The Islas Hormigas Marine Park Dive sites  .

 reserve poster landscapeMost of our Boat dives are conducted in the nearby Islas Hormigas Marine Reserve, which boasts some of the best diving in Spain and Europe!

The Reserve is a well established breeding ground for Mediterranean fish and wildlife , it is highly protected by the Marine authorities since 1995 and is home to an abundance of marine life such as huge Groupers, shoals of Barracuda, Octopus, Moray eels, Eagle rays as well as Nudibranch and the occasional Sunfish.

During the months of August to October, in the reserve, you can see huge bait balls which attract Pelagic fish, such as Tuna, Common dentex  and Jacks as well as other predatory fish, all of whom feed on them offering a spectacular show! 

We and many other divers who regularly dive in the Mediterranean  believe this to be the best place to dive in Spain for the abundance  and variation of marine life.

There is a strict policy of no touching or taking! Take only photos and leave only bubbles and memories!

Important note: This area is considered the Best place to dive in Spain and one of the Top areas in Europe for marine life abundance and this is because it is situated in open sea with nutrient rich waters hitting the dive sites that brings fish to this special area, but the marine park is vulnerable to waves and currents so its always advised that you have dived recently, have some experience of diving in currents and are in good shape. we also advise to have a light breakfast and a sea sickness tablet just to be on the safe side.

Please email us to find out more information and advise as your safety is our main concern and we have a 100% safety record that we want to keep.

Download your own full version of this map by CLICKING HEREfor a pdf version.

Islas Hormigas Map

 Please View our promotional video of the marine park below here Islas Hormigas marine reserve video

 

Bajo del Piles I

Access – From Cabo de Palos set course for Las Islas Hormigas for 1.5 miles then you turn towards La Manga crossing Piles.

Description:

thumb_pilles_1_wideangleBajo del Piles consists of two separate rocky spines extending towards the islas Hormigas.The main spine is some 75m long with the two summits at 7m & 9m & can be clearly seen from the boat in the clear waters. 

The second spine is a continuation of the primary & lies parallel to it. It is 9m at its shallowest, with a similar average depth. The seabed is somewhat deeper at around 30m at the southern end.

Both spines are limited in marine flora but this is made up for by the vast array of marine life. The primary spine is renowned for the size & quantity of its indigenous Moray eel population, who share the rocks with Scorpion fish, Mojarras and groupers. The smaller spine attracts larger shoals of mojarra not to mention Barracuda, dentex and large groupers. Both spines are subject to currents some days and none the next .From time to time it can be blown out by the wind.

Common marine life: Huge groupers, large barracuda shoals, comon dentex shoals, bait balls, ornate wrasse.

Visibility: 10 m to 25m

Min depth: 7m

Max depth: 28m

Experience level: Open water and above

Conditions: The south side of the reef is more protected from currents but usually mild to medium. can be choppy in a north east wind.

 

Bajo de Piles II

Description:

thumb_grouper_at_pillesThe second and smaller of the rocky piles spines. This reef system is home to Barracuda, Morjarra, dentex & several large Groupers. To the north and north west of both spines are numerous rocky blocks, which form a labyrinthine home for large Groupers & Eels. In general these are easy, pleasant dives suitable for most levels of divers but care must be taken not to become disorientated, especially around the rocky blocks.

Common marine life: Home of the largest groupers, huge barracuda shoals, large octopus, trigger fish.

Visibility: 10 m to 25m

Min depth: 9m

Max depth: 32m

Experience level: Open water and above

Conditions: The south side of the reef is more protected from currents but usually mild to medium. can be choppy in a north east wind.

 

 Bajo de Dentro

Description:

thumb_barracuda_on_bajo_de_dentroAccess – From Cabo de Palos set course for Islas Hormigas, de Dentro lies exactly 4 km from port, within the marine reserve of Islas Hormigas & takes about 10-15 minutes to reach by the RIB.  Bajo de Dentro is a rocky outcrop that rises from the sandy seabed at 50m at the tip of it’s southern spine to just 4m at its central point. The northern side comprises of gently sloping platform some 20-30m in length which lies in 12-16m of water. Both the eastern & western sides comprise of steep walls though the easterly wall is almost vertical & deeper. Both faces have caves & are around 20m & 40m respectively.

thumb_Moon_Fish_Pez_LunaBecause of the currents that wash this pinnacle, and its protected status, it is rich in both marine flora and fauna. There are large schools of both sea perch, Chromis, Corva, Bream & Mojarra, which in turn attract shoals of Barracuda, Groupers & Dentex. Amongst the rocks lies sanctuary for Scorpion fish, Brotala, Lobsters, Moray and Conger Eels.  There is also an abundance of soft corals such as Gorgonias. You can occasionally spot eagle rays, sunfish & maybe turtles!

Common marine life: large groupers,moray eels, eagle rays, barracuda shoals, dentex, occasional sun fish.

Visibility: 10 m to 40m

Min depth: 4m

Max depth: 45m

Experience level: Open water and above

Conditions: This site is in open waters so can have some strong currents running occasionally and can be choppy in a north east wind.. However on a calm day with no currents this is breathtaking!

 

Bajo de la Testa

Description:

Part of Cabo de Palos marine reserve, Bajo de la Testa is a gentler sloping plateau. It is surrounded by deeper water & fields of oceanic posidonia or neptune grass. The plateau has inhabitants that include schools of Mojarra, Pollack & large green & brown Wrasse.This site has many old artefacts that you could find and the highlight is the 3 roman anchors you can find around the base of the reef! It is also home to many interesting invertebrates. A nice easy dive and the closest of the marine park dives to shore which gives it more protection from a southerly current and wind.

  

Common marine life: moray eels, sea bream, slipper lobster. 

Visibility: 10 m to 25m

Min depth: 8m

Max depth: 22m

Experience level: Open water

Conditions: More protected from currents than the other marine park dive sites due to being closer to shore but  can be choppy in a north east wind.