All the basics you need : travel, weather, diving conditions & more ...
To help you plan your trip, we've prepared a list of basic information you'll want to know before you book. Once your trip has been reserved, you'll receive pre-departure information with all the details you need for your adventure.
Getting to Sea of Cortez
The liveaboards serving Sea of Cortez and Magdalena Bay have different departure locations. Information for each boat follows:
These trips leave from Cabo San Lucas and you'll arrange international flights into and out of Los Cabos International (SJD. A 40-minute transfer will get you from the airport to Cabo where, if you're early enough or came in a day or more in advance, you can do a complementary warm-up dive at SeaCreatures Dive Center before boarding.
Rocio del Mar & Quino el Guardian depart from Marina Fonatur at Puerto Penasco, Mexico, approximately a 4-hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona. Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) is the most convenient and closest airport to fly into to reach Puerto Penasco - particularly if you are coming from the United States. If you choose to drive, there is secured parking available right next to where the boat is docked for $5 per day. Shuttle service is available from Phoenix for roughly $125 round trip. We recommend contacting "Head Out To Rocky Point" shuttle service. (Puerto Penasco is commonly known as Rocky Point).
From outside the United States, you can fly to Phoenix or alternatively through Mexico City to Puerto Penasco
They will provide one-way service if you're on the Explore Sea of Cortez itinerary which begins or ends in San Jose del Cabo. If you're leaving from Puerto Penasco, see the instructions above. If your itinerary departs San Jose del Cabo, Rocio del Mar is located at Marina Puerto Los Cabos in La Playita, San Jose del Cabo. You will fly into San Jose del Cabo (SJD) and take a shuttle or a taxi to the marina (about 25 minutes) or to downtown San Jose, if you're arriving early. ...
Sea Escape departs from La Paz. You'll fly to & from La Paz International Airport (LAP) which is a very short distance from the departure port
These trips leave from Cabo San Lucas and you'll arrange international flights into and out of Los Cabos International (SJD). The boat departs at 8am so an overnight stay is essentia. A quick transfer will get you from the airport to San Jose del Cabo where the boat is docked and there are hotels where you can stay very close to the marina.
Valentina departs from La Paz. You'll fly to & from La Paz International Airport (LAP) which is a very short distance from the departure port .
Most visitors to Mexico do not need to obtain a visa in advance but please check with a consulate or embassy to verify that your country is not an exception.
For guests driving into Mexico, (including those on a shuttle), you must stop at immigration and purchase a Mexican Tourist Card (FMM). Some refer to it as a visa, but it is not officially a visa. The cost is approximately $35 US in CASH. Credit cards are not accepted and immigration officials will not give change. It is good to bring $3-$5 extra just in case as the amount can fluctuate based on the exchange rate.
For passengers flying in, the fee is included in the airfare. Guests will complete the necessary immigration papers on the plane. You will need to return your FMM Card when you exit Mexico and you need to carry your passport, which must be valid 6 months from entry.
What's the Weather like in the Sea of Cortez?
Summer days are warm to hot but nights can sometimes be chilly which makes a sweater or fleece jacket a good addition to your packing list.
What about Water Temperatures ?
The Sea of Cortez is a dynamic body of water and the water temperatures can change significantly from day to day ... and vary widely from month to month during the year and from location to location. Broadly speaking, water temperatures range from 70°-85°F (21°-29°C). Some divers find that a 3mm wetsuit along with a hooded works for them while others dive with a 5-7mm wetsuit is year round suits best Gloves and dive lights are permitted and suggested especially for night diving.
Most trips here run in the summer months. If that's when you're travelling, you can plan on the following: early July the temperatures are approximately 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit, increasing by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit every week until reaching about 85 degrees mid-August. After mid-August, the temperatures drop an average of 2 degrees Fahrenheit every week. Don't hesitate to consult us for personalized advice when planning your trip.
Experience Required for Bahamas Diving
The Sea of Cortez trips are perfect for divers of all experience levels. It's a good destination for newer divers to gain experience. Certain dives may be quite challenging and not suitable for divers of lower experience levels, but your cruise director and dive guides will notify you if, based on your experience & diving level, you should sit out a dive..
Best Time to Go
Water temperatures and visibility in the southern Sea of Cortez improve dramatically in mid July through the first norte winds at the end of November. Our trips run from August-November.
Some sunscreen ingredients are not safe for corals; these include oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, 4MBC, or butylparaben. Research indicates that these chemicals can cause DNA damage to corals, promote viruses in corals, and contribute to the bleaching of corals. We encourage you to choose and use a sunscreen that is "coral safe".
We recommend bringing over-the-counter motion sickness medication or consulting your doctor about prescription brands, such as the trans-dermal patch or Scopace tablets. Currents and winds may cause the boat to move much of the time. The closest chambers are located in La Paz and Cabo San Lucas.
Flying after Diving
Current studies show that you should wait at least 24 hours after multiple days with repetitive diving before flying. Please keep this in mind before you book your onward international or domestic flights.
Money is the Mexican Peso.
Taxes & Fees
$28 National Marine Park Fee and there will be a 16% tax added to all onboard purchases.
Do I Need Insurance?
Travel insurance : We strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance to cover against unforeseeable events including personal & business impediments, illness, travel delays and missed flight connections. We hate seeing any of our clients fall into the category of unfortunate travelers who are without coverage for unexpected circumstances
Diving insurance: the liveaboards now require diving insurance. You must not confuse regular travel medical and/or travel insurance with diving-specific insurance such as DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure. This type of insurance will cover all of your scuba diving and snorkeling activities, including the costs for recompression chamber treatment and emergency air evacuation. These are not covered by the average travel insurance.
We recommend Dive Assure as they are one of the few companies who offer insurance which includes general travel insurance, including trip cancellation .... plus full dive coverage.
Click here or on the button in the side panel to access Dive Assure directly.
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