Discovering Mexico’s under-the-radar diving destination

Many people are not familiar with the name Cabo Pulmo, a protected marine area on the east coast of Baja, California, Mexico. The area is only a 90-minute drive from Los Cabos Airport, but it’s a world away in terms of experiences for travelers.

Cabo Pulmo has one of the largest, most diverse reef systems in North America with more than 800 species of marine life, including 300 different species of fish. In fact, it is often referred to as the aquarium of the world because of its diversity.

This under-the-radar area became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and yet is still relatively unknown to many travelers. It is a destination for those looking for an adventure holiday with an incredible underwater ecosystem.

Cabo Pulmo is a world-class diving destination and boasts one of the largest assemblages of sharks in the world—including the tiger shark, tiger shark, great hammerhead, black tip and great white. This area is also home to five of the world’s seven endangered sea turtle species.

Diving here is strictly regulated. No more than six divers per guide. A maximum of three dive boats per site and must wait 20 minutes between groups. each group must be at least eight feet away from the coral.

The dive sites in Cabo Pulmo offer a range of opportunities. El Vencedor is the site of a shipwreck (a tuna trawler sunk in the early 1980s) and is known to have bull sharks year-round. Another site called El Bajo offers a special reef that is full of marine life such as turtles, rays, eels, lobsters and in certain seasons, Jureles (endemic fish from the area) that often form circles around them when they swim.

Different seasons also offer different sights. Mobula rays can be seen in summer, whales from December to April and orcas from May to October.

La Paz—which is just a short distance away—is world famous for swimming with whale sharks. This activity is a bucket list trip for many travelers.

In addition to diving, Cabo Pulmo has other eco-friendly active adventure options such as snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, kite walking, and wind surfing.

There are plenty of places to stay in the area, from glamping to wellness deals and high-end hotels. White Lodge focuses on healing and wellness packages that often include massage treatments combined with the Cacao Temazcalli ceremony. The Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos in Costa Palmas combines luxury and adventure and often attracts families.

There is also a good variety of restaurants in the area, including Zai Sushi Surf Bar, which has good water views and fresh sushi. Tacos & Beer Cabo Pulmo is a popular spot and is known for its marlin quesadillas and shrimp tacos. For an upscale experience with a focus on organic ingredients and local fish, Courteous Blue Restaurant serves Baja-Mediterranean cuisine.

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