The geological history of Tenerife is closely related to its volcanic origins and can be fully admired while scuba diving. Descend onto prismatic pinnacles resembling submerged underwater cities or explore labyrinth-like tunnels and cave-systems while observing scorpionfish and moray eel. Angel sharks, sea turtles, and four species of resident whale and dolphin may all make an appearance.
Costa Adeje is one of the scuba diving hubs of Tenerife. Descend below the water’s surface to find caves, tunnels and arches formed by volcanic rock as well as several wrecks. Keep one eye on the blue to search for resident whales and dolphins.
On the south coast of Tenerife, volcanic origins have led to the formation of the incredible underwater caves, arches, and rocky reefs that can be found while diving in Los Cristianos. Divers can expect to witness turtles, rays, and if they're lucky, even whales.
Scuba diving from Playa de las Americas will find divers surrounded by impressive basalt rock formations featuring caves and arches as well as several wrecks. Learn to dive in calm bays or venture deeper to see what lurks below the 30-metre mark.
Diving in Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands and is an incredibly unique place to dive. Tenerife’s volcanic origins are showcased in the underwater landscape, with rocky reefs, lava tunnels, drop-offs, canyons and caves. Whether you decide to dive along the south or north coastline, there is always a choice of both shore and boat entry, with several easy dive sites for beginners as well as the deep and thrilling sites for those with more experience. While scuba diving in Tenerife, it is likely to encounter several rays, from eagle rays to the common stingray, benthic angel shark, as well as groups of sea turtles taking refuge on protected reefs. Four species of whale and dolphin are also resident to the Canaries, so year-round it’s possible to spot one.
The cities of Las Galletas and Costa Adeje concentrate the majority of Tenerife diving activity, with the surrounding resort towns of Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos, - situated in Arona - and Callao Salvaje exploring the southern coastline. Dive centres are more common than dive resorts here. It is possible to dive Tenerife’s northern coastline via Los Gigantes and from Puerto de la Cruz. There are several dive centres in Los Gigantes and a single dive resort in Puerto de la Cruz ready to accompany divers to the spectacular volcanic rock formations of the north. Depending on the dive centre, many offer dive courses from Discover Scuba to Divemaster as well as there being a few trained Instructor Development centres on the island.
Best time to dive
Located 115km from the coast of Morocco, Africa, and in close proximity to the equator, the Canary Islands have a sunny climate and a pleasant temperature throughout the year. The average temperature ranges from 17 °C in January to 24 °C in August - meaning that even in summer the weather isn’t uncomfortably hot but you’ll definitely catch some sun.
The underwater visibility in Tenerife is generally 30-metres and the water temperature oscillates between 18 °C in winter and 24 °C in summer. The best time for scuba diving in Tenerife is from April until October while the water temperature is at its most comfortable. Although, dive centres are open throughout the year and great scuba diving can be had throughout - just remember to don a thicker wetsuit if you are planning to dive in the winter!
The Canary Islands resident whales and dolphins can be seen throughout the year while for a chance of spotting a manta ray, September is the prime month. Found at rocky reefs, seahorse can be seen in the summer months from May through to August.
Types of diving
In southern Tenerife, the calm waters in bays and coves are ideal for dive courses or a first-ever dive experience. El Puertito, Abades Beach, and Las Vistas beach are ideal locations. There are also several wrecks in the area, from The Condesito wreck sitting at a maximum depth of 20-metres and The Meridian, which sits 30-metres deep and is reserved for more experienced divers. Once you’ve descended onto The Meridian, the cabins and interior spaces can be easily entered into and explored. Heading out by boat, deep dives feature pinnacles, caves, and drop-offs while caves and arches can also be found shallower, at Yellow Mountain and El Bufadero.
The dive sites in the north of Tenerife are between 10-40 metres, where tech-divers can even descend as far as 60-metres at some drop-offs. For beginners, there are shallow rocky reefs such as Las Eras which can be entered from the shore. An aeroplane wreck of the Douglas DC-3 can be found on the sand at 33-metres while cavern divers will enjoy dive sites such as Tunnel, Bollullo, and Portillo.
What to see
Around one-third of all whale and dolphin species either reside in or pass through the waters of the Canary Islands - with 4 resident species and a total of 24 migratory species. This means that at any time on your dive or surface interval, at any time of the year, divers may spot a resident pilot whale, risso dolphin, bottlenose dolphin or sperm whale.
Green sea turtles are encountered in groups finding shelter in the protected bays while resting on the sand, angel sharks and several species of rays can be spotted. At the cracks found in rocky reefs, moray eel can be found ominously opening and closing their jaws and caves feature lobsters, cleaning shrimp, and the Canarian crayfish. The typical cold-water fish like barracuda, tuna, groupers and jacks are seen as well as Mediterranean warm-water fish such as parrotfish and trumpet fish. Nudibranches are spotted in the summer decorating the rocky reef.
Reefs are formed by lava and not by corals, therefore, they are not as colourful as those found in rocky waters yet they have a beauty of their own. Hexagonal columns are formed from the erosion of volcanic basalt resulting in reefs that present themselves like submerged underwater cities with columns, stairs, and walls. Yet, soft coral such as gorgonian sea fans and at deeper depths, black coral and giant hard coral can be witnessed.
Best places to dive
In the north of Tenerife, the Mountain of Fishes will be a highlight for many divers. The reef is situated in the open-sea where there is a constant current. On the east side of the reef, a drop-off descends to 37-metres while the west side features a cavern and swim-through at 37-metres. One thing is for sure, while diving here you won’t miss out on some pelagic action - prepare to be surrounded by large schools of barracuda, tuna and amberjacks.
Wreck-enthusiasts can explore the Tabaiba, which is entered from the stony shoreline. Located at a depth of 15-30 metres, the ship has been prepared for divers and has some great photo opportunities! On the southern coastline near Las Galettas, divers can descend onto the 30-metre long El Condesito. The wreck has split into several parts and sits at the bottom of an undersea canyon, 20-metres deep, flanked by walls with the characteristic prismatic formations of basalt.
An absolute-must while diving Tenerife is the Moon Pool. Reached by the shore, a simple back roll and swim will find divers submerged in an underwater cavern. While in the pool, scorpionfish, huge arrow crabs, moray eel, and lizard fish can be observed. The spectacular part of this dive occurs when the sun streams down into the pools, filtering in celestial rays of light that provide some of the best photographic opportunities in Tenerife. The site is suitable for divers of all levels.
At La Rapadura, divers can experience one of the most incredible underwater landscapes found surrounding the island of Tenerife. This is a demanding and deep dive where divers will find themselves descending 25-metres before reaching the prismatic formations of a cracked volcanic basalt rock. Split into blocks that jut out at different levels, the rock appears like an organ in a cathedral surrounded by schools of damselfish, sea fans and sponges.
Basic Diver prices range from €90-€170. See all Basic Diver courses in Tenerife.
Discover Scuba Diving prices range from €64-€145. See all Discover Scuba Diving courses in Tenerife.
You can obtain your Basic Diver in Arona.
You can obtain your Discover Scuba Diving in Fraile.