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AMAZON

Difficulty:  "HOT"
Distance:  21km
Travel Time:  40 mins
Depth:  20-30m
Max Depth:  30m
Bottom Time:  28 mins
Feature:  Manta cleaning station

It’s wild, it’s un-spoilt and its colour and marine life will blow the mind of even the most experienced diver: that’s why this dive site is called “Amazon”.

Situated 21 km north of the dive centre, directly off the lighthouse point at “Barra”, the L-shaped reef forms two spectacular ledges. The south eastern ledge, where you will begin your dive, will leave you lost for words: its overhangs and gaping caves make for some awesome whitetip shark encounters. As you ascend to the top of the reef, you’ll be met by a carpet of redfang triggerfish and huge clouds of bannerfish. The brightly coloured soft and hard corals are the perfect home for the skittering mantis shrimps and porcelain crabs that inhabit the reef. Keep your eyes peeled as you move onto the north-western ledge because encounters with manta rays, eagle rays, leopard sharks, bowmouth guitarfish and whitetip reef sharks are not uncommon here.

Lying at a right angle to Tofo's predominant north-south current, this challenging reef is only recommended for divers with previous experience in current. Because of its distance from shore, Amazon is usually visited in conjunction with another site as a “double tank” dive. Sea conditions need to be flat and it’s not possible to dive this site when there is current. We’ve rated Amazon as a “HOT” dive site which is only recommended for experienced divers.

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AMPHITHEATRE

Difficulty: "LEMON & HERB"
Distance: 8 km
Travel time: 15 mins
Depth: 12-18m
Max: 18m
Bottom time: 45 mins
Feature: Caves

All Tofo’s shallow sites offer excellent “macro” opportunities and this reef is no exception. Situated 8 km south of the launch site and perfectly in line with the feeding path of Tofo’s gentle giants - the whale shark - this site is a must for divers of all experience levels.

You’ll begin your dive with a negative backroll entry before descending to the aptly named “Amphitheatre,” which is horseshoe shaped with 12 metre pinnacles towering over you on the inside ledges. Relax a moment, adjust your buoyancy and soak in the atmosphere of the impressive overhangs, pinnacles and caves. At just 60 metres wide, the reef is small enough for you to explore at your leisure. Its long bottom time makes Amphitheatre a must for photographers who will have plenty of time to try to capture that perfect shot. Be sure to peer into all the caves to see if you can spot the whiptail rays, hawksbill and green turtles that are often found nestling inside. There are also gardens of seagrass around the base of the wall where ghost pipe fish and razor wrasse can be seen mimicking the ebb and flow of their surroundings. The surrounding pinnacles offer sightings of mantis shrimp, harlequin shrimp, leaf fish and a huge variety of moray. Be careful, though, as there can be some surge. Amphitheatre is one of the five dive sites here in Tofo where you might see whale sharks on scuba - it’s a rare treat so keep your eyes open.

Another of our Peri-Peri rated “LEMON & HERB” sites, Amphitheatre is great for newly certified divers and is the perfect qualifying dive for the open water certificate.

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ANCHOR BAY

Difficulty:  "LEMON & HERB"
Distance: 8 km
Travel time: 20 mins
Depth: 10-14m
Max: 14m
Bottom time: 50-60 mins

This reef is named after the ancient sailboat anchor which can be seen there. Situated 8 km south of the dive centre, and in the heart of the picturesque “Barra Bay,” Anchor Bay is a beautiful alternative to Clownfish Reef and perfect for Open Water dives 1 & 2. This large, circular reef is made up of rock and large plate corals encircled by beautiful soft corals and sponges. You can find a huge variety of reef fish here as well as crocodile fish, lionfish, leaf fish, shrimps and sometimes even schooling pickhandle barracuda. On the journey to and from the dive site, it’s not uncommon to see manta rays frolicking at the surface, or even a passing whale shark. If you do, you’ll have the chance to jump in and snorkel with them.

With no current or surge, “LEMON & HERB” rated Anchor Bay is great for first-time divers, Discover Scuba students and Open Water 1 & 2 divers who would like to experience a different dive site than Clownfish Reef.

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BUDDIES REEF

Difficulty:  "LEMON & HERB"
Distance: 8 km
Travel time: 20 mins 
Depth: 12-14mtr
Max: 14 mtrs 
Bottom time: 50-60 mins

8 km south of the dive centre in the heart of the picturesque “Barra Bay,” Buddies Reef is another beautiful alternative to Clownfish Reef and Anchor Bay - perfect for your Open Water dives 1 & 2. This reef is a rocky oval site cut by channels and gullies with huge clouds of coachman, Moorish Idols and angelfish hovering above. Pairs of clownfish and other anemone fish can be found sheltering together in the brightly coloured anemones dotted all over this beautiful plateau. Peer under ledges and into gullies to see if you can spot the lobsters, crayfish and pepper and honeycomb morays that lurk there. With no current or surge, Buddies Reef is another “LEMON & HERB” rated dive site great for first-time divers and Discover Scuba students.

