Cabo San Lucas Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
What to expect
The Sea of Cortez is home to the largest variety of marine life in the world. The unique location at the tip of the Baja Peninsula brings together sea life from both the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez. The warm waters, great weather, and preserved habitat make this the worlds largest playground for fish and other sea creatures.
When you visit Cabo San Lucas, do not pass up the opportunity to be face to face with the most spectacular marine life. You can get up close and personal with the giant Pacific manta rays, sea turtles, schools of tropical fish, tuna, playful seals, a white tip shark, or much more. There are dive locations that accommodate everyone from the first time divers to advanced divers looking for some unique sightings like underwater caves and open water dives.
Scuba diving in Cabo San Lucas is a safe and fun adventure for the entire family. Los Cabos scuba diving companies are a great value for an experience that you will remember forever. Create lasting memories with your family under the Sea of Cortez and see why Baja California is such a popular scuba diving destination.
If you are a beginner diver, you will need some sort of certification before you jump in the Sea of Cortez. Every single Los Cabos scuba diving operator will offer a “Discover Scuba Diving Resort” course. The prices for this basic 3 hour course range from $86-$115 and will certify you for the duration of your stay, but you only will be able to dive near shore and up to 40 feet in depth. Unfortunately, this course only gives you a temporary certification that cannot be used for Scuba Diving anywhere else or any other time.
Full open water certification is a bit pricier, but you will be rewarded with a permanent certification that will save you time and money everywhere in the world when you want to go scuba diving. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, Cabo San Lucas is the perfect place to start. All service operators will offer a full PADI Open Water certification couse. Prices range from a $300 entry level 2 day PADI open water course to a 4 day certification for $450.
Once you have PADI certification, Scuba Diving in Cabo San Lucas is a great value considering the low cost and spectacular marine life. With a certification, you can go on a two tank dive for around $75, an expedition out to the famous Cabo Pulmo dive spot for $150-$235, or even a one tank night dive for as low as $50. You can mix and match different packages, multiple day diving, or even advanced certifications to make the most of your trip to Baja. Most companies will offer equipment rental for $20/day (such as a B.C.D., regulator, wet suit, fins, mask and snorkel).
Popular Scuba Diving Sites
- Cabo Pulmo: Hands down the most famous diving spot in all of Los Cabos and one of the best in the world. Cabo Pulmo is home to the only living coral reef on the west coast of North America. The coral reef area is protected by the Mexican government and over the past 20 years has flourished and become home to a vibrant sea life. Thanks to strict conservation measures, Cabo Pulmo is still available today for scuba divers to enjoy. If you love scuba diving, do not miss your chance to see this beautiful marine sanctuary up close.
- Gordo Banks: This spot may not have the beautiful living coral reef like Cabo Pulmo, but it is home to schools of some spectacular species. The location iis only for advanced divers only because the depth is at about 110’ to 130’ and can have strong currents. But if you make it down below, you will have plenty of sea life to watch. From schooling hammerheads, game fish, and jacks to the bull sharks, manta rays, and giant whale shark, you will be diving alongside some amazing creatures.
- Chileno Reef: Just off the coast of the tourist corridor of Cabo San Lucas, the Chileno reef is a 40’ to 80’ dive great for beginners and snorkelers. The reef stretches from Chileno beach for one half of a mile out to sea and is filled with tropical life like starfish, flower urchins, eels, and even an occasional sea manta, sea bass, sea turtle, and nurse sharks.
- Santa Maria: 20’-60’ depth dive with great reef and corals. The colorful dive is perfect for photos so bring your underwater camera. This is a great beginner to intermediate dive that delivers amazing sights and tons of sea life.
- Blowhole: This is another great diving spot in the corridor area that is home to a huge rock covered in gorgonians. The site occasionally has bat rays, eagle rays, grouper fish, and even a few manta and whale sharks have been spotted. The location gets its name from a nearby blowhole onshore.
Near Cabo San Lucas
- Pelican Rock - Sand Falls: One of the most popular diving spots for beginners is only 5 minutes from the Cabo Marina. The spot is out by Land’s End, alongside the rocky walls that are home to an abundance of sea fans, goat fish, puffers, eels, and parrotfish. The diving spot starts at only 20 foot depth, so people who opted to do the basic discover scuba course are allowed to dive here with some great views of life under the sea. For more advanced divers with PADI certification, you can dive down to 90 feet where the famous underwater sand waterfalls are. The sand is literally falling into the deep valley below and is a great site for photographers.
