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Dive Review of Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort in
Mexico (Western)/Cabo Pulmo

Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort: "Best Diving in Our Hemisphere", Aug, 2018,

by Gary Bruschi, NY, US ( 1 report with 6 Helpful votes). Report 10470 has 6 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments First of all, I'm not someone who requires 5 star accomodations and fluffy towels. All I care about is diving. Neither my wife nor I are comfortable with luxury. Too many years of camping I guess. The Caribbean is a dead ocean as far as I'm concerned and I've dived every Island multiple times. And that was before the Lionfish. If I'm looking for the best diving, I'm going to the western Pacific. If I want excellent diving in the US/Mexico, I'm going to the Sea of Cortez and Cabo Pulmo. It's outstanding diving but very rustic, which is the way we like it. You can get an air conditioned Casita, but that's not for us. Everything is solar and outages do occur. Wifi is decidedly sketchy. Bring books!

For $1300, my package included two dives, a lovely, fully equipped Casita, and three excellent meals per day, all prepared by Nestor, a superior chef who uses fresh ingredients every day. Presentations that Anthony Bourdain would have appreciated. Best enchiladas anywhere! We paid extra for the two afternoon dives, so with four dives per day, it came to under $3,000 for both of us.

My wife and I are very experienced divers, worldwide, in all conditions(2,000+ dives). Cabo Pulmo has everything. It's s marine park and the Mexican govt is serious about protecting its resources there. Rangers show up unannounced. As a result, there are massive schools of jacks, snapper, large groupers, Angels, Butterflies, and especially large green morays, swimming freely. Schools of puffers, an outstanding wreck loaded with fish. Critters like frogfish, seahorse, octopus, and nudibranchs are there as well. We lucked out twice with schools of hundreds of mobulas, unusual for Aug. Last year we had a juvenile whale shark that hung out with us for 20.' Not bad, right? Did I mention the sea lions?

The dive operation is first class. Once the divemasters determine your skill level, they're totally cool, although they like you to be within sight since the visibility can change in a heartbeat in Aug. Everyone there is personable and simply terrific. Only six divers to a boat. Like I said, it's rustic, which includes the diving. You either sit in the boat while a tractor pushes it out off the beach, or you walk out to the boats and climb aboard. We love it.

The only problem we had were some of the day trippers from Cabo San Luca. With a few exceptions, almost all of them cannot dive to save themselves and in fact, between the divemaster and me, we literally did that: saved them. Five dives or less for most of them and frankly, that they ever got certified could be considered a crime. Pay to play! Many of them were grossly out of shape and sucked up their air in 15-20.' However, our divemasters recognized the problem and allowed us to remain below while they brought the other divers up.

The best time to dive in Cabo Pulmo is Oct-Nov when the visibility is as far as the eye can see, the water is like a bathtub, and sharks (Hammerheads, Bulls, and Silkeys, White tips) show up. In Aug, the vis is usually 40-70' and can worsen rapidly. The water temp can be variable, with thermoclines, as well as the current. We had some outstanding drift dives. Not a problem for experienced divers used to mucking about. I dive with a fleece and 2 mm shorty but most use 5 mm. I don't like weight and feel one with the marine universe with minimal lead. When dives are over, you pass your gear up and wait in the water for the drivers and divemasters to change your tanks tanks. Fine with me since at 71, I'm not climbing up on a bouncing boat with full gear anymore. 40' surface intervals. Most dives are 40-60,' which is also fine with us since that's where most of the good stuff is. Healthy corals and rock substrate.

Cabo Pulmo is hot and in the middle of mountains and desert with Cactus, great birding, (interesting ) insects, and untethered horses walking around. We love the place. If you speak some Spanish, that's cool but there are no language barriers. Our two divemasters were Fabio (Fabuloso!) and Lalo, (also fabulous). Boat drivers are terrific, as is every staff member there. Our equipment was set up exactly the way we like it and washed thoroughly before we left. It can get windy in the afternoon in Aug, and sometimes dives get cancelled. Bring books!

