The Chinijo Archipelago, located north of Lanzarote, boasts a colourful seabed home to various species of fish, ancient coral and historical artefacts.
The Chinijo Archipelago offers incredible opportunities for both experienced and novice divers and snorkelers. The archipelago, north of Lanzarote, is formed by the island of La Graciosa, and the islets of Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, and Roque del Oeste, and is the largest marine reserve in Europe. La Graciosa is the arrival port for the Chinijo Archipelago.
The rocky sea beds in this part of the Canary Islands are ideal for divers. There are caves, crevices, arches, labyrinths, and tunnels. The flora and fauna on show is incredible. If diving seems a step too far, because of the enormous quantities of fish much can be seen a few metres away from the beach simply with a snorkel and mask.
More than 700 species
The Marine Reserve is home to an abundance of flora and fauna with some rare species present. Divers can see great swathes of marine plants and numerous types of colorful algae. There is incredible wildlife with Canarian lobster, comb groupers, dusky groupers, barracudas, moray eels, amberjacks, and shoals of grunts amongst the range of species on show.
The best places to dive
There are plenty of great dive sites in the Marine Reserve to choose from. Las Gerardias is a special location containing coral formations which are thousands of years old and rarely found within easy reach for divers. Las Cañas is a beautiful spot that contains galleries, tunnels, and arches covered with anemones. The bright sunshine plays with the colour of the local flora and produces pretty patterns of light. There are gueldes, croakers, grunts, scarlet ladies, and grey triggerfish to observe. Roncadores is a natural aquarium with schools of grunts and sand steenbras, Canary lobsters, common stingrays, sailfish, and greater amberjacks. Finally, Las Anclas is both a natural paradise and a place of great historical interest. The dive site contains many anchors from 15th and 16th century pirate ships that had to cut their lines quickly so as to escape from the Spanish navy.
La Graciosa is home to the only diving centre in the Chinijo Archipelago. It is located in Caleta de Sebo, one of the two small centres of population in La Graciosa. The centre offers rental material and courses for divers and snorkelers of all abilities.