San Benitos Island and Baja California
Most diving is done in very sheltered inlets and coves making for very calm sea conditions. 15 – 30 meter visibility in very blue water and water temperatures 72 to 77 degrees F (22 to 25 degrees C). 5 mm full suit is recommended.
Suitable for all levels of experience. Good buoyancy control will help as some dives are in quite shallow water through thick kelp.
The Nautilus Explorer is a heavy 325-ton stable oceanic vessel and seas in this area are usually calm. We always recommend the scopolamine patch for those guests more prone toward seasickness. Most anchorages are sheltered and calm and each trip itinerary is planned around the best possible diving conditions.
General Trip Description
We visit San Benitos during our combination trips to dive with the Great White Sharks of Guadalupe Island. San Benitos is a perfect addition to our Guadalupe trips, bringing variety with its unique kelp forest diving and untouched wilderness. Divers commonly see an interesting mix of temperate fish as well as panamic sub-tropicals and silky and white tip reef sharks, wahoo and some tuna. Also we have seen horn shark, guitar ray, bat ray and, of course, the orange Garibaldi. Lobsters and abalone are abundant. The boat departs from Ensenada and we offer luxury highway coach pick up from San Diego and Tijuana. Trip length ranges from 10 night to 15 night.
What we say
Diving in the dense kelp with such good visibility reminds you of getting into a really dense jungle in Central America combined with flying like you experience in a dream. Swimming under the roof of the kelp, looking out at blue water while playing with the Guadalupe fur seals and sea lions is a very special diving experience. The seals and sea lions are letting us getting really close to them and they are curiously checking us out. We have so many places still to discover on these islands. We have seen pinnacles on the sonar that we want to check out and more kelp forests are waiting to be explored.
What People Say
- “Diving in the kelp in San Benito was so amazing ! Waooooo ! And the water was so blue. While I was diving, I get the feeling that I was walking in a forest.” (Yves)
- “Ah, it’s wonderful to do exploratory diving!!! California sea lions, Guadalupe fur seals and harbor seals. Just AMAZING!!! The Nautilus Explorer and her crew have provided an absolutely wonderful dive adventure. To top it off, during surface intervals we watched whales blow a few miles off shore.” (David M.)
- Very typical of Eastern Pacific diving; endless kelp beds and a bounty of welcome committee members: sea lions and harbor seals. The scenery constantly changed as we split the strands of kelp from one room to the next. San Benito, an adventure to enjoy." (Tom G)