La Paz

4.375
(4 REVIEWS)
Scuba Diving La Paz
La Paz Diving
Scuba Diving in La Paz

Scuba Diving in la paz

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LA PAZ DIVING HIGHLIGHTS

As one of the most popular diving destinations in the Sea of Cortez, La Paz and its nearby islands offer a wide range of diving opportunities and some unique big animal encounters that are hard to beat. Many of the best experiences are just as exciting and accessible for snorkelers, making La Paz a great family destination and perfect for groups with non-divers.

Interested in diving La Paz?  View the live availability of some of the best liveaboards in La Paz and book online at the best price or check out our sidebar for specials and workshops!

 

LA PAZ LIVEABOARDS & DIVE RESORTS

While some Sea of Cortez liveaboards depart from La Paz and visit local sites, the majority of diving here is resort-based. Sites are accessed either from shore, on small pangas, or from larger day-boats, depending on the location and conditions.

 

INTRO TO LA PAZ

Situated on the southeastern edge of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, La Paz is one of the easiest warm water dive destinations to reach from the US. The area’s diversity of dive sites includes wrecks, caves, offshore pinnacles, and rocky reefs, as well as some sheltered inshore diving and snorkeling in the Bay of La Paz. 

mobula rays at the Sea of Cortez

Photo taken by Helen Brierley on our Explore Baja Photo Workshop last year

La Paz Mobula Ray night diveLa Paz Mobula Ray night dive

Mobula Ray night dive

By far the region’s biggest attraction is year-round access to some of the ocean’s most impressive pelagic species. Depending on the time of year, divers can expect to spot whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, sea lions, mobula rays, and several types of whale, as well as a myriad of other local and migratory species. There is so much marine life here that Laz Paz is included in the Sea of Cortez UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.

View Location on Google Map 

 

WHEN TO GO

Diving is available in La Paz year-round, but when you go will depend on what you want to see. We would recommend diving between October and November when the sea lion colony is diveable, the whale sharks should already have arrived in the bay, water temperatures are still high, but the topside conditions are not as hot as in the summer. 

More on the best time to dive La Paz.

 

Learn all there is to know about La Paz and see if this is the destination for you! (video)


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LA PAZ DIVING INFORMATION

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LA PAZ MARINE LIFE & PHOTOGRAPHY SUBJECTS

La Paz’s protected location at the entrance to the Sea of Cortez makes for a great base to spot both migrating pelagics and local specialties. Around 850 marine species are found in these waters, from the biggest of fish and marine mammals to macro species such as seahorses and nudibranchs. 

List of some of the marine animals you may see around La Paz:

  • Whale shark
  • Hammerhead shark
  • Gray whale
  • Humpback whale
  • Mobula ray
  • Eagle ray
  • California sea lion 
  • Turtle
  • Dolphin
  • Marlin
  • Tuna
  • Wrasse
  • Moray eel
  • Angelfish
  • Seahorse

 

The Bay of La Paz is considered one of the best destinations in the world to swim with whale sharks, and these huge fish flock to the southern Sea of Cortez in the fall to feed on plankton. Robust licensing restricts the number of boats and individuals that can be in the water at any one time, therefore there is a good chance of achieving a one-to-one encounter with these gentle giants. The La Paz whale sharks are found quite close to shore, and this is a great place for non-divers to snorkel and swim with them without a lengthy boat journey to a remote offshore location.

Hammerhead sharks were a common sight in La Paz waters until fishing decimated their numbers in the 80s and 90s. The good news is that the hammerhead nursery in the Bay of La Paz is slowly regenerating, and sightings of these unique sharks around El Bajo seamount are becoming more frequent again. Also at El Bajo, expect to encounter key pelagics such as mobula rays, eagle rays, dolphins, marlin, and tuna, all against a dramatic offshore backdrop of steep walls and rocky reefs.

One of the most memorable experiences at La Paz is a visit to the sea lion colonies at Los Islotes. Although sea lions will likely pop up on many dives around the area, Los Islotes is home to a rookery of around 400 sea lions and pups, and snorkeling or diving with these inquisitive youngsters is a real treat.

 

BEST TIME TO DIVE

June to November has better visibility and warmer water, with October and November being the peak time for whale shark sightings. Whale sharks follow the plankton blooms, so visibility will often be reduced on whale shark trips. The Bay of La Paz is closed for swimming with whale sharks from 1 May to 30 September each year.

