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About Santa Maria

Santa Maria is the third smallest island in the Azores, known as the yellow island. Recently Santa Maria has become a very popular place for divers who come to the Azores archipielago because of pelagic creatures that occupy it. Whale sharks, for example, arrive here during the summer. The most popular destination on Santa Maria is Vila do Porto. Among dive sites of Santa Maria the most popular is "Ambrosio". This site is just 3km/2mi off the coast and offers a great variety of marine life including mobulas dancing around divers. This site allows less experienced divers to see majestic creatures as they swim in depths not exceeding 15m/49ft. More experienced divers can dive up to 40 meters on a small platform where they can find many rays, scorpionfish and even sunfish. There are about eight other dive sites off Santa Maria where both experienced and non experienced divers will find many interesting spots, such as tunnels full of schools of fish, barracudas and colonies of yellow anemones that host nudibranchs. Divers can chose a cave in "Gruta Azul" that is more than 150m/492ft long, vertical walls and streams. In Santa Maria it is also possible to find vibrant marine reserves such as ""Pedrinha"" offering easy diving spots for divers of all experience levels.

When to go to Santa Maria

The best season for scuba diving on Santa Maria Island is from April to October. Average air temperature in the summer is around 26C/79F and 13C/55F in the winter. The average water temperature in the summer is about 23C/74F and 16C/61F in the winter. The average water visibility is 12-16m/39-52ft. Beaked whales, sperm whales, fin whales, humpbacks, false killer whales, spotted, bottlenose dolphins, turtles and other creatures can be spotted from May to October.