Things You Need to Know - Sea of Cortez/Midriff Islands

The following information is specific to our trips to the Sea of Cortez / Midriff Islands.  Details about the boat, services, amenities, deposits, cancellations, trip insurance and more can be found under General Information.

Diving

The crew of Quino el Guardian will be glad to help you in any way possible to make your visit to the Sea of Cortez an unforgettable experience.

Our Sea of Cortez season runs from the beginning of July to the 3rd week of September. We sail to the Midriff Islands.

The trips run from Sunday to Sunday; and the boat departs from Puerto Peñasco, Mexico at approximately 7pm. We travel for 12 hours and at 7am, the next morning we are ready for our first dive.

The Sea of Cortez is very diverse and has as vast amount of nudibranchs, blennys, jawfish, a variety of rays and guitarfish, schools of fish, eels, octopus, sea horses, frogfish, Mexican Horn Sharks, and some of the friendliest sea lions on the planet!  We also have a lot of whale activity on this trip. We consistently see Pilot, Fin and Sperm Whales as well as dolphins.  

On Saturday, the last day of diving, we do one dive in the morning then go to Bahia de Los Angeles where we snorkel with Whale Sharks!   After everyone gets their fill of these massive animals, we have lunch and start motoring back to Puerto Penasco at about 3pm.  

Divers enjoy 3 - 4 dives per day and 2 night dives. All of our trips have two dive masters on board to lead dives and assist divers.

We divide into 2 groups, one dive master per group.

We also have two inflatable pangas with drivers vigilantly watching for bubbles and retrieving divers upon surfacing.

We provide 80 cubic ft., aluminum tanks that are both Din and Yoke compatible.

Getting to the Boat

Quino El Guardian is located at the Marina Fonatur in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Marina Fonatur is approximately a four hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona. Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is the most convenient and closest airport to fly into to reach our port.

If you require transportation services to and from Phoenix and the Marina, we can coordinate that for you through Head Out to Rocky Point. This shuttle service has 15 passenger white vans that haul trailers for gear. The cost is $125.00 per person round trip payable directly to Head Out to Rocky Point.

If you would like this service, please indicate this on your passenger forms.  We will coordinate this with Head Out To Rocky Point.  They will contact you prior to your trip to confirm the transportation and for payment.  You can pay by credit card at this time or you can pay by cash at the time of your trip.  The drivers are not able to accept credit cards.

Arrival & Departure with Head Out To Rocky Point Shuttle Service

ARRIVAL

If you are using Head Out to Rocky Point Shuttle Service, passengers must arrive at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport no later than 11am on the trip departure date. Head Out to Rocky Point will pick up all passengers between noon and 1pm on Sunday at Terminal 4, door 5, on the south side, outside at the of curb of the airport.  The shuttle takes approximately 3.5-4 hours to reach the marina.  

All passengers will board Quino El Guardian between 5pm and 6pm (if you arrive earlier, you can spend your time site seeing or shopping).  

Once aboard Quino El Guardian, you will be shown to your room and dive station. Our dive masters will ask you to provide your scuba diving certification cards and proof of dive insurance.

Dinner will be served at 7pm.  Departure from Puerto Peñasco occurs at approximately 7pm. 

Proof of diving certification and dive insurance is required. Without proof of you will not be able to dive. NO EXCEPTIONS!

DEPARTURE

The boat will return to the Marina in the early morning and passengers need to be ready to depart by 7am. A continental breakfast will be served. The shuttle will pick up passengers promptly upon disembarking. The shuttle will arrive at the Phoenix Airport at approximately 11:30am. You can book your returning flight anytime 2pm or after.  

Suggested Gear & Clothing

DIVING

Besides your normal dive gear, each diver is required to have one dive computer as well as a safety sausage (SMB) and whistle.

We absolutely recommend exposure protection (wetsuits/light drysuits) on all of our trips. What you will need greatly depends on your personal comfort level.

The Sea of Cortez is a dynamic body of water and this exploration covers such a span of islands that the water temperatures can change significantly from day to day and even dive to dive. Water temperature ranges from 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the time of year you visit.

For most divers, we suggest a 3mm to 5mm wetsuit. Having additional items to layer works best such as a hood and/or hooded vest.  Gloves are allowed in the Sea of Cortez.

ON THE SURFACE

Dress is very casual, shorts, t-shirts, swimsuit cover-ups. Bring a light jacket/sweatshirt for the evenings just in case. Do not forget your hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Remember - You Will Be On the Ocean

Occasionally there can be times that the sea can be rough. There are several over the counter remedies that can help you. Should you have a propensity to motion sickness or are concerned that you might develop symptoms, please prepare yourself with preventive measures before departure.