The eastern coasts of the Baja California Peninsula are home to acres and acres of great beaches and diving sites. Cabo San Lucas and Caja California’s East Cape are fast-growing resort towns well-known for their pristine beaches and numerous diving sites. In the eastern shores of Baja California Sur however, a small and quiet Mexican municipality by the name of Loreto hides numerous exquisite beaches and diving sites that any amateur or professional snorkeling and diving buff would love to visit.
The Sea of Cortez, more popularly known outside of Mexico as the Gulf of California, makes for a great diving destination. Not only is it impressive in size, its species of marine life is also extremely impressive to behold. The Mexican municipality of Loreto, due to its proximity with the Sea of Cortez, is one of the few places on earth where divers can enjoy the diverse inhabitants of the Sea of Cortez in a daily basis.
Loreto has a total of 250 kilometers of pristine beaches and shores. All along the perimeter of this 250-kilometer of shores, dive sites and snorkeling zones are found. Aside from its diving sites near the main town of Loreto, the municipality of Loreto also includes 14 islands located out in the Sea of Cortez. These islands provide great venues and anchorage for deep sea diving and snorkeling.
Island diving is a popular water recreational activity in Loreto. The islands of Danzante, Catalan, Coronado, Carmen and Monserrate are the five most suitable islands for amateur and professional scuba diving. These islands, along with the 9 more islands included in Loreto’s territory, are volcanic islands. Due to their rich volcanic soil plus the mineral-rich waters of the Sea of Cortez, Loreto’s islands are surrounded by a many and diverse marine plant and wildlife. Corals, seaweeds, fishes, marine mammals, and crustaceans of all sizes, colors and species thrive in the coves and inlets surrounding Loreto’s islands, making them a great place for snorkeling and diving.
Aside from the diversity of marine life that come as a result of having volcanic islands in the middle of the Sea of Cortez, Loreto’s 14 islands also have interesting underwater rock and land formations. Loreto offers shallow coral reefs and wall dives for amateur divers, as well as underwater rocky crevices and sheer island wall facades for professional divers.
Tourists and vacationers visiting Loreto can hire yachts or small boats called “pangas’ which can take them on diving tours and snorkeling sites. During specific seasons, snorkelers and scuba divers can see and even swim along side gigantic and gentle whale sharks, elusive colonies of hammerhead sharks, schools of playful dolphins, orcas, sea lions, sea turtles, manta rays, and 800 species of fishes.
Because of notable quality of Loreto’s sea water, the Sea of Cortez’s marine wonders can be seen even without the aid of goggles and high-tech diving equipments. And due to Loreto’s famous tropical weather, many snorkelers and divers can spend long spans of time in the warm sea waters without the need for thermal diving suits.