Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Antofagasta
Ready to check out the best sites in Antofagasta for scuba diving, snorkeling, shore diving, free diving or other ocean activities? Zentacle has 8 dive sites, snorkel spots, beaches, and more. Discover hand-curated maps, along with reviews and photos from nature lovers like you. No matter what you're looking for, you can find a diverse range of the best ocean activities in Antofagasta to suit your needs.
#1 - Jardines de Copetón
The entry to the site is from the pebble beach. Exercise extreme caution with the surf in this area upon entry and exit. Once you are in the water head out to about 10m depth and descend. It is best to head SW and work around the large rocks. This site has lots of kelp and the associated marine life. Ocean sunfish also frequent the zone. To get to this site you head towards la Isla Santa Maria by the marked road. When you get to the small mine you turn off the paved road and head north into the desert. This is best done with a 4x4 but can be managed in a 4x2 if you now how to navigate soft material. You will be following a well distinguished ridge until you get to ocean after about a 20 minute drive. Use the GPS coordinates and find the road into the zone. Jardines de Copetón is also known as Copeton Gardens.
#2 - Acapulco Beach
The dive can be bad, depending on visibility. Seek to go out of the bay or hug the shore. The area is quite populated with giant manta rays. You don't hear of dangerous encounters, but you are sure to find one. From Antofagasta, drive to Juan Lopez. Go to the end of the main road and you will arrive at a small cove called Acapulco. Acapulco Beach is also known as Juan López Beach, Playa Acapulco.
#3 - La Portada
This dive is a difficult one in that there are strong surges and not really a current. They bring a lot of food around and provides divers a unique opportunity to see schools of "Hacha" fish, similar to the juvenile angelfish in the caribean, except these are about 30 cm diameter. The bottom has bizarre monoliths like the Portada itself and one can get easily lost. You enter at about 70 Ft and go towards the Portada. Just be cautious of the currents. Don't take cameras, they will get banged up pretty badly. Common visitors are penguins (local name "boys of the sea"). By boat. You can hire a boat from the Antofagasta market area. The fishermen will be glad to take you.
#4 - María Elizabeth Wreck
Cargo sunk 13th jan 1965. The ship was loaded with butane gas when caught fire during disembarking maneuvres of a large gas container when a leak developed. Finally the container explode along with other still in the ship`s deck. The crew was still on board al this moment. Many of them dead aboard and the only mens saved where those whom fell to the water, a few. A great tragedy in the history of Antofagasta. Take a boat at Culb de Yates Antofagasta Marina, downtown Antofagasta. Sail south west aprox 1 mile María Elizabeth Wreck is also known as Naufragio Maria Elizabeth.
#5 - Vapor Lima
Vapor Lima is a 1863 wreck, Steam Engine Vessel from the Pacific Steam Navigation Company (PSNC). The Sea must be very calm, it is difficult to find a good day to dive this Wreck, shallow water (less than 6m) and usually strong current. Drive North from Antofagasta 10km, take left at "La Portada, Juan Lopez" follow signs to Juan Lopez the to "Isla santa María , Caleta Constitución" In Caleta Constitución By Boat North To "Islote Lagarto". Vapor Lima is also known as Bajos Lagarto.
#6 - Pared Sur
One of the best Dive Sites in the area, dont forget to visit "La cueva del Congrio" at 37m. visit www.buceomagallanes.cl to get there. From Antofagasta, Drive to Isla Santa María, (Juan Lopez Road). Reach Bolsico beach and By Boat go North 3 miles. Pared Sur is also known as Los Picachos.
#7 - The Abyss
This site is frequented by sea lions and otters. Large fish (Peje Perro). It's good for beginners if they don't wander off. The name comes from a feeling one gets once diving the wall, with the lushious kelp and the sandy bottom at 105 Ft, combined with the good visibility, when you cross a channel, you will get vertigo. Just ensure you change position with your buddy, or keep each other in sight. At the point past the abyss, you can continue your dive inside the 2 meter tall kelp jungle. Life in it is breathtaking. Keep an eye on you time....lots to get side tracked on. From Antofagasta drive towards Juan Lopez. Go around Cerro Moreno to the Isla de Santa Maria. At the turn off to Caleta Constitucion, go left, south, past the scallop farm, soth and go up a 50 meter narrow steep (4x4 needed) trail up the hill and follow the lava flows and trails. Nead west. This also was called "Spot #2", one of three spots close to each other. Follow your GPS to the spot. You can back into the dive place quite close. You'll recognize it by the long channel. The Abyss is also known as El Abismo, Spot #2.
#8 - El Buey
El Buey is the rock formation. There is a lot of good diving both to the south and north of the rock. The swell can be quite strong at times but the views make it well worth it. This dive is best performed "one way". Have the boat drop you in and then head south following the reef structure. The boat captain will follow you. It is best to stay in the deeper areas as swell can be quite strong at times and is magnified in the shallower zones. Staying between 60 and 100 feet is best. Take the road to Caleta Constitución from Antofagasta and park near the fishing pier when you get there. This is a fishing village so there are a dozen or so boats in the small "caleta" (harbour). It is recommend to make prior arrangements for someone to take you out.