SEA OF CORTEZ
Whale Encounters, whale sharks and epic
Midriff Islands, Northern Sea of Cortez, Mexico.
Rocio del Mar
luxury Liveaboard dive vessel
Open water certification required. Expect a little current
and some deeper dives.
READ OUR 2015 SEA OF CORTEZ
7 Nights accommodation aboard the
luxury liveaboard Rocio del Mar, 6 days of boat
diving (3 or 4 dives per day), tanks and weights, Snorkeling
with whales and whale sharks. All meals while onboard.
Flights, land transfers, personal dive equipment, alcohol.
DIVE THE MIDRIFF ISLANDS
IN THE HEART OF THE SEA OF CORTEZ
With clear, deep blue waters, abundant sea life, white sand
beaches and inspiring vistas, the Midriffs are an amazing
destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. Legendary diver
Jacques Cousteau described the Sea of Cortez as the "world's
aquarium" and the "Galapagos of the North.”
Dive on untouched walls and shallow reefs abounding in marine life.
Encounter great and small whale species, whale sharks, manta
and jumping mobula rays, and sea lion colonies. Then, go
ashore in one of the tenders and explore the terrestrial
fauna and flora on these remote uninhabited islets.
This will be a epic expedition with a great deal of variety.
If you're a photographer, bring all your lenses from fisheye (for underwater whale
shots) to wide angle and macro, and a good telephoto for
above-water marine mammal encounters and jumping mobula
WITH PILOT WHALES AND OTHER CETACEAN SPECIES
This is an amazing itinerary. Join us aboard the Liveaboard
Dive Vessel Rocio del Mar and sail to the Midriff Islands in
the rarely explored Northern Sea of Cortez. In between dives,
join us in the search for pilot whales, finback whales and sperm whales
as they navigate through the Gulf of California on their long
Enter the water with these amazing cetaceans and come home
with memories you will never forget.
The reef life in the Sea of Cortez generally
starts in shallow water where you will find fan corals,
enormous pink sponges, huge schools of triggerfish and
barracudas, and a myriad of other unique species. Once
you've taken in the overall vista, try your luck at spotting
some of the smaller exotics that are commonly found here
such as Pacific seahorses and colorful nudibranchs.
STROLL THROUGH FORESTS OF BLACK CORAL
Perhaps the most beautiful places to explore
in the Sea of Cortez are the black coral forests that can be
found in slightly deeper water below most of the dive sites
you will visit. Once you reach 25m/80ft the fan corals and
sponges give way to enormous swathes of what looks like huge
green bushes. These are actually black coral colonies that
dominate the deeper reefs of the desert sea.
HUMBOLDT SQUID FROM THE SAFETY OF THE SHIP
Humboldt squid are rarely aggressive but they are large (up
long) predatory cephalopods equipped with taloned tentacles
and suckers ringed with teeth.
Adult Humboldts form schools of up to 1200 animals and can
swim at an impressive 24kph. They are known as 'red demons'
because of their vivid coloration and occasionally
We go to the deepest part of the sea. At about 2000 feet
(usually where we snorkeled with the sperm
whales during the day) this is where we get some action.
Once one bites and we bring it up the rest
of them follow. The light brings up a lot of nutrients and
it becomes a feeding frenzy. Once in a while
we bring one up with another attach to the one coming up,
We do not enter the water with the humboldts but
photographers can hand-cam from the dive deck to get epic
underwater images of these curious creatures.
WITH WHALE SHARKS
During our circumnavigation of the northern
Sea of Cortez we will visit Bahia De Los Angeles where you
will have a chance to swim with the largest fish in the sea.
Whale sharks aggregate in this area in the late summer to
feast on plankton that collects in the bay. This is a
wonderful opportunity to swim with these behemoths against
the backdrop of the surrounding mountains!
ENDEMIC SHARKS AND RAYS ON VIRTUALLY EVERY DIVE
No Big Fish Expedtion
would be complete without the chance of an endemic shark and ray
encounter! Fortunately, there are so many ray species in the
Sea of Cortez that you are very unlikely NOT to see at least
one or two on every dive.
There are three species of round stingrays,
two species of guitarfish, two species of larger stingrays,
four species of mobula rays and two types of electric rays.
Above and beyond the common species, you may
see a hammerhead or two but the holy grail is the endemic
Mexican horn shark. The Midriff Islands is the only place in the
Eastern Pacific where you have a good chance of seeing this
Join the adventure:
RAMBUNCTIOUS, FRIENDLY CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS
Join us at
multiple California sealion colonies throughout the Midriffs.
Play with curious sea lions tugging at your fins or blowing
bubbles in front of your face. Fin along with scores of tiny sea lion pups cavort under the watchful
eyes of their parents. An experience you'll remember
RELAX ON THE
ROCIO DEL MAR
After a long eventful day of diving, what
better way to relax than to kick back with a cold drink on the sundeck of the
luxurious liveaboard dive vessel Rocio del Mar and watch the
sun set over the desert sea.
Day 1. Board the Rocio Del Mar in Puerto
Penasco at 5pm and
Day 2. Wake up at Refugio Bay on Angel Island
Potential Dive sites: Angel Rock, La Vela, Lolo’s Cove, El
Day 3. Angel Island
Potential Dive sites: Andrea’s Eagle, El Aquario, Las
Vivoras, Las Vivoras Night Dive
Day 4. Salsipuedes
Potential Dive sites: Los Cuervos, El Caballo, In Animas, El
Lavadero, El Lavadero Night Dive
Day 5. San Pedro Martir
Potential Dive sites: Ravijunco, Xareni’s Pinnacle, Coromel,
Day 6. San Pedro Martir
Potential Dive sites: El Arroyo, Punta Martir (Sea Lions),
Day 7. Head back towards Puerto Penasco
Potential Dive sites: El Pescador, Baja Ca., Animas in Bahia
de Los Angeles, La Ventana.
Day 8. After a light breakfast, disembark at 7am for the
journey back to Phoenix.
EASY ACCESS FROM NORTH
Puerto Penasco is about a 4 hour drive south
of Phoenix, Arizona. Avoid all the hassles of Mexican air
transfers by flying into Phoenix Sky Harbour Airport and
catching the comfortable shuttle with our other guests.
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