Diving in Ayangue: El Pelado Islet and Bajo Cope


Ayangue is one of the mandatory stops for diving enthusiasts or for those who wish to learn this professional practice. In Ecuador there are several diving centers and PADI resorts that offer tours, certifications and diving courses in Ayangue, which take place in different points of the sea within the beach.

Here we will name you the different dive sites in Ayangue and the tour operators that offer this service.

Read also: Best dive spots in Ecuador Coastal mainland and the Galapagos

Dive sites in Ayangue


There are two main diving spots in near Ayangue beach:

Diving in El Pelado Islet

El Pelado Islet (Islote El Pelado) is located about 20 minutes by boat from Ayangue beach and is considered a marine reserve (Reserva Marina El Pelado).

Its name “El Pelado” (pelado means no hair in spanish) is due to the fact that you will not find any sign of vegetation on the large rock that forms the islet, although you will be able to see different birds (blue-footed boobies, frigates, seagulls) and sea lions that rest on its surface.

However, what stands out about this reserve is its underwater life: an islet rich in biodiversity with natural and artificial reefs, and a great variety of fish.

This islet has around 12 diving spots: La Viejita, San Ignacio, El Cuarenta, La Cabeza del Pelado, La Cola, La Reina, among others. But the diving sites that stand out the most are El Cristo (The Christ) and El Barco Hundido (Sunken Ship).

In this image, from the site Tortugadivers.ec you can see the different dive sites of El Pelado Islet in Ayangue.

Dive Sites in Islote El Pelado, Diving in Ayangue

El Cristo (The Christ)

Or also known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus of the Waters. This statue of Christ was placed under the sea by a Colombian businessman to function as an artificial reef in the area.

El Cristo is located 11 meters deep and is the most common diving point in Ayangue, where apart from taking photos with the statue, you can observe the varied underwater life.

YouTube video

Barco Hundido “Rigel” (Sunken Ship)

The Sunken Ship “Rigel” of the Navy is another artificial reef located under the sea and placed by the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador as a diving attraction. Here you can dive and enter it, while you can appreciate the underwater life.

Unfortunately this boat has been losing much of its structure due to the large waves in the area.

YouTube video

In the other dive sites of El Pelado you will be able to appreciate the coral or rock reefs, and the coral walls where the marine fauna lives and where you can obtain excellent macro photos of life under the sea.

Diving in Bajo Cope

Bajo Cope is 1 hour away by boat from Ayangue, which can only be reached via GPS or marine probe.

It is an extensive shallow approximately 6.4 miles in length where you will find various types of fish, corals, reefs and the famous Giant Manta Rays (Birostris). That is why it is also known as “the capital of the giant manta rays”.

The ideal months to dive alongside these giants of the sea are from July to September. In addition, another attraction of this dive site are the bubble reefs that come out from the ground.

The dive sites in Bajo Cope are: Las Agujas, La caída del sol, Seco, Antonio and Las mantas.

YouTube video

Tours to El Pelado Islet and Bajo CopE

The most popular dive centers offering PADI tours, courses and certifications in Ayangue are:

Ray Aguila PADI ResortRay Aguila PADI Resort
Tortuga DiversTortuga Divers Dive Center
Buceo Ecuador DivingDiving Ecuador
Native Diving EcuadorNative Diving Ecuador
Soul adventuresSoul Adventures

Diving tours range from $75 – $140 per person depending on the operator and the program they run.

The courses and certifications range from $120 to $1,500 depending on the course that is taken. These are some that are offered:

  • Dsicovery Scuba Diving
  • Open Water Diver
  • Advance Open Water Diver
  • Rescue Diver
  • Divemaster
  • Emergency First Response
  • PADI Open Water Touch

Many of these tour operators also offer diving and snorkeling tours, sale or rental of equipment, etc. Get in touch with them and discover their offers.

Are you not on the list? Get in contact with us to get to the list of diving in Ayangue.

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