La Paz underwater photoLa Paz Underwater Photo

The water is cooler from December through to May, however, this is the best time to spot hammerhead sharks, whales, and mobula rays. December to March is also tourist high season in Mexico, and like many other resorts, La Paz can get busy and experience an increase in accommodation rates.

The sea lion colonies are active year-round, however, they are closed for breeding from 1 June to 31 August each year.

La Paz Underwater Photo La Paz Underwater Photo

 

DIVING CONDITIONS

  • June - November: The summer months are hot and humid top-side, with some rain towards the end of the season. Water temperatures are at their warmest with an average of 80oF (27oC). Visibility is very good outside plankton blooms, often approaching 80ft.
  • December - May: The top-side conditions cool off over the winter, with lots of sunshine and the occasional rain shower. Water temperatures also cool down, reaching an average of 72oF (24oC). 

 

LA PAZ DIVING DIFFICULTY

La Paz offers diving and snorkeling suitable for all levels. Swimming with whale sharks and diving and snorkeling with the sea lions can be enjoyed by everyone. The colorful inshore reefs of Playas Tecelote and El Coyote offer excellent snorkeling in calm, clear waters.

The offshore sites at El Bajo are best suited to experienced divers. Large swells and strong currents can make for tricky conditions, especially over the winter months.

 

 

BEST DIVE SITES IN LA PAZ

Los Islotes - One of the biggest sea lion colonies in the area can be found just off Isla Partida, to the north of La Paz. Two large rocky promontories featuring a natural arch create a fun game of hide-and-seek for extremely playful pups, keen to get involved in any diving or snorkeling activity. Also, expect to see large shoals of sardines, angelfish, and surgeonfish amongst the rocky coral reefs. This shallow site is great for snorkelers.

El Bajo - A group of three isolated seamounts 8 miles from Los Islotes, that attract a great number of pelagic species around steep walls, canyons, and drop-offs. This is a prime spot for catching a glimpse of whale sharks and manta rays, as well as schooling hammerhead sharks, who have been known to gather here in their hundreds. Resident species include panamic green moray eels, octopus, tuna, and schooling amberjack.

La Reina - One of the most beautiful sites in the area, this large reef is located just north of Isla Cerralvo at a depth of around 80ft. Large gorgonians and brain coral dominated the landscape. Divers are also likely to encounter several resident manta rays.

Swanee Reef - An exciting dive site on the southern tip of Isla Espirito Santo, featuring huge coral heads, gorgonians, and sea fans smothering the rocky reef. Shoals of small fish school and then vanish from larger predators, and a good amount of macro can be discovered when the visibility is good.

Salvatierra Wreck - A great dive for novice divers or those with no wreck experience, the Salvatierra sunk in 1976 after hitting Swanee Rock, leaving a scar on the reef that is still visible today. Much of the cargo of trucks is still intact, as are both propellers, and the artificial reef attracts a wide variety of marine life.

Also on Swanee Reef, the wrecks of the Fang Ming and C59 make for fascinating dives, and cement La Paz as a great wreck-diving destination.

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LA PAZ TRAVEL INFORMATION

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HOW TO GET TO LA PAZ

La Paz is serviced by Manuel Márquez de León International Airport (LAP), with flights from the US via Mexico City, Guadalajara or Los Angeles. Flights from other continents also connect in Mexico City. Once on the ground, it's a quick shuttle ride to the dive resorts. 

Many visitors also choose to fly directly into Cabo San Lucas International Airport (SJD) and then take a 2.5-hour shuttle north to La Paz. This is a beautiful drive in the Baja California Desert with glimpses of both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. 

 

HOW TO DIVE LA PAZ

La Paz offers a great range of resort accommodation to suit all budgets. Inshore diving is either from the shore or from small pangas where divers will backward role into the water. Access to offshore sites such as El Bajo is via larger day boats that offer more facilities and are better suited to heavier seas. Most resorts will arrange whale shark trips with one of the locally licensed operators.

View our next dive trips to La Paz or contact us to start planning your dream trip! (LV PAGE)

 

OTHER THINGS TO DO

Many of the best experiences around La Paz are open to snorkelers as well as divers, so this is a great place for divers and non-divers to travel together. There are also many other water-based activities available, such as whale and bird watching tours, fishing, and kayaking. La Paz has a healthy resort-life, with lots of shopping, a wide choice of restaurants, bars, and clubs, spas, and good beaches.