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CHIMNEY REEF

Difficulty: "LEMON & HERB"
Distance: 6 km
Travel time: 10 mins
Depth: 10-18m
Max: 18m
Bottom time: 45 mins

At the southern edge of this crater, you’ll find a huge chimney reminiscent of that of a factory - this is what gives this reef its name. The chimney, which only has space for two divers at a time, is covered with brightly coloured nudibranchs and moray eels as well as clownfish and anemone fish and much more. Those with a keen eye should look out for the harlequin shrimp nestled into one of the reef’s many crevices. Chimney Reef is also one of the five dive sites in Tofo where you have the chance of seeing whale sharks on scuba so keep your eyes peeled! Another of our “LEMON & HERB” rated dive sites, Chimney Reef is suitable for all levels including newly qualified divers or those looking to refresh their skills.

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CLOWNFISH REEF

Difficulty: "LEMON & HERB"
Distance: 1 km
Travel time: 3 mins
Depth: 5-9m
Max: 9m
Bottom time: 60 mins
Feature: Manta cleaning station

Sitting 1km directly east of the dive centre in the heart of Tofo Bay, Clownfish Reef is protected from the southern point, making it a great dive site for all ages. Whether you’re first time divers at the start of your underwater journey or seasoned professionals, friends and families can dive together and experience all the tropical reef fish Tofo has to offer at this sheltered reef. Blanketed in fairy basslets, baby scorpionfish, baby leaf fish, baby morays, clownfish, anenomefish and much more, it’s a fun site for first timers, those completing their Discover Scuba or students on their first and second Open Water dives. What’s more, it can have calm, clear waters which will keep new divers coming back for more. Rated “LEMON & HERB,” Clownfish Reef and is aimed at families of all ages looking for an experience together.

Giants

GIANT'S CASTLE

Difficulty: "HOT"
Distance: 3 km
Travel time: 5 mins
Depth: 30-32m
Max: 32m
Bottom time: 24 mins
Feature:  Manta cleaning station

Giant’s Castle was perfectly named as everything about this reef is big: from the giant manta rays that visit the three impressive cleaning stations dotted along the outside edge of the wall to the huge, inquisitive potato groupers and curious brindle bass that come to check divers out. It’s a favourite among locals as it truly offers the experienced diver a chance to see the Big Stuff. Encounters of marlin, sailfish, giant barracuda, huge shoaling kingfish and various species of ray (including the “smalleye stingray” - the largest and rarest stingray in the world) are all common occurrences on this outstanding reef. For the “macro” lovers, there are amazing opportunities to capture leaf fish, frog fish, impressive sea moths, banded pipefish and a wide variety of shrimps. The list is truly endless.

You’ll begin your dive with a negative backroll entry and descend to 30 meters. Once at the bottom, you’re ready to begin your drift dive along the wall of this magnificent reef. Watch your computer and depth, though, as it’s easy to get distracted by the colour and diversity of marine life this reef has to offer. Bottom time can creep up easily, so be aware. The fun doesn’t stop with your ascent: keep your eyes peeled for devil rays, kingfish, manta rays and marlin as you come up to the surface.

Just 3 km directly east of the dive centre, Giant’s Castle is perfectly located for the experienced diver wanting a quick manta fix before relaxing on one of Tofo’s pristine beaches. One of our “HOT” Peri-Peri sites, Giant’s is only offered to experienced divers or as one of the qualifying dives for those taking their Advanced Open Water certificate.

Hospital

HOSPITAL

Difficulty: "HOT"
Distance: 19 km
Travel time: 35 mins
Depth: 25-30m
Max: 30m
Bottom time: 24 mins
Feature:  Manta cleaning station

This site is called The Hospital because of the abundance of surgeon fish (get it?) found in the area. From the moment you arrive on the reef floor, you’ll find yourself surrounded by these amazing fish. The reef is made up of several walls where you’re bound to find many morays, scorpionfish, lionfish and nudibranchs. It’s so full of life and colour that you’ll feel like you’re floating through a work of art. There are several cleaning stations along the walls where tiny cleaner fish are waiting to devour scrumptious parasites off the mantas and smalleye stingrays. And don’t forget the big groupers which roam the water and are usually more than happy to pose for a quick snap. This Peri-Peri “HOT” site is a favourite among photographers.

