Baja is a special place. Separating the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, the Baja California Peninsula is home to amazing landscapes and incredible wildlife. Due to its unique location, it hosts some of the most impressive animal migrations on the planet, as well as plenty of photogenic residents! Many amazing creatures await the avid underwater photographer between La Paz, Cabo Pulmo, Cabo San Lucas, and Magdalena Bay.
Each year starts with whale season when humpback and grey whales migrate to large numbers to give birth and nurse their young. While the humpbacks only occasionally interact with whale watchers, grey whales regularly approach the boats in a truly unique experience.
Winter is also when some of the most interesting pelagic sharks start showing up in our waters. While blue sharks can be seen until about March, shortfin makos stay in the area until summer. Spring also brings smooth hammerheads to the area and the famous giant schools of mobula rays. During the summer months, giant manta rays and large silky sharks schools can be seen at certain sites in the area.
The best time of year for most people, however, is fall. It is the time of year with the best conditions, amazingly warm, blue water filled with lots of fish and other creatures. The world-famous sea lion colony of Los Islotes in La Paz closes each year from June to August for the mating season, but once it re-opens, the pups born during summer will soon make it their playground! October then brings the beginning of whale shark season in La Paz and the now-viral marlin run in Magdalena Bay. Mag Bay is not just about marlins, though. On my expeditions this past season, we also saw thousands of dolphins and mobulas, whales, mahi-mahi, sailfish, tuna, turtles, and orcas. Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back this year.
If all of this is still not enough to convince you that Baja should be your next destination, you can even pack some macro gear and search for some truly bizarre and amazing little critters! You have to hope that’s not the day you encounter a pod of orcas on the way to the dive site…
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