Scuba Diving Columbia: The Best Locations

scuba diving columbia
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It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out with scuba diving or are a seasoned pro, this activity is the perfect way to satisfy your curiosity for the world under the sea. With that said, there are a few places you absolutely have to see if you get the chance to scuba dive in Columbia.

There are so many sites from which to choose that it can be really challenging to narrow down where to visit when you are in a crunch for time. Here, we are going to highlight the top five scuba diving Columbia locations.

Scuba Diving Columbia: The Best Spots  

Columbia has plenty to see and offer on land. The country has just about everything, including valleys, snow-covered volcanoes, mountains, and alpine lakes. However, the appeal of the area doesn’t stop there.

The country also offers two separate coastlines as well as natural reserves offshore and a series of beautiful islands. Columbia boasts a coastline that measures 3,208 kilometers, spanning over those two coasts that overlook the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Given all the country has to offer, there are some really beautiful diving spots to try. They will all give you an incredible diving experience. You can make your choice between diving in the Pacific and the Caribbean. In general, diving in the Pacific can be a bit wilder while diving in the Caribbean is typically clearer and quieter.

1. Malpelo

This is not the most accessible of diving locations in Columbia, though that can work in your favor because there will often be fewer tourists. The location can only be accessed by boat.

In addition, divers can only dive in this location as part of a boat trip. Hence, you’ll need to work with a tour company or a travel agent to get to Malpelo. While that will cost you a bit more money, it is well worth it.

Malpelo is known for being one of the most desirable places to dive with sharks. You’ll likely get to see whale sharks as well as hammerhead sharks. On occasion, some divers have even encountered sunray sharks. In rare instances, divers have reported seeing schools of around 500 sharks.

2. Providencia 

Providencia boasts the earth’s third-largest coral reef barrier, along with the smaller island that sits to its north, Santa Catalina. It offers more than 40 different dive sites. These include sunken pirate ships, caves, and blue holes.

To get to Providencia, you have to fly to San Andres, where you can then either board a catamaran trip for two hours or fly to Providencia.

scuba diving columbia

There, you’ll see some of South America’s most gorgeous corals. Most divers also get to view up to four different types of sharks here. With all the location has to offer, Providencia is considered one of the very best sites for diving in Columbia.

3. Gorgona Island

Gorgona is another diving location in Columbia. This one is currently a breeding area for humpback whales and is used as a natural reserve. If you visit between the months of July and October, you can expect to see whales while scuba diving.

To get to Gorgona Island, you can fly from Columbia. Then, either take a ferry or dive boat from Buenaventura or choose a high-speed boat that leaves from Guapi.

For lodging, you have a couple of different options. The national park has a hotel attached to it. There are also live-aboard dive boat options available.

4. Taganga 

This location is pretty inexpensive to visit, and there are a ton of dive operators in this town. Taganga is part of the Caribbean, and you can expect to see a vast array of corals as well as some pretty beautiful marine life.

With that said, you’ll likely get to see more at one of the previous locations mentioned. However, Taganga is on the list because it is one of the best places to learn to dive if you are a beginner.

Given that there are just so many dive operators and instructors in this little town, it’s even possible to have an instructor all to yourself while learning.

Taganga is pretty easily accessed. You can get there either by land or air to Santa Marta from anywhere else in Columbia. Hence, you can travel by motor-taxi, bus, or van to Taganga.

5. Sapzurro and Capurgana

This location borders Panama and boasts a preserved beautiful coral reef. There is a total of more than 30 different dive sites, and you can organize a dive in the San Blas Islands right from Capurgana.

You will get the most of your trip here if you dive between the months of May and November. You’ll see that there are plenty of dive centers within the towns here.

To get to this location, you can fly from Medellin. You can also come from Turbo and then take a speedboat trip. The boat will take you right through the Gulf of Uraba, which can be quite the experience all on its own.

Things to Consider  

You can technically scuba dive in Columbia the entire year through. If you’d like to see hammerhead sharks while diving in Malpelo, you want to go between the months of January and May. Those same months are also the best for Sapzuro and Capurgana.

Visibility ranges from anywhere between 15 and 30 meters, though that visibility depends on where you are diving as well as whether you are in the Pacific or the Carribean Sea. For example, ocean currents can be incredibly strong, especially near Malpelo.

You can dive in Columbia regardless of your expertise and skill level. With that said, it is recommended that beginners dive in the Carribean Sea. More experienced divers are likely to explore the reefs that can be found in Gorgona, Malpelo, and Providencia.


It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced diver or brand new to the world of diving, going to these scuba diving Columbia locations is a once in a lifetime experience. If you are going to take the trip, you want to make the most of it and see everything you can.

The five locations above will give you the best chance to see beautiful reefs as well as incredible marine life. You’ll want to pay attention to the time of year when choosing your site. This will give you the best shot at good conditions and high visibility. You also want to pay attention to choosing a site that suits your experience level.

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