It’s a mistake to think that all the Sea of Cortez has to offer divers is bathtub-warm and gin-clear diving in La Paz and Cabo Pulmo in October and November. Bahhhhhh. There is so much more to this magnificent ocean surrounded by the desert. We have been exploring and guiding trips in the Sea of Cortez for 49 years, and yet we are still surprised at how cool this place is, how little we really understand it, and how little we truly know about it. Our adventure and love for the Sea of Cortez are old and mature but still fresh and exciting.
Yes, we run day trip adventures from our bases in La Paz, San Jose del Cabo, and Cabo San Lucas, and we keep our own panga ready to go at Cabo Pulmo. Our new high-speed 48-footers have changed the calculus of diving in La Paz, making day runs to La Reyna and El Baja effortless and putting La Animas within range for day trips. San Jose del Cabo diving is the secret gem of Cabo, with no crowds, virtually no other divers, and some truly great diving very close to the marina. We also keep a 48-footer here.
5 night get-aways from La Paz are the classic trip that we have offered for more decades than we care to think about! 6 days / 5 nights. August to December. Espiritu Santo, La Reyna (fingers crossed on giant mantas), Cerralvo, El Bajo pinnacles, San Franciscito and Las Animas. From a nadir 25 years ago, strong fisheries enforcement by the government of Mexico has resulted in a regeneration of life in the Sea of Cortez. The diving is great! Plus, the seas can be so calm your big ocean-going liveaboard remains completely still for days at a time.
But the adventure really began when we put Scout, our fearless Citabria 7GCBC spotter aircraft, into service with pilot and an observer/naturalist, along with direct satellite communication with our ships. We thought we knew the Sea of Cortez but Scout opened our eyes. Blue whales, fin back whales, solitary whale sharks, humpback whales, cow nose rays, enormous schools of mobula rays and bait ball are all seasonal and we can spot from the air in a way that was never possible from our ships. Large pods of dolphins and sperm whales are resident year-round. We have even been able to spot hammerhead sharks from the air! The pièce de résistance is the orcas (killer whales). While we used to see them several times a year in the Sea of Cortez, they are now frequent year-round visitors, and Scout is the best way to locate them. Noting that we had an incredible number of sightings last year, but are not seeing them as often this year.
Mobula & Orca Trips
8 days / 7 nights. April to July. This is peak season for the large schools of mobula rays. We are pretty darned sure to see fin back whales and loads of dolphins. Blue whales and humpbacks in the earlier part of the season. And then solitary whale sharks. The water gets warmer and the in-water visibility and diving gets better and better as the season progresses. These trips are heavy on spending time on the water in one of our high-speed pursuit boats working in tandem with your liveaboard. Getting in the water with orcas is our fierce ambition on these trips, and we will do everything we can to accommodate that, all dependent on what Mother Ocean has in store for us.
Ultimate Whale Shark Adventures
8 days / 7 nights. June to October. Bahia de Los Angeles is quiet and secluded area, but incredibly special for the large number of whale sharks that aggregate here from May to October. Getting in the water with surprisingly inquisitive whale sharks combined with very few other boats or people around is the highlight of this trip although visiting tiny Isla San Pedro Martin is a close second. This is a travelling trip at night, activities during the day. Meeting in Cabo or La Paz. Evening departure from La Paz. Morning arrival in the Loreto area for diving and other fun and then onwards!
Loreto Great Circle
8 days / 7 nights. August to December. Loreto is an acquired taste! The top-side scenery is the most magnificent in Baja, truly gorgeous. Not to mention the deserted white sand beaches that we are welcome to explore, along with great opportunities for diving, kayaking, and swimming. We hadn’t spent much time diving around Loreto until our recent explorations, we discovered some really nice diving including pinnacles, coral, big schools of fish and a navy ship sunk as an artificial reef. This adventure combines our 5-night get-away with an extra 2 days around Loreto.
Baja Ultimate Whales
8 days / 7 nights. Mid-January to March. This is an action-packed trip that starts in San José del Cabo, heading out to sea for humpback whale watching. And then onward to La Paz and Espiritu Santo for sea lions, and hopefully, whale sharks. Boarding our expedition yacht, we head north for blue whales, fin backs, and dolphins, explore remote islands and shore walks, with Scout out looking for sperm whales and orcas. And then private charter flight to San Ignacio Lagoon for luxury glamping and the most amazing whale interaction on the planet. Finally, return flight back to Los Cabos.