For those of you who have been reading my (previous) travel blog for a longer time, you might remember my first blog posts on ´waarbenjij.nu´ in 2006. After leaving the Netherlands to work as a diving instructor around the world, I did my divemaster trainee internship with Dive Academy in Arguineguin on Gran Canaria, before I took off to work in the Caribbean, Asia, and Australia.
My scuba diving instructor journey started with Dive Academy in Arguineguín on Gran Canaria
My journey to work and travel around the world, started in this little village (which has now grown into a small town) called Arguineguin on Gran Canaria. The dive center was owned by an English couple at the time, who soon became my new friends. But much has changed in 16 years!
The nostalgia of the dive center where I did my divemaster course
I´m always a bit nostalgic about the dive center where I did my divemaster internship and worked my first year as a ´dive pro´. After working in many different countries, (you can read more about that in Safety Stop book) I always returned to Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands over the years, where I find myself being based now. I have seen changing owners of the ´old Dive Academy´ over the years. Also, the name of the dive center got changed to ‘Nautico Dive Academy’. I became instantly happy upon meeting the current owners when they bought the dive center in Arguineguín, a couple of years ago.
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Eco-friendly scuba diving with a renovated dive center makes a proud asset to Arguineguín
Not only is this most loving family extremely friendly and guest-service oriented, but they also turned the dive center into something even more beautiful. As soon as you walk in, you feel the good vibrations hanging in the air, while you are welcomed and taken care of. First of all, they decided to get rid of all the plastic, and invested in a water filter with reusable bottles which get cleaned and refilled daily. They also renovated the complete dive center, making it look super nice and tidy, the pool got renewed and even some plants are added to the scenery. In my opinion, it has become a proud asset to Arguineguín!
The dive center family helped me to open my heart to the oceans again
The staff working at the dive center is very relaxed but professional and very helpful. And I am so grateful to have become friends with the owners, who eventually helped me to open my heart for the oceans again too. And not only that, but even without them asking me to create a video or a blog post, I just became motivated to share my amazing diving days with them. So indirectly their kindness motivated me to pick up Splashpacker again.
The international family welcomes you to the underwater world of Gran Canaria in any language
The current owners of the dive center are an amazing international family. Their roots really come from all parts of the world, and so no matter if you like to speak Spanish, Dutch, English, Portuguese, and probably another language, you will be attended to in that language fluently. I especially like how they not only offer you scuba diving but give you a nice experience: before, during, and after the dives. I always get hooked to the place even if I just pass by on a morning walk. There´s something about the vibe and how welcome they make you feel. It´s one of those places you arrive as a guest and leave as a friend.
The scuba dive sites around Arguineguín on Gran Canaria, after all those years
That said about the dive center and the lovely new owners, I also would like to share a bit more about the actual scuba diving on Gran Canaria. And especially the boat diving and scuba dive sites on this side of the island from Arguineguín. I am working on a blog post about boat diving on the southwest coast of Gran Canaria, but I would like to briefly introduce you here to it. I am really enthusiastic about all of it because it actually has changed for the better, comparing it to 16 years ago.
It seems like the waters around Gran Canaria are less affected by climate change, overfishing, and plastic waste
We all know that commercial overfishing, plastic waste, and climate change are doing more damage to the oceans than most of us are actually aware of. And if you have been following Splashpacker, you know that I strive for awareness regarding those issues and Splashpacker stands up for conscious dive travel.
However, I also believe that we should share the good news. And I can honestly say from my personal experience that the fish and ocean life on the southwest coast of Gran Canaria has improved over the years. Water temperatures are still the same as 16 years ago, I have not seen any plastic waste during scuba diving and the fish life has grown in size. It really is one of those rare places in the world, I only remember seeing a similar positive change whilst returning to the Maldives after 8 years.
The marine life of the Atlantic Ocean around Gran Canaria
When I worked as a divemaster for this dive center in Arguineguin, we used to go scuba diving in Arinaga a lot, where you can find a protected marine reserve. I remember boat diving on the west coast was nice but nothing special really. The nice thing I do remember was the big school of ‘Roncadores’, and they are still there. However, those schools of fish seem to be much larger in size now (if I remember correctly). Octopus and cuttlefish were always to be found around Arguineguín and are still to be found there. But I don´t remember seeing so many rays and moray eels years back, and also I believe the overall amount of fish life has grown a lot.
The dive center in Arguineguin took me to a dive site on Gran Canaria I never did before!
When I went scuba diving with Nautico Dive Academy, they took me to a deep dive spot I had never been to before. There is a little sailboat wreck located at a depth of 30-32 meters and although the wreck is only small, it attracts huge schools of fish! I was especially impressed by the number of barracudas. I don´t know about you but I decided to give up counting them. This barracuda school was simply to big to count! See the video below about not only this dive site but also some interesting barracuda facts 🙂
The privilege of diving with only one other diver and no other dive centers at the same dive site
Another nice fact to mention is that there was only one other diver on the boat. And there were no other dive centers diving at the same dive sites. It´s pretty common to be the only dive center scuba diving on one of the boat dive spots on Gran Canaria. By the way, there are more wrecks on this side of the island, I will write more about this in my upcoming post. Read more here:
We went scuba diving on Arguineguín Reef for the second dive
Arguineguín Reef is actually a pretty simple dive site, just off the coast of Arguineguín and almost in front of where the dive center is located on Gran Canaria. But I am always happy to go diving at this dive site. Big schools of ‘Roncadores’ are always hanging over the reef and in the rocks, you can usually find octopus, cuttlefish (not this day), some rays, and moray eels. In the right season, you might find an angel shark laying in the sand too. And because of the location, everything really is possible. You need to be lucky though, but it´s not impossible to spot a shark or a turtle. I share a little video of the ‘Roncadores’ here, but you can find a longer video about the Arguineguín Reef dive site on Splashpacker YouTube channel soon and in my upcoming blog post.
