Think Brazil and colorful carnival costumes, revelers swaying to the samba, stunning white sand beaches and endless stretches of Amazon rainforest come to mind. But Brazil, with a coastline extending to more than 7000 kilometres/4300 miles, is increasingly on the mind of adventurous divers. From famous wrecks and healthy reefs stretching from Recife to Serrambi in the Northeast to pristine rocky dive sites in the South around Bombinhas, the variety, and quality, of the diving is staggering. For a great start, visit Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo, where there’s easy access, every amenity you’d expect from lively cities and an abundance of great diving nearby. You’ll find much to do topside here too. To rinse off after all the saltwater, a freediving expedition up the mighty Amazon River could even yield an encounter with elusive pink dolphins or giant otters.
- Recife – More than 100 vessels dot the ocean floor of Brazil’s shipwreck capital. Many are accessible to visiting divers and some were intentionally sunk to attract underwater life and divers. Add in abundant healthy coral reefs and you have the makings of a dive paradise. The Florida, a steam-powered tug, lies in 33 meters/110 feet of water and is festooned with sponges and coral. It’s a must dive wreck and the visibility is usually great.
- Maragogi – This is the jump off point for access to Brazil’s “Coral Coast” with some 22 kilometres/13 miles of beaches surrounding a wide tropical lagoon with crystal clear water. The reef diving is excellent and divers are well served. There’s plenty for nondivers to do too.
- Laje de Santos – Forming part of the state marine park off the coast of Sao Paulo, this popular site offers marine life ranging from small nudibranchs through to bigger creatures such as dolphins and whales. Manta rays and turtles also frequent this site, which is comprised mainly of hard colorful corals and a sandy bottom.
- Ilha Rasa – Located a few kilometres/miles from shore, this is a great place to explore the underwater world close to the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro. This site is home to a number of hard coral formations that attract a range of fish species. The Buenos Aires and Galeao wrecks are also close by. The depth ranges from about 8 metres/26 feet to around 40 metres/130 feet.
- Ilha do Cabo Frio – Also known as Ilha do Farol (Lighthouse Island), Ilha do Cabo Frio boasts several sites with depths ranging from 2 metres/6 feet to 18 metres/60 feet. Home to various marine life including turtles and rays, the area is usually well protected from the wind and swell.
- Angra dos Reis – This region has various sites for divers to explore including off Ilha Grande and Ilha de Jorge Grego. Groupers and stingrays frequent these locations with most sites ranging from 10 metres/33 feet to 35 metres/115 feet in depth.
- Ilhabela - The biggest island of Brazil, Ilhabela has several sites and wrecks to please all types of divers. Ilha Galhetas is a popular site with a range of colorful fish species and marine life with depths ranging from 3 metres/10 feet to 15 metres/50 feet.
- Victory 8B Wreck - Located around 2 kilometres/6 miles off the coast of Espirito Santo, it is the first artificial reef in Brazil. Resting at a depth of around 34 metres/110 feet, it’s a popular spot that attracts an array of marine life that call this sunken 90 metre/295 feet cargo ship home.
- Fernando de Noronha - Undoubtedly one of the best diving spots of Brazil, this archipelago in the North-East of the country has amazing dive conditions with visibility sometimes exceeding 40 metres/130 feet. It boasts an incredible array of marine life including more than 200 types of fish.
- Banco da Panela - Located near Salvador, this site is popular due to its large amount of historical wrecks. Rich in marine life due to its warmer waters, it is also regarded as a great drift dive with the depth ranging from about 6 metres/20 feet to 18 metres/60 feet.
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Visibility – Depends on location and season but can exceed 30 metres/100 feet.
Water Temperature – Brazil is a big country and water temperature varies, however, the average sea temperature for the south east of the country is around 25°C/77°F with increases and decreases in winter and summer months.
Weather – For the South East and Rio the annual minimum temperature is 21°C/70°F, the average annual maximum temperature is 27°C/81 °F. You can enjoy diving Brazil year-round. While the summer months of December through to February are the most popular, the dive season runs year round in most regions. Check locally before booking.
Featured Creatures – Manta rays, bottlenose dolphins, sea horses, turtles, whale sharks, lemon sharks, nudibranchs.
Recommended Training – The PADI Deep Diver and PADI Wreck Diver courses will help you enjoy many of the sites in Brazil. AWARE – Coral Reef Conservation and AWARE - Fish Identification courses will help you appreciate the diversity of marine life.
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.
Language – Portuguese is the official language. English and Spanish are also spoken in many popular tourist regions.
Currency – Brazilian Real (BRL) is the official currency.
Major Airports – Rio De Janeiro GIG and Sao Paulo CGH.
Electricity and Internet – 120 and 240 volts are in use. Outlets are usually both flat (North American) and round (European) plugs.
Topside Attractions – You will be spoilt for topside treasures. Ipanema Beach, Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Christ Statue are all must-visit locations in Rio. In Sao Paulo features include Paulista Avenue, Ibirapuera Park and Vila Madalena. A trip to Salvador or the Amazon will showcase the amazing culture of this vast country.