By Kennia Thackaberry
The famous oceanographer and explorer Jacques Cousteau once called the Sea of Cortez “the World’s Aquarium” because of the exuberant marine life that inhabits its warm waters. (There is actually a statue of Cousteau that holds court on the malecon in La Paz…testimony to the richness of this marine environment.) The Cortez Club in La Paz is a salute to that concept – even its website notes that ‘To truly appreciate the beauty of La Paz, you have to look beneath its surface’.
With the setting of La Paz and the Sea of Cortez as an operation field, The Cortez Club was created in 1995 as a premier scuba diving and water sports Center. The club headquarters are located on a rocky point of Playa Caimancito next to La Concha Beach Resort. Their facilities offer the convenience of a private dock and boat launch, a retail store and a Sunset Bar to relax at the end of a day at play. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Cortez Club strives to provide their visitors with a hassle free experience that will help them create “long lasting memories,” according to Ricardo Fifield, manager of Cortez Club operations.
According to James Curtiss, Cortez Club’s owner and founder, who began the operation as a way to showcase diving and water-based activities in this unique region, The Cortez Club is open 364 days each year. He feels that La Paz, which is the capital city of Baja Sur, is the perfect location for his business.
“La Paz is a user-friendly place,” said Curtiss. “It is safe, and it has the quality of being a typical fishing village,” he adds, noting that it is much quieter than its Baja Sur neighbors.
Known for its absolute attention to detail, water safety and customer happiness, The Cortez Club offers a variety of activities to its sea and ocean explorers.
One of the main activities in La Paz is scuba diving and, as the only five-star rated Instructor Development Center in Baja California, the Club offers a variety of PADI courses for those just learning how to dive or wanting to become dive masters. There is also an e-learning option to get the theoretical part of the course done ahead of time, so that when you are actually underwater, you can maximize your time and your experience.
Some of the most popular diving spots that you can experience with the team include el Bajo, where you can swim among the schools of hammerhead sharks; the “Salvatierra” wreck dive that takes you down to explore the remains of this cargo ferry or the Swanee reef voted by divers as one of the most enjoyable dives in the area.
Snorkeling is another great activity that The Cortez Club can help you plan. The premier site is Punta Los Lobos in the Espiritu Santo Island, a short boat ride to a large colony of sea lions and the opportunity to explore the island’s reefs.
November, 2012: The Cortez Club is now sending visitors out to experience one of Baja’s most extraordinary activities: Snorkeling with the whale sharks! The whale shark is the largest fish on the planet, and there are few whale species larger in size. Thought to reach up to 20 meters long and 34 tons, this huge creature dines on tiny plankton and small fish.
Every year between the months of December and March, the grey whales end their long migration from the arctic waters to Bahia Magdalena. This event brings travelers of all ages to Baja and with The Cortez Club you can arrange a trip to get a close look at these huge mammals for an unforgettable experience.
Spearfishing in La Paz is one of the most challenging yet rewarding activities in the Sea of Cortez. With a yearly influx of a variety of pelages, the Sea of Cortes and in particular La Paz offers world class spearfishing and boasts a number of IBSRC records.
In addition, The Cortez Club also has kayaks, sail boats and wave runners for rent as well as a fleet of more than 10 boats ranging from 22’ locally built pangas to 32’ boats specially design for sport fishing trips.
The Cortez Club Mosquito Fleet has been providing world class sportfishing in La Paz, Mexico since 1984, longer than any other local fishing fleet. With a goal of getting clients to the richest fishing grounds, with the most accommodating crew and services possible, the Mosquito Fleet is proud of its record of helping fisher-folk land Yellowtail and more in the Sea of Cortez waters.
After almost two decades since it first opened, The Cortez Club continues its mission of high quality instruction, professionalism and attention to its clients needs, making it the top choice for scuba divers and sea explorers.
Contact The Cortez Club for more on rates, Special Packages and excursions:
Remember, the next time you plan on spending sometime in La Paz consider that ‘to truly appreciate the beauty of La Paz, you have to look beneath the surface’ and let the Cortez Club facilitate your quest of exploring the Sea of Cortez. Special Offer until Dec. 20 (and after Jan. 6): When two people book an excursion, the second person’s price will be 50 percent off the regular rate! For more information about The Cortez Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Or call +52 612 121 6120, or US toll free 1 (877) 408 6769.
Want to stay in La Paz, to enjoy your visit to The Cortez Club? Find out more at Baja.com.
Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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