Sure, scuba diving in Lanzarote opens up a world of undersea adventures. But here, they do things just a little differently. Europe’s largest underwater museum has been ageing nicely. 300 eco-friendly sculptures have become a living reef that’s accessible to anyone game enough to slip into a wetsuit. Dive sites range from wrecks and lava tubes to walls, caves, reefs and more. Diving in Lanzarote is diverse, chock full of marine life and, happily, the waters are pretty warm too. Oh and if you can’t scuba, but want more than a snorkel, there’s some new tech on the island worth checking out that’s accessible to everyone.
You’ll love diving Lanzarote’s waters if you love wrecks. And, at the Triple Tuna dive site, you can explore three stricken vessels in one dive. On the seabed at 28m-30m, the wooden fishing boats lie just off the Puerto Del Carmen coastline. This is a dive for advanced or adventure divers – and, depending on currents, and how long you stop to peek at nearby angel sharks, you might not get to all three hulls. That said, this is the dive to spot bream shoals, barracuda, blue-finned damsel fish – and, occasionally, a few tuna drop by.
Orbzii tip: If you’re not quite ready for these wrecks, our snorkelling section below includes a wreck that’s easily accessible for beginners.
If you want to add some technical challenges to your scuba diving in Lanzarote, take on the Waikiki Wall. Cliff edges, shelves and caves are all part of this wall dive off the coast at Playa Grande. The wall itself is teaming with Lanzarote’s smaller ocean species, though you’ll want to look out into the deep blue for their larger friends passing by. The always impressive, and vast, sun fish tend to hang out here – along with rays. The biggest draw here – especially for those still working their way through their PADI levels – the orange corals. Usually only seen at 50m or beyond, on Waikiki Wall, they start at around 18-20m.
The Blue Hole
This is the most talked about dive spot on the island. And, while the Blue Hole isn’t exactly Playa Chica’s best kept secret, it’s not one you’ll want to swerve. Sharks, stingrays and grouper are the big names most people associate with this stretch of water – but the real star is the seabed geography. Ancient lava flows created a funnel through the reef that starts around 25m deep and sinks to 35m. An eel garden guards the tube entrance – and from there the sea life continues. Seahorses, octopi, morays, trumpetfish and anemone crabs all find homes in the sea worn lava formations. Even the simplest nooks can be filled with cleaner shrimp, making this dive chock full of the best kind of hidden surprises.
Orbzii tip: Playa Chica bay is where everyone learns to dive in Lanzarote. So if you’re not quite ready to face the Blue Hole, this bay can be explored right from the beach, making it ideal for families, beginners and snorkellers.
Whenever you fin down to this sunken art installation, you’re in for a treat. But, there’s something about seeing this underwater museum at night that just amps up those atmospheric and eerie vibes. After all, on most dives, you rarely spot a lifelike woman walking along the seabed checking her phone. Add a touch of dappled moonlight and you’ve got almost ideal photography conditions. At these depths, you’ll need additional lighting to see the sculptures clearly, but do expect them to be joined by more than a few nocturnal hunters – and their prey looking for a safe place to hide.
Orbzii tip: If you’re still a scuba diving newbie, dive schools in Lanzarote, such as Rubicon Diving can get your skills to a level where you can dive to the Museo Atlantico. Depending on your skill level it can take a couple of days worth of practice dives, but it’s worth the extra effort.
This lovely little beach in Costa Teguise combines all the elements beginners and families need for a morning – or afternoon snorkel. Put simply, it’s the breakwaters that seal the deal on this one. Protected from the currents, weaker swimmers, youngsters and anyone new to snorkelling, can concentrate on the fun task of spotting sea life, with few cares. Obviously, sea safety still needs to be observed, but calm waters make life a whole lot easier. It won’t be as jam-packed with creatures as the nooks and crannies of Playa Chica (more on that below) – but a swim or two over the rocks will be well rewarded.
We’ve already covered Playa Chica for diving in Lanzarote, but we just had to give it a mention for snorkelers too. The beach with the best marine life – and access, on the island can’t go unnoticed. The list of fish to see off this Puerto del Carmen beach, right from the shallows, is seriously impressive and will get you back in the water, again and again. Sightings start fairly simple, star fish, anemones, sea cucumbers slothfully squidge along the sea bed. Swim out further and they are joined by striped seabream, parrot fish, salema, shrimps, rock fish, wrasse, whitebait and cuttlefish. It pays to know your species here, just a little. Puffer fish do patrol the waters – along with fireworms. To avoid any mishaps it’s always best to keep your distance.
Orbzii tip: If the amount of divers, snorkelers and dive schools is harshing your scuba mellow, swing by the beach at Playa Flamingo instead. A Playa Blanca spot that’s equally good for snorkelling but somehow sees fewer fins in the water.
Let’s be honest, there’s little need to pop on your mask and fins to get a good look at the Telamon Wreck. Sitting loud and proud out of the water near Arrecife harbour, the Telamon has intrigued passersby – and divers, since it was abandoned there in the 1980s. Today, you can fin out from shore and snorkel round the ship. At high tide, both the bow and stern are underwater, with sea hares, cuttlefish, octopus, rays and nudibranchs all living in various parts of the damaged hull. Though the ship does have holes large enough to swim through, the decaying ship and sharp edges make it extremely unsafe. Take a torch to peek into the gloomy innards instead.
Good news snorkelers – you don’t need a dive license to experience this undersea treasure. 300 sculptures lie on the bottom of the ocean near Playa Blanca. Now, at 12-15m deep, you’re not going to make out too much detail from the surface, but you can still join groups such as Dive College Lanzarote to get you to the site and back. Even better, they’ll put you through the scuba basics to ensure you can dive to the submerged museum, if you want to really get up close to the art.
If you’re intrigued by life on the sea bed, have a chat with the team at Native Diving in Costa Teguise. Their Sea Trek tech will have you walking on the sea bed in minutes. It’s all down to a pretty nifty helmet system that supplies your air while you take a little stroll among the shoals, shrimps and rays. You don’t even need to be able to swim. Though, admittedly, that might be a step too far if your a little nervous of the water. Children aged 8 and up can join in – and you can see Lanzarote’s underwater world after around 10 minutes of training. Not bad for €60. The best part? It’s also accessible for anyone with mobility issues thanks to their undersea wheelchair.