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Dive Review of Cortez Club/La Concha Condos in
Mexico (Western)/Sea of Cortez

November, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Sandy Falen, KS, USA
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 3 Helpful votes)
Report Number 4529
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
All over the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Fiji, Tonga
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
78   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay with group  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
1 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
No special accommodation on boat or on shore.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars    
1 stars   
2 stars    
I spent three days diving with Cortez Club, which has a large facility
adjacent to the La Concha Beach Hotel in La Paz.  While the staff was
friendly, it was not a well managed operation.  I'd sent numerous emails in
the weeks before my trip, but never received a response. I also tried their
online reservation system. I finally phoned them four days prior to
arrival, spoke with someone, and let them know what days I planned to dive.
Despite all of this, they were not expecting me and appeared quite
surprised when I arrived that first morning. To their credit, they
scrambled around and ordered a box lunch, and I was accommodated, joining a
boat of snorkelers heading to the sea lion sanctuary. The sanctuary is fun
to visit once, but I was unhappy when they tried to take me there again the
next day, with a group of divers who had just arrived.  When I balked at
that, they changed the plan, and I had two decent dives that day. A small
wreck was home to veritable "walls" of schooling reef fish, with
grunts gathering by the thousands, and puffers that could be counted by the
dozens. On day three, I waited out a 90 minute departure delay (during
which they tried to straighten out numerous scheduling and boat assignment
errors), finally heading to El Bajo, the shark nursery and pupping area
that has been famous for schooling hammerheads. Tragically, fisherman using
huge gill nets are managing to decimate the shark population in the Bay of
La Paz, taking out hundreds of juvenile sharks at a time. While we were
told that sharks can still be sighted, we were not so fortunate, and Mexico
appears on its way to losing this underwater wonder. We spent twenty
minutes hanging in the blue, seeing nothing but each other.  I would have
preferred to have stayed on the pinnacle that marks this location, and
which appeared rich with critters; but, given the limited viz and the
currents, it was necessary to stick with the group. That day's second dive
was a large but not particularly interesting wreck, with limited viz and
limited fish life.

The La Concha Condos are adjacent to the La Concha Beach Hotel, and all
hotel services are available to condo occupants. I recommend the condos
over the hotel rooms, as they are newer, nicer, and much more private, with
a separate pool area exclusive to condo residents -- and best of all, no
children are allowed. La Concha's location is very good, as it is 3km
outside of town, away from the noise of the Malecon, and unlike most La Paz
hotels, is right on the beach. Service at the hotel was warm and
accommodating, and the restaurant served a very nice, reasonably priced

I flew into Cabo and made the drive to La Paz, via the mountain road,
Highway 1. Despite dire things you might read about night driving in the
Baja, I found the road to be in excellent condition, with outstanding
reflective striping and signage. Keep your eyes peeled for wandering cows
and donkeys, and you'll do fine.

While the Baja is hauntingly beautiful, I was disappointed in the diving,
and won't rush to return.  And, although our boat captain and divemasters
were competent and pleasant, the Cortez Club's management was deficient. 
If I try La Paz diving again, I'll check out other operations.
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All Mexico (Western) Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Mexico (Western)
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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