Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Located at the end of a trail winding between the arid hills of Cabo Tiñoso, the blue waters of Cala del Bolete Grande appear to hikers as a mirage. The cove shelters a wonderful underwater world, where seabream, starfish, cardinalfish, and sometimes a small grouper or a stingray can be seen. The perfect spot for those seeking off-the-beaten-track snorkeling.
Cala del Bolete Grande is located in Cabo Tiñoso Natural Park, west of Cartagena. To get there by land, you’ll have to hike about 2,5km (each way) from the surroundings of the village of Campillo de Adentro.
To find the start of the hiking trail, reach first Campillo de Adentro (a 30 minutes drive from Cartagena), and turn left some 100m after the Bar Cantina, towards Camino Bocaoria/Camino Boletes. After 1km, the road turns into a dirt track on which you can continue another 500m before finding a parking lot on your left.
Park your car and continue on foot along the track, then the small path (which follows the dry bed of a torrent) leading to the creek. The hike includes several steep passages in the rocks, so wear good shoes.
You can get into the water wherever you want from the beach.
You can snorkel throughout the cala, which can be divided into several areas (the numbers below correspond to the numbers on the map):
1 / The pebble and Posidonia beds extending in front of the beach (↕2-6ft/0.5-3m). Salema, sargo, annular seabream, saddled seabream and gilt-head seabream are common sightings in this area. Pelagic stingrays are often reported here, including in shallow areas.
2 / The rocky drop-off that edges the south side of the creek (↕10-30ft/3-10m). You will encounter many red starfish on the walls. There are also many small caves at the foot of the drop-off, where cardinalfish are easy to see. Many ornate wrasse twirls in the most oxygenated areas.
3 / The small coves found north of the beach (↕6-18ft/2-6m). It is undoubtedly the fishiest area, where salema and seabream (often seen in schools), damselfish and wrasse are easy to spot.
4 / The surroundings of the islet located a hundred meters from the beach (↕3-30ft/1-10m). Two-banded seabream, painted comber and cardinalfish hide in the crevices on the walls of the islet. By taking a look inside, you might also find a purple sea star, a rather rare species in the Mediterranean.
Cala del Bolete Grande is a wild and untouched location, perfect for a picnic. Bring enough water with you, as the hike back to the parking lot can be tiring in summer.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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