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A DAY TRIP WITH DIVE ACADEMY SANTA POLA......

TABARCA ISLAND MARINE RESERVE

The island of Tabarca is only accessible by boat and boy have we got a decent boat to get you there!! Our 7.25m Zodiac R.I.B running a 225HP Mercury Optimax engine will get you there in no time at all.
Tabarca has been declared a Marine Reserve with NO fishing allowed Yesssss!!!
Although there are certain restrictions for scuba diving the reserve you have nothing to worry about. We have our permit in place which allows us to take you inside for a peak at the best diving on our doorstep.

CEMETERY

Don't worry, it is not called cemetery due to the lack of life there, you will find an abundance of fish including large groups of barracuda and fire worms. It takes its name since it's in line with the Tabarca Island cemetery.
Maximum depth is more or less 13 metres making it accessible for divers of all levels. The topography is interesting with large group of rocks atop one another creating corridors and overhangs to explore. Surrounding the underwater island of rocks is a meadow of seagrass, a great hiding place for a variety of species.

LA NAO

Famous for its bridge-like swim throughs and gigantic groupers La Nao is a must if you join us on a boat dive to Tabarca Island. The rock formations feature a small cave and two large tunnels where ALL the fish hang out. It's not a deep dive - about 12 metres - and usually, you will be shallower than this so air consumption rate is never an issue. Depth is not the key feature of this site: the fish life, colours and topography make this our favourite Tabarca site.

LA LLOSA

La Llosa is about the deepest we normally venture at Tabarca Island offering a maximum depth of more or less 28 metres. It consists of one huge big rock (almost an underwater island) with the top at around 19 metres. You may find slipper lobsters, cuttlefish, huge scorpion fish and even more large groupers at La LLosa. Due to its depth we can only dive this site with advanced divers with a bit of experience and recent diving so if this sounds like you, contact us to ask when the next advanced-only dive boat is leaving the harbour.

LITTLE CONGA - WRECK DIVE

Little conga is so named due to the 'little conga' - having lived here for many years. Maximum depth at this dive site is 20 metres with a very small wreck as its main feature. It is the oldest shipwreck in the area and has slowly decomposed over the years. Due to it being made entirely out of wood we are now left with the skeleton of an old fishing boat, home to the little conga living in the propeller shaft. The topography is mainly sand and sea grass with a sloping wall to explore to one side.

CHECK OUT SOME EXAMPLES OF OUR SHORE DIVES......

CALA CORTINA

Based in the military harbour of Cartagena arriving at Cala Cortina you will see the navy ships and old look out points dating back to the Spanish civil war.

The diving here is fantastic with several options for places to explore. For the more advanced divers we can visit the rows of underwater columns used by the military to demagnetise submarines (degaussing). It's a long dive and possible only if you have good conservative air consumption. The other side offers a network of tunnels and swim throughs making every part of this dive site interesting to explore. The maximum depth is 28 metres however on average you will dive between 10-15 metres.
It is the most ideal site for absolute beginners offering a very easy entry and an awesome 6 metre wall for you to explore your first ever dive in the sea.

Most common sightings here are octopus, flounders and flying gurnard or sea horses (if you take a trip down to sea horse paddock).
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CABO DE PALOS

Come join us to dive the tunnels of Cabo de Palos near the lighthouse looking over La Manga. This site offers two separate bays giving us the perfect opportunity to explore it several times during your holiday. The left hand bay has a left and right side to it with interesting hiding places for the sea life. This side is the shallower of the two with a maximum depth of around 12 metres but here you will find a large metal structure (some sort of rig we think) sitting at about 5 metres. Plenty of cuttlefish and octopus here plus other Mediterranean offerings.

The right hand bay offers a small Island to dive around and for a second dive you can also find a couple of nice big tunnels to venture through. This is our favourite side although access is slightly more tricky due to a long stairway down to the beach. Maximum depth on this side is 20 metres and you are likely to see many morays and the odd sting ray passing by. You could probably dive this site 20 times and see something different every time.

Another option for our Cabo de Palos site is to take a boat trip out to the Naranjito Shipwreck - the deepest we have access to with a recreational licence. The wreck is at 50 metres, weighed 665 tons and was carrying oranges at the time of its accidental sinking. The top of the wreck is at 30 metres whilst the propeller just over 40 metres. Normally we will couple this dive with a trip out to the marine reserves (recently voted the best diving in Europe).

The marine reserves are based around several underwater mountains with the peak sitting just around 5 metres but dropping off to much deeper. This allows us to plan our deepest point and simply circle our way back up the mountain again to the boat. This day trip is considered a very special dive excursion so if you don't mind paying a little extra for the boat charter fees we can take you to the most spectacular sites on this coast. Great ocean sun fish, balls of sardines and large groups of barracuda are often spotted inside the reserves.

THE CAVERNS

Tucked away in a sunny little cove near Moraira (roughly one hour and a half north of Santa Pola) is one of our more adventurous dives. You only need an Open Water Diver licence but we recommend you have some experience under your belt. Entering into a dry cave on foot, entry to the underwater caverns is via a hole in the floor. Dropping down a couple of metres you exit through a large underwater cavern beneath where you've just stood. A huge chamber, there's usually a large sun ray beaming down through a hole in the ceiling.

As you exit the cavern we take you to a second open air cavern home to a halocline. What's that? Fresh water entering the sea from a freshwater river 28 kilometres in land. The fresh stuff mixes with the salty stuff and you get a hazy effect. Fantastic to see.

We then take you out to the sand bed to search for torpedo and butterfly rays, one of the only known places to spot them. Then it's back into the dark cavern to exit back through the hole to go grab some lunch. Dive two will see us entering the same hole but we will take a different route and visit the sunken Jeep chassis. With a maximum depth of only 14 metres it's an interesting day for all.

EL CAMPELLO

IF ALL THAT IS NOT ENOUGH...

OK then let's take you to one of our other sites. ALL the above sites you can consider the norm but if you have been there before (and many of our regular guests have) then why not ask if we have anything else? The options are:
  • Cala Reona (around 6 metres maximum depth) - an open air cavern
  • The Labyrinth at La Isleta (around 12 metres)
  • El Campello (around 6 metres) - Roman baths
  • The Parallel Pathways of Cabo de las Huertas (around 8 metres)
All of these sites have something interesting to offer so please get in touch and we will send you further information.