Short Trip report Cabo San Lucas, Gordo Banks, Cabo Pulmo End of July

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Reaction score
Los Angeles
# of dives
50 - 99
TLDR: I would go back to Cabo Pulmo but not Cabo or East cape. If you are in Cabo, do a day of local diving. Cabo Pulmo is worth 3 or 4 days.

East Cape Explorers: East Cape explorers and Dive Cabo are owned by Lars and employ young international DMs who really enjoy diving. East Cape boat can take maybe 10 divers. They also have an interest in a second boat(salty) that can take 4 divers. Nothing but great staff at East cape. Diving out of east cape is not great except for gordo banks.
Dive Cabo: Shares same group of young international DMs. Dive Cabo boat could take 16, but I was in groups of solo to 3. I had all good experiences, but one DM had just had 18 dives out of training. I was the only diver with him, and the owner knew that I was not a danger to myself and others which is why he put us out. One of the captains has a ton of experience and the other is good, just not as good. It is how hard you will have to swim back to the boat when dealing with currents near the rocks. Local diving there is worth 2 tanks.
Cabo Pulmo Dive House. Angel was super experienced and the captain was a pro. It was interesting to see how diplomatically Angel dealt with a fishing boat that was in the protected area. All the cabo pulmo boats seem to take up to 8 divers, and all the dive sites are close. Cabo pulmo is worth 3 or 4 days of diving.

Day 1: Quick flight from LAX to San Jose Del Cabo. Uber is no longer picking up at the Oxxo at the airport. Staying in La Rincon Del Playa above the east cape marina. Arrive to find a large dog in my apartment. Get it sorted and down to the marina. Green Ceviche at Los Barachos Marinaros Yum.
Day 2: Local Diving out of East Cape Dove with East Cape explorers. I was the only one on the boat with the DM / Captain. Great DM / captain as usual. East Cape requires a check out dive to take folks to Blue Water Gordo Banks. First dive was Los Chilenos Bay 30' visibility silty not much to see water temp was comfortable in a 3/2mm for me. Moved to more local Los Palmeras / Skywalker. Visibility dropped to 20' not much to see. Overall, this set the bar low for the rest of the trip. Great cafeteria next to east cape dive shop with fresh smoothies. Yum. Took a quick trip up to Flora farms to visit a non-diving friend. Restaurant was excellent, but bit of a timeshare vibe.
Day 3: Local Diving out of east cape with supermodel Sandra DM. Only one other diver on the board doing a refresher. We did Gavalan Bay Conditions improved to 40', more fish to see. DM had her hands full so we went to Chilenos Bay. Better conditions again. Still comfortable in a 3/2mm. Back to Los Barachos for more ceviche.
Day 4: Over to Los Cabos to dive with Dive Cabo (free Nitrox!). Sandra again was DM and only two divers on the boat. Went to Lands End, and fought some current. Dives are getting better! 40+', but lots of turtles, rays, etc. Small pod of mobula rays swam past. Moved over to Pelican Rock Area for 2nd Tank. A really high traffic boat area with water taxis taking folks to the rock. Surface interval was neck and neck with the water taxis, but nice view. Pelican rock was nice with the sand falls worth seeing. I enjoyed the dives enough that I booked the afternoon(since had run 32 all morning), turned out I was the only one of the boat (plus DM and captain) We dove lands end again, since it was so nice the first time. Visibility was knocked down to 35' in the afternoon, but still found some rays out by the wreck area. We explored the canyon out of Neptunes finger, I was wishing for a bit more then the 3/2 at 90'. Local diving out of Los Cabos is nice. Ate at Mariscos Paseo Del Centenario (Almost every day for lunch or dinner) Great local fish etc. Stayed in an Air BNB 7 minutes above the dive shop and out of the tourist noise.
Day 5: Gordo Banks. Dive Cabo arranged travel for me back to east cape. Went out with Andres, one other diver, plus the owner Lars and his wife. First drop into Gordo deep blue saw a giant ray and some neat invertebrates. 2nd Dive into Gordo 1, hit the pinnacle and wow great bull sharks hunting the reef. visibility was about 70'. I really enjoyed gordo 2, despite the short times you get (dive to 3 minute no deco and then 30 minutes assent.) The time down at the pinnacle flew by. Didn't see the schooling hammerheads. Did a 3/2 with a 3mm waterman jacket plus 2mm hood and was comfortable.
Day 6: More local diving with Dive Cabo: North Wall, Middle Wall. 40' visibility. Had a couple from the netherlands on the boat. more mobulas. Back to the 3/2 and still comfortable.
Day 7: Engaged a driver (David) to take me to cabo pulmo. he showed up in CSL at 6AM and got me to the dive shop by 8 (inlcuding time to stop for breakfast on the way) Dove with Angel and Carla at Cabo Pulmo Dive house. Carla was great about arranging everything (driver, place to stay, diving) 4 other divers on the boat. Did esperanza, 40' visibility. Meh. Sea life was much like cabo. 2nd Dive at Merros. WOW. This is what I was expecting. Giant schools of jacks plus. Great dive. Comfortable in a 3/2 for all dives in cabo pulmo. Stayed in a 2nd floor apartment arranged by Carla. No AC but Fan. If you are not heat acclimated this is not for you.
Day 8: Dove Shipwreck and El Cantil. 3 other divers on the boat. Great dives! Bull sharks rays, giant schools. Tons of life. Free swimming eels.
Day 9: Dove isolote and Las Navajas. Isolote was not great at depth, but as we came up, the corals and fish showed up 45' visibility. More sharks and rays out at Navajas again 45'. This was the fullest boat, but two DMs for 7 divers (8 divers max on the boat). I guess my three years of high school spanish plus living in LA put me in the native dive briefing group.
Day 10: Back to airport with David after breakfast and fly back to LA.

Next trip I would rent a car and drive to cabo pulmo and then up to La Ventana and then over to La Paz. Am I missing anything?


Reaction score
# of dives
100 - 199
Thanks for the report. Used Dive Cabo back in January - liked the Corridor dives much better than the Bay. Visibility was low due to time of year and earthquake that had occurred some weeks earlier. Same for Gordo Banks according to Dive Cabo and not worth the trip.

Ripple in still water

Reaction score
East Coast, USA
# of dives
100 - 199
Thanks so much for this. We are heading to Cabo in a week and planning to dive Cabo Pulmo, La Paz, and Cabo San Lucas. I've been on the fence about wetsuit selection, too, so I really appreciated your comments on that.

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