Islas Hormigas Marine Reserve 

 Islas hormigasCabo de palos is a small port  very close to the Islas Hormigas Marine Reserve which boasts some of the best diving in Spain and Europe for marine life abundance. It is just 10 minutes by boat to arrive to the reserve from the marina.

The Islas hormigas 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. 

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.

After 25years of protection you will see why we support this statement and will be very surprised to see so many marine creatures in one area in the Mediterranean! 

 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 fairly good shape. 

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

Please email us to find out more information and advise as your safety is our main concern. 

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

Islas Hormigas marine reserve Map

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

 Islas hormigas dive sites:

Bajo del Piles 


Islas hormigasBajo 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 and 9m  can be clearly seen from the boat in the clear waters. Both spines have marine flora and huge abundance 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. Both spines are subject to currents some days and none the next .

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


cabo de Palos, islas hormigasThe second and smaller of the rocky piles spines. This reef system is home to Barracuda, Morjarra, dentex and 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. Generally these are easy and  pleasant dives suitable for most levels of divers .

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


Bajo de Dentro lies exactly 4 km from port, within the marine reserve of Islas Hormigas & takes about 15 minutes to reach by the RIB. This rocky outcrop  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 and deeper. Both faces have caves & are around 20m & 40m respectively.

cabo de Palos, islas hormigas Because of the currents that wash this pinnacle, 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. Among the rocks lies sanctuary for Scorpion fish, Brotala, Lobsters, Moray and Conger Eels. 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. On a calm day with no currents this is breathtaking!


Bajo de la Testa

cabo de PalosDescription:

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 large schools fish and the highlight is the 3 roman anchors you can find around the base of the reef!

This is 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.


Bajo de Fuera or Piedra de Vapor


Due to its distance from shore but shallow depth, has been a fatal trap for shipping throughout the centuries. The slopes of the pinnacle are littered with debris from at least 4 large ships.

The Nord America sank in 1883, was an Italian freighter carrying iron ingots. The Minerva was pushed onto the rocks in a huge storm around 1899. The most famous wreck is the Sirio, an overloaded Italian liner taking around 1000 immigrants to the U.S.A, which sank with the loss of nearly 500 on the 4th of August 1906. Local fishermen rescued the rest.

This site is highly protected  and dives are limited. Due to its depth and to the fact that is the less protected site, it’s required that divers are at least advanced y that they show how to complete certain basic skills with no problems. 

Common marine life: big amber jacks, barracudas, groupers.

Depth: 3-70 meters

Experience Level: Advanced to 30 meters or Technical dive with decompression.

Special interests:  The numerous ship wreck debris fields that can be found here. Shoals of amber jacks up to 1 m in length.

Bajo de Morra


This site is open during weekends and holidays only due to restrictions but is a nice dive which is located close to the bajo de piles sites.

it Consists of a rock peninsular that ascends from 25m deep to 10m and has a rocky ridge that heads east with lots of holes in the reef where moray eels, groupers tend to hide.  Big groupers in their dozens can be found here along with many other species like the dorado and denton predatory fish. Sometimes with currents so should pay special attention when navigating.

Common marine life: groupers, doradas, dentix, octopus.

Depth: 10m – 30m

Level: Open water 

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