Scuba Diving in Colombia

The Republic of Colombia — is a country in the northwest of South America, washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Underwater space in Colombia is in the top of the best places for diving on the planet, and also called the diving paradise. This is a country with a developed ecosystem, many Islands are natural reserves, some of them are listed as UNESCO natural heritage. The third largest barrier coral reef is located here, atolls and a lot of coral islands could also be found here. Divers are invited to explore reefs, caves and sunken ships and to dive alongside walls. The famous Malpelo Island is home to several species of sharks and hammerhead fish. Humpback whales and turtles migrate here at certain times of the year. Depths of Isla de San Andres hide myriads of spectacular corals and underwater geyser.

Reasons to Visit

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Malpelo Island is at the top of a large underwater ridge in the middle of the ocean. The island and its surrounding waters are a natural reserve included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Many divers call this island "a shark capital" of the country. Here you will certainly see several species of these predators: hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, reef sharks, silky sharks and, with some luck, also tiger sharks.
Not far from the city of Santa Marta is located a small fishing village Taganga and the Tayrona National marine park. Here you can see picturesque coral reefs, explore sunken ships and caves. This place homes many kinds of fish. You would encounter barracudas, fugu fish, giant rockfish, parrotfish, surgeonfish, moray eels, and nurse sharks.
San Andres Island is called the pearl of the Caribbean sea due to white beaches, clear waters and a rich underwater world. Here you will find clusters of corals, tropical fish, sharks, and dolphins. Several sunken ships lie in the depths. Underwater geyser El Hoyo Soplador has gained immense popularity among divers.
El Valle bay is one of the most popular dive sites in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean sea. Diving into the caves does not require special training, it is enough to be accompanied by an experienced instructor. Marine life here does not stop, not even for a minute.  You can even glimpse some of the rarer species: butterflyfish, Labrus fish, Japanese puffer, Spot-fin porcupinefish, cardinal tetra.
Bahia Solano, with its secluded beaches and coral reefs, is an ideal place for diving, especially for beginners. In local waters, you will see all the magnificence of the Colombian underwater world. Myriads of fish, dolphins, sharks, manta rays and stingrays live here. From July to October, you can witness humpback whales and marine turtles migration.

Diving Destinations in Colombia

Colombia offers many interesting diving spots. The most popular of them are Gorgona Island and San Andrés Island, which house beautiful coral formations; fishing village Taganga has sunken ships and geysers; in Providence Island boasts the third largest barrier reef, Malpelo will amaze you with various sharks species. Malpelo and Providence Island are declared as protected areas by UNESCO and are listed as the UNESCO World Heritage sights.

Memo Notes
Currency COP - Colombian Peso
Languages Spanish
Timezone UTC -5
Phone code 57
Emergency Help 119
Electricity

Type A - 110 V, 60 Hz

Type B - 110 V, 60 Hz

Dive Shops in Colombia

On the mainland you can find many dive shops to choose from. They offer diving safaris or yacht for rent so you can visit remote islands. You can take Deep Diving training or Wreck Diving course, rent equipment, use instructor services.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

Spring in Colombia surprises with dry warm weather in March and pouring rains in April and May. March is a good time to visit Columbia. The air temperature in spring rises to +27-32 °C, water temperature heats up to + 27-29 °C.

Summer

Summer is an excellent time to visit Colombia. The weather is warm, there are no rains and almost no tourists. The air temperature is at + 26-32 °C, water stands at + 27-29 °C.

Autumn

Autumn is a cooler season with long rains. It is better to choose September for a visit. This month it is still sunny and warm. The air temperature is +25 °C and water is +26 °C.

Winter

In winter the weather is dry and pleasant. New year holidays are a peak of the tourist season. February marks the beginning of the rain season. The air temperature is + 26-33 °C, while the water temperature is + 27-29 °C.

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The Best Dive Sites

San Andreas Island has many dive sites. You should definitely visit Barco Hundido, Nirvana, La Piramide, Trampa Tortuga. In Providencia, you can enjoy Serrana Bank, Providence Island, New Bank, Roncador Bank.

Health & Safety

Healthcare in Colombia is quite good. But outside large cities, the possibility of obtaining public healthcare is very limited, and medical services in private clinics are expensive. It is recommended to be vaccinated against yellow fever, hepatitis, malaria. During your stay in the country, we advise you to keep taking preventive medication for diseases that can be transmitted by mosquito bites.
The country is relatively safe, however, standard safety measures are necessary. Kidnapping is fairly frequent here, so you should refrain from night walks and night bus rides and use only certified well-known taxi services. Small fraud and theft are widespread here as well, so be vigilant in large cities and airports.

Dangerous Marine Life

The Caribbean Sea and the Pacific ocean are fraught with many dangers. Standard precautions should be taken during diving. Sharks, moray eels and reef stonefish are especially dangerous. There is a high chance to get injured by sea urchins' needles or sharp edges of corals.

Eat & Drinks

Colombia also has a rich and diverse gastronomic scene. On the coast, locals prefer fish and seafood, and in the South of the country, the menu consists mostly of meats. Tourists are advised to try Ajiaco — a rich soup made from poultry with potatoes and yucca. Beans or rice are traditionally served as a side dish. Another dish that is definitely worth a try is tamale. This is corn with pork, stewed in banana leaves, which is often served with hot chocolate.
It is better to buy bottled water in Colombia.