Airports: (Airport Code LAP): The closest major airport to La Paz, Mexico is Manuel Márquez de León International Airport (LAP / MMLP). This airport is about 12 km from the center of La Paz, Mexico.
Currency: The Peso is the official currency of Mexico, although the US Dollar and other major currencies are widely accepted as well.
Climate: The average year-round temperature is 78F. During high tourist season, October to April, the temperature is typically 80F during the day and cools to the 60′s at night. The low tourist season, May to September, the temperature will go up to 100F+ during the day and stay in the upper 70′s and low 80′s in the evening. The winter months (December-February) bring the averages down with daytime temps in the mid 70s and night temps in the high 50s.
The climate is arid with over 300 days of sunshine, with some reports of over 350 days. Average annual rainfall is 10 inches (25.4cm), most with occurring during the months of September and October.
Water Temperature: The average year-round water temperature in the Sea of Cortez is 72F. During the summer months the water temperature can reach the mid 80′s.
Language: Spanish is the official language of Mexico, but English is widely spoken in the tourist areas.
Dive Sites: Courtesy Dive Master Andrea Tomba The Salvatierra “The Wreck” This site is the wreck of the cargo ferry “La Salvatierra” which sank in 1976 moments after striking Swanee Rock (subsequently fitted with a warning light) of the hundreds of passengers not one life was lost and the Insurance company actually paid everyone for their losses…50 pesos each! The Salvatierra is laying on a sand bottom in 60 ft of depth, and is aprox. 70% intact with both propellers exposed. Many of the trucks which were her cargo are still visible and their tyres remain inflated to this day. The wreck has formed an “artificial reef” attracting a wide variety of sea life. This is an interesting and enjoyable wreck dive with no penetration. Subject to current. Rocas Lobos “Sea Lion Rocks” A local dive site boasting a large number of coral heads, small caves and overhangs. This is our most popular night dive site, one can see huge sleeping Parrot fish (Scarus compressus) cocooned in their own mucus hiding their scent from potential predators and upon waking, swim free of the cocoon. Once the home of a colony of Sea Lions who occasionally return to visit their old home. There’s a multitude of fish life and several species of Ray buried in the surrounding sand. Gaviota Wrecks “Los Barcos de Isla Gaviota” Just offshore Isla Gaviota (Seagull Island) in the bay of La Paz we descend to between 45 – 60 ft (14 – 18 meters) to explore 2 sunken wooden boats with some penetration which have become home to much sea life. Anemones, Sergeant Majors, & Lobster are among the abundant sea life to be found in and around the wrecks and the surrounding coast and its caves. ISLA ESPIRITU SANTO DIVE SITES El Bajo “Marisla Seamount” The Seamount is located 8.2 miles, 032° from Los Islotes. There are three distinct underwater peaks arrayed along a three hundred yard line running 120°-300°, the northernmost rising to within 83 ft of the surface, the central peak to within 52 ft and the southern to within 69 ft. The central peak, with its shallow depths and relatively flat top, is the primary dive site and anchoring location. This is one of the premier dive sites in the world for schooling Hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini). Schools range from between six to hundreds traveling in a clockwise direction around the seamount for unknown reasons. While schooling, Hammerheads are not aggressive, and reassuringly enough they actually appear disinterested in divers. As a seamount El Bajo is home to an abundance of sea life, mass schooling fish (Amber Jacks , Tuna etc), octopus (O. hubbsorum) and the impressive Panamic Green Moray Eel (Gymnothorax castaneus) ; a colony of over fifty can be found in a small submarine canyon. Aside from possible encounters with Hammerheads frequent visitors to the seamount include; Whale Sharks and Giant Pacific Manta Rays (Manta hamiltoni). This dive can be subject to current and weather conditions. Note: Advanced Dive Los Islotes “The Colony” Situated 1/2 mile north of the tip of Isla Espiritu Santo are Los Islotes, two large rock islets one of which has a natural arch. Diving through the center of this natural rock formation brimming with life one can expect to see dense shoals of silver Sardines, blue and gold King Angelfish, and yellow surgeonfish amongst golden cup corals. These islets are home to a colony of over 200 California Brown Sea Lions. These inquisitive creatures take great interest in those visiting their home. One can often turn to find the pups pulling at your fins, eager to play, showing off and turning circles around our comparatively clumsy underwater movements. The larger bulls become pugnacious and territorial during the mating season in protection of their harem. Underwater circumnavigation of these islands is invariably exciting and always visually diverse. Naked Lady “Los Muellecitos” This site is along the northernmost point of Isla Espiritu Santo, its main feature is a long “wall” descending to 75 ft. (23 meters) we can see passing Mantas, several species of Moray, octopus, Gorgonias, Colonial Cup Coral and large Sea Fans to name but a few of the delights of this dive. Rocas Tintorera “Tigershark rocks” These small offshore rocks are the tip of a series of underwater rock columns. Diving to 70 ft. (21 meters) we explore the huge rock formations and their life; Morays, Cabrilla, Panama Graysby, Snapper, Octopus, King Angelfish, Parrotfish, etc. This wonderful dive is subject to currents. Isla Ballena “Whale Island” A small Island off the west coast of Isla Espiritu Santo featuring several dive-through caves one of which has a pocket of air allowing divers to surface inside the rock. Between the islands is a sand shelf containing a large “garden” of Conger Eels (Taeniconger digueti) – these peculiar creatures feed by extending their bodies vertically from holes in the sea floor, swaying in the currents whilst waiting for passing morsels. Schools of Rays and Pods of Dolphins can be seen passing this tranquil dive site. Diving level: All Fang Ming & Lapas 03 On the 18th November 1999, two Chinese metal vessels named Fang Ming and Lapas03, of 56 meters and 36 meters of length respectively were sunk close to Isla Ballena. These vessels were confiscated by the Mexican government for the illegal transportation of immigrants, and remained in their possession until the golden opportunity arose of taking advantage of the situation to create an artificial reef. Offering full penetration diving over numerous levels, the wrecks offers the ideal setting for indulging in a wreck diver specialty. ISLA CERRALVO La Reyna “The Queen” A rock islet just north of Isla Cerralvo with a lighthouse. This site is among the most beautiful in the area. In depths of 80 ft. (25 meters) a large reef is found populated by Gorgonias of all types, Brain Corals, large schools of brightly colored tropical fish, rays, Green, Zebra and Jeweled Morays. This is a “Must Dive” site!. This dive is subject to current. La Reynita “The Little Queen” This small rock pinnacle located on the west side of Isla Cerralvo has a constant current in which schools of fish “hang” waiting for their dinner to pass. Large Groupers, Sea fans, Brain corals, and Conger Garden Eels are among the attractions which make this a favorite site. Depth from 60-100 ft. (18-30 meters).