Scuba diving in Cabo San Lucas (with sea lions)

After scuba diving in the Socorro Islands (Revillagigedo Islands) on the Nautilus Belle Amie liveaboard, we decided to spend a few days in Cabo San Lucas to get readjusted to land before flying home. We took that opportunity to spend an afternoon scuba diving in Cabo San Lucas. (They have sea lions!)

The Arch (El Arco) at Land's End in Cabo San Lucas
The Arch (El Arco) at Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas from he Pacific Ocean side

The dive sites in Cabo San Lucas are located along the Gulf of Mexico (Sea of Cortez) side of the rock formation extending off the southern tip of Cabo, Land’s End and The Arch. By boat, they’re only a few minutes away from the Cabo San Lucas marina.

There are a few dive shops in Cabo San Lucas, and after a lot of research, we chose to dive with Manta Scuba. We were extremely happy with their service and professionalism, from their email communication to their in-store service, to the boat dives.

We did 2 dives with Jesus at Manta Scuba. On top of being a great dive guide, between dives he also provided a great above-water tour of the Arch of Cabo San Lucas (El Arco).

Pelican Rock

Our first dive was at the Pelican Rock dive site. We started in a shallow area close to the rock. The visibility in this area was poor and we were worried about what the dive would entail. But as we continued our dive, going into deeper water, the visibility improved. Not amazing, but enough to make it a comfortable dive and get some decent photos.

At Pelican rock we saw a few moray eels, a scorpionfish, a few sea stars, some conches, schooling fish, and a school of mobula rays in the distance. We descended to the famous “Sandfalls” at around 90 feet (my maximum depth was 108 feet/33 meters).

Land’s End

After a 1 hour surface interval during which our captain took us around to see the Arch, we moved to the Land’s End dive site. Land’s End is a rock formation off the very tip of Cabo and the Baja Peninsula.

Our goal for this second dive (and the entire day) was to dive with sea lions. We passed by dozens of then above the surface (a smelly area due to sea lion droppings) so we had high hopes of seeing them underwater.

Once underwater, we proceeded to a narrow channel between rock walls. Within a few minutes, a first sea lion approach us from head on, then at the last minute veered above us. A few minutes later, we had a handful of young, playful sea lions swimming above us. Every now and then, a grumpy old papa sea lion would come down, give us a look saying “be good with my kids,” and then swim off.

Sea lions really are the playful dogs of the sea. And a keen divemaster will show you some sea lion teeth lost in the sand. This dive was a comfortable 60 foot depth.

Scuba diving with sea lions at Land's End, Cabo San Lucas
Scuba diving with juvenile sea lions at Land’s End, Cabo San Lucas with Manta Scuba

Water temperature in late January was 68°F/20°C. We were more than comfortable in 7mm wetsuits and hoods.

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