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Dive Review of Dolphin Dive Center in
Mexico (Western)/Loreto, Baja

July, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Gina Sanfilippo, CA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 4905
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
California, Sea of Cortez, Caribbean, Andaman Sea, Fiji, Costa Rica
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, no currents  
Water Temp
68   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No restrictions other than common sense.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Diving is done from pangas so there are no on-board camera facilities. 
You'll need to use the rinse tanks back at the shop. Particulate matter in
the water during this trip had me shooting with a 100mm macro lens this
trip, but there was no lack of subject matter.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
This was (at least) my 8th trip to the Sea of Cortez, and my 2nd time
diving in Loreto with Dolphin Dive Center. The shop, divemaster, and
captains are all friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. A typical dive
day starts by meeting at the shop at 9am, then walking to the marina 5
mins. away. Two dives a day are done from small pangas with no more than
4-5 divers per boat. Dive sites are about 30 mins. away. We had a group of
8 so two boats would go out together to the same site, but multiple smaller
groups could theoretically go to different places so as to not crowd dive
sites. We were always allowed to dive our own computer profiles, and never
forced to ascend early. We got back between 2-3pm. While we had snacks
(fruit, chips, cookies) and ample fresh water between dives the lack of a
proper lunch threw off our meal timing for the balance of the day.

Surface intervals were often spent on the beach of an uninhabited island,
and the swimming and exploring there was one of my favourite parts of the

Night dives are offered if you have a minimum of 4 divers.  We did a
nighttime Humboldt squid dive and saw many of them!

Water temps this summer were abnormally cool, with 80F at the surface,
mid-70s during most dives, and thermoclines that went down to 68. I was too
cold in my 3-5-3 suit and switched to a 7mm with hood, which left me
comfortable but not too hot.

Loreto is too far north for considerable coral growth, but there is some.
Most sea life was smaller--reef fish, eels, nudibranches, etc. plus the
occasional turtle. The only sharks seen were two horn sharks wedged in the
reef. While in transit on the boat we saw a pod of about 20 pilot whales,
countless jumping mobula, a few small groups of dolphins, and once we found
ourselves in the middle of a pod of 2000(!) white-sided dolphins.

We stayed at Hotel Posada de las Flores in the center of town, 1.5 blocks
from the dive shop. It was a high-quality hotel by Mexican standards, clean
and with firm, comfy beds. My only criticism of the hotel would be dim
lighting and poor ventilation (requiring the use of air conditioners, as
opposed to just opening windows) in the rooms.

Here are my photos from the trip:
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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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