A short 10-minute walk from Lanzarote Island’s long and spacious Playa Grande is Playa Chica, a small, charming cove that is popular for its breathtaking dive sites teeming with marine life and fascinating underwater formations.
Playa Chica is located in Puerto del Carmen’s old town. Compared to its neighbour Playa Grande, this beach is a little bit more quiet and secluded. Nonetheless, it provides quick access to bathroom facilities, diving centres, shops, and restaurants.
Despite its humble size, Playa Chica has a lot to boast of. Thus, don’t be surprised that it still gets pretty busy during peak season. Here are some of the things beach goers do and which you should try too when you swing by Playa Chica…
#1 Swim and snorkel with the kids
Playa Chica is a beautiful cove with two long volcanic formations on each side that shelter it like partially closed arms. This natural shelter keeps its shallow waters calm and perfect for youngsters and non-swimmers. With its waters teeming with colourful fishes, it’s a sure hit for young ones and the young at heart.
For your added convenience, it also has toilet and foot shower facilities. Just head towards the side of the beach towards the mountains.
#2 Learn scuba diving 101 and explore Playa Chica’s magical dive spots
Never tried scuba diving or maybe you have but you haven’t been in the water for a while? Playa Chica leaves you no excuse to miss out on its beautiful underwater treasures. Playa de la Barilla, a dive site that guarantees you heaps of fish. It is ideal for beginners and shallow water divers, as well as night diving.
This beach is also a great location for confined water training with PADI Open Water Course. First-time divers can also try the introductory underwater tour called Discover Scuba Diving. These PADI activities and more are offered by dive centres like Safari Diving right there on Playa Chica, and Timanfaya Sub nearby.
The Cathedral, The Blue Hole, The Temple Hall Wreck, the Harbour Wall, and Mala are open water (shore diving) areas you can explore. Boat dives to shipwrecks are also available upon request.
With several dive sites found in Playa Chica’s deeper parts stretching around to the harbour wall, this beach caters to divers of all levels of experience.
Tip: For shore diving, you can dive either during the day or at night, or both. Or try during sunset so you can watch how the seabed changes as the sun’s light dissipate.
#3 Snorkel ‘til you drop
Well, we’ve mentioned this earlier but it’s worth mentioning again. At Playa Chica, scuba diving is not the only deal. Here you can encounter different species of fish even before you dive into the deep. Its crystal clear, shallow waters make it a fantastic playground for snorkelers. An abundance of colourful marine life, fish and nudibranch, swim around the bay or take refuge in the crevices of its volcanic rocks.
Tip: Bring some bread to feed the fish. Great to entertain the kids.
#4 Jump off a cliff
For a different kind of rush, you can jump off into the water at the pier just off the beach. Playa Chica has volcanic rock formations that extend into the deeper parts of the sea also. Just make sure though that it is a safe cliff to take off from, that there are no dangerous rock formations beneath, that there are no undercurrents, and that you know how to swim!
#5 Declare a diet-free zone and get some ice cream
Look out for the small kiosk that serves water and ice cream. Craving form something more? On the jetty at one end of the beach is Bar Playa, a resto bar and popular hangout for divers but non-divers are of course also most welcome.
#6 Get a tan or sip some tropical shake while lying on a sun bed
You’ll find sun loungers at the promenade area beside the beach. If it’s a crowded season, make sure to reserve a sun bed ahead of time. You can hire two beds + 1 umbrella for €12.
#7 Dine local and join the night party
Puerto del Carmen’s dining places, bars, and shops stay awake at night to create a festive atmosphere for the island’s guests. We hear though that it’s best to dine local. Besides, what’s a visit for if you won’t try out the house’s specialities right? This lively shopping-dining belt is just five minutes away from the beach. It’s also accessible during daytime – if you don’t feel like sunbathing.
From breathtaking mornings to festive evenings, Playa Chica can keep you happy from dusk ‘til dawn. Moreover, its waters wait for you to explore them. It’s a small cove but it has countless surprises underneath with a belt of magical landscapes, caverns, and enchanting marine life.
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