Travel So-Cal Destinations
“An island Utopia in a modern, busy, everyday world. A land where there are neither rich nor poor. A heaven on earth – without a fence around it.” ~William Wrigley, Jr., chewing gum magnate, who developed Catalina into a tourist destination in 1920's.
Catalina Island (Santa Catalina or Catalina) is one of the eight Channel Islands about 21 miles off the coast of the southern California, in the Pacific Ocean. It is really the only island that has a fully developed cities (Avalon and Two Harbors) and a local population (~4,000). Estimates are that about 1 million people a year visit Catalina. It is amazing how few of the 9.9 million people of the surrounding Los Angeles County have visited here. Too bad for them if they are scuba divers.
Scuba diving here is one of the top dive destinations in the world. There are over 70 dive sites around the island. The majority of dives happen at Casino Point at the Avalon Underwater Park. It is closest to the city of Avalon and does not require a boat to get to it. This park has consistently good conditions with clear, calm waters teaming with wildlife and offers an easy entry with a stair case into the ocean. Just north of the park is Descanso Bay and is a beach entry. Most other dive sites are available by private or charter dive boats either coming from the mainland or local dive boats out of Avalon. We dive the Avalon Underwater Park and charter the Scuba Cat or the Scrambler or the Perfect Mistress dive boat. The next most popular dive location for us is Camp Emerald Bay operated by the Los Angeles County of BSA, on the west end of Catalina.
For over 30 years, Malibu Divers has been diving and conducting our open water ocean training at Catalina Island. We consistently rank Catalina as one of our favorite places to dive. We offer complete packages for training, transportation and lodging for single day visits and multi-day and weekend visits. Check our calendar and come join us!