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Diving in the Sea of Cortez in La Paz

La Paz, Baja California Sur is best known for its clear, beautiful waters that not only provide livelihood for the locals but also enjoyment for visitors. The incredible marine life which make their home in or even just pass through the seas attract a lot of interest, both intellectual (La Paz is home to three marine biology institutes, all the foremost in Latin America) and personal. Many value the experience of having contact with the marvelously diverse creatures and plant life in this part of the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of California.

It is therefore not surprising that scuba diving is among the most popular activities indulged in by visitors who come to La Paz. Because the waters of La Paz are generally safe and calm, professional and amateur divers alike can enjoy the experience of swimming with the local and visiting marine life that glide under the surface of the seas bordering La Paz. People from all over the world have come to swim in the depths of the Sea of Cortez neighboring this charming city, and all brought back with themselves precious memories of their marine encounters.

There are several diving sites in La Paz, which are considered among the best areas for this kind of activity. The first is El Bajo, also known as The Seamount. El Bajo, is particularly popular because schools of hammerhead sharks and other large sea creatures like mantas and whale sharks frequent this spot. These animals are breathtaking enough from afar; just imagine being able to swim among them, alongside them! But at two to three hours of boat ride from shore, the currents in this part of the sea tend to be a little overwhelming; amateurs are advised not to try diving there.

For those who feel that sharks, whales, and manta rays are too much excitement, and are themselves only beginners in the art of scuba diving, there is the El Bajito. El Bajito is considered a very easy dive at a mere thirty feet in average depth. Home to a rock reef supporting an abundant host of sea life, it is nevertheless a breathtaking sight. Another enjoyable dive site experience for beginners is Pailebot, which has large stones that serve as a habitat for groupers and schools of reef fish. With depths going from thirty to a hundred feet, advanced divers who want to relax can also enjoy frolicking with the fish in this site.

For easy to intermediate level divers who can’t be satisfied by just the fish, there is Los Islotes, which is famously known as the Sea Lion Colony two hours away from La Paz. As the name suggests, in this dive site divers can interact with the sea lions as well as the standard reef life. The sea lions are very amicable and have been known to play games with their visitors – this reef is considered quite fun without being overly dangerous.

There are other dive sites, ranging from natural to man-made (intermediate to advanced divers have the opportunity to explored a sunken ship in the San Lorenzo Canal). Whatever your reasons for diving – excitement, leisure or just plain novelty and intellectual curiosity, you can be sure to find the experience you have been craving for in La Paz.

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