Scuba diving in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Island is one of the Channel Islands
group. It was formed by volcanic activity and it is an
attractive tourist's destination due to its warm and
breathtaking nature. Its beautiful beaches offer a wide
variety of dive sites. Santa Barbara dive sites are home to
many kinds of sea life. Its untouched natural beauty
helps the growth of many kinds of underwater species such as
seals and sea lions, whales and sharks. The clear visibility
is great for underwater photography.
Always dive according to your level of training.
Never enter the water without checking with
dive centers for safety, additional information, level
required for each dive site and without being accompanied by
All the information provided is purely informative for our
readers and shouldn't be used as is to plan your immersion.
Average annual temperature: Between 18°C and 23°C (65° F and
Average Water surface temperature: From 22° C to 24° C (72°F
Visibility often averaging: Visibility is between 30 and 80
feet and can get to100 feet (9 and 24 meters / 30 meters).
Coldest time: December
Warmest time: August
Possible to dive all year round.
Santa Barbara is the smallest island of the Channel Islands
group. The great diversity of Santa Barbara's dive sites
offers you the chance to polish your diving experience.
Santa Barbara beaches are famous for the huge numbers of
mammals living on it. It has more than five species of seals
and sea lions, more than any other beaches on the North
Pacific. Snorkelers will enjoy its beautiful beaches for
it's full of colorful and attractive underwater creatures.
You can see sea stars, spiny sea urchins and orange
garibaldi. Grey, humpback and blue whales are common in the
area as well as dolphins and many kinds of fish. If you are
looking for new adventure you definitely will have it, for
the area is home to blue sharks, mako sharks and leopard
sharks; don't forget to bring the right equipment for
underwater photography so you don't miss this opportunity to
take memorable photos.
Some of Santa Barbara dive sites.
Sutil Pass is a great dive site that suits snorkelers and
divers of all levels of expertise. It is at a depth of 20 to
70 feet (6 to 21 meters). The beautiful kelp forests in the
area are great for underwater photography. With the clear
visibility here you can watch sea lions swimming by your
side. The mating season of the bat rays, which can be
spotted here is during summer. Blacksmith fish, rockfish
with many colors, sea stars, urchins and lobster are common
in the area.
Sea Lion Rookery; as its name may indicate is the best spot
to view and photograph sea lions. It is at a depth of 10 to
80 feet (3 to 24 meters). Rock piles break the water surface
with urchins and algae covering it, the holes in these rocks
are home to spiny lobsters. There is a rock wall runs off
the south end of the island, it begins at a depth of 50 to
60 feet (15 to 18 meters) then drops off to 80 to 90 feet
(24 to 27 meters).
Shag Rock is at a depth rage of 30 to 70 feet (9 to 21
meters). Its rocky reefs are the main habitat for halibut.
Beautiful kelp forests also grow on this bottom and has
become home to may small fish that seek shelter. Although
halibut is the main attraction in this site, you can also
get to see some other marine species like lobsters, bat rays
and leopard shark.
Black Cavern is one of the most favorable dive sites in
Santa Barbara. It is an advanced dive site at a depth
ranging from 60 to 100 feet (18 to 30 meters). The site is
famous for its caves and caverns with plenty of room between
the floor and the ceiling. Watch the lobsters hiding between
the cracks of the caverns. You can spot some sea fans,
gorgonians, starfish and colorful sponges. This is an
interesting dive site with a great view and which is popular
with underwater photographers.