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Your guide to scuba diving, boating, fishing , and all things marine in San Carlos, Mexico

Where the Sonoran Desert meets the Sea of Cortez

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Isla San Pedro Nolasco

Experience Required

Depth Range
15-130+ Feet

Although it is commonly referred to as Seal Island, there are in fact NO seals on Isla San Pedro Nolasco.  There are however, sea lions in great abundance (external ears and the ability to walk on all fours on land are a couple of giveaways).  These playful creatures are often the highlight of a trip to the island.  They will twirl and show off for snorkelers and scuba divers and will delight in the bubbles and commotion of our aquatic activities. 

There is a wide range of scuba diving sites here, and determining the best one on a particular day is often a factor of prevailing winds and currents.  In summer especially, visibility at San Pedro Nolasco can be spectacular.  There are abundant larger schooling fishes, baloonfish groupers and eels.  Yellowtail tuna are common along this island and there is even the opportunity for occasional sightings of turtles, manta rays, and hammerhead sharks at deeper depths.  

Isla San Pedro Nolasco is approximately 17 miles west of San Carlos and 12 miles off of the coast at its nearest point. 

Scuba divers will find San Pedro Island a diverse site with a range of topographies within a small region. Much diving is done on the east face of the island, which is often leeward to the winds and currents.  Rocas Grande, Lighthouse and Little Waterfall are all pleasant and beautiful sites.  When conditions are good, the north point of San Pedro can offer superb snorkeling and scuba diving both in the protected coves, as well as along the steeply descending island face.  Southpoint is a longtime favorite with an underwater arch where scuba divers may exit at about 75 feet and continue down to look for the hammerheads.    

king angels

King angelfish feeding with scissortail damselfish at Isla San Pedro Nolasco


Southpoint of Isla San Pedro Nolasco, Sonora, Mexico

Southpoint, Isla San Pedro Nolasco
When surge and currents are favorable, scuba divers can swim through the channel between the island and outcropping and find a large arch that faces the open sea.



Dive Sites of San Carlos

Isla San Pedro Nolasco
Window Rock
Martini Cove & Catalina Island
Isla San Nicholas
Tres Marias
Eagle Rock
Zorro's Cove
Lalo Cove
Frenchie's Beach
San Antonio Point

Diaz Ordaz - Ferry Boat
Albatun - Tuna Boat


Last Updated: October 11, 2010

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