Krakatoa

KRAKATOA

Difficulty: "LEMON & HERB"
Distance: 10 km
Travel time: 20 mins
Depth: 10-16m
Max: 16m
Bottom time: 45 mins

This inshore reef resembles a “caldera” - or sunken volcano crater. The crater is, on average, 2-4m lower than the surrounding rock which creates a wall around the site. Speckled around the inside ledges are pinnacles that support tropical coral life, typical of Tofo’s inshore reefs. These surfaces are covered in brightly coloured soft and hard corals which give a home to the abundance of “macro” sea life. The centre of the crater is dominated by a number of rocky outcrops in the sand, offering slow winding dives with a couple of swim-throughs. If this isn’t enough, if bottom time allows you can also look for stonefish and harlequin fish at the small indent adjacent to the large crater. Although there can be some surge, this is a lovely reef for photographers and newly certified divers because of the long bottom time. This “LEMON & HERB” rated reef is another of the five dive sites where, if you’re lucky, you might see whale sharks on scuba!
 

Lions Den

LION'S DEN

Difficulty: "MILD"
Distance: 3.5 km
Travel time: 8 mins
Depth: 25-28m
Max: 28m
Bottom time: 20 mins
Feature:  Manta cleaning station

Lion’s Den - situated between Giant’s Castle and Sherwood Forest 3.5 km directly offshore - is Peri-Peri Divers’ newest dive site. It’s ideal for experienced divers on big packages who want something a little out of the ordinary. This isn’t a reef we incorporate on a daily scheduling basis but can be visited if requested, if the visibility, current and conditions allow. The reef is cut into a rocky plateau with a series of small pinnacles on the inside ledges. Groups of lionfish prowl the area looking for an easy feed and manta rays can be seen at the small cleaning station west of the drop. As with all dive sites here, you never know what may surprise you so stay alert! Lion’s Den has been given a “MILD” Peri-Peri rating and is recommended for experienced divers wanting to try something a little different.

Manta Reef

MANTA REEF

Difficulty: "MILD"
Distance: 22 km
Travel time: 40 mins
Depth: 24-28m
Max: 28m
Bottom time: 32 mins
Features: Manta cleaning station & caves

Rated one of the “top 10” dive sites in the world, Manta Reef offers manta encounters unmatched by any other. Since the 1960s, this magnificent reef has developed into the signature reef of the area, attracting eager diving enthusiasts from around the world. It was even the highlight of the recent BBC documentary “Andrea - Queen of Mantas”. Your dive begins with a negative backroll entry before slowly descending into a 24m aquarium. You’ll be surrounded by pinnacles rising to 15m and an abundance of life. Macro enthusiasts, in particular, will love the painted frogfish, shrimp and nudibranchs but make sure you look up from time to time or you could miss a passing whale shark, giant barracuda or, of course, our graceful manta rays.

As your dive progresses, you’ll encounter small caves eaten away at the bottom of the reef where sightings of loggerhead turtles, giant morays, ribbon eels and various species of smaller rays can be seen. Moving slowly and calmly onto a plateau, you’ll reach your first cleaning station. It’s important to stay behind your guide and low, not to interfere with the manta’s daily cleaning ritual. Here, we see balls of brightly coloured cleaner wrasse and goldies eagerly awaiting their arrival. In good visibility, this dive is spectacular with upwards of six manta rays circling at any one time. At the end of the dive, your ascent is often accompanied by circling devil rays and inquisitive remoras, as enchanted by you as you are by them. This “MILD” Peri-Peri site is the first deep reef of the advanced course.

Marble Arch

MARBLE ARCH

Difficulty:  "LEMON & HERB"
Distance: 8 km
Travel time: 15 mins
Depth: 12-15m
Max: 15m
Bottom time: 45 mins

Marble Arch sits approximately 500m east of Amphitheatre and, like our other shallow sites, offers great photo opportunities for the macro hunter. Your dive begins after a 15m descent into the largest of the two craters. Because of its size, the site gives divers a little more freedom so you have plenty of time to explore the many cracks, gullies and smaller pinnacles. Don’t lose sight of your guide, though, and be sure to have a look for the skittering mantis shrimp, Durban dancing shrimp and boxer shrimps that cover this reef. This site teems with tropical reef fish that swim just above the reef plate looking for anything to clean. It may be difficult, but try not to concentrate solely on the abundance of life in front of you, and LOOK UP. On many occasions, a manta ray or whale shark has been spotted above as they move from reef to reef and you wouldn’t want to miss that!

