Scuba Diving in Tenerife
Interacting with the beautiful underwater world is always fascinating and exciting. For the most experienced diver or the complete novice, scuba diving is a relaxing escape, a window into a largely unexplored and unseen unique world. When you head down under the surface of the water you will discover another universe filled with colourful fish, ornate coral reefs, dappled sunlight and strange and spiny sea creatures.
Tenerife is a paradise for diving enthusiasts with its great climate and mainly calm waters. The waters round the island are diveable throughout the year, with the temperature varying between 18 degrees in January to around 25-26 degrees in August. Due to the volcanic history of the Canary Islands, the depth of the water around the shoreline allows divers the opportunity to explore the ocean and it’s marine life with or without the need for a boat trip, making it ideal for beginners as well as the more experienced.
What are the best diving sites on the island? Tenerife has two main diving zones; the south east coast and west coast, with the most popular being Las Galletas, Punta de Teno, Radazul and Las Eras, all located in the south. There is also some diving on the north coast out of Puerto de la Cruz, but nothing of any particular interest.
When scuba diving in Tenerife you can expect to see an abundance of sea dwellers including stingrays, morays, trumpet fish, octopus and turtles, as well as caves inhabited by parrotfish, barracudas and giant anemones.
There is a network of diving centres around the island catering for beginners to advanced divers, and a state of the art decompression chamber located in the Universitario de Canarias hospital in case of emergencies.
If exploring wrecks is your passion the Condesito shipwreck may be a choice. The Condesito sits in a neat little under water gully. The hull, cabin and engine room are still intact and teeming with fish including Trumpet Fish, Boxfish, Moray Eels, Indigo Damsel Fish, Octopus and slate blue Sting Rays.
One of our favourite dive sites is one that is a little unassuming and not particularly well known. It’s a site at Los Gigantes which the locals call Los Chuchos. Los Chuchos (The Dogs) is what the locals call the Stingrays. This is a boat dive, and by the time you have reached the bottom Stingrays are starting to appear. There are several species of Ray to be seen including the enormous Atlantic Rays. Other life can also be seen such as Octopus and Barracuda. The site is now so well established that large numbers of Stingrays and Eagle Rays are attracted and will gently take food from the hand of a diver. A fantastic opportunity to see Stingrays up close.
The Steps or Los Escolones is also a dive site which can be enjoyed by all levels of diver. To reach this site you drop down past a shoal of ever present mackerel to the sandy bottom at eighteen metres. The hordes of grunt fish immediately surround you offering a fantastic photo opportunity. There is a spectacular tunnel here and the area attracts a mixture of oceanic species including trumpet fish, zebra bream and trigger fish.
Thanks to Tenerife’s volcanic formation, lava has formed archways out of basalt in Coral Arch. Dark tunnels, hidden caves, long ravines and amazing reefs are surrounded by impressive cliffs and rock landscapes. This stunning series of coral arches includes two memorials. One to the father of scuba, Jacques Cousteau and one to a local diver.
It is a must for photographers with a very good chance of spotting amberjack, rays, moray eels and even the odd angel shark.
This dive is only for the more experienced due to the depth and frequent strong currents that can be encountered.
Cueva del Palm Mar or Palm Mar Cave is a real Tenerife high-light for the advanced diver and yet only 10 minutes from Los Christianos and las Galletas, as it contains everything we want in a dive. The incredible visibility, a very mysterious cave, some action of deep diving and lots of air wild predators are the great attractions of this site. You can see various species of morays such as mediterranean moray, brown moray and tiger-moray. You can also explore the great pinnacles and see big congers.
Underwater caves like Cueva de Ali Baba are also well worth visiting while under the waves. Although it is only some 350 m offshore this is a boat dive only. The wall and the cave entrance is covered in Black Coral and home to Grouper and Morays. Frequently in the cave you will see sleeping Stingrays along with Shrimp and large Anenomes.
An important thing is the fact that even if you are a beginner when it comes to practicing scuba diving you shouldn’t be afraid because Tenerife is a friendly and exciting place. For those who are experienced divers, Tenerife will bring them to another step of their passion. In other words, this place is really a curiosity of nature and it amazes everyone who’s going to scuba dive, whether it’s an experienced or a beginner diver.