Meet new scuba divers, maintain a virtual dive log, participate in our forum, share underwater photos, research dive sites and more. Members login here.

Malaga Cove is a shore accessible salt water dive site, located in Palos Verdes, CA. This dive site has an average rating of 3.31 out of 5 from 16 scuba divers.

Malaga Cove contains reefs, kelp, sand and rock creatures. Take two tanks, if you have the time and energy!
Directions: Located in the posh Palos Verdes area, grab your street map and follow along: From the Pacific Coast Highway, head South on Palos Verdes Blvd for 1.4 miles. Turn right on Palos Verdes Drive West. In 1/4 mile, turn right on Via Corta which soon becomes Via Almar. Take your next right (Via Arroyo) to the view below.
Malaga Cove is one of two spots on the Palos Verdes Peninsula that has easy beach access. The other being White Point. I’ve dived Malaga cove quite a few times and it’s either hit or miss. When it’s good, I’ve found 25ft+ visibility. When its bad, it could be less than a foot. The good thing about Malaga is that it’s extremely shallow. You have to go really far out to get over 40 ft and most points of interest are at 25 to 30. You’ll encounter plenty of garibaldi, opaleye, sargo, senorita, and a few sheep head. As well as some lobster, if you know where to look. Most divers enter over the rocks by the yacht/dive club and then plan their dive perpendicular to the club. If a high southern swell is up Malaga can be a safe haven for divers. If a Northern swell is brewing, you’re better off diving elsewhere.
I’ve dove this site several times, but never seem to get good viz. But I’m told that when it’s good, it’s really good. There are lots of kelp patches, eel grass, and rock reefs with lots of fish and other life to see, when you can… BUT DON’T BE TEMPTED TO ENTER OVER THE ROCKS! That entry sucks as the bottom has such a gentle slope to it that you’ll be standing and wobbling while fighting the waves and waiting to take your next lunging slippery step forward through yet more slick rocks until finally, 30’ out, you get into chest deep water. Just make the extra hike to the sand beach entry and fin back out. Trust me, your knees and shins will thank you. Sand entry is good for beginner divers on up. Lots to see, shallow.

Dive Site Map

Click to Load Map


Jaeheung - 12/14/2014 3:30 PM
I went scuba diving here on 11/5/2014. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
w/Ken Tran

11:55pm 89min
Max 19ft, Temp 68F, Avg 11ft
Lobster dive
Caught 3 barely legal lobsters
hcdiveteambrian - 8/24/2014 11:50 AM
interesting you’d rate it as a back a pretty big number of diving here and abroad..That area has dished up the best I’ve ever seen. To find it, the best conditions take some watching, they’ll be here possibly from now until November. I promise you this, with a schedule of some 20 trips spread out over the year, This site will prove she’s awesome!
Rabidwolf - 8/24/2014 8:30 PM
and that maybe true was my first time there and the entry point we went in at not a fan of playing rock hopping.
Rabidwolf - 8/23/2014 6:19 PM
Rating Added: 3
Not a bad site good backup if primary dive site is a no go
scubazigy - 10/08/2013 10:51 PM
I went scuba diving here on 10/5/2013. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 56-60°F/13-16°C.
First Lobster dive of the season! Viz wasn’t great but will definitely be back for bugs!
scubazigy - 6/29/2013 2:12 PM
I went scuba diving here on 6/28/2013. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
Low surf, better conditions than expected. Decent vis for this spot at low tide. Plenty of Garibaldi and calico bass! Really cool reef structure to play in.
Tommco - 2/24/2013 11:07 PM
Rating Added: 3
Grew up in Carson, snorkled and dove all around Palos Verde
Tromptista - 12/19/2011 2:43 PM
I went scuba diving here on 8/8/2011. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 61-65°F/16-18°C.
Easy entry over the boulders with almost no surf. Mike hadn’t done this one in awhile. Went out about 80 yds and dropped down and made a loop. Nice easy dive with NBTT dive guys in the dense kelp forests of Malaga. Dive with NBTT ("No Beach Too Tough") -