Cabo San Lucas

cabo san lucas scuba diving
diving cabo san lucas
cabo san lucas diving

SCUBA DIVING IN cabo san lucas

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CABO SAN LUCAS DIVING HIGHLIGHTS

Within easy reach of the US and offering a diverse and exciting range of dive and snorkeling options, scuba diving Cabo San Lucas is not to be missed and is the perfect Mexican dive destination for families and friends alike. And 40 miles to the east, the protected marine park of Cabo Pulmo offers a more remote alternative, with plentiful tropical species in warm, shallow waters.

 

CABO SAN LUCAS DIVE RESORTS and LIVEABOARDS

The majority of diving in Cabo San Lucas and Cabo Pulmo is shore-based, either from, speedboats, pangas (small wooden boats), or straight off the beach. Many liveaboards depart from Cabo San Lucas and may stop to dive the area on their way into the Sea of Cortez.

 School of Jacks, Cabo San Lucas whitetip shark Cabo San Lucas 

 

INTRO TO CABO SAN LUCAS

Situated on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas offers a diverse range of tropical reef and pelagic diving where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. On the region’s southernmost point, the sheltered San Lucas Bay provides ideal novice diving conditions amongst rocky reefs and corridors, while the offshore walls and plateaus of Gordo Banks attract oceanic pelagics on migration into the Sea of Cortez. Cabo San Lucas offers something for everyone, and the lively resort makes it a great holiday destination.

For divers looking for a quieter alternative, Cabo Pulmo protected National Marine Park covers 27 square miles of the northernmost hard-coral reef in North America. Frailes Rock in the south of the park is home to a lively sea lion rookery, and the shallow waters of the park allow great access to explore the fascinating macro and tropical fish of the inshore reefs.

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WHEN TO GO

Cabo San Lucas is diveable year-round, however, species sightings will vary with the season.

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cabo san lucas DIVING INFORMATION

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MARINE LIFE & PHOTOGRAPHY SUBJECTS

While it may not boast the world-class diversity found in the Sea of Cortez, a broad range of marine species can be found in the waters around Cabo San Lucas and Cano Pulmo. Inshore sites such as Santa Maria and Chileno Bay are a great place to discover nudibranchs, crustaceans, and other critters sheltering under rocky reefs and amongst unique rock formations. Keen eyes will be rewarded with sightings of the quirky calico lizardfish, loosetooth parrotfish, or spotted boxfish. Also in Santa Maria Bay, large schools of Cortez rays can sometimes be spotted in the shallow water, and lucky divers may encounter a banded guitarfish. 

A highlight of any trip to Cabo San Lucas and Cabo Pulmo is diving or snorkeling with the local sea lion colonies. These inquisitive creatures make a regular appearance at many of the area’s dive sites and never fail to amuse and entertain with their mischievous antics.

Approximately 8 miles offshore at Cabo San Lucas, Gordo Banks is an exposed seamount and submerged plateau that attracts large ocean-going pelagics around its steep walls. Migrating humpback and gray whales can be spotted here between December and May, and this is also the best time to encounter schooling hammerhead sharks. Other regular visitors include tuna, turtles, and a variety of rays including mobula, devil, and manta rays.

Through the winter months, humpback, gray, and sperm whales can also be spotted around El Bajo seamount (not to be confused with El Bajo at La Paz), where bait-balls of schooling jack offer a tasty pit-stop for these migrating giants. Other open ocean visitors include mobula rays, hammerhead sharks, and the occasional whale shark.

 

 

TYPICAL DIVE IN CABO SAN LUCAS 

Inshore dives take place straight off the beach, or from speed boats and in some cases traditional wooden pangas used by fishermen. Operators will offer two or three dives a day at sites best suited to the diver’s experience. The bays of San Lucas and Santa Maria, as well as inshore sites at Cabo Pulmo, offer sheltered conditions in shallow waters with good visibility.

Offshore dives tend to be more challenging, with choppy surface conditions and swell making for sometimes tricky entries and exits. The strong currents that are such a magnet for pelagic species also render these sites best suited to experienced divers.

Socorro Eco Trip Dec 2019 Socorro Eco Trip Dec 2019

 Photos from Tim Yeo's Eco Socorro Recap, Dec 2019 - Jan 2020 

 

CABO SAN LUCAS OCEAN SAFARI TRIPS

Several operators in Cabo San Lucas offer non-divers a taste of the region’s exciting marine diversity, running ocean safari trips to snorkel and free-dive with some iconic pelagic giants. Bluewater’s Preferred Partners, Pelagic Fleet, run daily expeditions to offshore sites where guests can swim with various shark species, whales, mobula rays, whale sharks, and manta rays. This is a great way to include the whole family in a dive trip to Cabo San Lucas, and many divers rave about these safaris as they offer such unique encounters. 

 

 

CABO SAN LUCAS COMBO TRIPS

The rich Mexican dive scene makes Cabo San Lucas is perfectly located to support combination trips with several other world-class dive destinations.

Cabo San Lucas - Socorro

Located in the Pacific Ocean 240 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, the uninhabited Socorro Islands offer a refuge for a wide variety of pelagic species and are one of the best destinations in the world to dive with big animal species. One of the best sites globally for diving with sharks, huge numbers of resident Galapagos, silky, oceanic whitetip, and hammerheads can be found schooling around the island’s rocky pinnacles and steep reefs. And while it is a great place to encounter whale sharks in the winter months, it’s Socorro’s manta ray diving that is really world-class.  Liveaboards depart from Cabo San Lucas between May and November, and the journey takes around 24 hours. Many visitors opt to spend a few days diving and exploring Cabo San Lucas at either end of their Socorro trip.