So my next blog post will be about boat diving Gran Canaria with the same amazing dive center
I am in the process of writing a blog post specifically related to boat diving on the southwest coast of Gran Canaria. And besides this upcoming post, I will definitely share more of my adventures with this amazing family and (to me) nostalgic dive center in Arguineguín on Gran Canaria. Boat diving on this side of the island offers wrecks, natural reefs, and artificial reefs: yes, even the lost city of Atlantis is to be found here 🙂 If you would do a full week of daily boat diving in this part of Gran Canaria, you will still not be bored.
Staying in Arguineguín during your diving holiday on Gran Canaria
Arguineguín used to be a little fishing village but has turned into a small town over the years. Especially in the European winter season (from November to May) it gets busy with mostly Scandinavian people but over the summer it´s pretty quiet. Although it has grown, Arguineguín has not lost its charm. The growing travel and tourism industry has caused some improved facilities and there are now more supermarkets, shops, little beaches, walkways and boulevards to enjoy the seaside and the Atlantic Ocean. But Arguineguín still carries the vibe of a Canary village with her local people, fish restaurants, coffee bars, and little cafeterias to be found everywhere. There is also a weekly market on Tuesday. Personally, I would prefer to book my stay in Arguineguín, to enjoy a dive holiday with a local taste of Gran Canaria.
Click on this link to find accommodation in Arguineguín using booking.com, or you can use the link in the paragraph below if you prefer Agoda. If you book anything by clicking through to one of the links or ads provided in this article, or by booking anything by using the search boxes in any of the paragraphs below, I will earn a small commission (but you don´t pay extra). Thank you for supporting Splashpacker!
Touristy resort towns for your vacation on Gran Canaria
However, Arguineguín might not be for everybody. Some people prefer to stay in a big resort or in a resort town with lots of tourist attractions and shopping centers. If this is what you prefer for a vacation in Gran Canaria, you can find a hotel in Puerto Rico, Playa del Inglès, Meloneras, or another area in Maspalomas. The dive center in Arguineguín on Gran Canaria, Nautico Dive Academy, offers a pick-up service before and after your diving in the resort towns named in this paragraph.
Alternative accommodation for your travels to Gran Canaria
There are also options to stay in a more rural type of holiday home in the countryside, but I recommend renting a car if you decide on this type of accommodation type. Furthermore, there are also hostels to be found in Puerto de Mogan, San Fernando, and in Las Palmas. Please do keep in mind that Las Palmas is pretty far if you would like to go diving in Arguineguín. But it can be nice to combine your diving holiday in the south with some culture and sightseeing days in the north, and split your holiday or dive trip by staying in two different locations.
Use the search box below to find your hotel, holiday home or hostel on Gran Canaria with booking.com. If you prefer Agoda, you can click on this link to check out the current accommodation deals in Gran Canaria on Agoda.
Airport transport to your hotel on Gran Canaria
Depending on where you are staying, how many people you are traveling with, and your budget/comfort preferences, you can either book private transport or take the public bus from the airport on Gran Canaria. Obviously, you can also rent a car at the airport. If you like to take the public bus, the price varies roughly from about €3,50 to Playa del Inglès, €5,- to Arguineguín and €7,- to Puerto de Mogan. Keep in mind that you might have to wait a while, for current information check out the website of the local bus company Global here. You can also book a private airport transfer to your hotel on Gran Canaria in advance. The price goes from €44,- for up to four people and you can book it on Get Your Guide by clicking here. Or you can use the search box below. The above prices are only a rough indication to give you an idea, they are subject to change and were last updated in December 2022.
Non-diving excursions or day tours during your holiday in Aruineguín or elsewhere on Gran Canaria
If you´re looking for other things to do during your holiday on Gran Canaria, you can pre-book excursions, boat tickets, or entrance tickets through Get Your Guide below. There are many things to do in Gran Canaria from whale and dolphin watching boat rides in the south, to horseback riding or museum visits in Las Palmas. You can also book hop on – hop off bus tickets in the capital, do a day tour to the mountains and sightsee the highlights of the island, go to the Aqualand waterpark, or even go on a submarine tour. There are also more adventurous activities like canyoning, parasailing, jeep safari, kayaking, or surfing. Check it out by clicking on this link!
Tip for your flight deal to Gran Canaria
Use the search box below from 12go.co to find the best deal for your flight to Gran Canaria. They scan all available airlines for you. You can choose any departure airport in the UK or anywhere in Europe. Pick the one most convenient for you!
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