- Neptune’s Finger (La Larga): Another great dive spot near Land’s End is Neptune’s Finger, perfect for intermediate to advanced divers. The dive goes from 25-130 feet in depth along a rock wall. You will see plenty of gorgonians and sea fans along with large schools of barracuda, tropicals, and an occasional tuna, shark, or manta ray. At the lower depths, you will also find another sandfall.
- Land’s End (La Punta): This is one of the most unique dive spots in the world because you get to dive in the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean during the same dive. The depths range from 20 to 90 feet and there is an abundance of sea life at this spot. You will see turtles, large sea bass, sea lions, gamefish, octopus, tropical fish, and even whale sharks and mantas. The site is generally for advanced divers only because of the strong currents.
- North Wall (Las Cuevas): The North Wall is another great dive spot for beginners who have taken the resort course but also offers depths up to 130 feet for more experienced divers.The shallow waters have a reef that is provides amazing sites easily accessible by beginners and snorkelers.
Scuba Diving Providers in Cabo San Lucas
- Amigos Del Mar: https://www.amigosdelmar.com/
- Andromeda Divers: https://www.scubadivecabo.com
- Baja Dive: https://www.scubadivingcabosanlucas.net/
- *Cabo Adventures: https://www.cabo-adventures.com/tours/scuba
- Cabo Sailing Dive Charters: https://www.cabosailing.com/sail-and-scuba/dive-charters/
- Cabo San Lucas Tours: https://www.cabosanlucastours.net/Scuba-Diving.htm
- Cabo Scuba Dive: https://caboscubadive.com/
- Dive Cabo San Lucas: https://www.divecabosanlucas.com/
- Eagle Divers: https://www.eaglediver.com/
- Land’s End Divers: https://www.mexonline.com/landsend.htm
- *Los Cabos Deep Blue: https://cabodeepblue.com/
- Manta Scuba Diving: https://www.caboscuba.com/
- Oceanus Los Cabos: https://www.oceanusloscabos.com.mx
- Scuba Dive Cabo San Lucas: https://www.scubadivecabosanlucas.com/
- *Sunshine Dive & Charter: https://www.divecabo.com/
- *Tio Sports: https://www.tiosports.com/
*Top rated and reviewed service providers
- Can I scuba dive in Cabo without any diving experience? Yes! Almost all of the Los Cabos scuba diving providers are certified and capable of providing everything from a basic education course for beginners to full deep water certification. Cabo San Lucas is a great place for your first scuba diving adventure.
- Are sharks dangerous to swim around? The movie Jaws is just that, a movie. In real life, scuba diving around sharks is one of those most exciting experiences. These graceful creatures are some of the most misunderstood fish in the sea. The majority of sharks you will encounter are smaller and will likely remain far away from any scuba divers. It is highly improbably you will ever encounter a great white shark, especially since they do not live in the warm waters of Los Cabos. Your safety is a top concern in Cabo, and sharks are not a threat in the area.
- Will I experience the “bends?” When you Scuba in Cabo, you are required to take at least a basic certification or education course. Preventing decompression sickness is as simple as following instructions and only descending or ascending slowly, usually stopping 15 feet before you surface for one last decompression. If you are just a beginner, you will probably not be diving deeper than 60 feet which is when “the bends” is usually an important factor to consider. Most divers have never experienced this and you probably won’t either.
- When is the best time to go scuba diving in Cabo? The water starts to really warm up around July and stays warm, with good visibility, through January. During this time you can witness large schools of tuna, large marlin, and even whales who are migrating south.
- Do I need my own gear? You do not need to bring any scuba diving gear with you to Cabo San Lucas unless you absolutely want to. There are multiple companies with high quality equipment available for rent, including wetsuits thick enough for the current water temperature.
- Is it expensive to go scuba diving? The actual certification process can seem a little expensive, but once you are certified scuba diving is a fairly low cost sport. Renting equipment in the beginning is a great way to save money instead of trying to purchase all of the gear up front. If you compare the prices of scuba diving to another popular sport like fishing in Cabo San Lucas, you will see that you can Scuba dive for a much lower cost.
- Is scuba diving dangerous? All adventure sports of some small risks, but scuba diving is one of the safest sports around. With a good certification course from a reputable instructor and new equipment, you should be able to have the time of your life without any risk of death or injury. Several decades ago when scuba diving was still a new sport, the technologically and knowledge was not advanced enough to protect everyone. Nowadays, many safety precautions are taken to insure you and your friends will have a safe experience.
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