Ponta da Cozinha

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DESCRIPTION: Natural Reserve of the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo 
ACCESS:By boat about 5 minutes from Vila Franca do Campo
DEPTH: 12 meters (min.), 18 meters (máx.).
IDEAL FOR: Underwater photography, Night Dive, Snorkeling
Marine life: 3
Bottom: 4
Difficulty: 1

The protected area of the Vila Franca do Campo Islet is located directly opposite the town after which it is named, less than 500 meters from shore. It offers several excellent dives that are suitable for all experience levels, as well as lots of snorkelling opportunities.

Inside the islet you will find a large bay created by the crater of an extinct volcano that rose from the sea more than four thousand years. This is another great spot for snorkelling. The "Cozinha" is located on the east side of the islet, and here we find several passages along the wall to a depth of 10 meters large rocks that have rolled the islet due to erosion and small rock formations that are mixed with sand to a maximum of 18 meters deep.

The area is protected, and there is an abundance of Azores chromis (Chromis limbata), ornate wrasses (Thalassoma pavo), blacktail combers (Serranus atricauda), parrotfish (Sparisoma cretense), ballan wrasses (Labrus bergylta), barred hogfish, moray eels, common octopuses (Octopus vulgaris) and dusky groupers (Epinephelus marginatus). On the sandy seafloor you are likely to spot common stingrays (Dasyatis pastinaca), and in the water column there are often white trevallies (Pseudocaranx dentex), yellowmouth barracudas (Sphyraena viridensis), Almaco jacks (Seriola rivoliana) and bluefish. (Pomatomus saltator).