Diving at the Azores

Diving at the Azores, simply unique

Diving at the Azores – The slopes of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rise up from a depth of more than 3,000 meters. Their emerging peaks break through the surface and form the Azores archipelago. Deep sea currents collide with this huge underwater mountain system which creates an upwelling. The upstreaming water transports food to the ocean surface. Together with the sunlight it forms the base for rich nutrition.


The Azores teem with marine life and the dive locations are among some of the most interesting and diverse in the world. The lava tunnels and slopes serve as habitat for typical reef species such as crustaceans, groupers, conger and moray eels, rays and invertebrates. Each little cave or crack forms a living environment for all sorts of different marine species. Diving into the blue creates opportunities to discover schools of bonito, painted mackerel and  barracudas as well as Mobulas and different kind of sharks.


One of the highlights of diving vacation are the dives to the offshore marine needles which reach from the ocean bed to the water surface. Those places which are mostly exposed to the current are home of huge sea dwellers. However, those locations can only be approached when the conditions of current and weather allow. Diving around Pico is divided into three categories:


  1. Coast diving from land or from the boat
  2. Offshore diving at Princess Alice
  3. Shark diving in open water

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Equipment

We provide weights and tanks (12l steel DIN or INT valve). Nitrox in 11 aluminium tanks is available. Divers can bring their own equipment to maximise comfort. We provide a large choice of diving gear. However, there is limited rental equipment available. When required, please make the reservation in advance.

A 7 mm semi-dry wetsuit is advised for water temperatures ranging from 18°C to 24°C in summer. Each diver has to carry a two meter DSMB. Torches for night dives and for lightening cracks should not be missed as well. Please remember to bring your diving certificate.

Rates

Item Rate per dive Rate per day
Complete equipment € 35,- (full day)
€ 25,- (half day)
Torch € 5,- € 8,-
Surface marker buoy € 5,- € 8,-
Diving computer € 5,- € 8,-
Jacket € 8,- € 12,-
Complete machine € 5,- € 8,-
Diving suit € 6,- € 10,-
ABC € 5,- € 8,-

Please find a summary of all rates for diving programs here.

Requirements

In recent years we have explored more than 30 dive sites off the coasts of Pico, Faial and São Jorge which offer exciting dives for less experienced as well as for advanced divers.

The sheltered bays of São Roque and São Caetano are ideal for easy, shallow dives that are also excellent for junior divers. The caves and arcades of Formesinhas, Cachorro and Calhetta are ideal for orientation dives and fans of caves. Drop offs can be found at various coastal locations. Those who love currents can dive at the volcanic crater Ilheus and at the small marine needles in the canal of Baixa Sul and Baixa Norte. The huge stingrays and shoals of barracuda already wait for you. Diving around Pico certainly has something to offer for everyone.

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Insurance

All divers should have a valid diving insurance. According to Portuguese law divers without an insurance are obliged to book a daily insurance. This insurance can easily be issued by our dive centre. The fee per diving day is 3 €.

Contact and Booking

If you wish to book a programme or require more details, please feel free to contact us here. The team of Pico Sport/Scuba Azores will be happy to assist you.


References

Portuguese top photographer Nuno Sá published a short promotion film on diving in the Azores. Please note that the whale shark was not filmed around Pico but in the southern archipelago.



Scuba Azores Reefcat

Video credit: Nuno Sá. Photographer credits: Joe Bunnie, Nuno Sá, Filippe Borghi and Erhard Schulz.

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