Fernando de Noronha, Paraty, Ilhabela, Bombs and Recife….what do these places have in common? They have made it to the Bucket List of scuba divers from all over the world. Scuba divers have discovered the amazing underwater topography of the Brazilian coastline and are now flocking to the spots that locals have been diving for years.
Scuba diving is now the second largest draw in tourism for the country of Brazil. Divers are hitting the Brazilian Consulate for their visas for the chance to dive waters littered with history as well as incredible underwater life. According to the Ministry of Tourism, “the diving tourism is an activity with the potential to become one of the main reasons visitors come to the coastal areas of Brazil.“ The Brazilian government loves the idea of attracting divers to their shores because scuba diving is a revenue generator. Divers stay an average of 7 days and tend to return visit often.
Diving in Brazil isn’t just kept to the coastal waters either. Brazilian inland diving is also growing with scuba divers discovering the joys of diving in ponds and lakes. Dive sites with names like the Abyss Anhumas and Rio Formoso, in Mato Grosso do Sul are drawing scuba divers in droves. Divers do have to be certified to dive and the dive community of Brazil offers classes and dive services all over the country. There are familiar dive schools as well such as PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the largest scuba diving certification in the world) or CIDP (Professional Diving Instructors Corporation or the Corporation of Professional Diving Instructors).
The dive community also offers tours and dive guides for many of the coastal sites. Dive masters will guide you through the popular underwater sites such as the Recife-Olinda region. This dive site has incredible year round diving and the marine life is abundant. There are shark dives and shipwrecks to explore. There is also Ilha Grande near Sao Paulo. This dive region offers secret coves to snorkel and amazing conditions for diving. There are a number of European galleons sunk over a hundred years ago as a result of battles with pirates to explore.
Divers need to be aware that in order to dive in Brazil they do have to obtain a Brazilian visa. The visa process includes a visit to a Brazilian Consulate and an application that can be printed on-line. Make sure to follow the visa instructions because without that visa you won’t get your fins near the waters of Brazil.