Mexico Liveaboards

There are so many ways to discover this extraordinary country. When it comes to liveaboards, it's all about the west coast. The amazing Pacific side attracts more and more divers to explore its incredible marine megafauna

Reviews about Mexico Liveaboards

9.71015Quino el Guardian el GuardianRocio Del Mar Liveaboard, 15 reviews

Unique Dive trip

Diving from the the top of Sea of Cortez all the way down to Cabo San Lucas. You will see it all, from whaleshark to little blenny and nudibranch, big school of jack and playful sealion. My favorite would be sailfin signal blenny that is endemic in this area.
The Quino El Guardian is comfortable and it might not be for everybody BUT it has everything that you need for a good dive trip. Food is excellent and plenty, the panga is always there when you came up. Plenty of fresh water, good bed to sleep in, especially I like to sleep on the top deck. The crew bring the mattress up for me every night! 5 Star all the way!
9.71015Quino el Guardian el GuardianRocio Del Mar Liveaboard, 15 reviews

Explore Baja trip - really something special

This review is for a 13-day Explore Baja trip aboard the Quino El Guardian, in early October 2016.

This is a very unique dive trip, on a very unique boat. Divers looking for something different should definitely consider it.

Our trip began in the North departing from Puerto Peñasco after an approximately 4 hour drive from Phoenix airport in the "Head Out to Rocky Point" shuttle van. The van was comfortable and there were several stops along the way to get out, stretch, buy snacks, etc.

At the docks we met some of the crew who helped get us and our gear aboard. There is a small shop a few blocks away for last minute purchases (let the crew know you are going) - very limited items but they did have some Don Julio at very reasonable cost :).

Departure was pretty quick for the overnight cruise to the first dive site. The passage was a bit rough, some of us tried to sleep on the top deck but had to come inside because of the salt spray from wind and waves. But this was the only time we had rough seas, all other days/nights were very calm and beautiful (and sunny!).

The divers on this trip were a diverse group, most of us had never met before. Lots of different backgrounds and personalities. But the nature of the Quino was to bring the group together. The 4-per-cabin arrangement, shared facilities, and smaller size of the boat contributed to this - to me it felt a bit like an adult-version summer camp, where one tends to make new friends and have great adventures. So I'll say the size and organization of the boat, being smaller and less private than others, was actually a big plus - gave the whole trip a unique feeling.

I should also say the boat is completely adequate in size: comfortable dive deck with a good system for organizing the divers onto the dinghies, spacious and comfortable dining area, large shaded deck area (with additional non-shaded area for sun-worshipers), reading/relaxing/computer/TV lounge. It never felt crowded on the Quino - just fun.

Next I should mention the crew. Wow, best crew ever. These guys all work extremely hard to make the trip fun and comfortable, yet they are always personable and friendly. Lots of laughing and joking and interaction with the divers, but did I mention they work extremely hard to make the trip fun and comfortable? One thing I really appreciated is that every night the crew would deliver my mattress to the top deck, where I (and about half the other divers) could sleep out in the fresh air under the stars. I hadn't done this since my early diving days in the South China Sea years ago - on this trip I slept every night on the top deck. Very fun!

Special mention must go to Pancho, our cook. The food was outstanding. Fresh, varied, flavorful, well-prepared, interesting presentation. I liked the fact that breakfasts were varied with lots of fresh fruit selections, and the two BBQ dinners on the top deck were outstanding (and really fun).

By now you must be wondering what the diving was like. OK, I'll tell...

I brought a 5mm wetsuit + 3mm hooded vest for the diving in the north (first part of trip) and was glad that I did. A few of the dives had some pretty cold upwellings, most other dives were 75-79 degrees. Half-way through the trip I switched to a 3mm, which was perfect for the south.

Dives in the north were modest visibility. Not great but not terrible. Perfectly good for the kind of dives we did where there were lots of smaller creatures to find. In fact I really enjoyed seeing some new species that I'd never seen before, including signal blennies (very fun to watch), giant jawfish (amazing to look at when they come out of their holes), and others. Not the lush colorful reefs of Indonesia for example, but still plenty of interesting things to see and I can say that I enjoyed the diving.

Another interesting aspect of the North is the stark beauty of the landscape. Think: Mars meets ocean. Really enjoyed going on-shore and walking about a few times

One great aspect of this trip is that not only is there lots of diving, but there were also other fun things to do. For example an afternoon swimming with friendly Whale Sharks in a shallow bay (as much swimming with them as we wanted). Whale watching, including one encounter with Orcas. One evening walking about the small Baja town of Loreto and enjoying a marvelous dinner at a local taqueria (everything hand made and cooked over wood fires - you must try the Queso Fundido if you ever go).

The diving itself was very diverse. Lots of small things to see in the North, a number of dives with Sea Lions (some very playful), more and more fish and fantastic visibility as we moved toward the South, along with some beautiful reefs. Plus - for just about the entire trip we were the only divers (and in fact the only boat) anywhere in sight. We definitely had the dive sites, and it seemed the entire sea, all to ourselves.

Especially memorable in the South were our dives in the Cabo Pulmo national marine park. Google it and you will see pictures of giant schools of fish swimming around the divers. Yes - we saw that. Or I should say: we were in the middle of all that. Really fun. Another dive there was on a very beautiful reef, definitely artistic in its beauty.

Other memorable moments: The night dives we saw plenty of fun stuff, including one dive with bunches of mating sea hares all over the reef (where do they all come from???). Another dive we saw more moray eels than I can recall ever seeing in one site, including one hole with 14 of the big guys all packed in together. Lots of octopus, especially in the North where it seemed I saw at least one on every dive. And the several dives on submerged sea mounts were all very fun too.

Although currents can be strong in the Sea of Cortez, we were pretty lucky and at most only encountered modest current on just a few of the dives, most were without any current. I think the dive masters did a good job of planning sites in this respect.

Although I'm not a photographer, I can say Cat, our good friend, had a great time photographing new creatures he had never encountered before. Cat is an avid diver and photographer, seems that he spends more time diving than not, so the fact that he was so happy with his photographic results from this trip (and plans to come back again), says a lot for the photographic opportunities in the Sea of Cortez.

All in all it was a unique and very fun trip, I highly recommend it. Thanks to Dora and Lolo (owners/founders), and the entire Quino crew for making it a great experience.

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