Loreto National Marine Park encompasses an area approximately 50 miles long and 25 miles wide, and includes five major islands. Between Isla Coronados in the north, and Isla Santa Catalina in the south, lie Isla del Carmen, Isla Danzante, and Isla Monserrate. Although there are no coral reefs here, the waters of the Loreto National Marine Park are “Sea Fan Heaven.” The sponges, soft corals, gorgonians, and sea fans which predominate the otherwise rocky underwater landscape are widely diverse in their shapes and colors. While not as spectacular as hard coral reefs, these sea fan gardens can be quite colorful and impressive, especially on vertical rock faces.
The fish are plentiful, spectacularly colorful, and astonishingly diverse. We can find Some eel species, Yellowtail surgeonfish, sea cucumbers, sea stars, anemones, urchins, sea turtles, dolphins and whales, giant manta rays, whale sharks, and
Visibility is at least 25 to 30 feet, is usually
40 to 50 feet or better, and is occasionally more than 60 or 70 feet, depending on location and time of year. Currents can be strong at times, but in most locations they are not a problem, and can set up good drift dives. Although occasional winds can whip up white caps and chop, the Sea of Cortez in the Loreto National Marine Park tends to be like a giant lake. Air temperatures tend to be in the 60s to 70s during winter, and over 100 during the summer. Summer water temperatures in the Loreto National Marine Park can get into the mid- 80s, with a thermocline that drops into the 70s at about 90 feet. Water temperatures dip into the mid-60s during winter.