Monterey Area Scuba Diving Opportunities

Diving the Monterey Peninsula

Bay Area Scuba Divers enjoy most of their diving in the Monterey Area, which is in close proximity to most major cities along the Peninsula. Divers come from all of northern & central California to enjoy diverse diving with good visibility all year round.

Monterey Diving
San Carlos Beach / Breakwater Cove (beginner to intermediate) Beach Access
san carlos beach breakwater

This beach is the most widely used beach in Monterey, due to it's sheltered location & gradual sloping bottom. Every Dive School in Northern California uses this beach for training and it's an excellent beach to review skills or try out new equipment. Generally the terrain is mixed sand & rock, with remaining pipes from the old Cannery point seaward. Most divers see up to only 40 ft. depth, but those with good air consumption or using surface swims can attain 60 ft. or more. The quickest access to deeper water is along the rocky break wall, which drops to ~50ft just across from the "bathroom". The lower parking lot gives access to a deli, dive store, and launch ramp. Very convenient!

Use GPS Coordinates " 36.609682,-121.895509 " in Google for exact location & Direction


McAbee Beach (beginner & intermediate)
mcabee beach cannery row

This beach can be an ideal location for newer divers. Conditions are generally calm & the bottom slopes gradually to the outer reef reaching on ~25 ft. Heading out over the reef quickly gets you into deeper water of ~ 40ft with plenty of mixed rocky terrain. The marine life is varied & interesting! The easiest swim is next to the restaurant towards the white buoy. You must watch out for old rebar at shore entrance. It can be hazardous (very sharp) if you don't watch your step.

Directions:

Follow Cannery Row past Breakwater Cove to the point of land (~1/2 mile) till you get to El-Torito Restaurant, & beach entrance. Don’t park in the Restaurant’s parking lot. Corner of "Hoffman" & "Cannery Row".


Coral Street (beginner & intermediate)
coral street dive monterey

Coral Street Map. Park along the road or in dirt parking lot. The location affords a protected cove, which is fairly shallow for the first 100 yards. It's a great location on a calm day, especially if divers get out to 40ft or better.

Directions:

Off HWY 156, exit "Del Monte Ave" towards Pacific Grove. Follow Del Monte Ave 1.5 miles, stay to the right to go through tunnel- becomes Lighthouse Ave. Follow Lighthouse Ave. 1.5 miles. Lighthouse becomes Central for a couple of blocks. Take a right on "First St." At the Stop Sign, take a left at "Ocean View Blvd. for 1.5 miles.

Coral St. is near the intersection of Coral St. & Ocean View Blvd. If you get to the Golf Course, you've gone too far. Coral St. is just 3/4 mile south of Lovers Point. Park on the ocean side just next to the beach. Groups generally meet by the steps leading to the beach.


Lover's Point (beginner to advanced)
lovers point monterey

Choose either the cove or diving from the ocean site in front of the Tinnery Restaurant. The cove is well protected and relatively shallow. The better sites are either towards the point or to the right in rocky terrain. It's not especially good if there's surge, due to the shallowness and sand. The ocean side allows quick access to deeper water, with the swim around the point being especially interesting in terms of topography and marine life. This is one of the Bay's best dive spots! With a longer swim past the cove, you can reach ~80ft with varied rock and sand terrain.

Eric's Pinnacle (beginner to advanced)

Inner Chase Reef. The rocky structure rises from 65' to ~ 10' of the surface. It's a true pinnacle, as it stands on a sandy bottom, with low lying rocky reefs extending nearby. Loaded with marine life, and generally a calm dive. Great for new divers.


Choose either the cove or diving from the ocean site in front of the Tinnery Restaurant. The cove is well protected and relatively shallow. The better sites are either towards the point or to the right in rocky terrain. It's not especially good if there's surge, due to the shallowness and sand. The ocean side allows quick access to deeper water, with the swim around the point being especially interesting in terms of topography and marine life. This is one of the Bay's best dive spots! With a longer swim past the cove, you can reach ~80ft with varied rock and sand terrain.

Eric's Pinnacle (beginner to advanced)

Inner Chase Reef. The rocky structure rises from 65' to ~ 10' of the surface. It's a true pinnacle, as it stands on a sandy bottom, with low lying rocky reefs extending nearby. Loaded with marine life, and generally a calm dive. Great for new divers.


Aumentos Reef (intermediate)

Just past outer chase reef. Features include granite walls reaching from 80' to as shallow as 40'. Along the granite walls is an abundant selection of our favorite critters. Clusters of corynactis, anemones including the white metrdiums and nudibranchs make this a favorite photo dive. Rather foreign species, such as sheephead, and bat rays can be found here, along with schooling Blues. It's a place you must come to visit.

Chase Reef (intermediate)

Depths range from 40' to 80'. There's plenty of marine life diversity here, although it's best accessed by boat. Conditions can be rough, so watch for wave sets before attempting shore entry.

Hopkins Reef (beginner & intermediate)

Hopkins is accessible by boat or out and to the left of McAbee Beach. Once you're over the reef, you'll find deeper water and a wide variety of marine life. It's a great photo spot, and generally calm.

Carmel Diving
Copper Roof House (intermediate to advanced)

Depths range from 15 to 70ft. Follow sandy channels out to a rocky reef. Surf can be dangerous here, so again, watch wave sets, to evaluate where to dive. Be sure to follow compass and return away from rocky areas.

Monastery Beach (Intermediate to Advanced)
monastery beach carmel

Diving Monastery can be a real thrill! Most follow the rocks straight out to deeper water, which can be over 200' deep within diving range on the North side. Visibility can be incredible, but you must watch and be wary of surf conditions! Waves can be very powerful, and should only be attempted by experienced divers, when conditions are marginal.











Point Lobos (Beginner to Advanced)
point lobos parking

Point Lobos requires a reservation on most weekends due to it's popularity. Access is via the boat ramp which allows small craft to be launched from here as well. Great diving can be found heading out from the parking lot, averaging 30 to 90ft. This is a State Reserve, therefore a no-take zone. Many divers even take the swim past the mouth and dive Bluefish Cove. Be prepared for a long swim!

Expect general great visibility, easy access & a preserve that affords viewing age old Rock Fish, Jellys & pristine reefs.

Point Lobos Reservations

East Pescadero Pinnacle (Intermediate to advanced)

The pinnacle rise from a deep 130' to 55' below the surface. This is a spectacular dive when combined with the frequent great visibility that Carmel can offer. Hydrocorals can be found here, as well as many species of anemones.

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