Baja California is best known for its incredible surf with hundreds of surfers flocking to the pristine white beaches for warm water and perfect waves, but right below the surface awaits a diversity of life that has been called 'the world's aquarium' by Jacques Cousteau and remains a treasure trove of life today. We will explore the eastern cape of the Baja peninsula which boasts the northernmost reef in the Eastern Pacific. Part of the east cape was set aside for conservation in 1995 after community leaders convinced the Mexican government to protect the unique reef ecosystem. After more than twenty successful years of protection this ecosystem abounds with life, home to over 6000 species. Most notably massive schools of jackfish fill the ocean fifteen meters deep and four hundred meters long, gentle whale sharks are seasonal visitors and sea lions play near the rocks. Enjoy freediving into 'the world's aquarium' - still beautiful today in its diversity and a true place of hope for conservation.
We chose this destination, because: supporting the responsible local ecotourism operators who will guide us to whale sharks (recently listed as Endangered on the IUCN RedList) makes these animals worth more alive than dead, incentivising protection rather than consumption through simple economics, and is a positive vote that shows where our values lie!
WHALE SHARKS are the largest cartilagenous fish in the sea. They are gentle filter-feeders, feeding on tiny plankton while migrating around the great oceans, sadly they are listed as endangered globally. There are several places in the world where one can swim with whale sharks and we have picked La Paz not only for its proximity to Cabo Pulmo, but also because we support the work of the local operators with regards to sustainable interactions with these precious and threatened animals.
October is a great month for experiencing Cabo Pulmo’s massive SCHOOLS OF JACK FISH with pristine visibility. There are very few places in the world where one can still have the opportunity to experience vast schools of fish as they have quite simply been fished out. This is an experience to inspire your understanding of the human-animal interdependency and lose yourself in a great swirling biomass of silver fish.
SEA LIONS are super playful and fun. We will have a blast spending time watching, interacting, swimming and diving with these intelligent creatures, getting inspired by their agility and entertained by their antics.
With an average water temperature of approximately 80°F (27 °C), you will be able to spend plenty of time in and underwater.
Our team will welcome you at Los Cabos International Airport and take you to our private beach-front hacienda just north of Cabo Pulmo National Park (~ 1h 15min drive). Enjoy the sounds of the ocean as you settle into your room, take a dip in the pool, Jacuzzi or sea, have a first chat with your fellow ocean travelers for the week, refresh yourself with a sip of our welcome cocktail.
In the afternoon you will get a theoretical introduction to the art of freediving followed by our first sundown yoga session, practicing breathing techniques combined with relaxation and calming down… We will then all gather for a delicious and healthy dinner prepared by our private chef and you will receive more detailed information on what to expect for the next few days.
Wake up to a light, but nutritious meal, which provides you with the necessary energy to enjoy your first open water freediving practice and animal encounters. After our morning dive, we will return to our hacienda to enjoy a comprehensive brunch. Today, the remaining afternoon is all yours: explore the white beach in front of the hacienda, relax by the pool with a book or bodysurf the small waves all around.
The sunset yoga session will be held on our roof top terrace with stunning views over the Sea of Cortez. Afterwards we will enjoy a sundowner before getting together for dinner where we will be joined by a well-known local marine conservationist who will give us insights into his groundbreaking research and work. He is an expert on the Cabo Pulmo National Park and will be able to answer all questions you might have.
This morning we will depart early to spend as much time as possible swimming besides the majestic whale sharks, resident in the Bay of La Paz (~ 2h 30min drive). The intimate encounter and your personal interaction with these gentle giants will leave you speechless and will undoubtedly become one of your once-in-a-lifetime experiences! We will bring lunch packages to have a quick and casual chance to relax and replenish on a beautiful beach close-by without losing too much ocean time.
In the afternoon we will travel back to our hacienda for a relaxing evening.
Again, our chef will create a light meal before we head out to sea for our next ocean adventures. Like Day 2, our dive operators will pick us up on the beach right in front of our hacienda with another full morning of deeper freediving training on the rope followed by dives with massive schools of jack fish and today also, sea lions!
We will be back at the hacienda around lunch time for another relaxed afternoon followed by yoga and dinner.
Day 5 will have a similar agenda to days 2 and 4: after our light breakfast we will spend some more time on the rope getting to really see how deep we are able to dive on one breath. After this session we will explore the famous ship wreck in the bay and look out for other ocean surprises.
After another relaxing afternoon at the hacienda, yoga and dinner we will get an early night to prepare for one more day of whale sharks.
With several days of deep freediving done, we will once again depart early for La Paz to use our newly honed skills to swim alongside the largest fish in the sea. Returning back to the hacienda in the afternoon, we will finish off our week together with a lovely beach barbecue together.
Time to say good bye. Enjoy your final breakfast and yoga session before we take you to the airport to catch your return flight or continue your vacation.
Please note: All of our days follow a rhythm conducive to optimal freediving, yoga and relaxation experiences. However, we will have a weather dependent schedule as the wind and swell will be decisive for which of our dives we do every day as your safety and wellbeing is our top priority.
Moreover all our actions are guided by the highest standards of responsible marine megafauna interaction. The animals’ wellbeing is our top priority at any time. Should we or our expert guides get the impression that our presence (in and out of water) stresses or disturbs the animal, we will distance ourselves instantly even if this might limit our interaction with the animal(s).
Freediving is an age-old practice of exploring the ocean on one breath. With its roots in subsistence living off the sea, freediving has become a competitive sport with disciplines, competitions and records and moreover, one of the biggest expanding water-sports in the world.
In contrast to scuba, freediving is the most natural way of being underwater, enabling you to get much closer to the animals – particularly the bigger ones – while having the least ecosystem impact. Furthermore, it is more athletic than scuba and allows you to move faster and more freely (in all directions). Learning from a good instructor, the art of freediving is simple and is a tool to explore your body’s (aquatic) ability, the physiology of the human body underwater with the impressive mammalian dive response we share with whales, dolphins and seals.
At I AM WATER Ocean Travel, we teach a conservative slow progression approach where you will explore your limitations and capabilities under the expert eye of top certified freediving instructors. Each day will start or end with a yoga session to prepare your lungs and body for deep breaths and time underwater, learning to control your breathing and to slow your heart-rate. You will be offered breath-hold training on land, in water as well as deep diving sessions along a rope to prepare you for meeting the animals. As world-class freedivers we will inspire you to explore your own depths!
At the end of your vacation, we will have covered all the theory and training needed for the Pure Apnea Level 1 Freediving Certification. If you are interested in becoming certified and have met all practical requirements during training, we conclude with an exam on the last night.
Joining us on one of our Signature Trips does not require more than a general interest in the ocean and its creatures, basic swimming abilities and good health. It is open to all ages and fitness levels (medical questionnaires will be required).
For further information please check our Freediving FAQ's.
Our wonderful hacienda with secluded beach access, swimming pool and roof deck is the perfect base for our aquatic adventures. At I AM WATER Ocean Travel we always select private estates that offer the tranquility, proximity to nature and barefoot luxury needed for the ultimate ocean adventure holiday. The private beach is wonderfully swimmable with gentle surf and miles of sand. This is also where we will be picked up every morning for our underwater destinations.
There are three different suite categories available: Ocean View, Ocean Front and Poolside. All of them are air conditioned and have ensuite bathrooms. They come with a queen- or king-size bed (twin option available) and are uniquely decorated in local and authentic Mexican style.
Our private chef specially prepares a menu of high quality nutrient rich food, delicious and nourishing with a focus on innovative vegetarian meals. Not only is this in line with our planet friendly ethos, but also ideal for freediving.