Diving conditions and recommendations in La Paz
The Sea of Cortez is one of the most popular diving destinations in Mexico, thanks to its rich marine life and beautiful underwater landscapes.
Rules to observe
Diving in the Sea of Cortez is a unique experience for those seeking a true challenge. While we recommend La Paz diving for beginners and intermediate-level divers, we always provide detailed information to our clients about the current conditions and suggest less demanding routes for beginners.
It’s important to note that diving conditions in La Paz may be more suitable for intermediate to advanced divers due to the currents, depth, shape of dive sites, as well as temperatures and marine life that can be encountered. However, if your goal is to obtain a PADI certification, there’s no better place than La Paz, as it also offers shallow and calm waters, ideal for beginners.
If you plan to dive in La Paz, it’s important to consider some conditions and recommendations to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
The surface temperature of the sea ranges from 18°C to 30°C. The coldest months are February, March, April, and May, while the warmest months are from August to November. Thermoclines are present at depths of 10 to 30 meters (30 to 100 feet), and the temperature can drop by one to five degrees Celsius. Fun Baja dive center will provide divers with wetsuits and appropriate rental equipment for the temperatures if necessary.
You will likely dive in La Paz with moderate to strong currents. We consider medium currents to be between one and three knots (1 to 4 miles/hour or 2 to 6 km/h), and strong currents to be over three knots (over 4 miles/hour or 6 km/h), but this rarely occurs in La Paz.
Diving in La Paz can be challenging if you get caught in an unexpected surface current. Simply relax, achieve positive buoyancy, and the boat will come to pick you up. If you’re in a group with a dive master, approach them, and they will know what to do. During the warm season (July to November), the current comes from the southeast and northeast, which is perfect for drift diving at El Bajo, where hammerhead sharks can be easily encountered.
VISIBILITY IN THE SEA OF CORTEZ
Diving visibility couldn’t be better! 100 feet or 30 meters of visibility is often present in the waters of La Paz during summer. However, you can expect visibility ranging from 50 to 80 feet or 15 to 25 meters at most dive sites. In some areas and seasons, green waters may occur due to the abundance of phytoplankton. This plankton is the first step in the trophic chain and is necessary to sustain all marine life on the islands and attract large pelagic fish to our seas.
Some of the dives in La Paz are drift dives, where the group enters and is carried downstream by the current. With moderate currents, you shouldn’t expect to spend more than a few seconds on the surface before descending along the mooring line to the bottom and drifting together with the group and the guide. During your dive, the boat will follow the bubbles and pick you up where you surface. Safety stops are often done in blue waters, away from a wall or the seabed. Some dive sites in La Paz can be challenging, so we recommend staying with your buddy and the group.
Dives deeper than 20 meters or 60 feet are considered deep dives. We do the deep dive first thing in the morning. Always consider the possibility of a thermocline at the bottom and use sufficient thermal protection to stay comfortable. Few dives in La Paz are deep or wall dives, making La Paz an easy and safe destination for divers of all levels.
You can enjoy a shallow night dive without drift.