El Cabron – Gran Canaria
El Cabron – Gran Canaria
When divers think about scuba diving in Gran Canaria, they often think of white sandy beaches, clear blue water, and sub-tropical climates. However although in some areas of Gran Canaria, this isn’t far from the truth. The best dive site is undoubtedly the marine reserve El Cabron. With impressive volcanic rock formations, rugged rocky entries, caves, caverns, volcanic sand, and deep blue water. The marine reserve El Cabron should be on the bucket list for any scuba diver looking to dive in Europe.
Is El Cabron a Marine reserve?
In July 2006 half of Gran Canaria was declared a “world biosphere reserve” by the UN. El Cabron was given the title of ‘marine reserve’ partly due to a large number of flora and fauna species that inhabit this dive site.
A marine reserve is a protected area in which fishing, mining, and boating are prohibited. This is done in an effort to minimize the damage caused to our oceans biodiversity from climate change.
With this dive site boasting some of the biggest and most varied fish species in the whole Canary islands.
Confirming that El Cabron is one of the best dive sites in Europe, in 2001 on the 28th of December, El Cabron was listed as a site of special scientific Interest in the European Union.
This hidden gem of a dive site is located off the beaten track, on the East coast of Gran Canaria in the small town of Arinaga. Specifically, the marine reserve stretches from Punta de la Sal to Punta de la Monja
To arrive at the marine reserve it is a ten-minute off-road drive from Arinaga, however, if you have a suitable vehicle this is part of the charm. When you first catch your glimpse of El Cabron you will be enthralled by the rugged terrain and the striking resemblance to being on the moon. El Cabron is listed on Google maps so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding this dive site.
Diving in Gran Canaria is very safe, however, as with all scuba diving sites, there are some hazards that you should be aware of.
Make sure that the weather conditions are favorable before entering the water. As El Cabron is a rocky shore entry you want to make sure that you can enter the water safely. I recommend using a weather app, such as ‘windy’ in order to check the conditions before your arrival.
It is not uncommon to experience a current while diving in El Cabron. It is important to remember to try and swim against the current and not with it. If you are swimming with the current make sure you turn the dive around earlier so you have enough air reserve to get back to the entry point. It is advisable to carry an SMB with you in case you do get caught in a current.
The topography of El Cabron is volcanic rock. Therefore the rocks can be sharp. The rocky entry can also be slippery so I advise wearing protective gloves and hard soled diving boots. Diving in bare feet and with pool fins is not a good idea! . This ensures that if you fall your body is protected from the rocks. Therefore make sure you are wearing an appropriate exposure suit.
When scuba diving, we aim to respect all marine life. Therefore we advise you not to touch any fish species. The fish species that have defense mechanisms in Gran Canaria include Sea Urchins and Fireworms.