Diving in Colombia
Colombia is a great destination for diving: from the low budget opportunities on the Caribbean coast to the exclusive and perilous dives in Malpelo...
=> Colombia will be on the map of any serious diver in the coming years.
The Atlantic/Carribean Coast
With 1,600 kms of Caribbean coast, Colombia can fulfill the needs of any diver. It is easier to start there as the dives are less technical and the water is much warmer!
Santa-Marta, Taganga, Tayrona
The coast near Santa Marta offers some good diving spots there with extremely attracting prices so a good idea is maybe to do your PADI there and enjoy the nightlife in Taganga at the same time. Depending on the conditions, you can see corals, some turtles, barracudas, rupper fish. PADI prices should be around 700,000 to 800,000 Pesos for a 4-day-course.
The quality of the diving in Cartagena varies a lot depending on the conditions. The reef has been damaged and the diving is not as good as it was. The best spots are the Islas de Rosario and and further away the Islas de SAn Bernardo near Tolu. Diving information in Cartagena.
Providencia and San Andres
Providencia and San Andres offer warm waters, great visibility, fine coral reefs and a good variety of marine life. There are also 2 sunken ships to entertain.
Capurgana and Sapsurro
This is the best spot on the Atlantic coast, it is located near the border with Panama. The beaches, the reefs and the very few tourists make it a unique destination for diving but also just lay on the beach. The only problem here is to get there: by boat from Turbo, or by plane from Medellin.
The Pacific Coast
The Pacific coast of Colombia offers some of the most unique spots on the Planet. The water is colder, the visibility not great but the amount of marine life you can see is simply astounding with Malpelo being the jewel of the crown.
314 miles (506 Kilometers) off the coast of Buenaventura lies Malpelo, one of the best diving spots in the Pacific and the world along with the Galpagos islands and Isla Coco in Costa Rica. Malpelo is not even an island, it's just 3 rocks in the middle of the Pacific inhabited by 2 soldiers!
=> Once there, you will be able to go on a shark safari and observe the rare hammerhead shark or the smalltooth sandtiger shark... Only one dive boat is allowed there at a time so the waters are pristine. Malpelo was designated a World Heritage site in 2006!
Malpelo can only be reached by joining an 8-day dive cruise from one of the operators in Buenaventura (colombia), Puntarenas (Costa Rica) or Puerto David (Panama). The all included trip costs around 2000 USD.
Be aware that this is a technical dive mainly due to the strong current, people have died there.
In Colombia, there are 3 operators that can organise this tour for you : Casco Antiguo in Cali (http://www.cascoantiguocolombia.com), Aviatur (http://www.aviatur.com), Inula-Diving.com (http://www.inula-diving.com) Inula Diving has best recommended to us by our Spanish friend and experienced diver Gerard as a tour with experience and strong safety.
Isla Gorgona is a bigger island along the Pacific coast offering great diving opportunities as well as whale watching. A good diving spot there is near Playa Huina, outside Bahia Solano where a warship has created an artificial reef.