Cabo Pulmo, a perfect diving spot near Los Cabos
Cabo Pulmo National Park is a protected marine park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the southern part of the Baja California Sur state, near Los Cabos. It is a perfect spot for adventurous divers who would like to discover what lies in the depths of the Sea of Cortez, as it features a huge diversity of marine species, being home to the northernmost living coral reef in North America (one of the few left), with an estimated age of over 20,000 years! If you’re currently staying at your Los Cabos hotel, you should probably know that if you’re thinking of visiting Cabo Pulmo, you should get up very early in the morning in order to make the most of your day, as it’s about 2 hours away from the tourist corridor area. We recommend departing at about 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. if you’re traveling on your own, in order to arrive at Cabo Pulmo early in the morning and be able to make the most of this unique experience!
How to get to Cabo Pulmo
Some tours already include round-trip transportation service, but if you want to get there on your own, you can rent a car and enjoy the exotic Baja landscapes. For those staying in the city of Cabo San Lucas, the fastest way is by the Los Cabos toll road, heading toward the San Jose del Cabo-La Paz highway. Those who are staying in the middle of the Los Cabos tourist corridor, should head first toward San Jose del Cabo and then simply take the San Jose del Cabo-La Paz highway. Once on the highway, you will pass by a few towns and go over a couple rivers. Right in the middle of the way, you’ll take the exit toward La Ribera, via the Cabo Este Road, where you’ll find various dining options next to the highway to enjoy a quick breakfast for about $5-10 USD. You’ll go past the town of La Ribera and continue for about another half hour down the Cabo Este Road, until you reach the Gulf of California and enter the Cabo Pulmo National Park area. You should know Cabo Pulmo has an entry fee of about $20 USD for all visitors, depending on the season. There, you’ll find various lodging options, as well as stores, equipment rentals and restaurants. If you’ve already booked your activity, then your tour guide will take you to your boat and will show you everything you need to before the activity begins.
What to do in Cabo Pulmo
The main attractions in Cabo Pulmo are all in the water, although the arid terrain of the desert is also suitable for hiking and exploring on your own or with a guide. You’ll also find an extensive beach area with a thick dune barrier, which is ideal if you want to stay to camp for the night and watch the unpolluted starry sky. We recommend bringing enough money (about $400-600 USD in total), as you will find a plethora of tours, boat rides, kayaks and paddle boards rentals, and more importantly, scuba diving and snorkeling tours; all of which might be quite expensive due to the location, but they are definitely worth it. The rest of the money will be used for extra expenses, such as dining at the local restaurants, souvenirs, photos and more. You don’t have to worry about not being able to do anything as soon as you arrive, just make sure to get there early!
Cabo Pulmo Coral Reef
As we mentioned before, the reef located in Cabo Pulmo is one of the most important ones in North America, as it's the only hard coral reef in the Sea of Cortez and the last living one of this kind in this part of the continent. The warm, quiet waters of Cabo Pulmo along with its crystal-clear waters naturally makes it an ideal site for underwater exploration. Once you submerge in this realm, you will immediately feel like you’ve entered another dimension, as the ocean provides an entirely different environment inhabited by over 800 species of marine wildlife, this is the reason it was nicknamed “The Aquarium of the World” by Jacques Cousteau. There are more than a dozen diving spots scattered throughout the area, including a shipwreck that has been reclaimed by nature. Each one of them features different species of fishes and other marine living creatures, including bull and tiger sharks, rays, turtles, sea lions, dolphins, and many more. Just as you dive, you’ll be amazed by the schools of fishes that are peacefully swimming around you, as if they were expecting to greet you. There are shallow water areas that are great for amateur divers, as the difficulty level there is quite low. Experienced divers will be lucky enough to capture impressive underwater footage walking on the bottom of the ocean, which is sandy enough to make them feel as if they’re in a surreal desert.
Cabo Pulmo Reef Conservation
Unfortunately, corals are known for their sensitivity against chemicals in the water introduced by careless human activities. When corals get sick, they become bleached and eventually die, altering the whole environment around them. That’s why it is always advised to not wear any non-biodegradable sunscreens, as it is extremely harmful due to the oils used in such products. You should also keep a good distance from the corals when diving near them, since they are very fragile and could easily break off at the slightest touch. We want future generations to be able to experience the wonders of nature, so it is very important that all visitors follow the fundamental rules and respect mother nature.
What else can you do in Cabo Pulmo?
After you’re done with your diving experience or land tour, you will find various restaurants in the proximity, where you’ll be able to replenish after a long day of exciting activities in one of the wildest areas of Baja. If you’re really tired, you’ll find a few comfy lodging options to spend the night there and depart early in the morning to admire the breathtaking sunrise. You can also choose to camp just right next to the desert or near the shore and be amazed by the starry skies that the desert has to offer, a unique sight that few travelers are able to experience! It doesn’t really matter how you decide to plan your itinerary, we are sure that you’ll have the time of your life when you visit this wonderful treasure that mother nature has carefully crafted, and that due to its remote location, it has been preserved in pristine conditions throughout time.
Dare to explore the depths of the Cabo Pulmo waters during your next visit to Los Cabos!
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