Santa Catarina has incredible potential for diving. Its coastline is beautiful, with crystal-clear waters and teeming with marine life.
Bombinhas/Florianópolis – Despite political restrictions, there are incredible, not to be missed dives.
Florianópolis and the town of Bombinhas, sixty kilometers away, are the starting-points for the region’s most important dives. When the Arvoredo Biological Reserve was closed again in 2003, Bombinhas was most severely affected. The town lost its main points on Galé Island and tourists ignored the town.
Local diving operators now take over two hours to sail to the permitted area in the south of Arvoredo. They have to share the acess points with those of Florianópolis.
Parcel do Boi
One of the best dives on the southern end of Arvoredo. The reef begins roughly ten meters deep and the mounds rise to seven meters above the surface. At its deepest aprt, to the southwest, there is a scattered wreckage and a great variety of sea life. Large schools of open water fish such as amberjack and anchovies. Turtles are also often found.
Saco do Capim
This saco or cove gets its name from the characteristic grass growing in this part of the island, one of the best know locations. The bottom is overgrown by zoanthids. In the most sheltered part lie the debris of the Granada, an old wooden-hulled fishing vessel that sank after engine failure. Seahorses and green turtles are often found.
Saco do Batismo
The most sought-after site for those about to make their first dive, and yet one that can surprise even the most experienced divers. The rocky seabed makes cavers where angelfish and crevasse-dwelling shoals are found. Turtles can be seen at rest, in the direction os Saco do Capim.
Baía das Tartarugas
The seabed is made up of several ledges. This is one the best place on Arvoredo for observing turtles. Divers will sometimes also find large schools of sea bass. One of the region’s most interesting caverns lies between this bay and Engenho Bay.
Baía do Engenho
There was a sugar mill here once, and the bay also was a refuge for fishermen. It has since become an ideal training area for all levels of divers. There is a shallower part, some eight meters deep, where the rocks meet the sand. It gets as deep as eighteen meters toward the light house, and larger fish can be found there. Take care, however, with the strong current that drags the diver toward the lighthouse.
Baía do Farol
Facing the Navy supply-base for the lighthouse. The seabed is almost entirely rocky and overgrown with soft coral (sea fans), and very large Atlantic and common Groupers can be seen.
Ponta do Farol
This is the deepest dive in the reserve. The currents are often very strong, but the view is well worth it. A huge rock face, teeming with enormous open water fish. Be careful, though: the speed of the currents is often proportional to the beauty of the rock formation.
Source: Brazil Diving Guide