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Los Cabos Summer Dive Fiesta

Like a fine margarita, a good dive fiesta requires just the right mix of ingredients. First, you need great diving. No problem there. Diving off of Cabo San Lucas means hanging out at an oceanic crossroads. It's called the Point, and it's where the Sea of Cortez, also known as the "Fish Trap of the Pacific," meets the Pacific Ocean, and the pelagic traffic alone keeps divers coming back every year. Day and night dives to such renowned sites as the Point, as well as Cabo Pulmo, Gordo Banks and the Pinnacles off Land's End, give you a chance to jump in and see everything from school bus-sized Whale Sharks and UFO-like Manta Rays to curious Garden Eels and fluttering angelfish. In fact last year, some divers even experienced the nonstop, electrifying action of a bait-ball, just a few fin kicks off Land's End.


The second thing you'll need is atmosphere. Cabo has that covered, too. The beaches are wide, the sand is white and an ice-cold Pacifico always close at hand. You can lounge in the sun and get a henna tattoo, then cool off with a dip in the ocean; or haggle for handcrafted souvenirs. Cabo restaurants serve Baja's best dishes, and the feverish beats at Squid Roe and the Gigglin' Marlin keep dancers out all night.


Third, you need sponsors (to bring the toys). Signed on for this year's event are Sea&Sea Underwater Photography (free camera demos and a photo contest), Body Glove (wetsuit and apparel giveaways) and Sport Chalet (regs, lights and other essential accessories). In keeping with Fiesta tradition, divers will have opportunities to win all of the above during prize drawings and the underwater treasure hunt that's open to divers and snorkelers. Free return trips to Cabo will be up for grabs, too.


I know. Cool frijoles. But the fun doesn't stop there. Nightly happy hours will keep your party pump primed, and some of Skin Diver's best will be on hand to display their incredible underwater images. And it's all available at special air-inclusive package prices for divers and nondivers alike.
The Third Annual Los Cabos Summer Dive Fiesta will be held August 17-25. For more information, call (877) 479-3483 or visit www.skin-diver.com.

Diving Excitement in Los Cabos

The water around Cabo San Lucas's large cluster of tall stone pinnacles-which includes the site's famous rock arch sculpted by centuries of wave action-is a well-known turn-around point for many transiting pelagics, from sea turtles to humpback whales (during the winter season). One of the most popular sites favored by Cabo dive operators is the Point, which features a small colony of sea lions. When they decide to join in on your dive, expect a volley of bellowing barks and close inspections followed by sudden quick retreats. It's as if the sea lions are saying, "Catch me if you can."


Nearby in the Sea of Cortez is a trio of rock formations known as Blowhole, Pinnacle and Rookery. Blowhole is the deepest of the three, descending on one side to a depth of 100 feet. Featuring a wealth of small creatures, the site can also be good for encountering large schools of jacks, snappers, grunts and, occasionally, Manta and Mobula Rays.


At the entrance to the Sea of Cortez, the protected waters of Santa Maria Cove have long been a favorite for snorkelers and scuba divers. Starting in shallow water along the western shoreline, submerged rock formations adorned with small outcroppings of hard and soft corals continue out to the cove's edge at 40 feet. From there, small coral-lined canyons parallel the shoreline to a depth of 60 to 70 feet. Throughout these formations you find an assortment of gorgonians and seafans, as well as angelfish, Coral Hawkfish, Blue-gold Snappers, Sergeant Majors and huge Moray Eels.

Gordo Banks

Gordo Banks, five miles from Baja's southernmost tip, is the place to look for Se*or Big.Rising to within 110 feet of the surface, this seamount attracts schools of jacks, small tuna and other baitfish in schools so dense their silvery vortex could easily conceal an army of divers. Sailfish, large Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo and schooling Hammerhead Sharks arrive by the hundreds to dine and swim around this famous site. Manta Rays and the giant of them all, Whale Sharks, are just as frequent.

Cabo Pulmo

Several miles up the coast into the East Cape region of the Sea of Cortez are some of the most magnificent beach-lined bays of southern Baja, as well as Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park. Regularly reserved for special all-day excursions offered by several of Cabo's local dive operations, this dynamic reef system is the largest coral reef complex in the Eastern Pacific, north of Panama. Built atop several separate, elongated ridges of rock, with depths varying from as little as 20 feet to a maximum of 60, the diverse assortment of stony corals come in hues of deep chocolate brown, green and orange. Mixed in, thick clusters of small seafans in shades of crimson, purple and gold adorn most of the reef's large heads and ledges. Staying close to the protective recesses in the reef are an equally impressive number of colorful fish, from Streamer Hogfish and King Angelfish to large schools of Yellowtail Grunts, Panamic Porkfish and Yellow-tailed Goatfish. During the months of October through November, it is not uncommon to see huge aggregations of groupers and Pacific Dogtooth Snappers two to three feet in length.
Los Cabos is an adventure any time of the year, but if you're looking for the best time of all, come to the Summer Dive Fiesta. Experience incredible diving and lots of non-diving activities (golf, snorkeling, jetskiing, shopping).

Check out last year's dive fiesta!