By Kennia Thackaberry Vía Baja.com
The famous oceanographer and explorer Jacques Cousteau once called the Sea of Cortez “the World’s Aquarium” because of the exuberant marine life that inhabits its warm waters.
(There is actually a statue of Cousteau that holds court on the malecon in La Paz…testimony to the richness of this marine environment.) The Cortez Club in La Paz is a salute to that concept – even its website notes that ‘To truly appreciate the beauty of La Paz, you have to look beneath its surface’.
The Cortez Club: A below-the-surface look at La Paz
With the setting of La Paz and the Sea of Cortez as an operation field, The Cortez Club was created in 1995 as a premier scuba diving and water sports Center.
The club headquarters are located on a rocky point of Playa Caimancito next to La Concha Beach Resort. Their facilities offer the convenience of a private dock and boat launch, a retail store and a Sunset Bar to relax at the end of a day at play. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Cortez Club strives to provide their visitors with a hassle free experience that will help them create “long lasting memories,” according to Ricardo Fifield, manager of Cortez Club operations.
According to James Curtiss, Cortez Club’s owner and founder, who began the operation as a way to showcase diving and water-based activities in this unique region, The Cortez Club is open 364 days each year. He feels that La Paz, which is the capital city of Baja Sur, is the perfect location for his business.
“La Paz is a user-friendly place,” said Curtiss.
“It is safe, and it has the quality of being a typical fishing village,” he adds, noting that it is much quieter than its Baja Sur neighbors.
Known for its absolute attention to detail, water safety and customer happiness, The Cortez Club offers a variety of activities to its sea and ocean explorers.
One of the main activities in La Paz is scuba diving and, as the only five-star rated Instructor Development Center in Baja California, the Club offers a variety of PADI courses for those just learning how to dive or wanting to become dive masters.
There is also an e-learning option to get the theoretical part of the course done ahead of time, so that when you are actually underwater, you can maximize your time and your experience.
Some of the most popular diving spots that you can experience with the team include el Bajo, where you can swim among the schools of hammerhead sharks; the “Salvatierra” wreck dive that takes you down to explore the remains of this cargo ferry or the Swanee reef voted by divers as one of the most enjoyable dives in the area.