Tenerife Tales
An Ex Pat´s Life On A Rock In The Atlantic by Sue Havenhand

Diving In Tenerife Part Two

Again, written in collaboration with Sol Scuba


Dive Sites in Tenerife

The dive site known as Palm Mar Cave is another superb site, well worth fitting into your dive schedule! It is situated just off the small community of Palm Mar, located in the south of Tenerife. This boat dive has a maximum depth of 32 meters where a statue of Virgin Del Carmen resides. When heading towards the cave, notice the rock walls, they are particularly stunning. Penetration of the cave is not permitted however, living in the rocks around the entrance of the cave are Moray Eels and Tiger Moray Eels. It is very common for a Ray or two to appear, gracefully gliding across the sand!

The resort of Playa Paraisso on the West Coast of the island plays host to another fantastic dive site. It can be reached by both shore and boat. This dive site is a must for seeing a large variety of Rays, including Atlantic Rays, Eagle Rays and Bull Rays. With depths between 18 and 25 metres, this makes a great dive for most certified divers. Following sandy bays with rocky walls, you will pass a large anchor (which a ship has lost at some point) and you will discover a spectacular swim through.

El Puertito is situated on the south west coast of Tenerife and it is the one dive that everyone should do! It is a typical Canarian fishing village with a sandy beach, which can disappear under water at high tide. The dive site is a small nature reserve managed by the University of La Laguna in Santa Cruz. All the Sea Urchins have been removed and the rubbish has been cleared. Greenback Turtles were introduced a couple of years ago, they stayed and successfully mated and now there are five turtles that can be seen, the babies (born late 2008) are a little more elusive! The adult turtles are very inquisitive when it comes to divers and love to come over and investigate. They do like to have their shells scratched by the divers and have been known to find a comfortable resting spot between the legs of a diver kneeling on the sandy seabed! With a maximum depth of only 12 metres, this dive is a must for everyone, from Discover Scuba Diving to the most advanced diver.

These dive sites are just a small example of what Tenerife has to offer! There are over 35 dive sites around the island to choose from

Children and scuba diving

Generally the earlier you start to become familiar with water the better!

Most children have a natural enthusiasm for water! Scuba diving and snorkelling provide a most excellent resource for appreciating and respecting marine biology and conservation. Learning to scuba dive or snorkel helps children to develop their confidence, esteem and co-ordination, whilst promoting an understanding of the ocean and its capabilities.

Snorkelling is a brilliant way for younger children to explore the ocean and the magical underwater world too! It is perfect for families and you don’t need to be a fantastic swimmer, just comfortable in the water! Sol Scuba also offers snorkelling safaris, where your personal guide will take you to a marine conservation area and teach you how to use the kit correctly and show you to the most amazing aquatic life. The guide will also give you a briefing on fish identification and the importance of marine conservation.

From 8 years old, children can experience a PADI Bubblemaker session with Sol Scuba in our swimming pool! The PADI Bubblemaker is a great introduction for children into scuba diving! They will learn about scuba equipment and the science behind it, swim through hoops, hunt for treasure and even launch the Sol Scuba underwater rocket! Just to prove that children can breathe underwater too, they will even receive a free photo certificate to show their friends!

From 10 years old, children can partake in a Discover Scuba Diving experience or obtain a lifelong PADI certification that is recognised worldwide.

Tenerife Diving Fact Sheet

Average air temperature: 19C _ 28C

Average water temperature: 17C _ 24C

Recommended exposure protection:
From a 3mm suit in the summer to a 7mm suit in the winter.

Average visibility:
20 to 30 metres.

Coldest times:
December to March.

Hottest times:
May to October.

Best times to dive:
All year round, winter/spring is the best times to see Angel Sharks.

Worst times to dive:
The weather does not affect the diving too much in the south of the island. If the wind is affecting one side of the island then the diving is simply switched to opposite side. Neap tides can cause some very strong currents, so on these occasions some dive sites may be unavailable.

Getting here: Flights operate daily from most major European airports. There has also recently been the introduction of a weekly flight direct from Miami, USA with Air Europa. Flight times from the UK are 4-4.5 hours.

