Diving Pico Island, Azores

Dolphins in Azores
Encounters with dolphins in the Azores islands. Image by christophedemulder

Pico Island offers varied dives, with steep walls, canyons, pinnacles and sand plateaus on the coast and some of the best offshore Azores diveswith presence of marine mammals.

This island receives nutrients from the Gulf Stream creating a rich and varied habitat. One of the most known diving spots is Princess Alice, about 50 miles off Pico Island, where mobulas, blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks come to feed on the large amount of fish that feeds on the large amount of food that rises from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

The shore dives have a varied typography, with rocky reefs inhabited by up to 4 different species of moray eels, large groupers, many nudibranchs, blennies, gobies, damsels or scorpion fish. There you can also find black corals.

black coral
On Pico island is possible to find beautiful specimens of black coral. Image by NOAA’s National Ocean Service

In «Arcadas de São Roque», north of the island, you’ll find a beautiful dive. You start from natural swimming pools, to reach a spectacular stone arch that houses lots of life: yellow corals, damsels and you even can see some pelagic fish. Another interesting arc is «Arcos da Formosinha» where, accessing by boat, you will reach to a small cave inhabited by black rays, moray eels and many nudibranchs.

As in most of the dives of Azores, underwater geological formations in Pico are also the keynote. «Arcos do Pocinho» is one of those interesting dives because of its geological formations with two large lava arches that take you to a cave full of typical Azores life. There you will also have the opportunity to observe some pelagic fish schools.

Pico has three dives that will not disappoint fans of the currents and deep diving. In «Baixa da Barca», 20 minutes from the coast, you’ll find a 50 meters deep diving spot. Its vertical walls with strong currents attracts exceptional schools of jacks and during summer it is possible to find mobulas, sea turtles or sunfish and in the deeper areas you can always find large groupers. A closer diving spot to the island is «Baixa do Norte», similar to the previous one, but where you can enjoy more powerful currents and beautiful black coral.

Where is Pico Island?

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