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Travel to Chile - scuba diving

Chile scuba diving

The mainland Chilean coast offers exceptional diving in the plankton-rich waters of the Humboldt Current.

Chileans tend to look outside their country when thinking about diving, towards Brazil or the Caribbean. However, there are places along the interminable Chilean coast which are very good for diving. From Puerto Montt in the South, up to Arica in the North, we have a coastline that measures 3100 km (1,937 mi), but of course, the best zone extends from La Serena to Arica due to the temperature of its waters. Of all the beaches on the North Coast perhaps the best one is Caldera, due to its almost tropical microclimate.

Chilean beaches are easily accessible and generally have similar characteristics: a small sandy bay of approximately 1 kilometer (.6 mi) of extension limited at both ends by cliffs. This is important for your orientation when in the sea. The bottom of the sea alternates between sand and generally large, round stones.

Once in the water we will quickly notice a great difference with other coasts: the abundance of seaweed and the variety of sea life. The abundance of fauna is remarkable, even near the coast, which is due to the almost total absence of divers. This amount of fauna living in relatively shallow waters coupled with excellent visibility makes for ideal conditions for marine photography.

The most common places for practicing scuba diving in Chile are:

Big North Region

Antofagasta: Santa Maria island.

Small North Zone

Coquimbo: To the south of the Coquimbo Port wide beaches follow one after another: Penuelas, La Herradura, Totoralillo, Las Tacas, Morrillos, Las Mostazas, Guanaqueros and Lagunillas. There also is the possibility of practicing diving straight into the sea. In the city there is a local fishermen's fair where you can try and form a sea expedition. Some of these fishermen own boats equipped with compressors and masks and they also have excellent knowledge of the area.

Tongoy: the Tongoy Bay, which finishes in the Lengua de Vaca End.

Los Vilos: tourist resort with beautiful scenery, islands and beaches.

Pichidangui: beach with a calm sea. Ideal for nautical sports and diving.

Los Molles: a great swimming beach and one preferred by Chilean divers.

Islands of Chile

Juan Fernandez Archipelago 

In the warm, crystal clear water around Robinson Crusoe island, recreational diving and submarine hunting is practiced. Being far away from continental Chile, the sea is not cold, as it is not affected by the Humboldt ocean current.

There is a rich variety of fish in the sea surrounding the islands. Among the many species we can find moray, vidriola, cod-fish or rock salmon, pampanito, breca and corvina.

Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) 

Fish, algae, rocks and coral in a world of electric blue. A universe of transparent waters discloses itself to the eyes of adventurers who are not content to simply gaze at the horizon and venture to explore the depths around an island dotted with giant stone figures and sleeping volcanoes.

Due to the excellent underwater visibility (the seabed can be seen at over 50 meters depth), its fascinating underwater landscapes and its fish of all shapes and hues, Easter Island is a favorite destination for those who wish to admire Pacific flora and fauna while scuba diving and snorkeling.

Weaving freely through a submerged world. Enjoying its luminosity while taking necessary precautions, preferably accompanied by a guide, because the sea is inscrutable, and these peaceful waters are sometimes "visited" by sharks, although no attacks on humans have been reported.

In addition to having the chance of meeting sharks, you will be able to accompany specialized diving guides from the Island's scuba diving academies, who will take you to the prime diving spots - which are difficult to find, if you don't know about them - and help you plan your fascinating underwater experience by day or by night. You will also be able to hire all the equipment you may need.

Among the Island's better known diving areas, we can mention: Jardin, Omohi, La Catedral, Motu Kao Kao, Motu Nui, Motu Iti, El Puente (The Bridge), El Acantilado (The Cliff) and the Anakena and Ovahe beaches.

During dives you will see fish, including the tipi-tipi (butterfly fish), maito (surgeon fish), toremu (a variety of piranha), trompeta (bugle fish), loro (parrot fish) and tuna; also you will see other species such as anemones, octopus, sea snails and sea urchins, to name but a few.

Warning: to dive in Easter Island waters you need an updated PADI certificate; otherwise, you can enroll in the diving courses offered on the Island.

Central Region

Algarrobo 

Quintay 

Laguna Verde