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.

Boat Location

Quino El Guardian is located at the Marina Fonatur in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico.  Marina Fonatur is approximately a four hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona.

Getting to the Boat

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is the most convenient and closest airport in which to fly to reach our port.

Head Out To Rocky Point offers a shuttle service to and from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and takes you directly to the boat. It takes approximately 3.5-4 hours. The cost is $125 per person, round trip.

Head Out To Rocky Point shuttles carry 14 passengers, has air conditioning and hauls enclosed trailers for your gear. They cross the border daily and are very comfortable with this process.

If you would like the shuttle service, please check the "yes" box on your passenger forms. We will coordinate your ground transportation with Head Out To Rocky Point for you. If you check the "yes" box you are guaranteed a seat on the shuttle. Head Out To Rocky Point will contact you a few days 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.

Please note: All you need to do is check this box on your passenger forms. Please do not contact Head Out To Rocky Point yourself.

All passengers will be picked up at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport at 1pm, Terminal 4, Door 5 outside on the far side of the street. The shuttles are clearly marked Head Out To Rocky Point.

The shuttle will make at least one restroom stop along the way which is next to a grocery store should you wish to pick up snacks or beverages (including alcohol) to bring it with you on the boat.

Head Out To Rocky Point cannot pick up passengers from other locations unless everyone is at the same place (i.e. staying at the same hotel) as there just is not enough time. If you choose to stay at a hotel the evening prior, be sure to be back at the airport by 12:30 so you can comfortably get to the shuttle departure area by 1pm.

If you are arriving the day of departure, please plan to arrive no later than 11am. Subsequently, if you are planning to fly out the day of departure, you can plan your departure to be anytime after 2pm. 

Arrival

Guests can board the boat anytime after 5pm. You will not be able to board the boat prior to 5pm as we need time to refit the boat from the previous trip. Should you arrive earlier, you can spend your time site seeing or shopping.

Once on board the boat, you will be shown to your room. Please wait for instructions from the dive masters before doing anything else.

Dinner will be served at 7pm.

Departure from Puerto Penasco occurs at approximately 7pm.

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

Departure

The boat will return to the marina in the early morning.

A continental breakfast will be ready by 6am.

Passengers need to be ready to depart by 7am.

The shuttle will pick up passengers prompty upon disembarking.

The shuttle will arrive at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport at approximately 11:30am. You can book your return flight anytime after 2pm.

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.