Fuerteventura is well-known for surfing, wind and kite surfing, but not so well-known for Scuba diving (perhaps because of those long sandy beaches). However, Fuerteventura has plenty of volcanic reefs and drop-offs which are rich in marine life and are great for both Scuba Diving and Snorkelling. With superb visibility (between 25-50 meters) and comfortable water temperature (18-25°C), Fuerteventura offers some great diving within easy reach of Northern Europe.
There are Dive Centres in all of the main tourist resorts offering everything from try-dives through to advanced and pro diving courses as well as shore and boat dives, night dives and nitrox dives. Most schools follow the PADI system but there are some that are affiliated with CEDIP, CMAS, BARAKUDA and NAUI.
Angel Sharks and huge Stingrays are Fuerteventura biggest underwater marine life attractions. While Angel Sharks are critically endangered and in severe decline in most of their range, they are relatively common around Fuerteventura and can be seen buried in the sand on a daily basis. The Round Fantail Stingray is also relatively common (especially around Morro Jable port) and at over a metre wide and 1.5 metres long, are an impressive sight to encounter when underwater. Other rays that are commonly encountered are the etherial Butterfly Rays, Eagle Rays, Electric Rays, Bull Rays, huge Roughtail Stingrays as well as Common Stingrays. Giant Oceanic Manta Rays and Devil Rays are uncommon, but there are usually one or two sightings per year.
Schools of Barracuda can be found in many dive sites, and other predatory fish such as Amberjacks and Bluefish are quite common. Other relatively common species include Dusky and Island Groupers, Atlantic Trumpetfish, several species of Moray Eel, and a host of smaller reef fish such as Mediterranean Parrotfish, Ornate Wrasse and Atlantic and Canary Damselfish. Common Octopus can often be found hiding in holes and crevices while Cuttlefish can be found all around the coast. Loggerhead Turtles are found in the waters around the island (there is even a recuperation centre for injured ones in Morro Jable), however they are a relatively uncommon sight underwater, and you can consider yourself lucky if you see one. Occasionally Green Turtles turn up in the Canary Islands and hang around a locality for long periods (often because they being fed).
Some of Fuerteventura’s dive spots:
- Calamareo (Corralejo)
Cracks and overhangs on this large reef are a great place to see angel sharks, sting rays, eagle rays, scorpion fish, amberjacks, red sea fans and in caverns and darker crevices, Canarian lobster and moray eels.
- Veril Grande (Jandia)
At around 15m the wall drops vertically to around 45m, making this is great place to see bream, angel sharks, sting rays and moray eels. Big pelagic fish also come in to hunt, so look out for barracuda, amberjack and tuna. In the sand you will see plenty of garden eels and if you are really lucky you might see a smalltooth tiger shark, hammerhead or a turtle.
- Salinas Reef (Caleta de Fuste)
Not too far from the coast the 4m bottom, drops down to 32m, with various rock formations. The mixed depth is great for beginners through to advanced divers. You can often see sardine schoals being hunted by amberjacks. Stingrays and eagle rays can also be seen in the sandy areas.
- Bajon de Rio (Between Corralejo and Isla de Lobos)
Stunning lava formations that look like umbrellas, harbour a plethora of marine life. Many sponges grow on top of the ‘umbrellas’, whilst underneath shelter bream and grouper. You will often see, barracuda, wrasse and mackerel and you may encounter the odd ray too. The current can be strong, so diving here may not always be possible.
- Tunel de los Meros:(Between Corralejo and Isla de Lobos)
As the name suggests, there are tunnels and bridges to swim through, making for an interesting seascape dive. Expect to see trevally, groupers, seabream, lobster and stingrays. If you are lucky you might even see hammerhead sharks too.
- Muelle de Morro Jable (Morro Jable)
This is a shallow site suitable for beginners (0 – 14m) and can even be snorkelled (though wear fins and watch the current). It is teeming with shoaling fish and you will be surrounded by thousands of small fish. The deeper end is a great place to see schools of Barracuda and Amberjacks, as well as Trumpetfish and Groupers. There is a big colony of Garden Eels in the sand beside the pier. The shallow part at the base of the pier is great for Cuttlefish, Octopus and Morays, and you can encounter big rays and angel sharks all along the pier.
You can also dive in Ajuy, on the west coast. The area has some huge caves, great for exploring, but this is an expert divers location only, and only accessible if the sea conditions are right. Please speak to one of the diving companies for more information about trips to Ajuy.
Things to remember:
- Don’t dive if you don’t have the relevant certification – insurance policies will not cover you if you dive uncertified.
- Be sure that your travel insurance policy covers Scuba Diving and carry your policy number, emergency contacts and medical information with you.
- Spanish law requires that every diver presents a valid diving medical certification not older than 2 years (this does not include try dives).
- Don’t touch anything!!
- Flying after diving: The deeper you go, the quicker you build up nitrogen and the more time you’ll need to allow for that nitrogen to dissipate.
Single dives – A minimum pre-flight surface interval of 12 hours.
Repetitive dives or multiple days diving – A minimum pre-flight surface interval of 18 hours.
- Don’t forget that hydration can play a big part in DCS, so keep up your intake of liquids (non-alcoholic).
- If you feel strange after a dive – let your guide know.
- ENJOY YOUR DIVES