the cool waters off the northern sector of the western Americas
is done mostly off of Vancouver Island, Canada and Washingtons
San Juan Islands. Here, rocky reefs and kelp forests are home to
giant octopi, wolf eels and a stunning mix of colorful invertebrates.
Central California near Monterey and Point Lobos offers the opportunity
to see the antics of seals, sea lions, sea otters, as well as healthy
populations of fishes and invertebrates. Slightly further south,
the eight California Channel Islands are known for giant kelp forests
that serve up encounters with Bat Rays, sea lions, harbor seals,
more than 60 species of rockfishes and the bright orange damselfish
known as the Garibaldi.
Sea of Cortez remains one of the most prolific bodies of water on
earth. Divers know it as a place for Whale Sharks, schools of Scalloped
Hammer-heads, Manta Rays, big groupers and dense schools of jacks.
In Baja you can enjoy the option of a week-long live-aboard vacation
or a land-based stay near the Bay of Los Angeles, La Paz or in the
voltage diving with Humpback Whales, Manta Rays and sharks is the
special allure of a trip to the Revillagigedos Islands, which are
popularly known as the Socorros. These islands are only accessible
by a live-aboard charter boat. The same is true of the trips to
the adrenaline-producing Costa Rican island of Cocos, where currents
bring in pelagics like Whale Sharks, Scalloped Hammerheads and billfish.
enchanted isles of the Galapagos, where Charles Darwin made so many
of his observations, are only a few hundred miles further south.
Most trips to this volcanic island archipelago involve a combination
of diving and land-based excursions. Underwater, the Galapagos is
inhabited by a mix of temperate, sub-tropical and tropical species
while hikes ashore provide an opportunity to observe the worlds
only seagoing lizard, the marine iguana, and a variety of birds.