Cabos Summer Dive Fiesta
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
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, 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
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).
out last year's dive fiesta!