The Sea of Cortez separates the Baja California peninsula from the mainland in Mexico and has been called the “world’s aquarium” by Jacques Cousteau—for good reason. Home to more than 3,000 marine species, including hammerhead sharks, sea lions, stingrays and moray eels, the Sea of Cortez is a vibrant body of water.
The gulf, made up of 37 islands, is recognized as one of the most diverse seas in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Many migratory species pass through the gulf, including humpback whales, killer whales, Humboldt squid, manta rays, leatherback sea turtles and California gray whales. You will also find the vaquita, a gravely endangered porpoise endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California.
Destinations like Los Cabos lie along the Sea of Cortez and attract numerous travelers for both overnight arrivals and cruise ship excursions. There is no shortage of things to do along the Sea of Cortez; everything from fishing to scuba diving is available, and one of the most popular activities is an all-day trip to Espiritu Island, where you can snorkel and sunbathe while watching sea lions swim in the ocean. Other options include Los Cabos scuba diving, horseback riding on the beach and fishing. If you want to admire the Sea of Cortez from dry land, check out the Los Cabos Palmilla Golf Club, where you can admire views of the gulf from 18 holes of golfing bliss.
Although it doesn’t get hit with very many big storms, the Sea of Cortez is subject to the same hurricane season as the Atlantic—the months of June through November may see an increase in rain and storm activity. If you are prone to motion sickness, bring medicine aboard any ocean trips. If you are looking to scuba dive and are already certified, don’t forget to bring your certification card, as dive shops require it.