Jan, Sun 16th 2022

Freediving Laguna De Apoyo

Laguna de Apoyo is Nicaragua’s hidden gem for freediving. Discover unparalleled depth, weather, and diving conditions.

So you want depth like Dean’s Blue Hole and the natural beauty of the Cenotes, without the crowds? Look no further than Laguna de Apoyo. 

Nestled on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, just outside of Granada, Laguna de Apoyo is a natural haven with some of the best conditions for freediving in Nicaragua..

History and About

Despite being named “Laguna” de Apoyo, this lake is actually located in the center of a dormant volcano. The crater formed approximately 23,000 years ago from a strong volcanic explosion. Water slowly filled the crater over thousands of years to create the Laguna, while vegetation simultaneously began to return.

Now, the deepest part of the freshwater Laguna, or ‘dulce agua’ in Spanish, measures roughly 200 meters. This also makes it the lowest point in Central America, and one of the best places for freediving in Nicaragua. 

There is a chain of volcanoes that runs from north to south along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, but Laguna de Apoyo one is arguably the most well preserved. In 1991, it was declared a natural reserve – Reserva Natural Laguna de Apoyo. 

Despite this announcement, management of this natural area could still be improved. Over time, parts of forest have been lost to new buildings and property, and there is no clear cut plan for management. The relatively low rate of visitors per year, roughly 30-60 thousand, helps keep this area preserved. 

There are also various times when you can observe the local women doing their laundry at the edge of the water. They often use a flat stone and soap to clean their clothes by hand, a tradition and practice that spans many generations. Unfortunately, this also causes chemicals to enter the water. Luckily, the population here is very small and there have not been notable long-term effects on the surrounding habitat.

Here it is, Laguna de Apoyo. We told you it was a beauty.

Water Temperature and Visibility

Despite this, Laguna de Apoyo is still considered one of the cleanest water sources in Nicaragua. On most days, water visibility can range anywhere from 5 to 15 meters. During the rainy season, when there is less wind, the visibility tends to remain closer to 15 meters. 

Water temperatures in the Laguna hover around a balmy 27-28 degrees Celsius year-round. This temperature stays the same throughout the entire body of water; there are no thermoclines at depth. As defined by Oxford Dictionary, a thermocline is “a steep temperature gradient in a body of water such as a lake, marked by a layer above and below which the water is at different temperatures.” In simple terms, it is where cold water meets warm water and there is a stark temperature change. 

Without any thermoclines to worry about, freedivers can relax and focus on enjoying their dives. It’s easy to dive with or without a wetsuit, depending on personal preference. Some people are very comfortable in water that is 28 degrees Celsius, while others still prefer a wetsuit. 

One of the negatives about not wearing a wetsuit in Laguna de Apoyo is buoyancy. Since the Laguna is fresh water, freedivers are much less buoyant than they might expect to be in the ocean. As a result, wearing a wetsuit can help freedivers feel more relaxed while breathing up on the surface and can assist with ascent at the end of a dive. The choice again comes down mostly to personal preference.


When going for a dive with Freediving Nicaragua, we don’t even require a boat. A short 100 meter swim from shore can give us up to 60 meters of depth. The edges of the Laguna are 2-3 meters deep but very quickly drop off due to the conic shape of the crater. Towards the center of the lake, there is up to roughly 200 meters of depth. 

At depth, there is not much to see in terms of wildlife. You will see the occasional school of fish dart by, and a few birds on the coast line.


During the rainy season, the Laguna takes on a glassy appearance with hardly any waves. It is an absolute haven for static, dynamic, and depth disciplines. There are no undercurrents in the Laguna, so there are no worries about drifting or expending extra energy while practicing depth. 

The wind tends to pick up during the dry season, causing some small waves, but not notable when compared to conditions that can arise while diving in the ocean. Even if the wind is blowing on the surface, there is still no current underwater, and the temperature remains mostly the same.

Thinking about visiting?

Join us for a dive! As you can see, the conditions are ideal. We are the only freediving school in Laguna de Apoyo, and are excited to show you why we love it here so much. We offer SSI freediving courses, from beginner all the way up to instructor. 

If you just want a taster, we have a half day “Try Freediving” course that is perfect for getting your feet wet. 

Feel free to leave a comment, or get in touch via social media.