The 800-mile long Baja California Peninsula lies between the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. Its location makes it a treasury of diving sites that could thrill even the most experienced divers. This diverse natural aquarium hosts an amazingly diverse community of marine life; from the gigantic gray whales, whale sharks, hammerheads, giant Pacific manta rays, and sea lions to the schools of tropical fish like puffers, angelfish, grunt, and snapper and invertebrates like sea stars, spiny urchins, and nudibranchs. Though the coral formations are not as awesome as those in the Caribbean, the underwater topography is still worth the exploration.
Weather in the Baja region gets hot and humid during the summer, with temperatures bordering on over 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the water temperature ranging on mid-80 degrees. In the winter season, air temperature falls to around 60 degrees at night and 80 degrees during the day while water temperature fluctuates within the 60s. Underwater visibility varies depending on the dive spot but the average ranges from 70 feet during winter to 90 feet in the summer.
Some of the notable dive sites in Baja are in Ensenada, Los Cabos, La Paz, Loreto, Isla Espiritu Santo, La Bufadora, Puerto Peñasco, and the Coronado Islands. The Guadalupe Island in Ensenada for instance boasts of its unique marine species which include pinnipeds and great white sharks. It also hosts a significant population of North elephant seals and Guadalupe fur seals. The site was recently declared as a biosphere reserve.
The National Marine Park in Loreto probably tops the list as one of the most diverse spots in the Baja region with over 800 different species of fish, invertebrates, Humboldt squid, sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles, whales, hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and a lot more. It has more than 40 dive sites which feature a variety of impressive vertical walls. Water temperature varies between 60 to 85 degrees and visibility could go up to 120 feet in the summer.
There are a lot of Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Dive Centers and dive shops in the region which offer scuba trainings, dive tours, certifications, and snorkeling tours. Other services include shuttling the clients from their hotels directly to the dive sites, providing for meals, and accommodations. Some dive shops even provide spotter planes which will be sent ahead to the dive site to search for whale sharks.