The Sea of Cortez is very diverse and has a vast amount of nudibranchs, blennys, jawfish, whales, a variety of rays and sharks, schools of fish, eels, octopus, sea horses, frogfish, sea lions, mexican horn sharks... the list goes on and on.  The season that you are here will define some of the species you may encounter whilst others are here year round.  It is a dynamic destination that offers a wide variety of dive sites, where heart stopping underwater encounters await you in waters surrounding the uninhabited wind swept islands along the coast.  

Sea of Cortez

 

Los Islotes

Los Islotes sea of cortez

A dive site where you are guaranteed to encounter sea lions! This rock protruding from the ocean is home to a colony of over 300 sea lions.  Whilst these playful creatures are the star attraction, the other marine life here is also healthy and diverse. You may also encounter mobula rays at this site, depending upon the season.  There are often schools of migratory fish such as barracuda, you may even be lucky enough to encounter a whale shark.  During June and July, you can see the newborn sea lion babies on the rock, but they become more playful from November as they get a little older and bolder.

 

el bajo sea of cortez

El Bajo

A deeper series of seamounts that run north-south with peaks that range from 52-82ft (16-25m) in depth make this site the best for spotting hammerhead sharks, sometimes in large schools.  It is also a good site for seeing pelagic species and doing a drift dive. Diving at El Bajo you may see schools of tuna and many other fish species. Additionally you may be able to observe whale sharks, marlins and manta rays.

 

Swanne Reef sea of cortez

Swanne Reef

An isolated reef in white sand and a fish lovers paradise! A multitude of reef fish are found here at this beautiful shallow site.  A dive site that is great for underwater photographers, novice divers or those who just wish to extend their bottom time! It is also worth taking a macro lens to take advantage of the wide variety of little critters found here..

 

Salvatierra Wreck

Salvatierra Wreck

Sunk in 1976 after hitting the nearby Swanne Rock (with no loss of life) and lying at a depth of 60ft (18m) is an almost completly intact 300ft (100m) ferry, a great spot for seeing lots of fish particularly grunts and angelfish as the wreck created an artificial reef.  You can still see the two propellors and also the cargo including some trucks with inflated tires!  This spot is subject to current.

 

Punta Lobos 

A site which reaches a depth of 82ft (25m) is a former sea lion rookery.  Awaiting you is an incredible dive site where you can see a multitude of fish species, sea horses and mobula rays. The mobula season starts from July and you may see small groups of 20 or so, but come September when all of the groups get together they can number in the thousands and you can see them packed from the surface to the bottom.  On your surface interval it is likely you will see them jumping out of the water.

 

las animas sea of cortez

Las Animas

This dive site is out of the reach of day boats and therefore hosts far less dive traffic than other sites.  It can have very strong currents and is therefore more of an advanced dive.  All of this means that it maintains a healthy population of pelagic fish and some sharks.  

 


La Reina

A rock formation lying to the north of Cerralvo Island, this site is beautiful and offers up schools of beautifully coloured reef fish and coral. It is a large site that reaches depths of 80ft (25m) and is kept clean by currents, so if visibility is poor elsewhere it can be great here.  You may see schools of jacks and barracuda, various moray eels and even manta rays.

 

La Reinita

The princess nestles close to the queen!  Great topography with a little cave that is full of glass fish and in the sand you will find a field of garden eels.

 

Wreck of the Fang Ming

wreck of the fang ming sea of cortez

The Fang Ming was one of two Chinese vessels that were confiscated by the Mexican Government for the illegal transportation of immigrants who were on the way to California.  After their confiscation an artificial reef was created when the vessels were sunk in 1999.  It offers a good opportunity to take a wreck specialty.

 



C-59 Wreck

C-59 Wreck

An American military vessel that was given to the Mexican government to create an artificial reef.  It reaches a depth of 60ft (18m) so is accessible to open water divers however it is also great for taking a wreck specialty as it is penetrable in parts.

 


Isla Ballena

This site is a small island off the west coast of Espiritu Santo Island. It offers some cave formations for divers to investigate and coral structures which house many fish.  There are a couple of different spot to dive here.  A good are to find stingrays in the sand.

 

San Francisquito

San Francisquito is another seamount which is deeper but not quite as large as El Bajo, there is black coral to be found along with pelagic species.  It is quite far out and not particularly accessible to day boats.

San Francisquito Sea