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Shallow Water Diving, Everything You’re Missing

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For many divers, shallow water diving is like going to a party and dancing with the ugliest: a bummer.

However, shallow-water scuba diving is far from ugly. It’s like Cinderella in the fairy tale. No one pays attention to her until the fairy godmother takes her to the ball.

Today at Dressel Divers, we play the role of a fairy godmother to introduce you to some of the most beautiful shallow dives and their advantages.

Sala-gadoola, menchika-boo-la, bibbidi, bobbidi, boo”: this is the table of contents for you.

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1. Shallow Water Diving Is for Snorkelers

Shallow dives do not usually exceed 12 meters / 40 feet.

I already know what you’re going to tell me.

  • I Have NO intention of diving in shallow water. Are you crazy? I learned to dive to go deeper.
  • I am NOT a newbie. Shallow water diving is only for practice while you are learning.
  • There is NOthing beautiful to see a few meters away. The best experiences are below.

The truth is we learned to dive to get into the blue, but does that mean we cannot enjoy the shallowest places?

Many of the readers of this blog are indeed expert scuba divers, but what if you are missing incredible things?

Regarding the third issue, we should point out whether the dive sites are beautiful or not, but the depth does not determine that.

However, there is a depth where the colors are not lost but shine in the sunlight, where photosynthetic plankton call other species to feed, where the youngest fish live or others that live in the depths come to perform vital functions: It is shallow depth.

In other words:

  • If you scuba dive in shallow water, you can take pictures without a flash.
  • If you practice shallow water diving, you can see animals you would not otherwise see.
  • If you do shallow dives, your tank will last forever (or almost).

2. The Beauty of Shallow Diving

  • Photographers are in love with shallow water diving

Artificial lights, who needs them?

At shallow depths, sunlight illuminates the field of view, and there is no need to lug around heavy spotlights.

As if this were not enough, the visibility is quite good, so the marine life that would go unnoticed at greater depths will appear vibrant in front of you.


  • There are many animals you can only see at shallow depths.

Just as there are animals living at depths that recreational divers can’t see, others live on the surface. If you never do shallow water diving, you probably won’t see them.

Some emerge to feed, like the whale shark .

Others mate in shallow waters, like the morula rays or bull sharks in Playa del Carmen.

Some go to the surface to warm up, and so do the sunfish.

Many juvenile fish prefer shallow waters to shelter in grasslands and mangroves while they mature.

Diving in shallow water, you will see stages of life that you have not seen before.

Have you ever seen a diving seabird going straight into the water to fish? That’s something only visible on shallow dives.


  • The background time is lengthened

The deeper you dive, the more air you breathe, so your bottom time is reduced, and diving again will require a longer surface interval.

However, when you do shallow dives, the only limitation is air consumption that lasts a long time. The pressure is lower at shallow depths, and the nitrogen in the blood also decreases.

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3. Doing Shallow Scuba Diving with Dressel Divers


At Dressel Divers, you can do some really spectacular shallow dives.


Diving on Colombia Shallows (Cozumel, Mexico)

Cozumel is dotted with epic dive sites, even at shallow depths. Colombia Shallows is one of them.

Diving this iconic reef is like diving a coral amusement park, with magnificent coral structures, superlative pinnacles, and coral tunnels. Endemic species like the splendid toadfish of Cozumel hide there. Meanwhile, the turtles, the moray eels, the barracudas, the octopuses, and the thousands of colored fish that you will see there will leave you speechless.

A wonder just 12 meters / 40 feet from the surface.


Astron wreck (Punta Cana, The Dominican Republic)

Wrecks are often a fiefdom of deep diving. Well, with Dressel Divers, you can visit two beautiful wrecks less than 12 meters under. The Aston is in Bavaro as its bow emerges from the waves, its stern dipping just 12m/39ft deep.


The Atlantic Princess shipwreck (Bayahibe, The Dominican Republic)

Although a storm in 2016 prevented its interior from being visited it is still a great dive. You can see the wreck from the outside that has become a beautiful artificial reef abundant with life. Blennies, nudibranchs, schools of tropical fish, seahorses, and puffer fish are easy to find in their surroundings.


Jardines (Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya)

Jardines is a reef near Playa del Carmen with a small 2-meter-high wall made of coral and small sponges. Green moray eels hide among its cracks, box fish swarm, parrot fish with brilliant colors feed, and beautiful angel fish show their splendor.

A few meters away, yellow stripes perch on the sand, and peacock soles shine.

Your camera will not stop working just 12 meters / 40 feet from the surface.


The Canyons (Montego Bay, Jamaica)

Just 12 meters deep is The Canyons. It is a beautiful reef with precious coral formations. If the reef is worth a giveaway, you will fall in love with it in summer because nurse sharks gather there to mate. It is a spectacle in shallow water scuba diving.

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Summarizing. Practice shallow water diving 

  • To excite yourself.
  • To make yourself smile.
  • To remove the cobwebs from your routine.
  • To go to bed having seen unique things.
  • To continue the stories and photos that take your breath away.
  • To have something to tell on Social Networks.
  • To stop diving in shallow waters, miss it, and come back.

And what does that have to do with Dressel Divers?

Everything. With Dressel Divers, you will do everything.

I told you I was going to introduce you to Cinderella. And the best thing is that shallow water dives don’t run out of the party at 12 pm.