Come to Los Cabos Fall Dive Fiesta|
November 5-15, 1999
Anyone who has visited the southernmost tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula certainly understands the lure of Land's End, where the Pacific Ocean winds its way into the Sea of Cortez. Some 850 miles south of California, the seaside harbor/resort community of Los Cabos, including Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo, first became famous for its spectacular blue water sport fishing. Far from its humble beginnings as a small fisherman's town, Los Cabos has evolved into Baja's foremost watersports destination, chock-full of luxurious resorts and villas for visiting enthusiasts. Here, the pleasures of the sand and surf abound, from sportfishing, scuba diving, sailboarding and surfing to simply lounging in the sun for the perfect tan.
Downtown Cabo bustles with an array of shops, streetside vendors, restaurants and bars. Come nightfall, the town turns up the heat like a plate of sizzling fajitas, with raucous nightlife that seldom ends until the first light of morning.
Between the Baja Peninsula and mainland Mexico pulses one of the most fertile bodies of water in the world, earning this narrow strip of sea the nickname "Giant Fish Trap of the Eastern Pacific." More than 850 species of tropical and semi-tropical fish have been identified here. Some of the most surprising species commonly sighted in the Sea of Cortez belong to what has been classified as the "Panamic" group of fishes, which are nearly identical to several tropical Atlantic and Caribbean species. For example, the Panamic porkfish could easily pass for its Caribbean cousin, with the exception of a touch more gold in its body coloring. Of course, this is small fry. The Sea of Cortez is the active playground to a wealth of large marine creatures. In addition to a diversity of sharks and rays - from the largest fish in the ocean, the whale shark, to schooling hammerheads, giant manta rays and their kin the mobula (a dwarf species with a wingspan of five feet) - the sea is also home to a variety of marine mammals, including sea lions, dolphins, pilot whales and, occasionally, a pod of orcas or the majestic blue whale. In addition, once completing their long journey from the frigid waters of Alaska and the artic circle, humpback and grey whales take up residence throughout most of the winter season, from January through the end of April.
No matter what time of year you choose, especially if you love the water, there is always something to see and do in Cabo San Lucas.
Los Cabos Fall Dive Fiesta
On November 5, 1999, Cabo will be turning up the heat on what they do best: hosting a fun, action-packed 10-day event - the Los Cabos Fall Dive Fiesta. Sponsored by the Los Cabos Hotel Association, Skin Diver magazine, Mares Diving Equipment, Sealife Reefmaster Cameras, Princeton Tec lights, Continental Airlines and participating dive centers, the Fiesta kicks off with a welcome party and moves on to beach festivities, happy hour parties and sunset cruises, as well as evening seminars and slide shows with celebrity hosts.
The best part about this fun event is that you don't have to be a diver to participate - the Fiesta is open to anyone and everyone. Special kids' programs will also be offered. And there will be an on-going point and shoot photo contest that invites both topside and underwater participation.
For divers attending the Fiesta, day and night dives will be offered, organized by participating Cabo dive centers, including an underwater treasure hunt. Divers will get to test demo equipment from Mares, underwater cameras provided by Sealife's Reefmaster line, as well as the newest model dive lights from Princeton Tec. Nightly raffles awarding Skin Diver magazine subscriptions and other exciting surprises will be featured.
A full range of condos, suites and luxury resorts will be available, complete with special package prices and added value discounts.
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. Cortez angelfish, coral hawkfish, blue-gold snappers, sergeant majors, as well as huge moray eels and other smaller invertebrates smother these formations.
Gordo Banks, five miles from Baja's southernmost tip, is the place to look for Señor 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 hammerheads 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. Covering large areas of the plateau's rocky contours is one of nature's most bizarre species of black coral. It features a pigment in its polyps so iridescent that even in the twilight dimness of the deep, this coral radiates a Day-Glo yellow hue!
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, blue-striped snappers, 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 (also called pargo) two to three feet in length. In addition to its exciting array of fish activity, this area is often visited by several large sea turtles and, occasionally, whale sharks.
Los Cabos is an adventure any time of the year, but if you're looking for some fun extras, visit during our Fall Fiesta, November 5 to 15. Call (800) Visit Cabo for more information and reservations, and we'll see you there!
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