Cabo Pulmo happens to be the only living coral reef on the western coast of North America which provides a safe refuge to numerous marine species. Back in the 80s, Cabo Pulmo suffered from commercial overfishing which caused havoc to its marine ecosystem. Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo came to its rescue before it was too late, and declared the 71.11-square-kilometre area surrounding Cabo Pulmo as a government protected National Marine Park on June 5, 1995.
Thus, from a highly busy fishing community, Cabo Pulmo transformed into a resort community resulting in a boost in tourism. The combined efforts of the Mexican government, conservationists, and private agencies paved the way for Cabo Pulmo to recover from human exploitation and flourish again. Its remarkable developments made Cabo Pulmo National Park the most recovered marine reserve in history.
Why dive in Cabo Pulmo?
Journeying to Cabo Pulmo, the gem of the East Cape region of Baja California Sur will give you an interlude from the modern and fast-paced world. Forget about cable and wifi connections and tune in to something even better … nature’s pure beauty with its untouched desert, amazing mountain range, pristine beaches, and turquoise waters with a breathtaking underwater world like no other. It’s no wonder, majority of visitors who come here have one thing on their minds which is to experience the astounding world beneath the waves through scuba diving.
The enticing appeal of the Sea of Cortez, natural tranquility, and abundance of marine life attract scuba divers from all over the world to Cabo Pulmo; from amateurs to professional divers, and folks who want to learn to scuba dive. This remote location boasts of several beautiful scuba diving sites such as:
El Bajo – This diving site features a submerged group of three pinnacles with unpredictable currents which makes it ideal for experienced divers. Summer is a good time to dive here to appreciate the spectacular hard and soft corals, and witness activities of schools of leopard-grouper, yellowtail snapper, wrasse, burrito grunt, porkfish, and dog snapper. You can also get a chance to see pufferfish, porcupine jacks, garden eels, and different kinds of moray eels. With some luck, you might encounter turtles effortlessly gliding in the water while they get a free cleaning from wrasse. During Winter, the sandy bottom of El Bajo becomes a love nest for reproducing stingrays and draws in huge numbers of cownose rays, mobulas, and smaller manta rays. Dolphins, porpoise, whales, and the majestic whale shark also find their way to El Bajo which can be a welcome sight for lucky divers.
El Cantil – Divers of all levels can enjoy diving at El Cantil, with shallow waters (El Cantilito) at only 20 feet and maximum depth at 55 feet. Beginner divers can take advantage of the shallow areas surrounded by hard corals where you can spot wrasse and parrot fish. As you make your way to the west side, you’ll come across tunnels and canyons where garden eels dwell. The more inquisitive divers can take a peek at the cracks and crevices to discover hiding green moray eels, sea urchins, reef fish, and colorful nudibranchs while underwater photographers can have a field day taking snapshots of the vibrant marine surroundings. Towards the north, divers can expect deeper waters with sightings of large dog snappers, groupers, yellow snappers, goatfish, Graybar grunts, and schools of bat rays. Don’t be surprised if you see some manta rays glide across the waters.
Cabo Pulmo Wrecks – If you have a taste for mystery, Cabo Pulmo has two wreck sites worth exploring. There is a freight wreck, Colima that capsized 30-40 feet during a huge storm in 1939 and the other is the remains of a tuna boat which sank about 50 feet in 1978. Through the years, these wrecks have become a haven for fish and other marine creatures. Many enthusiastic underwater photographers also visit the wrecks to capture amazing photos.
Islote – No need for GPS when you’re diving in this small rock island, also known as White Rock Pinnacle and Pulmo Rock. As you make your descent on this great wall, you’ll see a spectacular display of fan corals, gorgonian, and hard corals. The walls enveloped in corals provide a great hiding place for crustaceans like small sea spiders, crab fish, and spiny lobsters. Experienced divers who venture deeper down the wall have the chance to spot marine residents like snappers, groupers, scorpion fish, cabrilla, creole fish, cornet fish, pompano, and hawksbill turtles. Occasional eels, morays, and rays also reside on the rock wall while the sandy bottom is a favorite playground of bull sharks.
Frailes Rock Sea Lion Colony – This area is known for its large rocks where sea lions congregate between January and October. Fit for both snorkelers and divers, these rocky slopes have an interesting mix of marine creatures but the real attraction, of course, are the playful sea lions that love to show off their underwater somersaults.
Los Frailes Bay – The wall is ideal for both the beginner and advanced divers with a depth of 20 to 60 feet. This perfectly sheltered bay is great for night diving as the rocks come alive when the light from the diving torch reveals intriguing marine life such as eels, parrot fish, grunts, pufferfish, and lobsters. The more experienced divers may venture deeper into the canyon.
Eileen’s Reef – This reef is known for its distinctive humongous head coral which is why it’s sometimes referred to as the inner “Broccoli Forest Reef”. Snorkelers and newbie divers can enjoy diving in its 10-20 feet of water with abundant colorful reef fish.
Roca de Jonathan – Also fondly called the middle “Broccoli Forest Reef”, this area is disconnected from the inner reef by large fingers of sand. Regular marine occupants are groupers, bass, and large groups of scallops and conch. Whale sharks are also known to visit this part to feed on plankton.
Piedras Wohlford Reef – Known as the outer “Broccoli Forest Reef”, this portion located approximately 1/4 to 1/2 mile directly east of Antares point houses schools of reef fish.
The geography of Cabo Pulmo offers a natural sanctuary to the reefs and its marine inhabitants. Scuba divers who come here to whet their appetites for an aquatic adventure find themselves in awe of the rare underwater beauty. With over 6,000 species found in these waters, one or two dives are simply not enough and divers find themselves coming back for more. Don’t let your curiosity end here. Come and take a dip in these top dive locations through our Cabo Pulmo scuba diving packages.