Baja California has long been treasured by scuba divers around the world as a unique diving paradise, offering a wide range of exciting dive adventures ranging from easy shore dives for beginners to multi-tank deep water diving for experienced scuba divers. A wealth of Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) to help the newcomer to the diving scene or needing a bit more diving instruction. There are Dive Centers and dive shops throughout the peninsula offer a wide range of tours and certification programs. Perhaps most enticingly, Baja California is bordered on its eastern side by one of the world‚Äôs youngest seas, the beautiful Sea of Cortez. This underwater playground hosts a wide range of sea life including fascinating invertebrates like sea stars, spiny urchins and nudibranchs; eels, lobsters and colorful fish; sea lions, manta rays, barracuda, whales and even sharks.
Baja California boasts wonderful air and sea temperatures throughout most of the year round. Air temperature generally hovers in the mid-60s to mid-70s, although they can reach all the way into the 100s during peak summer months. Water temperature stays fairly steady as well (averaging 55 to 75 in Baja Norte, 70 to 84 degrees F along the Sea of Cortez in springtime it is possible to for the sea to stay around mid 80s) and there is excellent water visibility in the summer and autumn months between July and October, just like the photos you may see in the magazines, you’ll find just as clear waters here. Many of the dive shops that Baja Bound recommends are well prepared for diving accidents, which are very rare, thanks to excellent dive instruction. They offer medical services in clinics and hospitals, as well as access to recompression chambers.
Here are some Really Great Dive Spots in Baja:
There are many areas to find great diving along the coast of the Baja by the Sea of Cortez. You may have to travel a bit from the Inn at Rincon, but there are plenty of great spots nearby.
Guadalupe Island, located 150 miles off of the west coast of Baja California, is a fantastic shark dive spot. A volcanic island created by two overlapping shield volcanoes, this subdivision of the Ensenada municipality was declared a nature conservancy in 1928 and recently designated a biosphere reserve. The island itself is fairly desolate, as thousands of goats brought over for herding in the 19th century by Russian whalers and sealers completely decimated its foliage‚Ä¶ however under water it is still lush and filled with unique marine species including pinnipeds and Great White Sharks. Guadalupe is a refuge for the North Elephant seal and Guadalupe Fur seals. Eco-tour operators run charter services for scuba and shark cage divers out to Guadalupe Island throughout the year.
This small town south of Ensenada boasts excellent boat diving in the Pacific Ocean, with a number of decent dive sites both north and south of the launching cove. There is a sea lion rookery, a cave at 75 feet under a beautiful wall, and a 30 foot arch – not to mention White Rock – a vertical drop over 90 feet deep covered with invertebrates. A submerged pinnacle 100 vertical feet below the surface is just to the south, as well as Hidden Cove and the Rock in Tuna Farm. Water temperature is similar to that of San Diego (mid-fifties to low-seventies) and weather is generally mild.
Puerto Peasco (aka Rocky Point) is a small fishing port and resort town located 60 miles south of the United States border in Arizona, a bit further from the Inn at Rincon, but worth mentioning here. Long known for its abundant fishing, it exploded onto the scuba diving scene in the 1980s when several resort facilities opened in the area. Puerto Peasco offers wonderful camping areas, great sites for open water training, coves, islands and a wealth of exotic marine life. It is easy to reach, thanks to a very modern four lane highway which stretches through the Pi√±acate desert into Puerto Peasco. Puerto Peasco offers plenty of relaxation and culture to round out your dive trip!
More fantastic Sea of Cortez dives where you are likely to see both reef and pelagic fish including wrasse, dorado, sergeant majors, angels, barracuda and sweet lips; as well as turtles, sea lions, manta rays, mobula and whales. We highly recommend areas such as this during your stay at The Inn at Rincon.
