Shark Diving in Pico

The rumours are true! There is a new, fantastic place to dive with sharks in Europe.

Join us on the island of Pico and discover the secrets of two pelagic sharks synonymous with the deep ocean - the Blue shark ( Prionace glauca ) and the Mako ( Isurus oxyrinchus ).

Success rate is over 90%.

This unique and outstanding opportunity for divers arose from a successful project carried out in collaboration with professional underwater photographer Jan Reyniers. Together we have been exploring these waters for the over 2 years, looking for ways to photograph these elusive animals.

Through our efforts, we have now established how and where to find the sharks with repeated success.

We have also fine tuned the techniques and safety procedures needed to make the experience largely acceptable for both sharks and humans.

All participants are required to first undertake a check dive with us, along with fulfilling the following requirements:

  1. Minimum qualification: PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent).
  2. At least 50 logged dives.

Please consider carefully the above requirements, as we cannot make any exceptions.

Seasonality From beginning of July to mid-October.

Water Temperature From 21°C to 25°C.

Visibility From 20 to 30+ metres.

Success Rate Greater than 90%.

Shark Diving Pico - Photo by Jan Reyniers
Shark Diving Pico - Photo by Jan Reyniers

Shark Diving Video

Logistics and Prices

Our Shark Expeditions last up to 5-6 hours.

The exact duration depends on the time needed to attract the sharks, but also the shark's behaviour while around the boat.

Each diver gets one tank (12 litres or 15 litres) and maximum duration of the dive is set at 75'.

N.B. Our dives are always guided by experienced and qualified divemasters (PADI Divemaster or higher). We are the only PADI Dive Resort on the island of Pico (registration number: 799438)

Shark dives

Price

1 Shark Expedition

175

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3 Shark Expeditions

460

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or purchase our famous Adventure Package for Divers

All prices include tanks, weights and shark diving guide.

book your adventure with the sharks

Blue water diving - charm and caution

The Blue shark and the Mako occur offshore. Reaching the dive spots takes about 1 hour to navigate.

While it is not needed to actually dive deeper than 5-10 metres, the dives themselves occur in deep water, far from coastal recreational activities.

To undertake these blue water dives requires excellent buoyancy control, as there are no points of reference from the sea floor or a wall.
Divers must therefore pay attention to their depth, orientation and dive profile.

All participants are required to first undertake a check dive with us, which consists in a regular, fun coastal dive.
Furthermore, they should be certified to a minimum level equivalent to a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and have a minimum of 50 logged dives.

Prior to each trip all divers are briefed on how to conduct themselves in the water as well as how to recognise potentially dangerous behaviour from the sharks.

Diving with sharks is a lifetime experience but extreme care is essential.

In order to avoid a negative impact on the sharks, divers are required to follow staff instruction closely.

Touching and feeding the sharks are strictly forbidden.

We use chumming techniques that keep the amount of food, blood and oil in the water at a minimum.

Should the behaviour of the sharks (or divers) warrant it, each dive may be terminated at the divemaster's discretion.

Adventure package for divers (includes Shark Diving, Princess Alice and much more)

Blue Water Diving with Sharks - Photo by Jan Reyniers
Blue Water Diving - Photo by Jan Reyniers

What Our Customers Think

Another beautiful day in the Azores at the amazing Princess Alice Pinnacle with so many giant mobula rays. So much diversity in this unique part of the world. Thanks again to the amazing team CW Azores, can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. Scott Portelli
Thanks CW Azores for a great week of diving! Wonderful team, friendly, knowledgeable & respectful of the beautiful creatures around. I'll be back soon! Hamid Rad
Big big thanks to a special and super passionate crew never seen anywhere in the world! Giovanni Passerini
A really great crew, very focused on making sure you have great encounters. Big shout out to Martin and Michael, super helpful guys. Absolutely recommend these guys. Nigel Motyer

The Blue Shark

Prionace glauca

  • Average length: 2.2 metres
  • Maximum length: 4 metres

The Blue shark belongs to the Carcharhinidae family. Its slender body, sensitive snout and long pectoral fins are perfect adaptations for cruising the open ocean.
It inhabits deep pelagic waters and feeds mainly on cephalopods.

The Blue Shark is highly threatened by long-line fishing, both as a target and as bycatch. In the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is classified as Near Threatened. Although widespread in all temperate and tropical oceans, few divers ever see them because of their preference for offshore waters.

Hazard
Blue sharks are potentially dangerous but worldwide very few attacks have occurred and no fatalities. During our encounters the sharks are very curious and approach closely, they do not act with aggression. These are animals of the deep ocean and, for many shark aficionados, the most elusive and hard to see.

Blue Sharks off Pico Island - Photo by Jan Reyniers
Blue Sharks off Pico Island - Photo by Jan Reyniers

The Shortfin Mako

Isurus oxyrinchus

  • Average length: 3.2 metres
  • Maximum length: 3.8 metres

Stocky and muscular, the Mako belongs to the Lamnidae family, which also includes the Great White Shark.

The physiology of the Mako enables it to maintain a body temperature up to 8°C higher than the environmental temperature. This allows it to be very fast and active, indeed the Mako is the fastest of all sharks. It is mainly found in pelagic waters at depths from about 150 metres.

The Mako is a frequent target and bycatch of long-line fisheries and also a target in big game fishing. It is classified as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

Hazard
While aggressive behaviours have not been displayed during our encounters, the Mako is potentially very dangerous and diving in its presence requires extreme caution and heightened awareness.

Mako off Pico Island - Photo by Jan Reyniers
Mako off Pico Island - Photo by Jan Reyniers