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The Loreto Bay National Park (PNBL) has all you may wish from the Sea of Cortez: it’s located in an ideal setting, far from the buzz and pollution of heavily exploited areas and naturally protected by its 5 main islands. The sea is often as flat as a glass pane and teeming with life: seals, whales, mantas, dolphins and of course thousands of fish will greet you in your way to the islands.

Here we have listed some (but not all) of the most popular dive and snorkel sites. You can click on the names to expand the information and see pictures.

You won't want to leave!

Exploring the PNBL

The 5 islands of the Bay are: Coronado, Carmen, Danzante, Monserrate and Catalana.

Coronado is an ancient (and extinct) volcano, eroded by wind and sea and resulting in an intrincate coastline. The north side of the island consists on steep cliffs and incredible lava formations.

The south side offers the prettiest sandy beaches and calmer waters, ideal for swimmers and snorkelers alike.

Carmen island is the biggest and the highest. Unlike its small sister Coronado, isla del Carmen is a continuation of the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range and its topography way more variated. Isla del Carmen has it all, from high limestone cliffs and caverns, to secluded bays, deep underwater walls, pinnacles etc. It even has its own abbandoned town  on its east side!

Danzante island is the steepest and most dramatic of them all. Although not as high as del Carmen, its cliffs and rugged terrain will amaze you as you sail along its coastline.

Monserrate and Catalana are the farthest ones and less visited. Their remote location (specially Catalana) has keep them isolated from thousands of years and created an Eden of life, under and above water.

We are building this list little by little. Sites with an * have detailed information.

Isla del Carmen

7. Punta Lobos

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8. El Sombrerito

9. Islote de la Vaca

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10. Punta Tintorera

Reef sharks can be seen here (hence the name). Rocky arms extend underwater creating ledges and small cannyons. Life is normally abundant and lobsters can be found in between boulders.

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11. Bajo de La Cholla

A sea mount close to a small islet that creates an ideal dwelling for numerous species like angelfish, butterflyfish, moorish idols and groupers. A current can be present, but is easy to get shelter in between the numerous crevices and cannons that exist in the reef.

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12. Punta Balandra

13. Piedras Blancas

A series of pinnacles create a reef system that hosts many species. Snorkelers can enjoy this one greately as it’s also sheltered and calm. Many bushes of black coral can be found at the deep side of the drop off, where you can also see schools of jacks and palometas.

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14. Los Picachos

Another system of large pinnacles, surrounded by yellowtail snappers, jacks and other reef fish. Most of the pinnacles almost reach the surface, creating a shallow reef that will charm surface swimmers.

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15. Los Nidos

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16. Bajo El Murcielago

An advanced dive, better enjoyed with NITROX. The seamount emerges from the ocean floor creating an isolated, pristine reef with an impressive amount of life. You can find anything here! Hundreds of oceanic triggerfish nest here and the schools can get huge.

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17. El Abismo

It’s called the Abyss for a reason! this is the steepest and deepest part of Carmen island. The drop-off plumets to technical depths rapidly, forming great walls and ledges on its way. Mobula rays and schools of jacks can be seen here.

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Islas Monserrate & Catalana

25. La reinita (Monserrate)

26. Catalana

Isla Coronado

1. Punta Candeleros

Whimsical lava formations form the underwater landscape: crevices, huge boulders, ledges…you name it! Big schools of brown chromis populate the place, along with gorgonians and Cortez angelfishes.

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2. El Repollo

The name comes from the funny rocky formation on the cliff face. It’s a shallow and protected bay, ideal for snorkelers and beginner divers and normally teeming with life. Schools of small fish are easily enjoyed by everyone. The avid diver will also find nudibranches and macro life.

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3. Punta Piedras Blancas

A spectacular dive with and overwhelming scenery. The site is enjoyed both shallow or deep, given its dramatic topography. The sheer walls can drop down to technical depths where one can find thick forests of black coral.

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4. La Lobera

A famous site due the sea lion colony that lives there. Seals are very friendly and safe to swim/dive with. Divers will also find a great dive with magnificent formations and great depths.

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5. Las Lajas

6. Las Tijeretas

Isla Danzante & Puerto Escondido

18. Faro Norte

There is something for everybody in this site: from sheer walls to shallow reefs. The dive is normally sheltered and makes a great snorkel site. Thick schools of chromis and sargeant majors will block your sight in the shallows with an ocasional turtle or two.

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19. El Gorila

Named after the rocky formation on the cliff wall, this site has an spectacular scenery. Huge boulders and great walls form the underwater landscape, but dont get distracted from the beautiful gorgonias and colorful starfish that decorate the bottom!

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20. Punta Piedra Partida

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21. Roca Bola

A gigantic boulder that separate two coves gives name to this place. Turtles and rays are often seen here. Easy dive for everybody that also snorkelers will greately enjoy.

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22. C-54 Naufragio

23. Roca Submarino

24. Naufragio de Bahia Salinas