Loreto National Marine Park is home to over 800 species of fish, as well as invertebrates, Humboldt squid, sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles, whales, hammerhead sharks and whale sharks. There are also wonderful colored sea fans and black coral. Sea temperature ranges from 60 to 85 degrees F, and visibility ranges from 30 to 60 feet in colder months and 50 – 120 feet in the warmer season during the late spring through mid-fall. There are over 44 dive sites in the park, most of which are shallow but some of which have spectacular vertical walls covered with fans, ledges and sea mounts.
Set against the Sierra de La Giganta, divers in the Sea of Cortez near La Paz will enjoy sighting hammerheads and whale sharks; blue, gray and orca whales; Moray eels, sea lions, dolphins, manta rays, and a wide variety of tropical fish and other marine species. Some dive shops offer the service of sending spotter planes to search for whale sharks. Interesting dive sites include El Bajo Seamount, Cerralvo Island, Los Islotes, Salvatierra and Las Animas.
Cabo San Lucas
The Cabo San Lucas region offers wonderfully diverse marine life. This area is well known around the world as a really great dive spot in Baja California, Mexico destination. Cabo Pulmo (only a 2 hour drive from Cabo) has the only living coral reef on the Pacific Side of North America. Divers will enjoy whole schools of tropical fish including puffers, angelfish, grunt and snapper. In addition, there are many rays and turtles and pristine beach coves to explore. Gordo Banks, a site for highly experienced divers, is a sea mount 28 miles from the Cabo shore. At 110 feet below the surface, you will get close to schools of hammerheads, whale sharks, manta rays, pelagic and big game fish. Other dive sites include Cabo Bay and the Corridor. The areas marine wild life is quite rich and diverse.
Sitting off of Loreto’s coastline are five dramatic looking islands; Isla Carmen, Isla Coronado, Isla Danzante, Isla Monserrate and Isla Catalina, which are all part of the Loreto National Marine Park. This great 100-mile long stretch of sea that hugs Baja’s peninsula in the Sea of Cortez, is refuge to a diversity of marine life and home to over 800 species of fish, unique only to the Sea of Cortez which is one of the many reasons why you’ll want to try diving during your stay at The Inn at Rincon.
It’s not uncommon to jump into the open blue to snorkel with passing whales while on your way out to the dive site. The Sea of Cortez has long been known for its schools of dolphins, whale pods, sea turtles and sea lion harems, and of course, there is always the chance of meeting with the giant manta rays, hammerhead sharks and seasonal whale sharks. Brilliantly colored sea fans, black coral and invertebrate life blanket the rocky structures and at night the reefs open up into a rainbow of color.
The diving terrain consists of rocky bottoms, jutting walls, undercuts, overhangs, sprawling reef systems and several wreck sites of ships across many time periods of sea going history. The water temperature ranges from over 80¬∞F (27¬∞C) in the summer and fall and gets in the high 60’s & low 70’s in the winter and spring months. Visibility ranges from 50ft to 100ft+.
The Mexican peninsula which is Baja California, separates the Pacific Ocean from the Sea of Cortez which is The Inn at Rincon’s backyard. One of the youngest seas – its formation beginning 25 million years ago, the Sea of Cortez is one of the world’s largest really deep gulfs. It is also said to be the richest sea in the world full of marine life and wonderful undersea diving opportunties. Who knows what you’ll discover on this dive during your stay at the Inn at Rincon Baja California, Mexico?
When to Go?
The sea temperatures from La Paz south are 21 to 29 oC (which is 70 to 80 degrees F) all year round. The visibility is best from July to October. November to March has the coldest water. To see whale sharks you need to go during algal blooms in Spring and Autumn. Manta rays and schooling hammerheads arrive during late summer and early autumn which can get busy for us at the Inn at Rincon, so be sure to book some time in advance to ensure you getting your spot at the Inn at Rincon.
For more information on diving in Baja California, please browse through this site, try our search option or you can even fill out our Contact form with any questions. And lastly if diving is your plan when staying at The Inn at Rincon and you do not know where to start, just contact us and we can make many recommendations for you and even setup your dive schedule for you!