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LIVEABOARDS IN la paz

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See the availability of liveaboards in La Paz and book online. Best price guaranteed. No credit card fees.


The rates shown below are per person in USD. Some operators may quote in a different currency and the final pricing may vary depending on the latest exchange rates.

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OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN).
  • Language: Spanish, but many people speak English, especially in tourist areas.
  • Main Aiport: Manuel Márquez de León International Airport (LAP).
  • Time Zone: Mexican Pacific Standard Time (GMT-7).
  • Electricity: 127V.

 

 
 

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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La Paz underwater photoLa Paz Underwater Photo

La Paz Underwater Photo La Paz

La Paz La Paz

La Paz La Paz

La Paz La Paz

Region: 

Reviews (4)

5
4
5
4

I had a great time in La Paz! The ability to dive with the sea lions and the whale sharks was awesome. Not only did we get to enjoy that but they did a great job pointing out nudibranchs!! Small to large a great trip for everyone. The trip was well organized and the dive operation was organized, boats clean, on time and dive guides were excellent. Scott and Nirupam did a great job!! Excellent pointers and tips to improve photos!

Visited on 10/2019 - Submitted on 02/13/2020
5
4
4
5

A very good trip overall. The Hotel was very nice. Good place for whale sharks on our second half day but the visibility was not ideal. The Mobula Ray night dive was a good experience as they were everywhere but again, visibility was poor. The best part was the sea lions. They were pretty much everywhere and they came quite close frequently. I would do this again at some point, but with a full-frame, wide-angle setup instead of my point-and-shoot and a wet wide lens.

Visited on 02/2020 - Submitted on 02/13/2020
5
4
3
5

La Paz is easy to get to from North America, and a great value. The locals are very friendly and helpful. Seemed very safe. Scuba diving is always after a long boat ride but very enjoyable. Visibility not bad and the water is warm. Not a lot of marine life diversity but proximity to what is there makes up for it. Bring receipts for your expensive underwater photo equipment when going thru customs.

Visited on 10/2019 - Submitted on 02/13/2020
5
4
4
4

The La Paz dive trip was simply excellent pretty much across the board.
Travel is pretty easy, even from the Mid west. Blue Water Travel did an excellent job arranging my flights when it became problematic for me to figure it out. Customs can be a pain at times but BWP had a shuttle set up for us to travel from the airport to the hotel. Long drive but really not bad either (good company always makes for a better journey). The Hotel is very nice. Overlooking the harbor, it is within walking distance from some pretty nice dining option and one really nice restaurant. The Hotel itself has convenient options for food as well. Nice Breakfast buffet as well.
We were picked up each morning by a shuttle which took us to the boats each morning. Both BWP and the dive operations went the extra mile to take care of everyone - exceptional service! Longer boat ride out to the park but it was a great part of the experience. Some of the days we would go to beach picnic area managed by the dive shop who also provided a hot lunch which was awesome! The cook really knocked it out of the park in regards to food. By doing so, we reduced or "drive" Time going back and got more dive time as a result.

Diving. The Dive Masters really knew the sites and got us into and out of the water without any issues. The there were four types of dives; Seals, Hammerheads, reef/wreck and Whale sharks. The Seals were incredible! Basically you sit down in the water and they would come to you. Great for photography!!! shallow clear water made for long dive and fantastic interactions.
The Hammerhead dive was dice roll as to interaction but heck we rolled 7's right off the bat. nice if shy schools that were really great blue water dives (this was a better experience than the Molokai Hammerhead dives).
Reef/Wreck dive - I thought they were pretty average - not meaning bad but the other dives were almost all signature dives so it was really tough for them to compete.
The Whale sharks were a great change of pace. Its all shallow snorkeling with a little bit of kicking to keep up. We liked it so much that most of us requested a second day of whale shark diving which was also awesome!

Photo shops - What a great added value with enough oversight to provide a very strong personalized photography coaching environment. I know it certainly improved my skills.

Hints - I found the water a little be cool, so plan accordingly. These will be long dives due to the shallow depth but Wow what a great dive trip!
- I listened to music on the way out and back which made the trips more enjoyable.
- You may want to bring a surface camera the scenically is simply stunning ln these trips.
- I really didn't have much need for Peso's.
- Uber/Lyft are available.
- If you have any issues, let the staff know - they are miracle workers and the sooner they know of an issue the faster it will get resolved.

Visited on 10/2019 - Submitted on 02/13/2020

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