Other information: It is not necessary to bring your own kit as all dive centres rent equipment or include it in the price of your dive. Currency is the Euro. Time zone is the same as the UK.

Sol Scuba’s Frequently Asked Questions!

I have never been scuba diving before, how will I know if I like it?

Call into the dive centre for a FREE try-dive in the swimming pool, so you can experience breathing underwater in a confined water situation and if you like it, we can take it from there.

I am not a certified diver but I want to dive in the sea.

You can become a PADI Discover Scuba Diver, an Open Water Diver or we can simply take you for a try-dive in the sea.

Is it safe and are there any prerequisites for scuba diving?

Anyone can do it! Anyone in good health from 10 years old can participate in scuba diving and from 8 years old for our PADI Bubblemaker experience.

As long as you have general good health, any health issues may require a certificate from a doctor stating that you are fit to dive.

At Sol Scuba, your safety is our first priority. Sol Scuba strictly follows all PADI standards and procedures. Sol Scuba is a legal and insured business, all our kit and equipment is brand new and is maintained to the manufacturers highest possible standards and within local laws. Our PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor will be with you all the way, at no point will you be left unsupervised whilst scuba diving.

Do I need insurance to scuba dive?

If you are a certified diver, you will need diving insurance, which we can arrange for you. If you are following a learning experience or introductory scuba diving then you are covered under our insurance.

I am a nervous diver or I could potentially be very nervous about scuba diving?

Feeling slightly nervous and anxious about scuba diving (whether you are a certified diver or a beginner) is absolutely normal. Sol Scuba has found that divers who are slightly anxious or experience mild nerves are generally more aware and conscientious than divers who are overly confident and have a tendency towards being blasé. Sol Scuba have found that no matter how well certified or experienced a diver, there are still divers who battle their nerves. We are all individual and certain aspects of diving may worry some more than others. Rest assured that Sol Scuba will be with you all the way, we are patient and calm and will offer advice and help you to overcome any minor anxieties or issues you may have or encounter.

I want to scuba dive with the Whales and Dolphins, can I do that?

It is against the law for anyone to purposely dive with Whales and Dolphins in Tenerife. Sol Scuba fully respects, supports and adheres to this law and under no circumstance will we promote diving with the Whales and Dolphins in Tenerife. However if during a dive we are lucky enough to be visited by these spectacular creatures, it is within the law for us to admire and observe them.

Can I feed the marine creatures when I scuba dive?

Sol Scuba apply a strict no feeding policy. Although we are aware that some dive centres do feed the marine life in Tenerife, Sol Scuba strongly disagrees with this. It is of our opinion that feeding any form of marine life upsets their natural feeding habits, promotes unnatural and possibly aggressive behaviour and it is not eco friendly. Whilst food obviously does attract the fish and other marine creatures, these are wild creatures that deserve our respect and the whole point is to view them in their natural state. Feeding encourages them to become tame, dependent and trusting of humans and is most unnecessary because their environment contains all the natural food that these creatures demand. It is of our opinion that humans do not need to upset this balance for their own benefit.

Are there sharks in Tenerife?

We are fortunate enough to have Angel Sharks during the winter months (November to March). However the Angel Shark is not to be feared, sadly, the reputation of the Shark is often very misunderstood! The Angel Shark will not harm you, unless it is antagonised and provoked. The Angel Shark can be up to 1.8 metres in length and lives on the sandy bottom of the ocean, but here is a baby of the species.

Are there any marine creatures that can hurt you?

As with any creature, if it is antagonised, threatened or disturbed it is likely to react! Our trained professionals are extremely knowledgeable on the local marine creatures and their behaviour and are so familiar with our dive sites that we know what creatures inhabit it and when! Therefore we will not take you to any dive site that you may feel uncomfortable with and we will certainly not put you in any danger! Nobody has ever been bitten, stung, injured or otherwise whilst scuba diving with Sol Scuba!

Once again, thanks to Sol Scuba for all this fantastic information. If your appetite for diving has been whetted, please contact them by either calling into the dive centre,

( open every day from 9.30am) which is by the pool at Club Marina Hotel, Calle Minerva, 238630, Costa Del Silencio, Tenerife. Alternatively you can email them at tim@solscuba.com or telephone/text  on 0034 690 039 745.


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