Malpelo Island is formed by volcanic rock, and its surface is covered in lichen, mosses and algae.
Schooling scalloped hammerhead sharks are a highlight at Malpelo Island, especially at the La Nevara dive site. Sometimes seen in schools of 200 sharks, they can also be joined with even larger schools of silky sharks. They come to cleaning stations to feed, so expect to see plenty of butterflyfish as well. These cleaning stations and the nutrient rich waters also attract gentle giants like oceanic manta rays and whale sharks.
Whale shark sightings are frequent towards the north of Malpelo Island. Dive sites around the island feature mostly steep walls and pinnacles as the island rises from an undersea ridge. There are also caverns and some sandy bottoms to explore.
Water temperature is usually warm at 79-82°F (26-28°C) but at the beginning of the year, it can get chilly with a range of 61-77°F (16-25°C). Cold ocean upswelling caused by strong winds bring more plankton to the surface.
The plankton can reduce visibility to 33ft (10m) from the usual 100ft (30m) but it is well worth it given the abundant marine life around the island.
Fly to Gerardo Tobar López Airport in Buenaventura, Colombia or alternatively, fly to Cali (Airport Code CLO) and aim to arrive at least one day before your trip starts. Transfers from Cali to Buenaventura as well as back to Cali may be included in your hotel rates. Cali is connected internationally with Miami (American Airlines & AVIANCA), New York JFK, Madrid (both AVIANCA) and Panama-Tocumen (Copa Airlines).
There are also direct flights to Cali from Quito, Guayaquil and Lima. It is also possible to fly to Cali via Bogota which is connected to various cities in North America (Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York JFK, Orlando, Toronto, Washington) and Europe (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Munich, Paris).