4 Spanish-Speaking Countries for New Divers

If Spanish is your native tongue, then the world has some excellent options when it comes to learning to scuba dive. The opportunity to start diving in beautiful countries with diverse underwater environments means that native Spanish speakers have some exciting choices. In this article, we take a look at some of the most popular Spanish-speaking locations around the world to start diving and earn your first scuba certification.

Start diving at these top Spanish-speaking destinations

1. Canary Islands, Spain

This small group of islands southwest of the Gibraltar Straits in the Atlantic Ocean has some excellent diving for beginners and is a great location to travel to in itself. A year-round warm climate of 21–29 °C (70–85 °F) makes it an inviting destination whenever you visit.

Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote are three of the most popular places to go diving in the Canary Islands. All of which are easily and cheaply accessed via most countries in mainland Europe or the UK. Travelers considering visiting from the Americas could combine their dive training with some additional stops very easily.

Gran Canaria has the bustling port of Las Palmas, allowing for sail trips to see the numerous cetacean species found around the islands. Tenerife is famed for good nightlife and social activities, particularly for younger travelers. Lanzarote has some incredible volcanic scenery in the higher mountains which can be traversed in 4WD vehicles.

Hesitant to start diving? Read this: Learn to Scuba Dive with Confidence: Answers to 13 Scuba Diving FAQ.

The water there is typically between 18-24 °C (64-75 °F), which requires a 5mm wetsuit to stay warm and comfortable whilst learning to dive.

All the islands have numerous sheltered bays, so whether you are learning skills on white or volcanic black sand, you will find calm conditions. Marine life in the Canaries is diverse and plentiful with many species of fish, plus loggerhead turtles, octopuses and stingrays. Keep your eyes open for the incredibly well-camouflaged angel shark as well! Many species of nudibranch can be found on the large rocky boulders typical of dive sites in the area.

2. Utila and Roatan, Honduras

The Bay Islands of Honduras are well-known dive spots for beginners and have numerous Spanish-speaking instructors to choose from. Added to that, warm water all year of 25-31°C (78-88 °F), means you will be comfortable in a 2mm wetsuit or just a skinsuit to keep the sun off.

Roatan is just a short flight from La Ceiba on the mainland or directly accessible via the Coxen Hole International Airport. The west end of this beautiful Caribbean slice of paradise is the main dive hub.

Roatan has a fascinating wildlife sanctuary with tropical parrots, reptiles, hummingbirds and sloths – all being well looked after, and is a nice trip in between diving. The west end is on Roatan’s lee side and is a haven of sheltered warm water that lends itself perfectly to learning to dive. 

Roatan has a marine park that prevents fishing and boating practices and has excellent marine life diversity. There are hundreds of species of fish, plus sea fans, sponges, brain corals, Caribbean reef sharks, and green and Hawksbill sea turtles

Freediving more up your alley? Here are: 7 Ways to Learn How to Freedive with Confidence.

All of which will entertain you when you first start diving and beyond. There are budget and boutique accommodation options available, plus excellent restaurants for the more discerning traveler. All of which makes diving in Roatan hard to beat!

Utila is a great option for budget-conscious or younger travelers, offering plenty of cheap accommodation options and great nightlife. Make a visit to the incredibly unique tree bar by day or night for a memorable experience. 

Easily accessed from Roatan via a short ferry ride, Utila has many dive centers for beginner divers to choose from. Utila’s gentle drop-offs have some cool shipwrecks to explore once you are certified, as well as eagle rays and occasional bottlenose dolphins. Whale sharks are also common from February to April, making diving in Utila popular with shark fans worldwide.

3. Riviera Maya, Mexico

Mexico’s Caribbean coast has been a popular destination for divers for many years, offering a year-round warm climate, cheap travel links, and a host of fun tourist activities. The water is warm, at 24-31 °C (75-88 °F), so a 2-3mm wetsuit or skinsuit in the summer is ideal.

Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum have a huge variety of accommodation options available, and this entire coastline has sheltered dive sites, meaning you can start diving with confidence.

Cancun’s international airport is the starting point for every traveler’s arrival into this area, and although it has a reputation for party life at night, there is still some excellent diving to be found in the area and many dive shops where you can book your course. 

After finishing your dive course, the nearby island of Isla Mujeres has shallow dive sites festooned with sea fans and hard corals, plus big groupers, sea turtles, jacks, and nurse sharks.

Playa del Carmen has a great mix of beaches, nightlife and restaurants, plus excellent diving. With maybe the highest number of dive operators on this coastline, it is a great place to find a good deal for your dive course. 

Once you become a scuba diver, you can try night diving! Check this out: 14 Essential Tips for a Beginner Night Diver.

Divers passing their certifications here can find sites filled with schools of grunts and small snappers, passing loggerhead turtles, eagle rays, and even bull sharks at the right time of year.

Tulum has developed rapidly and is well known as an influencer location, but it still has excellent diving available. Plenty of dive operators to choose from allows travelers to make their own choices for their course. Many also offer in-house accommodation, making the process very simple and streamlined. 

The Tulum area has very important nesting beaches for sea turtles with green, hawksbill, and loggerhead sea turtles all being seen regularly there. The Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve is to the south of Tulum and has some excellent diving on the northern reaches of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef that extends from neighboring Belize.

4. Sea of Cortez and Baja California, Mexico

Mexico’s Pacific destinations have great diving opportunities for beginner divers. Flying into Cabo San Lucas or La Paz allows you to visit tourist hubs and make your dive trips varied and fun. With a water temperature range of 19-24 °C (66-75 °F), a 5mm wetsuit is recommended to stay warm and enjoy the fantastic diving available. 

Cabo San Lucas is a vibrant port city with a huge variety of accommodation, dining, and land-based excursions. Cabo has many dive centers offering initial courses and there are dive sites just offshore with bucket-list marine life. You can dive with sea lions, mobula rays, and sharks, and marvel at the colorful soft corals on Cabo’s rocky reefs. All of which makes diving in Cabo San Lucas a very popular choice when you start diving.

RELATED: Cenote Diving in Mexico: All You Need to Know Before You Go.

The Cabo Pulmo Marine Reserve is a 2-hour drive from Cabo San Lucas and is a world-famous dive spot and conservation success story. Protected from fishing since 1995, the area has seen an incredible resurgence in fish populations - with a reported 400% increase according to scientific studies. The huge schools of jacks, plus bull sharks, large snappers, groupers, and other fish species are among the delights of Cabo Pulmo scuba diving.

Magdalena Bay, located northwest of La Paz, has a jaw-dropping variety of marine life. Dive courses are available in the area, and you can go diving with sea lions, mobula rays, schools of snapper and amberjacks. You can also watch seabirds diving on bait balls of sardines. It is worth venturing offshore as a separate snorkeling excursion to see the hunting marlin and even humpback whales!

So, are you ready to start diving? Check out SSI’s dive courses for beginners to choose the right one for you: