El Diablo – Dive and Snorkel Uninhabited Islands
Beneath the surface of Puerto Rico’s warm azure waters lies a mystical wonderland just waiting to be explored. Those who choose to explore this wonderland soon come to understand why Puerto Rico is a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. Located northeast off the shores of Fajardo, El Diablo, otherwise known as Cayo Diablo, is rated among the top five dive sites of this fascinating country and is renowned for its colorful and intricate coral gardens and abundance of marine life.
El Diablo consists of several dive sites lying around an uninhabited island. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes by boat to get there, and while there are other dive sites closer to the mainland, the sheer beauty of El Diablo is worth the extra effort. With both sides of the island offering spectacular underwater scenery, divers are assured that experienced local dive masters will choose a site that is best suited to current weather conditions. This means that the water they dive in will be calm, so although the waters are fairly shallow, this calmness prevents the sea bed being churned up by currents and allows greater underwater visibility.
Coral is a type of marine organism that exists in colonies of many identical individuals. These fascinating marine creatures play a major role in building coral reefs found in tropical oceans as they secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton. The ancient coral reef of El Diablo features a number of coral heads formed by the skeletons of hermatypic corals. At first glance, these coral formations may appear solid, but upon closer inspection it becomes clear that they are riddled with holes and channels left by the corals that have died. Some of these holes are even large enough to allow a scuba diver to carefully swim through them.
Other fascinating features of Cayo Diablo include a mound of star coral overlapping each other, giving the impression of a waterfall, as well as a mound of star coral resembling an enormous mushroom. Many of these lifeless coral heads are covered in new life, as delicate-looking sea fans attach to them and sway gently to and fro harboring long slender trumpet fish waiting inconspicuously for a tasty treat to pass their way. The constant motion of the sea fans, the intricate patterns of the different types of coral and the colorful fish darting this way and that, create a mystical underwater wonderland at El Diablo that is well worth exploring when visiting Puerto Rico.