Mikes cupboard

MIKE'S CUPBOARD

Difficulty:  "LEMON & HERB"
Distance: 2 km
Travel time: 10 mins
Depth: 18m
Max: 18m
Bottom time: 45 mins

Mike’s Cupboard is a fantastic shallow site with a wide variety of macro life that is great for those who like to test their spotting ability. The site is made up of three main potholes. The first two are known as “the lungs”, due to their unique shape and the vast amount of soft coral found inside while the third and largest pothole hosts a variety of life. Trumpetfish, scorpionfish, leaf fish, lionfish, peacock mantis shrimps, white tip reef sharks and, occasionally, mantas make up just a fraction of what can be found on this beautiful reef. This is a Peri-Peri rated “LEMON & HERB” dive site and is the fourth dive of the Open Water course.
 

Outback

OUTBACK

DIFFICULTY:  "HOT"
Distance: 17 km
Travel time: 35 mins
Depth: 23-30m
Max: 30m
Feature:  Manta cleaning station

At Outback, begin your dive descending to 27m where you’ll be immediately surrounded by yellow snappers and sometimes mantas at the first cleaning station we find on the reef. From this point, you’ll slowly drift towards Outback’s main wall which starts fairly small and gradually becomes larger and more full of life. In this first section - known as the aquarium - one can always find some big morays, tiny nudibranchs or elegant mantas in the second cleaning station. From the aquarium, make your way through a small swim-through where the resident potato bass is usually waiting to greet you. Once through, the wall drops down to 30m, so watch your depth, and look out for the frogfish prowling the area. As you move along the wall trying to see what you can find, make sure you always keep half an eye out for the infamous mantas that fly around the area. Eventually, you’ll reach a small ledge where a sleepy green turtle might be waiting for a quick photo and, just past this, you’ll find the third manta cleaning station. Hang out here a while to see if you’re graced with the presence a manta. At this point, in the southern pinnacles, you’ll end the dive with another swim-through and ascend; hopefully, with mantas cleaning below you. This Peri-Peri rated “HOT” site is a great dive if you’re hoping for the chance of seeing giant mantas.

Praia do Rocha

PRAIA DO ROCHA

Difficulty:  "LEMON & HERB"
Distance: 9 km
Travel time: 15 mins
Depth: 10-14m
Max: 14m
Bottom time: 45 mins

“Praia Do Rocha” means “beach of rocks” in Portuguese and is a very apt name for this site. Situated 9 km south of the dive centre, conditions need to be perfect to visit this beautiful but rocky dive site. When the visibility is good and there’s no swell, this dive site is unmatched for its sheer beauty. Start your dive with a positive or negative backwards roll entry from the boat and descend to 14m of sand. There, once the group has gathered, you can make your way to the site. One can only describe this reef as a rocky maze. As there’s no one route to take, remember to stay with your dive guide and maintain good buoyancy as there can be some swell. You're sure to enjoy every moment of weaving your way through Praia Do Rocha’s swim-throughs, gullies and protruding boulders. This is the only reef here in Tofo where you might find seahorses but you'll have to look closely as they're not easy to see!

This is another reef with lots of bottom time so is great for photographers and newly certified divers. Praia Do Rocha - one of five dive sites that offer the rare opportunity to see whale sharks on scuba - is a Peri-Peri rated “LEMON & HERB” site and is the perfect qualifying dive for the Open Water certificate.

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ROBS BOTTOM

Difficulty: "MEDIUM"
Distance: 12km
Travel Time: 36 mins
Depth: 25m
Max Depth: 25m
Bottom Time: 28 mins

One of our most recent dive sites, Rob's offers a drift dive where the water is thick with big fish! At the northern drop, you'll be treated to two large cleaning stations, which are often visited by the mantas of Tofo. As you follow the ridge south, keep your eyes peeled for a whole plethora of marine life ranging from frog fish, Pope fish, shrimp and shilling kingfish. Along the walls, you're also likely to spot one of the many resident potatoes groupers. On the southern side, you'll see two further cleaning stations before reaching your bottom time and beginning the ascent. 

Salon

SALON

Difficulty:  "LEMON & HERB"
Distance: 1.5 km
Travel time: 8 mins
Depth: 12-16m
Max: 16m
Bottom time: 45 mins

Salon is made up of one main rock, about 3m long, which is home to an abundance of life. Macro enthusiasts will love this site’s variety of nudibranchs, leaf fish, pipe fish and shrimps. With so much to see, you’ll find yourself looking under every nook and cranny trying to outdo your buddy on their latest find but make sure you also watch out for trumpetfish who prowl the reef using you as cover while the hunt for their next meal. With its lack of current, Salon is the perfect site to brush up on your skills and is a favourite amongst instructors for one of the Open Water qualifying dives. This “LEMON & HERB” site is the third dive of the open water course.

