Ten Delicious Places to Dip into Diving

Baja, Mexico: Latin Getaway

The water is neither as clear nor as warm as in the Caribbean or Indo-Pacific, but it doesn't really matter. Big sea creatures are what Baja diving is all about—sea lions, mantas, schooling hammerheads, and even whales.

The two major dive hubs in Baja are Cabo San Lucas and La Paz. In Cabo, the oldest and by far the best dive shop is Amigos Del Mar, which coordinates the diving at many of the major resorts. In La Paz, a half-day to the northeast, the diving is done from beach resorts. Although the shoreside resorts are appealing, for serious divers, a liveaboard is the best way to go. It opens the opportunity to dive at the better-known Sea of Cortez sites, such as the Salvatierra wreck, El Bajo sea mounts (mantas and hammerheads), and Los Islotes Island (sea lions), which are quite a distance from the beach resorts. With a liveaboard, you avoid time wasted in transit, permitting you four or five dives a day, rather than just two.

A longer liveaboard trip—usually eight to 10 days—will give you the chance to experience what one world-renowned photographer called the "best place I have ever dived." Located in the Pacific about 250 miles south of the tip of Baja, California, Socorro and San Benedicto Islands are part of the Revillagigedo chain. Known as the Mexican Galapagos, a trip out to these volcanic islands offers the chance to get up close and personal with large species—giant mantas, schools of hammerheads, whale sharks, bottlenose dolphins, tiger sharks, enormous schools of tuna, and more.

Practically Speaking
The best time to visit the Revillagigedos is November through May. In the late fall, the water is warmer, usually about 80 degrees, the hurricane season has ended, and the visibility averages 100 feet. Be careful when choosing your outfitter; only a few liveaboards have permits to run dive trips to this protected area.

Paul McMenamin is the author, editor, and photo director of the original Ultimate Adventure Sourcebook.

Published: 31 Jan 2001 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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