Sea of Cortez

The Sea of Cortez, otherwise known as the Gulf of California, separates the Baja Peninsula with mainland Mexico on the Pacific coast. The sea itself is extremely diverse and supports a wide variety of marine species. It is common to see everything from Blue and Humpback whales, to Giant Pacific Mantas and Hammerhead sharks within the sea. Because of it’s great capacity to support so much life, conservation efforts have begun, along with a large part of the area being granted the privilege of being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Only several liveaboards visit the sea every year, so there are never many boats or other divers to see. The season to dive the Sea of Cortez usually falls between the Socorro Islands trips, and the Guadalupe season, during the summer months of July to September. During this time, the Pacific Ocean can be quite rough, so the protection of the Sea creates calmer conditions to dive in. However, there can be some swells coming in from the south, so everyone should be prepared for some motion. But the diving is fantastic, with the chance to see some small whale species, whale sharks, manta and mobula rays, along with sea lion colonies.

Trips depart and return from Puerto Peñasco in the very north of the sea on the Mexican mainland side. From here the dive sites are all quite nearby, so no very long sails are required and there is plenty of time to relax in the warm sun between dives. Puerto Peñasco can be reached by domestic flights from Mexico city, but the best way to get there is via overland from the US, as it is very close to the California and Arizona borders. The climate in the Sea of Cortez during the summer months is warm and typically dry. Only later in September and October do more rain storms develop.

Recommended Diving Liveaboards

Solmar V

From 380 USD/Day
luxury live-aboard dive vessel departing from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico—well within range of the most exciting diving in the Sea of Cortez and Soccoro Islands. During the weeks of our great white (...)


From 337 USD/Day
M/V Valentina offers comfortably diving liveaboard trips to SEA OF CORTEZ from the beautiful BAY OF LA PAZ, and to Socorro Islands from Puerto Los Cabos in Winter season. Liveaboard M/V Valentina (...)

Rocio Del Mar

From 312 USD/Day
With clear, deep blue waters, abundant sea life, white sand beaches and inspiring vistas, the Sea of Cortez - known as the Gulf of California - is a breathtaking destination for amazing scuba (...)

Quino el Guardian

From 249 USD/Day
Quino el Guardian is a ship that specifically built for scuba diving and scientific research. It offers various route in the Gulf of California, Sea of Cortez, Socorro Islands, Clipperton's (...)

Other Choices

Nautilus Belle Amie

From 499 USD/Day
Nautilus Belle Amie is a 135 foot, luxurious, modern vessel custom built for divers. It offers liveaboard diving trips to Socorro Islands and Guadalupe in Mexico. Liveaboard Nautilus Belle Amie (...)

Southern Sport

From 425 USD/Day
Southern Sport is operated by a professional Mexico local liveaboard operator with years of experience in diving, it offers dive liveaboard trips to Socorro Islands and Guadalupe Island according (...)

Sea Escape

From 387 USD/Day
Sea Escape is a diving liveaboard managed by a diver family knowing very well what you are looking for. They run trips in Sea of Cortez to dive with Sea Lions and schooling of Mobulas. Liveaboard (...)

Nautilus Under Sea

From 384 USD/Day
Nautilus Under Sea (formerly Undersea Hunter) is a professional deluxe vessel running by Nautilus Fleet, it offers dive liveaboard trips in the famous Socorro Islands, Sea of Cortez and Guadalupe (...)