Shore dives.

cabo de palos bays

Around the area of La Manga we have a variety of interesting and exciting dive sites all found within the Mediterranean Sea.

We are very fortunate as an abundance of marine life with shoals of smaller fish, good rock formations and    plenty of swim throughs can   be found. The bays are full of posidonia or neptune grass which attract a large  number of fish and marine creatures that use it to feed or to hide from predators.  The average depth is 10  metres with our more advanced shore dives going as deep as 22 metres.

The visibility is usually good at around 10 to 20 metres and the water temperature is an average of 20c    rising    up to 28c in July/August. The dive sites are on the edge of the Islas Hormigas Marine Reserve and there is  always the possibility of sighting some of our larger marine creatures including barracuda , rays and even  sun/moon fish.

We have 5 dive sites around the lighthouse at Cabo de Palos, located north, east and south east facing.  Providing an almost guaranteed chance to ‘get wet’ what ever the weather.  And generally the sky is  clear  blue!

We then head south along the coast where we have a secluded bay which is a popular breeding ground for  shoals of smaller fish along with an array of octopus and cuttlefish.

Further on down the coast we have an unusual dive site, albeit a bit shallow but with the chance of seeing  blue spotted rays and flying gurnards!

Last of all we head into the roman town of Cartagena. On the outskirts there is a secluded bay which has 2  dive sites all in the one spot. Octopus thrive here and again lots of marine life can be found including the  huge  sand piper on the sandy bottom.  At this dive site you will find a popular restaurant overlooking a   sandy beach  which is a great place to relax after the dive and chat about your dive experience over a cool drink and tasty  food. There is always the chance of viewing a submarine surfacing as it heads into the naval port of Cartagena!

 

Cabo de Palos Dive sites.

cabo_shoreCala Fria

One of our most dived sites and one we are very fond of. The site faces NNE, entering from a beautiful small shingle bay overlooked by the El Faro (Lighthouse) which slowly descends to a sandy seabed, glimpsing a small wreck to the right side of the bay.  Octopus are regularly seen here and on our night dives sand eels are in abundance. As we head out of the bay slowly descending all the time to a maximum depth of about 12metres and, depending on your dive guide and your air consumption you could be taken through a beautiful swim through, passing over fields of posidonia and looking out for the elusive pipefish. Around and through the rock pinnacles there is an abundance of fish life where we often spot rays in the distance.

Bottom composition: shingle leading to sea grass and large rock formations with swim throughs.

Visibility: 10-20 metres.

Average depth: 10 metres.

Max depth:  16 metres.

Experience level: Beginner

Escaleras

Again another one of our favourite dive sites facing SE. We begin with a short walk down some purpose built steps to a tiny bay, from here we do a short surface swim over beautiful rock formations and posidonia, again looking out for pipefish, octopus and lots of smaller fish.

This is a great area for snorkellers as well. As we approach a small sandy patch we descend slowly and from here we head out of the bay. Again, depending on the guide and which route they take you could end up going through beautiful and somewhat challenging swim throughs or taking more leisurely routes looking out for barracuda and other pelagic fish in the distance.  With even the sighting of the intriguing mola mola (aka the sunfish) or more aptly named the moonfish.

This site provides an interesting variety of up six different routes and so it never ceases to be talked about long after you have surfaced.

Bottom composition: shingle leading to sea grass and large rock formations with swim throughs.

Visibility: 10-20 metres.cala_fria_wreckAverage depth: 12 metres.

Max depth:  22 metres.

Experience level: Beginner.

 

 

Cala Correos and cathederal bays.

Both of these excellent shore dives are an exploration of the local areas underwater environment. They face SSE and are filled with huge pinnacles breaking out of the water and beneath these pinnacles are swim throughs, caverns and rock formations from a distant past. The marine life here on both sites are varied and are always filled with fun and the unexpected! To the west is huge fields of posidonia neptune sea grass.

Access. via steps to shingle beach

Bottom composition: shingle/rocky leading to sand.

Visibility: 10-20 metres.

Average depth: 12 metres.

Max depth:  22 metres.

Experience level. Open water qualified.

El Pato.

This is one of our newly found dive sites. It faces north and provides an easy dive, great for beginners or for those divers who haven’t donned a wetsuit for a while. As with all our dives there is plenty to see from the beautiful goldline (salema) to the ever present octopus.

Bottom composition: sand.

Visibility: 10-15 metres.

Average depth: 5 metres.

Max depth:  5 metres.

Experience level: Beginner

Cala Reona

Cala Reona is a huge favourite with the Adventure Divers team, facing South it is a relatively easy dive shelving off from the beach at a very casual easy descent, then gradually going to the maximum depth of 14 metres. Here you will reach a beautiful sandy area which always seems to have lots of juvenile marine life ranging from massive shoals of barracuda to the tiniest of octopus, one octopus seen was no bigger than a golf ball and had the most amazing of colour changes we have ever seen.

Access: via beach.

Bottom composition: sand leading to sea grass and smaller rock formations.

Visibility: 8-20 metres.

Average depth: 8 metres.

Max depth:  14 metres.

Experience level. Beginner.

Portman Bay.

This is an excellent site for beginners, it faces south and as it is sheltered from winds and currents it is a perfect dive site, whatever the conditions. It has a flat sandy bottom of around 10 metres. Due to the shelter this area seems to attract many varieties of shoals of fish. Rays such as the blue spotted electric ray and the butterfly ray are hidden beneath the sand. Flying gurnards can be seen and amongst the rocky edge that shelters the bay you will find wrasse, scorpion fish, shoals of damsel fish and many more species including cuttlefish. The afternoon dive here always has a mysterious ambiance which is due to the light and this adds an extra special feel to this experience. The area is currently being conserved which can only benefit all the marine life along this coast.

Access: via steps to black sandy beach.

Bottom composition: black sand leading to golden sand, with rocky edging.portman2

Visibility: 10-20 metres.

Average depth: 5 metres.

Max depth:  5 metres.

Experience level: Beginner.

 

Cartagena dive site 

Cala Cortina.

This is a fantastic alternative site for us to use with beginners as well as being an interesting site for the more advanced diver. It is  very close to the Roman town of Cartagena and only takes us 20 minutes to get here.

It is a sheltered site and access is gained to the dive via a gentle pebble beach with a short surface swim over some interesting rocks  until we reach the outer reef wall. At this point we gently drop down 3 metres to the sandy bottom at which point we choose to go  left or right. Either route will lead you along the sandy bottom with big boulder rocks on either your right or left hand side  (depending on which route was taken).

Keep a look out for flying gurnard fish on the bottom which have fantastic neon blue wings,  also  lots of octopus, cuttlefish and smaller reef fish can be spotted here. The site goes down to a depth of 12 metres at it’s  maximum point.

The beach here is perfect this for those non divers in your group to snorkel, swim or just sunbathe. Its great for children to splash  safely around in the shallows and enjoy a refreshing ice cream. Over looking the beach is an excellent spanish restaurant where you  can all meet up after your dive for a well earned drink and food and share your experiences of the day. Remember to keep a look  out for the submarine as it ascends making it’s way to the Cartagena naval port.

Access: via  shingle beach.

Bottom composition: shingle leading rocks and then sandy bottom with swim through s.

Visibility: 10-20 metres.

Average depth: 8metres.

Max depth:  12 metres.

Experience level:Beginner.