Diving sites in Cabo Pulmo National Park
EL BAJO (40 – 60 ft) 450 mts
Definitively the dive site that comprises what Cabo Pulmo is all about, this underwater marvel is one of the places where you can see the major biodiversity in Cabo Pulmo. The number of large fish that you might see on a dive at El Bajo is hard to beat. You are likely to be welcomed by a number of ”unafraid of humans” leopard grouper (including some who are in their beautiful golden phase), giant gulf grouper, and prehistoric looking dog snapper. Also, you will likely to hit huge schools of fish, such as Bigeye Trevally, famous here in Cabo Pulmo among snorkelers and divers. Also, there are other large flowing schools of smaller fish such as the Yellow snapper and Gray and Burrito grunts that you will see along your way. And of course the beautiful Panamic Porkfish in smaller schools that are great to photograph because of the colors of the fish and the patterns that they make when the school is “polarized”. Small reef fishes of many kinds, eels, and a variety of rays are to be expected. Hard and soft corals complete this magnificent spot.
Los Morros (40 – 60 ft) 300 mts long
The closest dive spot to El Bajo, same depth, consisting of isolated patches of rocks and hard corals surrounded by sand. Totally “a box of surprises”, generally dive conditions are a bit harsher that the ones on El Bajo, the water can be murkier, colder, and the current stronger but a dive that is totally worth it. The north part is one of the most common places to find the big school of jacks, also known as the “fish tornado”. When the current is strong, we are able to just drift from El Bajo and cover this beautiful site all in one dive!
El Cantil (15 – 55 ft)
This wonderful site is basically a small canyon-wall dive, good for spotting cryptic fauna hiding in the plethora of holes, crevasses, caves, and roofs that this site offers to animals. The upper level of the wall is crowded with hard corals and Cortez Rainbow Wrasses; current at this level is usually stronger, so staying low is recommended. Huge schools of jacks, dog snappers, mobulas and cownose eagle rays roam the area in winter. In the small canyons, sometimes you can spot a big gulf grouper, or a goliath grouper too; and this place is full of gorgonians. Green morays and garden eels are here on the rocks and on the sand surrounding the deeper part of the reef. The north end of this site is a very special sector, crowded with fish, and one of the main spots for bull shark diving.
Usually the north end of El Cantil is crowded with schools of yellow snapper, graybar, and burrito grunt, with leopard grouper, and Milkfish in the middle of the water column. El Cantil is also another site for “jack tornadoes”. A must in a diving trip to Cabo Pulmo.
El Vencedor (Shipwreck) (40 – 45 ft)
This site consists of ship wreckage from 1980`s. These days the site is always packed with fish, especially schooling porcupinefish, grunts and snappers. The scattered metal structures left from the ship wreckage are not the center of the attraction: the wreckage includes motor parts, a large holding tank, propeller, pieces of the huge tuna net, and a fly wheel. What makes this place so spectacular is the amount of life that is always there and the fact that this is the most reliable area for bull shark encounters!. Large schools of colorful fish flow over and around the wreckage in ever-changing patterns of colors, with large leopard grouper and predatory amberjacks and dog snapper hanging out in dark corners or suddenly appearing unexpectedly, unconcerned about the diver watching from a few feet away. And anywhere from one to ten bull sharks may circle in and out …
La Esperanza (70 – 80 ft)
Pulmo´s underwater wild side; everything here is hiding or looking for lunch. This site lacks the richness in coral that other sites have, but that is compensated for by the sightings that you may have here, beginning with huge dog snappers, amberjacks, big turtles and a higher possibility than anywhere else in Cabo Pulmo that a Tiger Shark, Bull Shark or the Reef Whitetip Shark may show up. A lovely dive for the adventurous and daring!!!
El Cien (100 ft)
Standing up for its Spanish name (which means the hundred) this deep site is pretty much like La Esperanza, but deeper, with less coral because of this depth, and also home to the big guys of the reserve, and a shark sighting area.
This site is actually in a rocky inlet made out of boulders of several sizes. This is the perfect beach for people learning to dive because of its shallow depth, pool like quality and the protected nature of this site. A nice sandy area in which new divers can learn the basics of diving in a safe way both for them and the reef.
Next to Chopitos, going south along the coast is the Casitas site. This consists of a bunch of giant rocks below water level which have multiple caves and ratholes in which life flourishes. This is usually the next step on the “discover scuba diving” or DSD tours. There is plenty of life in here; shore fish such as surgeonfish and goatfish, wrasses, parrotfish and probably a turtle or two. Some of the caves have space enough to let a person pass, but this is a choice the Divemaster makes after checking your level of scuba skills.
Lobera, the local word for Sea Lion Colony, is a nice dive for everyone, both experienced and new divers. Here you dive around the off-shore rocks that protect sea lions from land predators such as coyotes. The rocks provide a good sundeck for passing the hours doing nothing but sunbathing. The playful creatures live here with the exception of hurricane season, when they leave for two months in August and September for more sheltered areas. This is a nice dive and a good place to take pictures of the sea lions, who are usually unafraid, curious and ready to pose for you!