If you're into photography, go in Oct-Nov. If you're a beginner, go to Stewart's Cove or Bonaire. If I sound arrogant, my apologies. I get irritated when I read reviews that emphasize accommodations and/or food. I don't care about either, although if you like authentic Mexican food, you'll have no complaints. I was an inexperienced diver once too, but I kept to the easy, bathtub diving of the Caribbean until I made my bones. We all pay the same amount of money, right? It's not the operation's fault. They have to be financially viable. And I wouldn't expect Tiger Woods or John McEnroe to want to play golf or tennis with me either.

Your possessions are totally safe in Cabo Pulmo. We never locked our door or windows and left all our valuables in a drawer. However, be aware of car rental scams, where the car for a week is $80, but the insurance is $1,000. That was at Budget. It's a 90' car ride from the airport to Cabo Pulmo, $180 round trip. but you get to see the magnificent topography.

Last thing, as with all excellent dive operations, dive employees work their asses off and take care of you. They find stuff. I believe in taking care of people who take care of me, especially in poorer countries which is just about anywhere diving is good. The Euros do not tip. Americans do, especially New Yorkers, where if you put $1.00 on the bar for a beer, good luck getting another one. We tip liberally and it's worth every dime. I made announcements to that effect with all new day divers. Guess I AM arrogant!

We prefer live-aboards, but if you love diving, massive schools of marine life, critters, are looking for a cheap, outstanding land based package, and are comfortable with rustic accommodations, Cabo Pulmo is the place for you. There are other excellent dive centers there, but they don't provide accomodations. It's all ala carte. Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort is awesome.

Websites Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Solomon Is, PNG, Maldives, Thailand, Fiji, Cocos, Belize, Honduras, Cozumel (3x), all Caribbean Is (3x each), Sulawesi (Siladen, Lembeh), Florida, Cabo Pulmo (4x)
Closest Airport Cabos St Lucas Getting There AA, frequent flyer miles thru Phoenix, missed return connection, direct flts from NY

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 79-84°F / 26-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-70 Ft/ 12-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Yes, 45-50' dives in marine park, strictly enforced[Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Deal with your own cameras, and only go in Oct-Nov. Amazing marine life and excellent visibility. Aug, not so good.
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 6 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Karen Card in CA, US at Aug 31, 2018 14:54 EST  
My husband and I have been to Pulmo three times and are returning this October for our 4th. Your review is spot on in all respects. You are far more experienced than I, but I've had no issues with the diving off pongas there. The last time we took friends along, they were bored. Some reviews are hateful of the resort and make me laugh! Not luxurious enough! LOL 'nuff said! It's heaven.
By report author: Gary Bruschi in NY, US at Aug 31, 2018 16:53 EST  
Hi Karen. Thanks for your supportive reply. I was worried about writing that review for two opposing reasons, a veritable double edged sword. Either more divers would show up and our paradise would be paradise lost. Or else Iíd be excoriated by people who read it, went there, and hated it, for the very reasons we love it. The Wifi crashed! My feet hurt walking out to the boat! No air conditioning! No fluffy towels! Iím jealous of you guys! Youíre so close! Weíre going back to Indonesia next Aug. Itís amazing. My all time fav is the Solomons, but only on the Bilikiki, and itís a lot closer than Indonesia. From New York, Sulawesi is 30 hours on a plane. So if youíre up for the western Pacific, itís the Solomons. Apex predators, whales, critters, and villages that would make Margaret Mead smile. My home is filled with their amazing wood carvings. If you want to see critters that you canít believe are alive, itís Siladen and Lembeh. Both are adventures of a lifetime. Thanks again Karen.
By Rick Back in WA, US at Oct 14, 2018 16:24 EST  
My only concern of more divers showing up would be if they paved the remaining 10 km of road. I'm betting many turn around after 10-15 minutes of that road. Definitely putting this operation on my list for our return.
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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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