Being that we dive from Cerralvo Island to Gordo Banks and everywhere in between, we have grouped the dive sites into specific areas. Since Cerralvo Island is the most northern, the sites will be classified in order from north to south.
The area around Cerralvo Island is extremely beautiful and hosts an array of different types of diving as well as species of fish. The south end of the Island is about 35 miles from our location and it takes approximately 50 min. to 1 hr. and 15 min. of travel time.
This site appears as a long rock bar that resembles an actual highway. The depth ranges from approximately 55 to 70 feet, surrounded by a sand floor. Huge over hangs and crevices house many lobster, an abundance of Moray eels, and very large Dog toothed Snapper.
A difficult place to dive mostly because of heavy currents. But when the conditions are right, it's really a great site. We anchor the boat in approximately 80 ft. and drop down over a ledge that bottoms out around 125ft. There you will find many caves and holes big enough to house some extremely large grouper, such as Jew fish, Pargo, and Sea Bass 80 to 200+ pounds.
Just a couple of miles south of La Ventana, there is a shallow reef with soft and hard corals. This makes for a great surface interval for snorkeling with many varieties of tropical reef fish, as well as Star fish. This is one of the few places we dive that a good shore dive would be possible. This site has a maximum depth of 35 feet.
With a maximum depth of 70 ft., this site has three distinctive terrain changes. The first is large boulders with many cavern-like swim through's. The site then opens up into unique monumental type rock formations. Towards the end of the dive, it completely changes into large channels that resemble a huge rat maze. This site harbors large schools of Lady fish as well as many other species of tropical fish. Sometimes we've been lucky enough to find Sea Horses. There is a constant supply of Parrot fish, Cabrilla and Pargo.
This shallow reef is located in between Cerralvo and Pescadero areas. Maximum depth is only 35 feet, but the large amounts of branching Elegant Stony Coral and numerous varieties of tropical fish make this spot a photographers dream. There are also loads of Green Moray Eels, as well as Spotted Snake Eels, Tiger Reef Eels and the beautiful Zebra Moray. This is also a site where you are likely to see many different species of Nudibranch.
This group of dive sites is the closest area to the local resorts. It is a brief 20 min boat ride.
Translates as Fisherman's Point, this site truly lives up to it's name. With a maximum depth of 40 feet this site has unusual rock formations and very interesting topography. Resident Scorpion Stone Fish, Cortez Sting rays, and large schools of Surgeon fish provide this site with grace and beauty. Seasonally, we see Conch, Octopus, and Nudibranch. Because this site is located on a migratory point, conditions and marine life may change very rapidly. A second dive, at the same location, may reveal something completely different.
Only a 20 minute boat ride, this area is a large rock bed that begins in 25 feet of water and slopes down to approximately 90 feet. It features large schools of Amberjack and lady fish. It also harbors a wide variety of star fish such as Chocolate Chip Sea Stars, Tan Sea Stars, Panamic crown of thorns, Yellow spotted and Spiny stars, to name a few. There is also a community of Cortez sting rays with loads of Garden eels living in the sandy floor on the north side of the rock bed. This area is also a seasonal provider of Nudibranch.
This reef, although small and shallow is like a magnet for marine life. We've seen almost everything on this reef. Because it is not far in distance it is a favorite for night diving.
In June of 1995 this area was officially declared a Marine Preserve by the Mexican Government. It is approximately 11 miles long with at least 8 different fingers of coral reefs. It is historically known as the only substantial living coral reef on the west coast of North America. It is approximately a 50 minute boat ride and is the premier area for diving and snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez. If you've never taken the opportunity to see it, we would like to invite you to experience it.
This site is an old tuna boat that went down in the early 1980's. Most of the wooden hull has long since disintegrated, but there is still some wreckage there. A large diesel motor and a huge brass propeller engulfed in netting provide sanctuary for fry and other species of marine life. There are also masts and large refrigeration units all laying in approximately 45 feet. In winter months Gay Bar Grunts and Goat Fish school by the thousands.
This site surrounded by sand, is a long bar, that harbors schools of huge grouper, some in excess of 200 lbs. In the spring of the year it is not uncommon to also see large Amberjacks and schooling Big Eye Jack. The depth of this reef is 55 feet and harbors many large green Moray Eels.
This reef is approximately 1/4 mile long and only 20 to 30 yards wide. The colors, coral and vegetation reminds us of Disneyland. This reef draws an extreme amount of tropical fish as well as resting turtles. Other divers have commented that "the visibility would have been better but they couldn't see through all the fish!". Surrounded by sand and thousands of Garden Eels, it is not unusual to see large Pargo and Grouper. This site has also attracted Whale Sharks, Porpoise, and Manta Rays.
This is another very popular reef for a number of reasons. It's maximum depth is 55 ft. with many small caverns that harbor very large Grouper and Dog Toothed Snapper. There are many ledges and crevices to yield protection to Octopus, resting turtles, playful Puffer fish and a wide variety of Star fish. Since Cabo Pulmo has become a protected area, a large school of Bat Rays have taken residence there and it is not uncommon to see Manta Rays as well. The top side of this site is covered with what seems to be acres of Elegant Stony Coral which provides a safe environment for Frog fish, Damsel, Wrasse, and other colorful tropical reef fish.
Like most of the reefs in Cabo Pulmo, this long bar of ledge-like reef is surrounded by a sandy bottom. Located in approximately 90 feet , the many cracks and crevices provide ample hiding places for many large grouper that fall into the 200 pound plus category. This site is never a disappointment as there is always something different there to peak your curiosity. We have seen Stingrays, Angel Shark, Nurse shark and even Hammerheads.
This small island protrudes slightly on the surface and then widens stoically into a thick hearty structure under water. This pinnacle-like structure is like diving in the round. It features many varieties of Sea Fans, Gorgonian, and Colonial Cup Corals that have become the signature of the Sea of Cortez. The structure itself is indigenous of the near by beach 's topography, with large boulders providing small caverns with portholes for great photo opportunities. Huge Bumbhead Parrot fish, and Scrawled Leather Jacket File fish are residents there as well as a seasonal, large school of swarming Big Eye Jacks.
Although we call them caves, there is no major overhead environment to these structures. With plenty of ambient light shining through many large portholes, the brilliant colors of the different varieties of corals,and an array of tropical fish provide a perfect composition for remarkable photos.
This beautiful and well protected bay is just south of Cabo Pulmo. It is a great mooring for sail boats as well as anchorage for larger yachts. A combination of smooth sandy bottom and large platelets of rock provide very interesting diving. The Sea Lion Colony The face of Cabo Los Frailes has almost a glacial appearance, minus the ice, of course! Large boulders that appeared to have rattled loose and fallen aimlessly into around 45 feet of water, provide a sanctuary for a colony of California Sea Lions. These playful creatures , as cumbersome as they are on land, are charmingly graceful under water. This site can be dived or may be used for an amusing surface interval. Large schools of sardines and many species of other tropical reef fish reside there as well.
This site is the deepest of the Frailes area and begins in approximately 50 feet and gently slopes to well beyond the recreational dive limit. There are very unique rock formations that were created when the platelets of the earth erupted over thousands of years ago. These large ledges and over hangs provide homes for an abundant supply of lobster and other marine life. It is not uncommon to see schools of Manta Rays, big Grouper and a large supply of conch.
Named after our friends, this reef provides an array of diversity. With large heads of Elegant Stony Coral, and a ships mast and motor, this site is really interesting. Lots of Giant Green Moray Eels, and a wide variety of other tropical reef fish reside here.