Brazil occupies almost half of South America and is one of the largest countries in the world. Although it has an impressive coastline, diving is not among the first outdoor activities that come to mind when one thinks of this stunning country. Nonetheless, marine life is abundant and diverse. From coral reefs to mammals and endangered species, one has plenty to see along Brazil’s coastline and around the islands.
Depending on where along the coast you are located, the diving conditions may vary dramatically. The high season runs usually from December to February.
Generally, the water is warmer in the north and northeast, where the water temperature averages 27° C/ 80° F year-round. In the south, the water temperature can drop to 22° C/71° F or under.
Some areas can have very strong current and experience rough seas, but divers may still find sheltered spots.
Given the vastness of the country, visibility too can vary from dive site to dive site. However, good visibility between 25 and 40 meters/82-131 feet is common.
Fernando de Noronha, the ideal region to explore in Brazil
This mountainous archipelago, declared a World Heritage Site in 2001, is made up of 21 islands. It is an important feeding ground for many species of marine animals, including sharks, billfish, tuna, and sea turtles. It is home to several endangered species, including the Hawksbill sea turtle.
The dive sites are diverse and cater to anyone’s desires: wreck sites, volcanic topography, coral formations, canyons, and more. Their remote location makes Fernando de Noronha a great spot for seeing pelagic species. The islands are also home to the largest population of spinner dolphins in the world.
Once just a fishing village, Recife is now the capital of Brazil’s northeast state of Pernambuco. This is probably the most popular dive destination in Brazil, as it is easily accessible compared to the Fernando de Noronha archipelago. The Recife region offers year-round diving and abundant marine life throughout the seasons. The region is also home to numerous shipwrecks – earning Recife the nickname of “Brazil’s capital of wrecks”, deliberately sunk to increase the tourism potential of diving. Visibility is very good, and the water is warm all year round.
What makes Ilha Grande truly special for divers is the vast concentration of historical wrecks, including European Galleons. In the 16th and 18th centuries, the island has seen numerous battles between colonial forces and pirates. This too is a year-round spot for diving.
The volcanic Abrolhos Islands are located just 70 km away from mainland Brazil. The islands are uninhabited except for the staff of the lighthouse. The humpback whales are here from November to July. You’ll also spot dolphins, manta rays, green sea turtles loggerhead turtles, and many other marine animals, including unique coral formations known as “chapeirões,” large coral structures that extend to the surface of the water.
dive.site is a growing social media platform designed exclusively for divers.
Explore a comprehensive dive map, track your dives, upload your dive logs, connect with your dive buddies or other divers from around the world, and more.