INHACA DIVE SITES
This reef is a five minute boat ride from the hotel and is often used for beginners and resort training courses. It is reasonably flat and the rocks are covered in marine growth, while the sand patches in between provide ample hiding spots for small tropical reef fish. Lobsters and moray eels are easily spotted, but you will have to look a lot harder to find the seahorses. The reef has more hard coral than soft and is home to various sea stars and big shelled slugs. The best time to dive this particular reef is between the tides.
Average depth: 6m
Maximum depth: 11m
Coral Gardens Reef
Coral Gardens lies approximately ten minutes from the hotel and similar to the Hotel Reef in that it’s a beginner favourite. The reef itself is a fairly easy and relaxed wall dive that is almost 400 metres long. It is covered with colourful soft and hard corals and plays host to many tropical reef fish. During a dive you will spot surgeons, damsels, triggers, goldies, puffers, banner fish and the ever-playful parrotfish. Octopus and lobsters can be found hiding in crevices along the wall and green turtles are often seen gliding through the waters.
Average depth: 7m
Maximum depth: 15m
Banco de China
After a 15 minute boat ride from the hotel you will come across this reef that is strictly reserved for advanced divers. The currents are fairly strong and unpredictable and experience is required. The reef consists of big rocks with a sandy bottom and many caves and overhangs which means the chance of coming across cleaning stations is a fair possibility. It offers stunning game fish viewing and an incredible variety of species like painted frogfish, brindle bass, green turtles, surgeonfish, barracudas, ribbon tail rays and many other tropical reef fish. “China” is the local name for spade fish and for two months every year the reef is filled with thousands of them. The best time to dive this site is during high tide.
Average depth: 15m
Maximum depth: 20m
Santa Maria Reef
This reef is approximately 35 minutes from the hotel and is reserved for advanced and experienced divers. A strong current is present at some spots along the reef but subsides as you move further along. The reef consists of a wall with big rocks covered in hard corals and a sandy bottom sloping down beyond 20m. Schools of reef fish, turtles, eagle rays and sand sharks have all been spotted in the area and immaculate corals play home to moonies and kingfish. The reef should be dived at high tide or neap tide.
Average depth: 14m
Maximum depth: 22m
This reef lies about 50 minutes from the hotel. Due to it being far out to sea and a double tank dive, it is reserved for more experienced divers. Baixo Danae is the name for the area and it has a selection of dive sites. The distance from shore means that the sites are rarely dived and have remained wild and untouched. It provides spectacular dives and there are many overhangs, swim through’s, caves and gullies to explore.
There are also two sunken ships called the “Boiler” and the “Wreck”. Very little is known about them and that makes the sites even more interesting to explore.
The chance of seeing manta rays is very good and sharks, dolphins and turtles frequent the waters. There are mainly hard coral species that can withstand the currents and they provide shelter to many tropical fish. From August to October the waters are full of migrating whales and the odd orca has been spotted in the area. Definitely a place worth diving.
Average depth: 16m
Maximum depth: 20m
Cockburn Shoal (Lighthouse)
To reach this reef you will need to take a 40 minute boat ride. Strong currents mean that this is another site only for advanced and experienced divers.
The reef was formed in 1965 when a lighthouse sank during bad weather.
This reef provides an excellent dive with large schools of fish swimming around and a huge resident brindle bass that won’t let you out of his sight. There are usually plenty of kingfish, barracuda, surgeon fish, fusiliers, snappers andbanner fish colouring the stunning blue water.
Average depth: 14m
Maximum depth: 16m