We’ve been travelling to Ponta do’Ouro since 2000 and have seen many positive changes to this little village since then.
When we first visited, there was no electricity, only generators and gas; no cellphone reception (you had to walk all the way to Signal Hill about 3km away to get a signal); there were no shops to speak of (just a little cafe which sold pao, and one or two tins of food – literally – that nobody had wanted to buy for the past 10 years).
Today, Ponta do’Ouro has electricity, there is cellphone reception, even wi-fi, and a few more shops, as well as a market. Many of the houses that were just deserted shells following the civil war have now been restored and a number of larger houses have been built.
Ponta do’Ouro is a great place for divers and non-divers alike – there is a lovely safe swimming beach a short, 5-minute walk away; and a fascinating town with markets and shops to explore.
Following on from our earlier blog post, here are the details of our other favourite dive sites in Ponta do’Ouro, in order of distance from the launch site at Ponta do’Ouro beach.
Three Sisters: This reef lies further out than the other reefs and is between 21 – 25 metres deep. It got its name from 3 pinnacles about 50 metres apart from each other.
Garden Eels can be found on the sand to the north of the reef and Geometric, Black Cheek and Moray Eels are found on the “Big Sister”. The elusive Ghost Pipefish, brown-banded Razor Fish, Long Nose Hawkish and Frogfish have been seen on this reef.
Anchor: The depth of Anchor is between 18 and 20m. This site is named after the anchor that can be found here. On the inshore side is a small ledge that runs along part of the reef, where you will find Trumpet Fish, Raggy Scorpionfish and Shortspine Porcupinefish.
The reef is very pretty with lots of interesting nooks and crannies to investigate. Fish life includes Red Fang Trigger Fish, Emperor Angelfish, Yellowback Fusilier, Coral Rockcod and many Sea Goldies.
Rianna’s Arch: This is a beautiful dive, 18 – 24m deep with a huge arch. This is a dive site that is rich in marine life and can be done in conjunction with Kev’s Ledge.
Kev’s Ledge: This reef ranges from 19m to 25m. It is the only ‘wall dive’ in Ponta Do Ouro with a big overhang on the bottom where you sometimes find the Hawksbill Turtle taking a nap.
There is a big mound of maze coral at the entrance of the overhang that protects juvenile fish, which attract Kingfish to the reef. The wall is also home to many species of Nudibranch.
The top of the ledge is covered in hard coral such as Warty Bush Coral and hosts many different interesting creatures such as Mantis Shrimp, Zebra Eel, Starfish, Long-Arm Feather Star and Blennies.
Wayne’s World: This reef lies in 25 m of water. Frog Fish are quite plentiful on this reef, which is covered in Warty Bush Coral as well as Maze Coral.. Off to the side of the reef is a ledge that is home to Torpedo Ray or the Marbled Electric Ray which if aggravated gives off a nasty 200-volt discharge…
This area is also popular with Wahoo and King and Queen Mackerel. Remember to keep an eye out overhead for the Manta Ray that might just swim past.
Pinnacles: This is a deep dive, starting at 32 – 37 m and only recommended for experienced divers. To dive here is very weather dependent as it is a 20 – 30 minute boat ride out into the open ocean.
Pickhandle Barracuda, King Mackerel, Ignobilis Kingfish, and Wahoo congregate on the reef attracting the different shark species, such as the Bull Shark, the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Dusky and occasionally Tiger Shark. Although this kind of activity is normal for Pinnacles, it can be very unpredictable and very quiet some days.
There are no pinnacles as such but there are two ledges with an old anchor and chain draped along the inshore one. There are big boulders between both ledges and you can see the odd Honeycomb Moray Eel, schooling Bannerfish, Potato Bass, Goldies.
We conduct a group dive trip to Ponta do’Ouro every year, at the end of May. If you’d like to join us for some beautiful, warm water diving, please contact us to book on our next Ponta do’Ouro dive trip!