La Palma has a couple of places where you can enjoy the underwater life, without scuba diving. When you go snorkeling, you will find yourself on places, where you might not come otherwise, like: Playa de la Zamora, La Fajana, Puerto de Talavera, La Bombilla. Beautiful names for beautiful snorkelingspots.
On this page you will find an overview of the nicest snorkelingspots and our tips. At the bottom of the page you will find a map with the locations of the snorkelingspots.
Here used to be small houses and a cosy bar. Now it is a big beach, well accessible. The sea is a long time shallow and the bottom exists of rocks and sand. It is better to wear shoes going in the water, because the bottom is rocky.
La Bombilla is one of the nicest places of La Palma, we think. There are a lot of small houses for recreational means and two “restaurants”. There is not a real sandy beach, but rocks. If you find yourself a good place, it is a nice village to be at. In spring and summer they put a pier in the water, which makes the entrance and exit very easy. With a quiet ocean you can also enter the sea from the boat ramp. One of the best snorkelingspots, with good visibility and a lot to see.
Puerto Naos has a big beach for sunbathing and also a lot of sea for snorkeling. We mostly like the place on the far right. You go into the sea at the Roca and than swim out a bit and to the right. There are rocks, stones and sand, with a lot of fish. You sometimes see Triggerfish and barracudas. In the winter the waves are high, when there are red flags on the beach, do not go in the water. You can probably go the the east for snorkeling.
A very intimate beach, lying between the rocks and in a small bay. The right hand side of the sea is nice for snorkeling. There it is a bit shallow, and you see sand, rocks and lots of fish. we have seen rays snorkeling here!
Also a small village with old houses. The underwater landscape is special here. If you drive into the village, you have got a place where you can enter the water easily, straight away on the left. You can see a lot of fish here, and sometimes big fish. In the summer the people make a small pool at the “beach”. Nice and shallow, good for snorkeling with kids!
Playa de la Zamora
The beach of La Zamora is part of the Marine Reserve La Palma. It is not allowed to fish, dive etc here. It is a shallow part for snorkeling, with a lot of life. The fish here are bigger than on other places, because they get the chance to grow. Where you park the car, there is a kiosko, where you can eat and drink something, if you had enough sun and water. A great place to spend a half or whole day!
Like Playa la Zamora this lies in the Marine reserve and that means lots of fish. You do not find a nice beach here, but stones.
Playa del Faro
At the far south, close to the lighthouse, you got a nice beach for sunbathing and snorkeling. When you are there you can take a look at the “museum” from the marine reserve, which you find in the building underneath the old lighthouse. Especially the dvd they show, is worthwhile.
This is an ideal place for sunbathing and snorkeling on the eastside of the island. The bay is very suitable for snorkeling, because it has wavebreakers, it is relatively shallow and has a lot of fish. If you go to the far left of the bay, you find an even quieter and shallower part for snorkeling. We have seen in Los Cancajos sepias, octopus, trompet fish etc.
Puerto de Talavera
This spot on the east has got something special. You get the idea you ended up in a Pirates village. You find a big rock here, with small houses. The bottom is sand, and you find white sand here. Special! You can only enter the sea here when it is quiet, mostly in August, September and October.
Swimming pond of La Fajana
You can do some nice snorkeling inside the ponds, but if the ocean is quiet, outside the ponds, the ocean is beautiful. Nice colors, underwater landscape and lots of fish.
Going snorkeling can sometimes end up as a disaster. Wrong or bad materials, wrong fins, or none. Water leaking in your mask or a lot of water in your snorkel. A wave that takes you down, or a sunburned back. You do not need to be a Scuba Diver to go snorkeling, better said every diver started with snorkeling, but with some tips and tricks, snorkeling might end up being a lot nicer!
Having a good mask and snorkel.
You can find all kinds of masks and snorkels, and ofcourse different prices. The most important for a mask is that it fits well, and closes well around the face. Most people will put it on really tight, because you do not want to lose it…But the tighter the more water will come in! In our dive centre you can try different models and rent them for a day (or more) And, if it fits well, and snorkeling goes well, you can always buy one. Having your own mask, is for most people pleasant.
With a snorkel the most important thing is that is easy to get the water out of it. That means that you do not have to take your head out of the water every time you get a bit of water in your snorkel and you will not get water in your mouth.
There are two different types of fins. With a closed and an open heel. The closed heel is suitable for tropical locations and pools, but here it is not really suitable. Fins with open heel need shoes, which makes it very easy to walk into the water (with the stones). Swimming with fins needs practice and learn the right technique. This makes snorkeling a lot easier and less tiring.
Disadvantage from snorkeling with shoes and fins is that you have to get used to it, because it feels very clumsy when you are not used to it. It is also an idea to go snorkeling without fins. You might use (low) shoes, to get into the water easily.
Breaking of the waves
The breaking of the waves is sometimes rough. It gets you on your knees surprisingly easy. It doesn’t always look a lot, but that might be treacherous. The best way to get into the water is: go in without fins, walk until you pass the area where the waves break and put on your fins, while you lie on your back in the water. Always put your mask on your head before you enter and use your snorkel. If you do not put the mask on your head, put it around your neck. Never put it on your forehead, because one wave, and you lose it!
We can make a reasonable estimation of the best places to go snorkeling that day. It might well be that the westside of the island is very wild, but you might be able to go to the east.
Take care of the possibilities of a sunburn, use a good sunscreen.
The water temperature is between 18 (winter) and 25 (summer) degrees.
At most places you will not or hardly find current. With full and new moon it might be a little more. Take notice of the beach flags (red=no swimming). Never go out of the coast to far, and if you are not sure, do not take the risk. There are some beaches (Puerto Naos and Los Cancajos) which have lifeguards on the beach! So that gives a safe idea.
Snorkeling you can learn
You can learn how to snorkel, and mostly after an hour of “lessons” you will be more at ease and more comfortable. You will be able to enjoy the underwater life more and it will prevent you from disappointments. We like to take you on a snorkeling tour (for example to the south Playa de La Zamora or El Faro), in which we can tell you everything about snorkeling and a lot about the underwater life.
You can rent snorkeling equipment for a day, but also for a week if you like. We have got good materials and that will prevent you from a lot of annoyance. If you want more info send us an e-mail.