Laje de Santos

45 km from the beach, this is considered to be the best diving spot in São Paulo state, and the third in Brazil. With its granite slab formation resembling a whale, it is 550m long, 33m high and 185 m wide. This is the place for an unforgettable dive: crystal-clear waters, temperatures of around 23º, visibility up to 30 meters and impressive fauna. Divers and underwater photographers can see colorful shoals, manta rays, turtles, grouper and even dolphins. Depending on the time of year, and luck, you might see sharks and whales.

Shipwreck

Anyone looking for adventure just needs to dive 23 meters down to observe The Moreia, a ship artificially sunk in 1992. A little further down, at 40 meters, lies Anchor Reef. Another must see on this trip are the submerged rocks at the extreme southern tip of the slab, where natural pools are formed, home to shoals of surgeon fish. Photo: Alcides Falanghe

Pioneering spirit

Created on September 27, 1993, the Laje de Santos State Marine Park covers emersed (Laje de Santos Island and the rocks known as Calhaus) and immersed (reefs, sandy bed and water column) areas. It is the first state unit to include the sea water environment, managed by the Forestry Foundation and The Forestry Institute, organs of the Department of the Environment. Photo: Alcides Falanghe

Preservation

This is a place of great interest regarding the preservation of the biological diversity of the São Paulo coast: land, air and under water environments. Five species of insular sea birds procreate on the rock: the southern-black backed gull, (Larus dominicanus); three tern species (Sterna hirundinacea, S. eurygnatha and S. Maxima), which form colonies in winter, and the brown booby, Sula leucogaster, which nests year round. Photo: Roberto Akira

Species Reproduction

Laje de Santos is the only island in Brazil that constitutes a frequent reproduction site for these three tern species. Other species are mere visitors. In total 30 species have been recorded, 17 sea and 13 non-sea. The frigate bird, albatross, and petrels, the peregrine falcon and many other birds, make up this abundant winged fauna. Photo: Alcides Falanghe