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The Sea of Cortez is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that separates the Baja Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. It is thought to be one of the most diverse seas on the planet with the widest variety of whales and dolphins, and home to nearly 900 species of fish.

This warm body of nutrient-rich water basks in sunshine throughout the year and is home to many endemic species as well as pods of pilot whales, sea lions, dolphin, jumping mobula (devil) rays, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, turtles and orca. Discover dive sites such as Los Islotes, famous for its sea lion rookery, El Bajo, a seamount attracting large pelagic species, the colourful reef of Isla Las Animas and the artificial wreck, Fang Ming, with its amazing marine life that now resides on and around the vessel.

Diving operates Jun-Nov to the dive sites around Isla Espiritu Santo in the south where you can spend time staying and diving at an eco-camp (minimum stay is three nights). During these months you can encounter whale sharks, sea lions, Mexican barracuda, whales and dolphin. The Midriff Islands in the north are best visited by liveaboard between July and September. It's here you can expect an incredibe biodiversity of wildlife both topside and underwater, the highlight for many being the snorkelling with the whale sharks at Bahia de los Angeles.

Water temperature ranges from 23-26C and visibility from 10-30 metres.

View suggested itinerary

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: scalloped hammerhead shark, common dolphin, whale shark, humpback whale, olive ridley turtle, California sea lion

Dive trips

This dive location is featured in the following itinerary:

BIG in Mexico

Dive the Sea of Cortez, one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. Discover the dive sites around Espiritu Santo and expect plenty of large marine life including sea lions, hammerheads and whale sharks.

  • When to go: Sep-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,295 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Costa Baja Resort & Spa

With its breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez, this luxurious resort is perfectly located to discover one of the greatest marine reserves in the world, home to whales, dolphins and a plethora of fish species.

La Concha Beach Resort

Located on the shores of the Sea of Cortez, this beachfront resort has a relaxed ambience and is a great base from which to explore this incredible location, famed for its large marine life.

Suggested liveaboards are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

MV Valentina

Dive the Sea of Cortez and Socorro in season from this comfortable liveaboard. The MV Valentina offers unique itineraries to these sought-after locations, famed for their incredible marine life encounters.

Nautilus Under Sea

This classic liveaboard caters to adventurous divers looking to spend time at Socorro - renowned for its shark and unique manta encounters - and Isla Guadalupe, famous for its great white sharks.

Rocio Del Mar

This owner operated liveaboard explores the Midriff Islands, Sea of Cortez and Socorro throughout the year, offering expedition diving itineraries, adventure and an incredible marine biodiversity.