Scuba Diving the Baja Peninsula

Though connected to the United States, the Baja California Peninsula, also called Lower California and simply the Baja Peninsula, is part of Mexico. It is connected to the U.S. state of California and stretches a length of 775 miles (1250 kms) from northern Mexicali to southern Cabo San Lucas.

Spectacular vacation opportunities abound on the Baja Peninsula, thanks to its enviable position of separating the deeply blue Pacific Ocean from the aquamarine Gulf of California (Sea of Cortés). This region of Mexico offers visitors a veritable geographic playground: the Sierra Juárez mountain range, the northernmost range in Mexico, runs right through the peninsula. It is accompanied by the Sierra San Pedro Mártir, an even higher mountain range whose highest point, at 10,158 feet (2096 meters), is named Cerro de la Encantada (“Mountain of the Enchanted Lady”). In the south, the Tres Virgenes (“Three Virgins”) triplet of volcanoes captivates visitors, promising beauty without danger: they last erupted over 6515 years ago. More mountain ranges dot Baja, providing beautiful vistas, sweeping valleys, and stunning photo ops.

Inland scenery is alluring, but what the Baja Peninsula is most known for is its spectacular water sporting opportunities. If you’ve ever dreamed of wading into crystalline blue and aqua waters, white sand wedging between your toes, Baja is for you. If you’ve always wanted to see bright orange, blue, yellow, and purple fish, Baja is for you. If you’ve always harbored a desire to head out into the deep sea, drop a line in, and catch a monster fish, then Baja is for you. And if visions of scuba gear and amazing sea life dance in your head, Baja is most certainly for you.

The Sea of Cort&eacutes (Sea of Cortez) is a young sea, about 25 million years old, and is one of the word’s largest deep gulfs. Scientists have also identified it as being the most biologically rich in the world, both in terms of species variety and population sizes. The ocean temperatures range between 69°F (21°C) and 84°F (29°C) year-round, though visibility is best from July to October. Your scuba trip will depend on your diving preferences: if you want to see whale sharks, then visit in spring and autumn, during the algal blooms. If you’re after fantastic sightings of hammerhead sharks and manta rays, head on down during late summer and early autumn.

Several dives are available up and down the shores of the Baja Peninsula: Gordo Banks near Cabo San Lucas boasts a deep dive site with sharks, manta rays, morays, and fish, and promises its sealife is twice as big as what you’re used to. The Cabo Pulmo Rocky Reef promises eels slithering between the coral, tuna schools swimming above your head, starfish and sea fans gracing you with their presence, and, thanks to the quick current, spectacularly colorful fish zooming in and out of your view.

The Baja Peninsula is beautiful, colorful, and truly a wonderful vacation experience, especially for scuba divers. Start your research and book your trip as soon as possible!