Scuba Diving Cabo San Lucas

Scuba Diving Cabo San Lucas: The Complete Guide

Formerly a small fishing village with few inhabitants, Cabo San Lucas is now known worldwide as one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. Postcard-worthy landscapes and pristine beaches ensure there’s something for every visitor.

Located on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is now renowned as a luxurious tourist city. Its incredible marine life and world-class marina bring visitors from all over the world who have a passion for fishing and water activity.

This goes for divers too, with the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean on your doorstep, you’re well taken care of! A variety of dive sites situated in the waters of the Mexican city make for many unique and interesting experiences scuba diving Cabo San Lucas.

Scuba Diving Cabo San Lucas

What’s Good About Cabo San Lucas Diving?

Since turning from a small fishing village into a luxury tourist hotspot, there’s been more of a focus on its watersports. Diving in Cabo has grown in popularity over the years. Here’s some of our favorite things about diving Cabo San Lucas.

Warm Waters

With temperatures warming up to around 75°F, you’ll have no problem with chill during your time diving in Cabo! The warm water also brings a host of tropical fish to the Mexican waters.

Variety

This part of Mexico plays host to many local dive sites in the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. These range from rocky reefs and caves to sponge-covered shipwrecks and walls. There really is something for every diver here and makes for an exciting diving trip from start to finish.

Caters to All Levels of Ability

Whether you’re here on vacation and looking to get your flippers wet for the first time or come equipped with years of experience and certifications, the dive sites of Cabo don’t leave anyone missing out!

Sites featuring heavy current are sure to get the adrenaline flowing in the experienced divers. There’s also plenty of less challenging dives fit for beginners and first-timers.

Cabo San Lucas Scuba Certification

Scuba Certification

There’s no requirement to be certified to dive the waters of Mexico. Moreover, there are many tour operators that cater to those of all levels of ability. No problem for a first-time diver. Thanks to the favorable conditions that the Mexican waters offer, there are plenty of beginner-friendly and easily accessible dive sites to get your flippers wet for the first time.

Having said that, it’s always recommended to get scuba certified to give yourself the best, most enjoyable diving experience possible. While you’ll have a great time scuba diving Cabo San Lucas as a first-time diver, there’s a lot you can miss out on without the extra confidence and diving experience. Such as the more challenging reefs and wrecks.

If you’re looking to get scuba certified during your Cabo vacation, there are plenty of diving schools available to choose from to complete your open water certification. Check out our recommended course below!

In addition, becoming scuba certified will help you feel more comfortable and confident underwater. This leads to maximum enjoyment and safety from your diving experience and something worth considering.

Cabo San Lucas Scuba Diving Requirements

Scuba Diving Safety

Mexico doesn’t have any specific laws or regulations with regards to diving. Though, there is a 16% levy on all diving activities in Mexico. As always, tour operators state that you must be in good physical condition and have some swimming ability. Children must be at least 10 years old to scuba dive with a tour operator.

With that said, it’s always highly recommended to have a dive buddy when you’re out scuba diving in the waters of Mexico, as it is anywhere else. This is particularly the case if you’re out diving without a tour operator or guide. In this situation, it’s also good practice to make use of diver down flags.

Best Dive Sites in Cabo San Lucas

Quite befittingly, our last stop in Mexico is Cabo San Lucas, which is located at the very end where the Cortez Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. This union is, in turn, responsible for the Great Reef, Pinnacle, and Wall Dives. I love how the extensive waters suit both novice and pro divers.

Your skill will be tested in the current-heavy submerged pinnacles and deep wrecks, highlighting the union of the above-mentioned water bodies. Overall, most of the diving is aided by small boats without compromising onshore diving. The top three locations to visit are:

Cabo San Lucas Marine Park

Cabo Reef

The first site that I’d like to talk about is the Cabo San Lucas Marine Park, which consists of several different locations. You’ll almost immediately see a large rock around 91 meters offshore. This is the Pelican Rock that’s the most accessible point in the park.

Next up, you’ll encounter the Northern Wall, which is the most protected site starting on a sandy slope submerged in about 3 meters of water. It concludes on the tip of a rocky wall at 7 meters. The entire stretch is made of multiple boulders, which doubles as hideouts for several sea creatures.

Finally, the Land’s End is where both beginners and experienced divers will find something to rejoice for.

If this sounds ideal to you, check out our recommended diving package below!

Chileno Bay

Cabo Dive

The shallow and calm waters of the Chileno Bay are every bit enticing for beginner divers. Again, this is a protected reef that starts at about 100 yards off the shore of the namesake beach and stretches out to the bay for nearly half a mile, if not more.

Ranging from 15 to 20 feet, the dive depth appeals to divers and snorkelers alike. Moreover, the entire area is covered with sea fans. And if you’re lucky, many other species like mantas, large sea bass, sea turtles, nurse sharks, starfish, flower urchins, and hydroids make for a common sight.

Check out our recommended experience below if you’re interested!

Santa Maria Bay

Vibrant Coral

Often tagged as the Island of Sun, the Santa Maria Bay has several protected areas built exclusively for diving and houses many marine species such as surgeon, angelfish, porcupinefish, pufferfish, groupers, hogfish, etc.

It’s flocked by divers from around the world in summer when whale sharks migrate to this part. I’d highly recommend scheduling your visit during this time to behold the beauty of whale sharks surrounded by tunas.

With a depth of about 3 to 15 meters, there are generally no currents to trouble you. But it’s not unusual for first-time divers to confuse the surge from waves as currents.

Check out our recommended experience below if cave diving is your thing!

Best Time to go Diving in Cabo San Lucas

The ideal time to go diving Cabo San Lucas is between November and May, particularly in the open ocean sites around Central Mexico. Reasons for this include the waters of the pacific being at their calmest at this time of year. What’s more, the weather is usually sunny and pleasant.

During these months, it’s also possible to spot whale migration in action or even a rare whale shark.

If you want to avoid the crowds and go in the off-season, June to October is also an option. Visibility is better at this time of year, but you’ll also have to face the hot and humid weather when you’re not under the water. This isn’t recommended for beginners, though, as the open ocean sites are difficult to reach.

How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost in Cabo San Lucas?

If you’re looking at booking an experience through a tour company, you’ll find prices between $100-$150. What’s more, all gear and fees will be included, leaving you nothing else to pay.

In addition, a PADI Open Water Certification will set you back around $500, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Scuba Diving Gear in Cabo San Lucas

Scuba Gear

There are some dive shops situated within Cabo so you’ll have no issue renting equipment for your dives.

What’s more, if you choose to go with a guided tour operator as shown above, equipment rental is included in the price.

However, if you’re a more keen and experienced diver, it might be time to start buying your own gear!

Be sure to check out our buyer’s guides if you’re looking for scuba gear. There you’ll find all of our top recommendations for a range of scuba gear!

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