10 minutes from the Vila do Porto Marina
The marine reserve of the Pedrinha Reef is one of the best known and easily accessed dive sites on the island of Santa Maria. At less than one mile from the magnificent Formosa Beach, it is an excellent spot for night dives and snorkelling.
There is a large platform at six to ten metres covered with small schools of fish. The reef then drops to a depth of 20 metres in the north flank and over 40 metres on the south slope, providing an excellent dive for beginners or more experienced divers.
There are three different caves as you near the bottom, as well as a wide crack that goes up 17 metres to the top of the reef, allowing divers to choose from several different circuits. As depth increases, in particular around the lowest cave, you will find colourful swallowtail seaperches (Anthias anthias), large dusky groupers (Epinephelus marginatus) and barred hogfish (Pseudolepidaplois scrofa). Large schools of pelagic species and even devil rays (Mobula tarapacana) are sometimes spotted at this depth.