Catalina Island

With over 70 named dive sites, Catalina Island has it all and is one of the most popular diving destinations in the state of California. On Catalina Island, you can dive from shore or boat over beautiful reefs or majestic kelp beds all teeming with wildlife.

Catalina Island is full of wildlife from macros like nudibranchs, gobies, and anemones to large animals like seals, sea lions, rays, otters, and sharks.

Level

Level

  • Beginner
Visibility

Visibility

  • 12 m
Current

Current

  • Light Current
  • No Current
  • Strong Current
  • Ripping Current
DIVE TYPES

DIVE TYPES

  • Night Dive
  • Drift Dive
  • Snorkeling
  • Wall/Drop Off
  • Macro Spot
  • Cleaning Station
  • Kelp fish
  • Wreck Dive

Temperature & Visibility

Dives

Wildlife Diversity

Dive sites nearby

Pirates Cove

Drop off rocky beach, stairs to walk down to the water. Slight moss, slippery, very murky waters. Kelp Forrest was surreal. I got caught in the kelp Forrest had to remove myself from my tank and then put it back on to get out of the kelp.

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Hen Rock

A great dive site accessible by boat for all skill levels. Reef and sand bottom with depths vary from 15 to 85 feet on the outer pinnacles. Fun swim-throughs, schools of fish, mini-walls, and overhangs.

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Casino Point Dive Park

Casino Point Dive Park, also known as “Casino Point“ or the Avalon Underwater Dive Park, is the most popular dive site on Catalina Island and one of the most popular dive sites in all of Southern California. Catalina Island is only accessible via private boat or ferry from the mainland so check ferry schedules.

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Isthmus Reef

Isthmus Reef is a popular dive site on Catalina Island reachable only by boat. It’s a great site for open water students and newer divers due to its sheltered location and shallow depth.

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Bird Rock

One of the best dive sites on Catalina Island, Bird Rock varies from shallow rocks to steep drop-offs and a beautiful arch. The shallow rocky area is great for snorkeling and the entire site is great for new to advanced divers. The water is nearly always clear, calm and generally without current.

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Lulu Reef

Not to be confused with it’s close, more popular neighbor Eagle Reef, Lulu Reef is a series of three rock pinnacles inside Eagle Reef on the mainland of Catalina Island’s west end. Since it is a bit off shore it’s best reached by boat.

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Eagle Reef

Eagle Reef is a large rocky structure teaming with life. This is an awesome kelp dive; Catalina Island at it’s finest. This site is only reachable by boat, either private or dive charter. Plan to dive in the morning before winds have a chance to kick up and watch for possible strong currents.

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Indian Rock

Considered the jewel of Emerald Bay, Indian Rock is full of amazing rocky outcroppings and kelp beds in the heart of Catalina Island. It’s a popular mooring spot for pleasure boats so be aware of boat traffic in this area. It’s best dived via boat charter as it’s a bit too far to swim from shore.

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Camp Emerald Bay

Camp Emerald Bay is home to a long time Boy Scouts of America camp and one of the most popular dive sites on Catalina Island. This is an easy entry dive site from the beach with a gently sloping bottom and beautiful kelp forest right offshore.

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Parson’s Landing

Parson’s Landing is a beautiful secluded cove on Catalina Island that’s just as scenic above water as it is underwater with great diving and snorkeling right from the shore! You can even camp here right on the beach. The cove is usually nice and calm as it is protected from most weather.

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