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Dive Review of Cabo Pulmo Diving in
Mexico (Western)/Cabo Pulmo

Cabo Pulmo Diving: "Easy trip for west coasters.", Oct, 2018,

by Joel Horie, UT, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 20 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 11365 has 3 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Dove with Pilu, who is Cabo Pulmo Diving. We made reservations with her and paid her. Good communications via email. Now,she works out of the Cabo Pulmo Divers shop. We enjoyed diving with her and also Claudio(who works at Cabo Pulmo Divers). Cabo Pulmo Divers has the gear rental and boats. It's easy to get confused, as every Shop has Cabo Pulmo in the name. It seemed like Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort(which is not actually on the beach) is the biggest operator, with rooms, restaurant,pool, etc. Cabo Pulmo Divers has Nitrox, but it comes from one of the neighbor dive shops. But.. with only 45 minute dives, you don't really need it. I believe Cabo Pulmo Watersports and the Cabo Resort both fill Nitrox. Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort launches their boats from sort of a private alley on a different part of the beach. No one seems to do night dives, but some shops to late afternoon dives. You might call around if a specific time of day is important.

Dive sites.

El Islote, large schools of Gray bar grunts, healthy corals

Mario's Reef, two bull sharks schools gray bar grunts vis 40-50 feet. One Bull shark was going to make a nice pass, but didn't like the look of us at about 20 feet.

Went looking for Jack's. Saw schools from the surface with jumping bait fish. A dolphin also in the bait fish. But reef was closed. El Barco?
Cantil Norte, interesting reef lots of cracks and fissures better visibility hard corals, blue and purple and brown sea fans, gorgonians, big variety of fish. Yellow puffer. Lone jack Crevalle

Every dive, king angels, gray bar grunts (big schools), green moray, scissor tail damsels, yellow tail surgeon Tigger fish, parrot fish.

Steady north wind 15-20 mph. 2 to 4 foot swell with chop. South to Lobera to get out of the wind. A few sea lions, box fish, Cortez rays,. Jaw fish in the sand, spotted box fish, spotted top with blue sides.

Off the Los Frailes shore, Piedra Bolas
Shipwreck(masts and floats. Trumpet fish, schools of yellow grunts, schools of green Jack's (?),gray bar grunts, big jack Crevalle hunting in open water(trying to grab a gray bar gunt), Sargeant majors laying eggs. Octopus. Moorish idol. A long 30 minute bumpy ride into the wind to get back to Cabo Pulmo. We didn't have any current to speak off, but the last day was windy and choppy. I saw a mention on a previous review of not going out if it was windy. They said big surf would stop the beach launches, but if the wind is out of the north and they can launch, they just head south to Los Frailes.

Large schools of fish were intriguing; mostly gray bar grunts, goat fish and scissor tail damsels for us. Everyone wants to see the tornado schools of jacks and groups of Bull Sharks. The reserve limits the dive time to 45 minutes and keeps track of the numbers of divers on each site each week, closing some sites. The boats have to call in real time to let the park know where they will dive, some times sites are closed.

Each dive shop launches it's boats in turn. You put your wet suit and booties on at the shop and walk about 100 yards to the beach. You climb on the boat on the beach. A tractor or the world's hardest working Chevy Suburban backs the boat into the surf with a custom extended tongue. Short rides 5 to 15 minutes, if you stay in the bay. Back roll entry and side ladder exit. Hand up your weights, then Tank and BC. Water and snack bars during the surface interval. After the dives, the boat pulls into shallow water at the beach. You hop into the water and then walk back to the shop. There is a outdoor shower at the shop. They might have to turn it on. The water(for much of the town) is from tanks that are filled from a truck.

We didn't get hassled at customs with any gear "tax", in fact they just waved us passed the scanners. Cabo(SJD) has double timeshare "shark tanks" after customs. Smile and keep walking through the two sets of automatic sliding doors until you are outdoors. DO NOT stop until you are in fresh air, even if the smiling people say they must help you with your rental car or shuttle service or taxi.

We used Cactus Rent A Car. We made a reservation and the shuttle driver was waiting outside with a little board that said CACTUS. 5 minute ride to the rental location. Quoted reservation price was the real price. They let you drive to Cabo Pulmo(ie. dirt roads). The hub caps are zip tied to the wheels. Front License plate fell off on the way back($150). I think I might have them zip the license plates next time. Everything else about the rental was good. No weird charges when we got home. The car did fine, but next time I might rent a 2WD SUV or Jeep. We had to cross one sand wash(road construction) and a few large axle deep puddles. One tank of gas was plenty. We filled up at the PEMEX station across the highway from the airport, before returning the car.

We went straight to Cabo Pulmo from the airport, but there are supermarkets just south of the airport, if you need them. The last town before Cabo Pulmo, is La Ribera. There's gas, a small market(El Rey) and a few restaurants. The entire way is open range, so watch for livestock. No traffic lights, but speed bumps(Topes). Some of them have warning signs and road paint stripes, but some don't. Watch for them around any built up areas or towns.

In Cabo Pulmo, the El Caballero restaurant has a very small market inside. We Ate at Tacos and Beer everyday for lunch(relatively quick and friendly). Tacos and Beer is just above where the boats launch. La Palapa is just okay, but it's the only table service that is right on the water. El Caballero and Coral Reef do all three meals and have big screen TVs. We would have eaten dinner at Tacos and Beer, but they close before their stated 5pm. Next time, I think we'll plan on bringing breakfast fixings and at least one dinner from San Jose del Cabo.

We actually had very good cell service(Verizon), as there is a cell tower on the hill above town. Our rental house had good, but limited speed Wifi. If you go out to dinner before sunset, bring a flashlight. All the homes are on battery and solar. It can be pretty dark. Mind the cattle guards! Stars and moon are great. You can see the entire milkyway.

Websites Cabo Pulmo Diving   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Belize, Grand Cayman, Socal, Bonaire
Closest Airport SJD Getting There All major US carriers.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 85-85°F / 29-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with the group, about 45 minute dives. No moorings. All dives are drift dives.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Take care of your own gear. There is a Marine Reserve area tax for Cameras. They seemed to only be taxing people with large camera/video rigs. As you walk down to the boat launch, you walk directly in front of the reserve/park info booth and fee collection. No one tried to make us pay a fee for our Gopro and small camera Olympus TG5. No camera rinse tank at the shop.
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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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