Frequently Asked Questions

How are you addressing COVID-19 and is the gear safe to use? 

We have undergone specialised risk-reduction training and implemented a comprehensive safety protocol relating to COVID-19. You can see our accreditations here. All our gear (masks, snorkels, wetsuits, buoys, weight belts, fins, neoprene socks etc.) is thoroughly cleaned with virucidal cleaning agents after every use and stored in a designated, sterilised area. We have created a short video that demonstrates how we do it. If you would like to see a copy of our full safety protocol, please contact us and we are more than happy to send it to you. If you would prefer to purchase your own gear, we can provide you with a mask and snorkel  (unopened and in original packaging), for 50€. 

What do I need to bring to the excursion?

Please bring a towel, a bathing suit / swimming trunks / bikini, shoes that you are happy to leave on the beach, water and a light snack on the day of your excursion. We also recommend that you bring sun protection (i.e. a hat, sunscreen, a longsleeve shirt) and a warm top to wear after the excursion.

I have never snorkelled before. Is that a problem?

Not at all! We are here to guide you and introduce you to the wondrous world of underwater exploration. Part of the excursion is a comprehensive introduction to snorkelling, so don't worry - we will provide all the guidance you need. The only prerequisite is that you know how to swim.

 

Can I bring my own gear?

Absolutely yes! Feel free to bring your own gear and use it during the excursion.

How big are the groups?

The maximum group size is 4 snorkellers. If you would like to book an excursion for a bigger group, please contact us and we will try to accommodate you with additional guides.

What will I see on the excursion?

You will see  stunning underwater landscapes formed by volcanic eruptions. From basalt formations to underwater arches - there is lots to discover around La Palma. Most wildlife encounters are extremely difficult to predict. There are a few species we are almost guaranteed to see (such as parrotfish, wrasses and damselfish). Other species are less frequent but we might be lucky enough to encounter stingrays, cuttlefish and turtles. For more information, please have a look here.

Is it safe?

Your safety is our first priority. You will be supervised by a professional diver (accredited by PADI, Professional Association of Diving Instructors) at all times. We carefully judge the ocean conditions (wind, waves, currents) during the entire length of the excursion and will never put you knowingly at risk. We also provide a range of safety gear, including buoys and personal flotation devices. However a small risk remains at all times. All participants are covered by a full accident insurance during the excursion.

 

What is the minimum age to snorkel?

Officially there is no minimum age to snorkel. Children should feel safe in water that is too deep to stand in and be good swimmers. If you are planning to snorkel with a young child (< 8 years), then please contact us beforehand. The minimum age for skin diving is 8 years. Children that are 12 years or younger have to be accompanied by their parents.

 

I don’t know how to swim. Is that a problem?

Unfortunately yes. In order to join one of our snorkelling excursions you need to be able to swim.

Can I buy gear from you?

Yes. We have a small choice of gear available for purchase - including masks and snorkels. Please contact us for more information. 

 

What is the difference between snorkelling and skin diving?

Snorkelling means to swim at the water surface using a mask and snorkel, possibly fins and exposure protection, like a wetsuit. Strictly speaking snorkelling is only done on the surface and does not involve swimming down. Skin Diving is somewhere between snorkelling and freediving - it does involve diving down whilst holding your breath, often with the help of a weight belt - but it is less competitive than freediving. 

 

Are there sharks around La Palma?

A variety of sharks occur around the Canary Islands, but most of them are oceanic, meaning that they move through the open ocean and rarely approach the coast. We have never seen a shark on any of our excursions. Should we encounter a shark we should consider ourselves very lucky and enjoy the moment whilst respecting these magnificent ocean predators. We are happy to give you some advice and what you should do and shouldn't do if you see a shark whilst snorkelling as part of our snorkelling introduction. But please remember that chances are extremely low.

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Oceanológico is officially authorized to conduct snorkelling excursions under permit TA-5-0013944, issued by the Government of the Canary Islands.