Top 3 reasons to visit Cabo Pulmo Marine Reserve in Baja Sur, Mexico

Long hailed as one of the most majestic diving destinations in the world, Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park is located on the pristine East Cape area of Mexico’s Baja California Sur within an easy day trip of bustling Cabo San Lucas. The breathtaking waters of the Sea of Cortez host a stunning variety of marine life – a fact that once prompted legendary oceanic explorer Jacques Cousteau to dub this body of water the “World’s Aquarium.” Surrounded by the striking desert landscape of Baja and a small fishing village, the brilliant blue waters of Cabo Pulmo are a magnificent contrast to the rugged landscape.

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Here are a few reasons to plan a visit to Cabo Pulmo:

1. One of North America’s only living coral reefs

At Cabo Pulmo, the astonishing biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez is magnified by the presence of one of North America’s few living coral reefs. The reef at Cabo Pulmo is estimated to be approximately 20,000 years old and features fingers of hard coral and sea fans surrounded by sandy seafloor. This fascinating habitat offers divers the unique opportunity to experience a wide variety of species in one easily accessible setting.

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2. Conservation success story

Previously threatened by overfishing and pollution in the mid-20th century, preservation efforts spanning the last 30 years resulted in the creation of a national marine reserve protected from commercial fishing. The local Castro family had long made their living in fishing. In the late 1970’s, members of the family became concerned by declining populations of fish, unsustainable practices and alarming damage to the reefs. Spearheading the conservation effort, the Castro family and others in the community became the grassroots catalyst behind the preservation of Cabo Pulmo. The “no-take zone” brought about a resurgence in fish species that were previously critically depleted. Having shifted the economic focus from fishing to ecotourism, increasing numbers of international visitors flocked to the area to personally experience the awe-inspiring marine environment. As a result, Cabo Pulmo has been lauded by numerous leading environmental and scientific organizations as a conservation success in recognition of the thriving increase in biomass.

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3. An incredible variety of sea creatures

Scuba divers and snorkelers alike take delight in the wonderful variety of fish, marine mammals and invertebrates living in these immaculate waters. Along with many species of colorful tropical fish, visitors can view sharks, rays and sea lions. Manta rays, bull sharks, moray eels, sea turtles, groupers and jacks are among the hundreds of varieties of sea creatures that can be encountered. Visitors may also spot Moorish idols, octopus, damselfish, parrotfish, triggerfish, puffer fish and angelfish. One of the most memorable species visible offshore at Cabo Pulmo are majestic whale sharks. These gentle filter feeders are the largest fish in the world. In addition to the spectacular natural reefs, several shipwreck sites provide added excitement for divers in search of photogenic undersea spots to explore at Cabo Pulmo. One such shipwreck site is the resting site of the tuna boat “El Vencedor” where it’s very common to spot bull sharks swaying through the clear waters. Further offshore, visitors can glimpse migrating gray and humpback whales during the winter months making the epic trek from the waters of Alaska to the warm lagoons of the Sea of Cortez where they’ll give birth to their young.

Many dive operators offer a variety of diving packages to Cabo Pulmo. Some, like the highly respected Cabo Expeditions, depart from Cabo San Lucas while other local operators can be found in the immediate environs of Cabo Pulmo.

Julie Byrd is the Vice President of Sales for CaboVillas.com.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Ernesto says:

    I was there 15 years ago and I falled in love with this,at the time, secluded wonderful corner of World. We were coming from copper canyon and i had an astonishing Diving experience with local Diving Shop and local “divemaster” with no weights, no GAV, nothing but Air tanks. Beautiful Cabo Pulmo, beautiful Baja and beautiful Mexico.

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