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Where to go in late July/early August, from western US?


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#1 dougdaulton

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:28 PM

So, my wife and I are considering a last-minute get away at the end of this month for our anniversary. We are based in Las Vegas and are looking at the following options:

Roatan/Utila
Cabo *
Cancun
Hawaii (Kona) *
Hawaii (Oahu) *
San Diego (last resort)

* been there before

We'd like to go somewhere new (ie. Utila/Roatan). Quick pricing check shows that all non mainland locations (not San Diego) are roughly the same price, and all are pretty reasonable, considering it is the off-season.

So, the questions I have are:

1) is there somewhere obvious we are missing?

2) Are there any pros/cons about any of the locations based on the time of year? Specifically, things like turtle hatchings, whale sharks, etc. ... any thing with animals and/or good photo ops.

Thanks,

Doug

#2 gina

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:55 AM

Hello,

One major thing you will want to take note of is that June-November is hurricane season in the Caribbean. The chances of one hitting while you are there is not great, but if it happens your diving may be ruined, or worse. For that reason I would personally avoid Cancun/Cozumel and Roatan/Utila during this time.

Should you choose to go to Roatan I highly recommend CoCo View Resort (http://www.cocoviewresort.com/). I've been there five times and would never consider going with another operator there because CoCo View is 100% dedicated to diving (there's not much else to do on the property) and as such doesn't get many "tourist" divers and does not allow children.

There is no diving to speak of in Cancun. Across the channel is Cozumel, but it is all drift dives, which may or may not be your thing. It's been 20 years since I've been there but I remember it being crowded and I have no desire to go back.

Baja is a great option for this time of year, and flights from Vegas should be easy. The Sea of Cortez should be warm by the end of July/beginning of August, and this also happens to be sea lion pupping time. I would discourage any serious divers from going to Cabo and instead direct you to either La Paz or Loreto. In La Paz I've done a few trips with Baja Expeditions (http://bajaex.com/) and they are a great outfit; other Wetpixel folks have recommended them as well. The Los Islotes site you've mentioned is off La Paz and is a popular destination for local dive boats. The caveat here is that almost all the dive sites are a 1-2 hour boat ride from the town.

Loreto is a bit further north up the peninsula, but is situated in a marine park. Dive sites here are typically within a half-hour of the harbor. I've been diving twice with Dolphin Dive Center (http://www.dolphindivebaja.com/) and they're another outfit I'd highly recommend.

I haven't yet dove San Diego but it will give you a very different type of diving than any of the other sites. The water is cold, for starters, but that doesn't make it bad - just different.

Have fun.

-Gina

#3 dougdaulton

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:42 AM

Gina - Thanks for the insight! It is very helpful!

How do you get to La Paz or Loreto? Can you fly directly in? Or, do you fly to Cabo & rent a car?

EDIT: I did my own research. Loreto look awesome!

Edited by dougdaulton, 06 July 2012 - 08:53 AM.


#4 chavala

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 05:15 AM

we just got back from curacao (in fact typing from MIA as i chg planes). its out of the hurricane belt and we didnt see a drop of rain. i've always poo-poo'd caribbean diving but i have to say i was super impressed. lots of amazing shore dives. let me know if yiu need resort recommends, we explored the island .

#5 rtrski

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 01:12 PM

Timely post - the wife and I are starting to pre-plan 2013 and I really want to break out of our Caribbean mold, but I don't think we'll be in the position to afford a 2-3 week long jaunt in the South Pacific just yet.... So we're starting to think about either Hawaii or Sea of Cortez, and planning early enough we're open to anytime between late May and early October.

Of the two clearly Hawaii is going to be more expensive, and aside from the Kona Agressor it seems like we'd be limited to 2-3 tank dives/day most places....Sea of Cortez I don't have a great feel for, geographically yet, to be able to tell between the Lareto/La Paz area (Club Cantamar, or Nirval L/A...or a combo of the two) or other offerings like Rocio Del Mar which will bus you down from AZ. So many areas to choose from...Midriffs, Socorro area/Revigillados, etc. Guess I need to boot up Google Earth and start with the digital pushpins. ;)

Wife isn't crazy about cold water (her preferred border is about 76F) which is another factor to deal with, but I'm trying to talk her into Socorro and the like. But just in case, nice to know about the pupping season...and of course I still hold out the insane desire to do something Humboldt related along the way... ;)

I guess July/Aug there are still chances of Pacific hurricanes as well, aren't there?

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#6 eyu

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 03:42 PM

Although the Caribbean hurricane season starts in June and goes til November, the most active times are mid-August to October. We have been going to Cancun for over 5 years either the last week of July or the first week of August and have been lucky with the weather (knock on wood). We spend a day swimming with the whale sharks, dive cenote's and drift dive Cozumel. It is a wonderful dive holiday.

To avoid the Caribbean hurricanes dive Bonaire, it has great shore diving and is south of the hurricanes.

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