Blessed with access to two oceans, Colombia offers some of the most varied scuba diving in the world. With the warm and calm Caribbean to the east and the wild Pacific on the west, Colombia boasts an enviable plethora of riches for underwater enthusiasts. The Caribbean side of the country offers the classic white sand beaches and clear waters that the area is known for. The Pacific coast is the wild west with a rich ocean teeming with pelagics.
Located at the top NW tip of South America, Colombia is a relatively unknown diving destination that deserves more attention. From several large national parks in the Caribbean to a remote rock 500 kilometers off the Pacific coast, Colombia is a great destination for adventurers. The Colombian people are known for their wonderful hospitality and beautiful country. For those looking to learn to dive or a tropical beach holiday then the Caribbean coast is the perfect destination. For more hard core divers a trip to Malpelo on a liveaboard in the Pacific is ideal for big animal action.
With two oceans to choose from, diving in Colombia is available all year round. When conditions are poor in the Caribbean you can dive in the Pacific! January to March is the best season to dive the Pacific islands. April to November is the best time to dive the Caribbean side.
Colombia enjoys tropical weather all year round. However, the Pacific diving is subject to cold water conditions. 18 – 25C (64-76F) is possible during the November to April period. May to October is a more consistent 26-28C (78-82F). On the Caribbean side the rainy season runs from June to December with drier months being January to May. Water temperatures range from 27-30C (78-84F) year round.
Providencia and San Andres
Located off the coast of Nicaragua, this small archipelago is home to picture perfect tropical islands. Enjoying warm weather all year round, the white sandy beaches of these islands lead to some of the most interesting dive sites in the Caribbean. Located over 700km from the Colombian mainland, it’s necessary to fly here from the mainland. There are also direct flights from neighboring countries available. Enjoying protection as a UNESCO reserve, the coral growth is incredible. With dozens of dives to choose from in the islands, there is always something new to experience.
The Malpelo Marine Sanctuary is a UNESCO Heritage site located 500km off the Pacific coast. Part of the migratory path of scalloped hammerheads, that also includes Cocos Island and the Galapagos, Malpelo is a shark lovers paradise. Hammerheads, Silkies, and Galapagos sharks are frequently sighted here. This destination is only reached by liveaboard and it’s not a destination for beginners. Most sites are drop-offs or pinnacle dives and are known for currents. For those who make the long journey, the reward of diving with an incredible amount of marine life is well worth the trip.
Another gem destination in the Pacific, Gorgona is a little known island that is a magnet for whales. This ex prison island is now a National Park located 50 km off shore. During the months of July to October scores of Humpback whales visit this area with their young. It also boasts a rich variety of sharks, turtles, morays, and other charismatic mega fauna including manta rays and dolphins.