Route 3. Table top ★★★☆☆
- Route 4. Punta de la Sal ★★★★☆
Is El Cabron a Marine reserve?
Yes! El Cabron was given the title of ‘marine reserve’ partly due to a large number of flora and fauna species that inhabit this dive site. A study shows that in marine reserves the biomass of fish species increases by 450% and this is definitely true in El Cabron, with this dive site boasting some of the biggest and most varied fish species in the whole Canary islands.
El Cabron route 1. Discovery Bay
Experience Level ★☆☆☆☆
Recommended certification level: Open water diver, also suitable for first-time divers and snorkeling.
Maximum depth: 18m
How do we enter the dive site?
A short walk along volcanic sand brings us to the entry point, located on the left side of the beach. Discovery Bay is the perfect dive site for beginners to have an introduction to the amazing dive reefs of El Cabron.
What is the topography of Discovery bay?
We will descend to a depth of 4 meters where you will see the start of the volcanic rock formation on your left. This rock formation is your dive route and you shall be following this for the duration of your dive. On your right is a flat sandy bottom composition, perfect for spotting Angel sharks and Eagle rays.
Point of interest
A point of interest is at 8 meters. Here you will find a cavern. The cavern is approximately 7 meters in width and goes back 4 meters into the rock formation. It is not uncommon to find a Stingray resting at the back.
El Cabron Route 2 .Punta de la Monja:
Experience Level ★★★☆☆
Recommended certification level: Experienced Open water diver to Advanced Open water diver +
Maximum depth: 22m
Entry: Rocky shore entry
What is the route of Punta De La Monja?
In our opinion, this is the most varied dive that also offers the most marine life in El Cabron. The best time to enter this dive site is at low tide.
Once we are in the water we will surface swim for 15 meters out to sea until the water is deep enough for you to descend. We will continue swimming until we reach a hole in the volcanic rock formation.
The geology of El Cabron has created a large hole that you will come across when you descend and follow the reef. This hole is large enough to safely dive through and it will bring you to the main dive route and to a depth of 9 meters. Once you have descended through the hole, you will be greeted with calm and deep blue water.
Main points of interest
After a few minutes, you will be greeted with one of El Cabron’s most stunning rock formations – the arch of El Cabron (pictured.) The arch is home to a prolific amount of marine life including countless large Trumpetfish, Atlantic Damselfish, and White Seabream.
After we descend deeper from the Arch to 20 meters we will encounter another spectacular sight, the shoal of Rhonchorous (sleeping fish.) This lazy species of fish always stay in the same area in shoals of thousands. Thus allowing you to swim straight into the shoal and be engulfed in fish.
Punta de la Monja is also home to the longest cavern of El Cabron. Make sure you turn your torch on before swimming 20 meters into the cavern. As you swim in, make sure to deflate your BCD frequently in small amounts as the cavern has an upwards incline. Check for the sleeping stingrays that inhabit this cavern. When you exit remember to avoid kicking up the sand to keep the visibility for other divers.
El Cabron Route 3 – The table top
Experience Level ★★★☆☆
Recommended certification level: Open water diver
Maximum depth: 23m
Entry: Rocky shore
The most popular entry point in El Cabron is the bathtub. A semi-circle rock formation that shelters the entry point from the waves hitting the shore, making this the easiest and safest entry point for this area of the marine reserve.
We shall descend to 5 meters in depth where you will normally be greeted with 15-25 meter visibility. The bottom composition of this dive is primarily rock, meaning the visibility is normally better than the other dive locations such as Discovery Bay. We like to cut the reef and swim on the table top for five minutes at a depth of 11 meters. Diving on the table top will allow us to spot the Fangtooth eel, Moray eel and a wide variety of colorful Nudibranchs. After five minutes we will reach the edge of the reef where you will be able to see the sandy bottom and a vertical descent down to 20 meters.
Once we descend to 20 meters we will immediately turn into one of the most impressive caverns that El Cabron has to offer. There is a hole at the back of this cavern which allows natural sunlight to brighten the cavern. Using your torch look for Stingrays, Glass-Eye fish, and Cardinalfish that inhabit these darker areas.
Follow the volcanic rock formation to the right. From this point on the volcanic reef on your right side is incredibly impressive. Continue exploring smaller caverns until we reach a depth of 23 meters where we usually turn the dive around. We commonly spend a lot of time at 23 meters as there are so many crevices to explore and large Barracuda and Groupers to be spotted.
Then ascend back to the table top at 11 meters, exploring another route when diving back to the exit point. Once we reach the bathtub, we shall relax at 5 meters and complete our safety stop, while spotting Cuttlefish and Octopus.
El Cabron route 4. Punta de la Sal
Experience Level ★★★★☆
Recommended certification level: Advanced open water diver
Maximum depth: 33m
Entry: Rocky shore
How do we enter this dive?
For this dive, we enter the water from the bathtub, the same entry point as The Table Top.
The route we follow
After diving for approximately 10 minutes and reaching the depth of 18 meters, we dive away from the reef and down to the sandy bottom composition. Once on the sandy bottom at 24 meters depth, you will be surrounded by hundreds of Garden Eels that will bury themselves very quickly in the sand once you approach them (similar to the game whack-a-mole.)
From this point, we shall continue to gradually descend over impressive large rock formations until we reach a depth of 33 meters! At this depth, you really begin to feel like you are in a different world, with a dark eerie feel and a high chance of spotting giant Rays. We will then search for the beautiful fan coral formation, which seems really alien in contrast to the rocky sand bottom composition of this dive.
SCUBA DIVING IN GRAN CANARIA – LA CATEDRAL
Experience Level =★★★★★
- Maximum depth: 40 meters +
- Minimum level of certification: Experienced advanced open water divers +
- Entry: Boat
The dive is not challenging if you are comfortable and dive within your limits. La Catedral has a maximum depth of 40 metres and is home to Gran Canaria’s most breathtaking landscape.
How do I get to the dive site?
Boat! The dive site is located in La Isleta peninsula just to the north of the capital city Las Palmas and a boat ride of approximately 45 minutes brings us to the dive site.
What is the topography like on La Catedral?
This dive in Gran Canaria is renowned for its mass of caves, arches and caverns. The volcanic structure is over 30 metres high. The volcanically formed arches epitomize what diving Gran Canaria is like. You are enthralled by volcanic structures large enough to swim through (don’t forget your torch!)
What marine life will I see?
During the dive, you will be enthralled by swarms of fish including Sleeping Fish. It is common to spot Stingrays and Moray eels hiding in the volcanic rock formations. Check out the video about diving La Catedral to see just a small variety of the marine life that is typical when diving Gran Canaria.
Author: Sophie Keningale
Sophie Keningale works hard to share her passion for scuba diving through her blog posts and hopes to offer useful information for scuba divers and those holidaying in Gran Canaria. Sophie owns and operates Leagues Ahead Diving with her partner James and the center has been open since 2017.