Dive Sites In South America
In this part of Scuba Diving Point you can find information about the South American dive sites. South America is not exactly the same region as Latin America, so if you are looking for information about dive sites located from Mexico to Panama, you will instead find them in the section named “Dive destinations in Central America”. All the Mexican dive sites have been placed in the Central American section, regardless of whether the dive site is located north or south of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. We also have a special section for Caribbean dive sites.
South America has a total area of less than 18,000,000 square kilometres (less than 7,000,000 square miles), which make this continent smaller than Asia, Africa and North America. The western part of the continent offers Pacific Ocean scuba diving, while the eastern coastline borders to the Atlantic dive destinations. To the northwest, you can enjoy Caribbean scuba diving. For scuba divers interested in freshwater environments, there is also an abundance of lakes and river systems to be explored in South America.
Brazil is a popular destination for scuba divers. Brazil differs from its neighbouring countries by having Portuguese, nor Spanish, as its official language. If you want to explore the Brazilian dive sites you have plenty of good destinations to choose among. The Fernando de Noronha archipelago is one of the most appreciated dive destinations in Brazil, since it still has nearly untouched dive spots. Unfortunately, scuba diving here tends to be more expensive than in the rest of Brazil. July to December is considered the best season, but diving takes place 12 months a year. You can find dive sites suitable for beginner as well as dive sites that will challenge even the advanced scuba diver.
Another Brazilian alternative is the Abrolhos archipelago. The Abrolhos dive spots are located four to six hours from the mainland, so a dive boat is necessary. Live-aboard boats are popular in Abrolhos, but there are also several dive operations that offer one-day trips from the mainland. The underwater visibility is not as outstanding as in the Noronha archipelago, but is still good. You will see healthy coral growth as well as thriving fish populations. The recommended diving season here is November to March, since this is when you can encounter whales during your dives.
The Arraial do Cabo Marine Reserve is located on the southern coast of Brazil is considered one of the best dive destionations in the country. You can reach the Arraial do Cabo Marine Reserve within two hours if you live in Rio de Janeiro. The Arraial do Cabo Marine Reserve is home to a fascinating marine fauna that includes plenty of sea horses, moray eels, turtles and the stunning Qeen Angelfish (Holacanthus Ciliaris). There are also several wrecks located within the marine reserve and if you have the proper certification you can embark on deep dives.
Freshwater cave diving is certainly not an everyday experience, and a trip to Bonito is therefore recommended when you are scuba diving in Brazil. Bonito is a small town located in the Brazilian countryside. Scuba divers as well as snorklers come here to enjoy the clear water and the fascinating underwater fauna. Bonito offers a broad collection of caves and many of them are still unexplored.