Sherwood Forest

SHERWOOD FOREST

Difficulty:  "MILD / HOT"
Distance: 3.5 km
Travel time: 5 mins
Depth: 26-33m
Max: 33m
Bottom time: 20 mins

Lying south of Giant’s, Sherwood Forest is one of four deep sites 3 km directly east of the dive centre. It offers a dive full of colour and life unmatched by any other reef here in Tofo. When visibility reaches more than 25m, be sure to grab your camera as this reef, one of our deepest, offers great photographic opportunities. The rock, which can only be described as a large unpalatable mushroom, is the perfect shelter for turtles and leopard sharks. The caves and gullies cut away at its base offer brilliant swim-throughs and its dome is covered in vivid green coral trees. This coral attracts thousands of multi-coloured goldies and cleaning wrasse eagerly awaiting the odd manta ray or two. Many potato and brindle bass can be seen scuttling under the ledges and overhangs or socialising in the shoals of pelagic game fish. The advantage of Sherwood is that it sits very close to shore and is incredibly photogenic in good visibility. However, due to the limited bottom time and dome-like shape of the reef, which doesn’t offer much protection in strong current, this “MILD/HOT” site is only offered to experienced Divers or as a qualifying dive of the Advanced Open Water certificate.

Table Top

TABLE TOP

Difficulty:  "HOT"
Distance: 4 km
Travel time: 10 mins
Depth: 24-30m
Max: 30m
Bottom time: 24 mins
Feature:  Manta cleaning station

After a quick 10 minute ride, we arrive at Table Top which lies 1 km away from Sherwood and 2.5 km away from Giant’s Castle. Table Top gets its name from the sandy plateau that sits between the Northern and Southern wall where many species of rays have a quick nap before making their way to one of the other beautiful reefs in the area. Along the walls you can find green coral trees which contain many cleaning wrasse, fairy basslets, goldies, angelfish and butterflyfish. This makes for a perfect cleaning station for the manta rays which glide around the area. Apart from the mantas you can find morays, shrimp, frogfish and large schools of pelagic fish scouting the reef. Like Giant’s and Sherwood, Table Top has a Peri-Peri rated “HOT” difficulty level due to the depth and occasional current.

The Cavern

THE CAVERN

Difficulty:  "HOT"
Distance: 17 km
Travel time: 40 mins
Depth: 25-30m
Max: 30m
Bottom time: 22 mins
Feature:  Manta cleaning Caves

The Cavern is a beautiful deep site situated 17 km from the launch site. With an average depth of 25m you'll have around 22 minutes’ bottom time on this dive. We like to dive The Cavern as part of a double tank, linking it with Amazon and Office. The topography and life on this reef is similar with the exception of the giant cavern where you can often find brindle and potato bass. There’s always a chance of spotting mantas here due to the manta cleaning station situated just above The Cavern and you might also see sharks or large groups of pelagic fish prowling the waters. During winter, this “HOT” rated site - suitable for the more experienced diver - is one of the better spots to see and hear whales on scuba.

The Office

THE OFFICE

Difficulty:  "MILD / HOT"
Distance: 17 km
Travel time: 30 mins
Depth: 24-28m
Max: 28m
Bottom time: 27 mins
Features: Manta cleaning station & caves

This site definitely gives a new meaning to the phrase “just another day at the office”! Like Amazon, the reef is situated 17 km offshore from the Barra lighthouse and the two reefs are the perfect pairing for a double tank dive as they lie just 4 km apart. In the winter season, the countless breaching of migrating humpback whales make your surface interval one you'll never forget.

Your dive begins with a drop into the amphitheatre at 24m where you'll be welcomed by a potato grouper sheltering amongst the goldies in a rocky crevice. Slightly northwest of your drop is the first cleaning station where manta rays are often seen cleaning peacefully. As you make your way south, towards the foot of the hill, keep your eyes open for the pair of huge honeycomb morays that are often seen here being tended to by cleaner shrimps. As you begin your slight ascent up the hill, you’ll start to see a series of shallower gullies. Take time to peer into the gloom as there may be sleeping white tip sharks sheltering in the dark. The swim-through - where thousands of glass fish surround you - is a must for all photographers. Be careful, though, as under each ledge, left and right, loggerhead turtles or sharks may be found. The Office is a truly amazing reef which, like Amazon, is seldom seen as conditions need to be perfect. When they are, it creates a reef of spectacular colour and diversity. This site is Peri-Peri Rated “MILD / HOT” as the current can be a little unpredictable and, as such, is only recommended for divers with experience in current.