Read more about diving the Socorro Islands or find out why it is one of our top liveaboard destinations.

Cabo San Lucas - La Paz

Two hours north of Cabo San Lucas, on the eastern side of the Baja California Peninsula, La Paz offers an exciting diversity of dive sites including wrecks, caves, offshore pinnacles, and rocky reefs, as well as some sheltered inshore diving and snorkeling in the Bay of La Paz. Depending on the time of year, divers can encounter hammerhead sharks, mobula rays, and several types of whale, as well as a myriad of other local and migratory species. In particular, visitors can experience one of the best places in the world to snorkel with whale sharks, as well as dive and snorkel with the entertaining sealion colony at Los Islotes. Combining a trip to Cabo San Lucas with La Paz gives visitors access to a huge diversity of pelagic species and some phenomenal diving.

Find out all you need to know about scuba diving in La Paz.

BEST TIME TO DIVE CABO SAN LUCAS

 June to November has the warmest water temperatures in the Sea of Cortez, with good visibility and hot, dry surface conditions. It is also the quieter tourist season so many resorts can offer good deals.

From December through to May water temperatures are cooler and plankton blooms reduce visibility, however, this is the best time to spot hammerhead sharks and whales, as well as other deepwater species that migrate to warmer surface waters. Sealion activity also tends to increase during the winter. This is the busy tourist season, and Cabo San Lucas transforms into a buzzing resort with plenty of activities on and off the water.

 

DIVING CONDITIONS

  • Water temperature: Average 80oF (27oC) during the summer months and 68 to 75oF (20 to 24oC) in the winter.
  • Visibility: Up to 80ft (25m).
  • Depth Range: 16 - 131ft (5 - 40m).
  • Diving Difficulty: Inshore sites are suitable for all levels of diver and snorkeler, most offshore sites are only suitable for experienced divers.  

 

 

BEST DIVE SITES

Here are some of the best dive sites in Cabo San Lucas.

  • Sand Falls
  • One of the best-known sites in the area, Sand Falls features unique underwater topography where sand eroded from the surrounding cliffs cascades down ravines to the deep canyon below. Schooling rays and jacks can often be spotted, as well as numerous tropical fish and macro species amongst the gorgonian fans.
  • Pelican Rock
  • A shallow site close to shore featuring an abundance of tropical species swarming amongst sea fans on a gently sloping bottom. Lucky divers may meet the resident whitetip reef shark.
  • Lands End
  • A great place to dive with sea lions where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez meet. Expect to spot gamefish chasing baitballs as well as the occasional pelagic giant passing through.


  • Santa Maria Cove
  • A rocky reef covered in colorful corals and home to tropical fish, turtles, bat rays, and sea bass. This is a great site for photography and full of colorful life. 
  • Chileno Bay
  • Only half-a-mile from shore, this intricate site is covered in coral trees and sea fans and is great for critter-spotting. Larger species also pass through the bay, and manta rays, turtles, and nurse sharks frequently visit the reef.
  • Cabo Pulmo Marine Sanctuary
  • Featuring the northernmost hard coral reef in the Northern Hemisphere, Cabo Pulmo Marine Sanctuary is home to over 17 fascinating dive sites and some of the best diving in the area. The park is home to at least 350 marine species, and the sea lion action here is fantastic.
  • Gordo Banks
  • Famed for its congregations of scalloped hammerheads and whale sharks, Gordo Banks’ steep walls and submerged plateau attract countless ocean-going giants such as huge manta rays, marlin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo, dolphins, devil rays, and bull sharks.

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TRAVEL INFORMATION

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HOW TO GET TO there

Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) is the main international airport servicing the region and receives multiple daily flights from the US. Taxis, hire cars, and shared transport are readily available on arrival.

 

HOW TO DIVE CABO SAN LUCAS

Cabo San Lucas is home to a good number of hotels and accommodation options catering to all budgets and tastes. Most hotels are linked to one of the town’s many dive operators offering shore diving and day boat trips. There is an excellent dive infrastructure here, and many operators also cater to snorkelers.

 

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN CABO SAN LUCAS

Cabo San Lucas is a lively resort that offers plenty of entertainment, restaurants, bars, and a healthy nightlife. For non-divers or on a day off diving, cultural tours and watersports are available, as well as ATV and buggy rides into the desert dunes. Snorkelers can spend hours exploring the nooks and crannies of the region’s shallow bays, complete with sea lion encounters in San Lucas Bay. More adventurous visitors can join an open ocean safari trip to snorkel and freedive with some iconic pelagic giants.

Cabo Pulmo is far quieter, with snorkeling and relaxing as the main top-side activities.

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OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • Language: Spanish
  • Time Zone: Mexican Pacific Standard Time (GMT-7)
  • Electricity: 127V 

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Got Questions? Ready to Book?

Call us today at +1-310-915-6677 or email us info@bluewaterdivetravel.com

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UNDERWATER IMAGES

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Socorro Eco Trip Dec 2019 Socorro Eco Trip Dec 2019 Socorro Eco Trip Dec 2019

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