DIVING SITES ON SAL ISLAND

spotdiving

flagbackThe 3 Caves :

For divers of all levels
Difficulty : 1
Max. depth : 18 meters
Navigation time : 5 minutes

A pretty drop with numerous trumpet fish, groupers, porcupines, moray eels and many other species. As you follow the drop, you may visit 3 small caves where you can see resting turtles and sometimes large stingrays passing by.

flagbackThe BORIS (real name KWARKTZIK) shipwreck :

For level 2 divers (or level 1 with experience)
Difficulty : 2
Max. depth : 28 meters
Navigation time : 5 minutes

Boris is the name of the wreck of a Soviet commercial vessel sunk by the Cape Verde authorities in January 2006. It is current home to several species of fish and manta rays can sometimes be spotted at the edge of the shipwreck.

flagbackCHOCLASSA :

For level 2 divers (or level 1 with experience)
Difficulty : 2
Max. depth :40 meters (deep version)
Max. depth :20 meters (normal version)
Navigation time : 15 minutes

A great dive. This site has an abundance of fauna and flora. Strong currents can be expected. Divers circle a plateau in the open sea and can discover several species of endemic fish such as sharks, tuna fish, trevallies and manta rays. This is one of the finest dives in the Santa Maria area.

flagbackPONTINHA :

For level 2 divers (or level 1 with experience)
Difficulty : 1
Max. depth : 28 meters (deep version)
Max. depth : 20 meters (normal version)
Navigation time : 10 minutes

Divers follow a 12 to 20 meters drop. It is possible to descend a little deeper to 28 meters. Endemic fauna and flora, sea slugs, tropical scorpion fish, moray eels, octopus and many other species.

flagbackFAROL :

For divers of all levels
Difficulty : 1
Max. depth : 18 meters
Intermediate depth : 12 meters
Minimum depth : 8 meters
Navigation time : 5 minutes

FAROL is suitable for divers of all levels and regardless of their objectives, for intro dives and for macro photography. Swim slowly to observe all the holes and crevices and photograph the underwater organisms.

flagbackThe SANT’ANTAO shipwreck :

For divers of all levels
Difficulty : 1
Max. depth : 11 meters
Navigation time : 5 minutes

The wreck of a Portuguese commercial vessel that sunk in front of the village of Santa Maria in 1966.
This wreck is fairly derelict but the visit is always fun experience. Ideal for intro dives, beginners and  photographers.

flagbackCAVALA :

For level 2 divers (with deep sea diving experience)
Difficulty : 3
Max. depth : 45 meters
Navigation time : 5 minutes

This is a deep dive along a 30 to 42 meters drop off. There is a nice cave at the bottom of the drop off where you could find bull sharks, with a magnificent slope teaming with life and full of colors. This dive requires some decompression stops. We also recommend caution.

flagbackCALDERINHA (the old Bolama shipwreck) :

For divers of all levels
Difficulty : 1
Max. depth : 14 meters
Navigation time : 5 minutes

The old wreck of the Bolama (a vessel that sunk in the early 1900s) is completely broken. Only a part of the ship’s funnel is recognizable. The site is teaming with grouper fish, croaker fish, moray eels and turtles.

flagbackPAREDAO :

For divers of all levels Difficulty
Difficulty : 1
Max. depth : 23 meters
Navigation time : 20 minutes

This dive follows a slope that descends to a depth of between 18 and 23 meters. This site is an alternative dive when the current at the other sites is too strong. You can find turtles and stingrays.

flagbackCHAMPIGNONS :

For divers of all levels
Difficulty : 1
Max. depth : 12 meters
Navigation time : 15 minutes

A dive in shallow water, ideal for beginners. Its name derives from the shape of certain rocks which look like mushrooms. You can encounter turtles, octopus and lobsters.

flagbackDUNAS :

Diving for beginners and divers undergoing basic training
Difficulty : 1
Max. depth : 9 meters
Navigation time : 15 minutes

