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“Whale Sharks”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Cortez Club Scuba

Cortez Club Scuba
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
51 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Whale Sharks”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2014

If you want first-hand experience with a whale shark, this is your destination.
I am Not a snorkeler/as in, never snorkeled in my life. But with Camella's help and the sharp eyes of Luis, our captain, we had the greatest experience I've ever had. I thought the trip would be like the brochure showed. A snorkeler a few feet away from the fish and calmly watching the fish.
Since we were almost the first few boats on the water, we were able to site a whale shark almost immediately. My husband, T was on top of the bow and saw it's shape . . . so close. We quickly got on our fins and T, with Camella slipped into the sea. Me, well, I hesitated. Luis shouted to me to put my face into the water. I not only had the surprise of my life, I never realized how big a whale shark is, especially since we were up front and personal. I was directly over the head -- I was so startled, my head flew up. So I took another look, still so close. Since I forgot how to not breathe, Camella helped me out of the water. T was equally startled, but he remembered how to breathe. I, fortunately, kept my life jacket on so the next sighting was easier for me 'to slip into the water'. But no easier on me for looking into the sea, because T said the 2nd whale shark was bigger.Indeed, we were again almost directly over the whale shark. By then more boats were out - plus many more divers. I still wasn't comfortable with the breathing apparatus and Camella was so helpful. She again helped me out. We definitely had personal attention.
I, however, even after Camella's instructions wasn't 'up to taking' our 3rd dive into the ocean. T, by then finally perfected using our underwater capable little camera, but there were too many divers in the water scaring the fish. We had a 4th sighting, but that fish was running scared.
Although I thought we would be 'out' longer in the sea, after looking back at our time line and my lack of experience plus T's light skin color, I think we spent enough time on the water. I must admit, 'it took a bite out of our energy'. Altogether the amount of time getting ready and driving out to the area where the whale sharks 'hang out', and the return trip, etc., it did come out to be about 4hrs. as promised.

Visited January 2014
Thank adventurer2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 reviews from our community

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English first
Littleton, Colorado
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Over-rated and Over-priced”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014

My family of four went out on a full day snorkeling trip with the Cortez Club in the first week of January and we were sorely disappointed. We went to the sea lions' colony and I was bitten by a sea lion so hard that I still have a bruise one week later and it punctured my wetsuit and skin during the bite. What they don't tell you is that it is a 2 hour 26' panga ride out to the sea lions and the water is very cold and rough waves must be fought in the little panga for the whole 2 hours on the way out (very sore on the neck and back). Then you are only there for about 45 minutes. We also went to the whale shark on the same day but again that was 2 hours back and then you had to battle about 10 other boats to see the whale sharks and the water is not clear...essentially the Cortez Club just drops you in the water in the middle of the Sea of Cortez and then hopes you get to see the big fish. The trip cost over 600usd for a family of four and it was not worth a quarter of that. We should have just stayed on the beach and snorkeled on our own. The staff ignored us when we checked in and all the good snorkel gear was handed out to other guests. In fact, they didn't even know we were coming although I had made my reservation about a month in advance...fortunately, I had a hardcopy of my confirmation. My son's mask continually filled with water and my snorkel was cracked so it leaked. This operation is in need of the ownership's direct oversight and in need of updated gear. I cannot recommend this outing nor this operator.

Visited January 2014
6 Thank sandgpoole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Expensive but really the only show in town.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

Overly expensive for the boat and quality of equipment. Instructors were nice enough but care free, safety is not a huge priority here. Not good for inexperienced divers.

Visited December 2013
3 Thank WRLDTraveler45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rye Brook, NY
Level Contributor
42 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Great diving with this dive operation.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

We went diving with Cortez Club for 2 weeks in August / September 2013. Most of the dive guides were very accommodating and knowledgable. We pretty much spent at least 1 day with each dive guide and we were very happy. After reading many mixed reviews about the dive operators in La Paz, we felt very happy with our choice. No cattle boats! Some days we only had 3-4 divers. The staff was very professional and we always felt that safety was of highest priority. We hit all the big name dive sites as well as a few un-named sites that were off the beaten path. Needless to say the marine life is incredible which is the reason to go!

Visited September 2013
Thank NYscuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
35 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Whale sharks, whale sharks and more whale sharks”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2013

This company was recommend by a friend for snorkeling with whale sharks and I will continue to pass the recommendation on. We emailed them and the owner, James responded right away. Great service.
We went in late December and not ideal conditions for whale sharks but ended up seeing over 13 of them. Our tour was about 3 hours which was plenty of time considering you spend a lot of time swimming fast in the current and waves.
They use small pangas (typical for Mexico/Latin America for diving or snorkeling ) with a shade cover, cushioned seats and plenty of room since they never take out more than 6 people and on our day it end up being only my family. Guess no one wanted to go in the wind and waves.
They provided waters and sodas. The captain and guide both spoke English and were very knowledgable about the local waters, whale sharks and conservation. What a great experience! And thank goodness they didn't make us wear life vests like some of the companies.

We are all certified divers, even though we didn't dive, all their equipment looked good and wouldn't think twice about diving with them. In fact, their boats and gear are nicer than the boats we dove off of in Cabo Pulmo.

Visited December 2013
Thank TravelMonkey73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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