The Sea of Cortez

The Sea of Cortez is a beautiful and unique place to sail because of its warm, pristine crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. The wildlife is rich, incredible and diverse. It is not just a dream destination for sailors, but home to some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world!

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The Sea of Cortez, also known as Golfo de California, is a body water that separates Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula and the mainland of Mexico. It is part of the Pacific Ocean and lies between the western coast of Baja California in the south and mainland Mexico in the east.


This beautiful sea was named by Francisco de Ulloa, who explored it during his voyage with Hernán Cortés, conqueror of Mexico. It has many islands, but most are uninhabited or only sparsely inhabited today due to conservation of the area.



The first person to catch sight of the Sea of Cortez was Francisco de Ulloa, a Spanish explorer and navigator who sailed with Hernando de Alarcón in 1539 to map the area. He named the sea after his boat, calling it "Mar del Sur" (Sea of the South). The name has since been changed to "Mar de Cortéz" (Cortés Sea).


The Sea of Cortez was famously explored by Jacques Cousteau on his ship, the Calypso. He was so mesmerized that he returned several times and pioneered in making it a Marine Sanctuary to help preserve its incredible biodiversity.



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The Sea of Cortez is known as the “World’s Aquarium” thanks to Cousteau because of its rich and biodiverse marine life. It has one of the healthiest fish populations in the world, with over 900 species such as whale sharks, rays, dolphins and sea lions that can be seen by snorkeling or scuba diving. It is also home to great white sharks and whale sharks—the largest fish in the world!

For those who are not interested in scuba diving there are plenty of beaches where you can enjoy swimming in crystal clear water or breathtaking hikes on the islands.


If you are lucky enough, you will have a chance to observe some rarely seen species including 30 types of whales, dolphins, hammerhead sharks, blue marlin, swordfish, wahoo and sailfish. The Sea of Cortez also has an abundance of sea turtles (green sea turtles), and sea lions. An abundant variety of birds are also spotted there including pelicans, blue-footed boobies, brown boobies and frigate birds.





If you want to feel like a true explorer, then sailing in this marvelous sea is a must! It has become a bucket list destination for sailors.


This part of Mexico's Gulf is one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth; it also happens to be home to some of the most spectacular beaches in all of North America.


If you have ever dreamed about sailing and exploring islands on your own terms then this place is for you. The culture is both welcoming and friendly. Since there are plenty of great spots, you will be able to go snorkeling or scuba diving while also exploring small towns where life moves at its own pace!


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