Diving in a small canyon on a sandy seabed where you would see turtles, cuttlefish, groupers and lobsters. The water is shallow and is ideal for beginners on their first dive and for training dives.

flagbackPONTA PRETA :

For level 2 divers
Difficulty : 2
Max. depth : 31 meters
Navigation time : 20 minutes

A plateau of volcanic rocks whose name derives from its black color (preta in Portuguese). The site is teaming with moray eels, yellow fin croakers, sargos and groupers. You can encounter turtles and nurse sharks.

flagbackANCORA :

For divers of all levels
Difficulty : 1
Max. depth : 14 metres
Navigation time : 5 minutes

A dive in shallow water, ideal for beginners and photographers. You can encounter lobsters, small stingrays, trumpet fish, groupers, sleeper sharks and many small organisms that are popular with macro photographers.

4 CAVES IN THE NORTH OF THE ISLAND :

flagbackREGONA

For divers of all levels (with cave diving experience)
Difficulty : 2
Max. depth : 16 meters
Journey time : 40 minutes by car

This excellent dive takes place almost totally inside an underwater channel where you can see slipper lobsters, rock lobsters and occasionally large stingrays under torchlight.
There is also an infinite number of micro-organisms such as red shrimp, arrow crabs and native sea slug. Take about one hour to complete the itinerary.

flagbackDOIS OLHOS

dois-olhos-a

For divers of all levels (with cave diving experience)
Difficulty : 1
Max. depth : 18 meters
Journey time : 40 minutes by car

The name « Dois Olhos » means “Two Eyes” in Portuguese and comes from the two openings through which the light enters, giving you the impression that you are being watched by two huge blue eyes.
The fauna and flora are typical of grotto dives: small organisms such as shrimp and sea slugs. The environment is very special with a slope covered in beautiful yellow coral.

flagbackLANGOSTA VERDE

langosta-verde-a

For level 2 divers (with cave diving experience)
Difficulty : 2
Max. depth : 18 meters
Journey time : 40 minutes by car

This is a slightly more physical dive since you have you go through tunnels that are more narrow than the Dois Olhos and Regona caves.
On entering the cave, you move over a 150-meters long cliff face for 20 minutes at a depth of 17 meters.
You will see large green lobsters.

flagbackBURACONA

buracona-a

buracona-b

For level 2 divers (with cave diving experience)
Difficulty : 2
Max. depth : 28 meters
Journey time : 50 minutes by car

The magnificent Buracona cave is arguably the most famous diving cave. You enter at a depth of 28 meters, then follow a sump which will lead you to the cave opening lit by sunlight. This creates “magical” effects that that photographers love to shoot. They are keen to present their photos at leading underwater photography competitions.

3 LONG DISTANCE DIVES :

flagbackMORRINHO DAS PEDRAS

For level 2 divers
Difficulty : 2
Max. depth : 30 meters
Navigation time : 45 minutes

This coral formation peaks at 18 meters and descends to a depth of 30 meters. Divers will encounter abundance of fauna and flora, including turtles and pelagic species of fish such as tuna and dorado. Whales pass nearby during their period of migration (April to June). You may be able to hear them singing!

flagbackILHEU

For level 2 divers
Difficulty : 2
Max. depth : 21 meters
Navigation time : 1.15 hrs

An excellent dive with an abundance of fish and small organisms.
The site is often exposed to strong currents. You will encounter crustaceans, moray eels, turtles, nurse sharks and stingrays.

flagbackBERA D’CORAL

bera-dcoral-a

bera-dcoral-b

For divers of all levels
Difficulty : 1
Navigation time : 1.30 hrs
Max. depth : 20 metres

This diving site is rarely proposed since it is located off the island’s eastern coast which is exposed to the wind and waves most of the time.
Since it is rarely visited, its remarkable underwater life has been preserved: nurse sharks, large stingrays as well as manta rays if you are lucky enough to spot them.

.