Cabo Pulmo: oldest living coral reef in North America

I was in Cabo Pulmo, in the Baja California Sur peninsula of Mexico, and could barely contain my excitement as we prepared for our first dive.

Cabo Pulmo is home to one of the most successful marine parks in the world, and an area widely mentioned in diving vernacular. Despite this, I was very happy to find that it still had a decidedly undiscovered feel to it.

Landing in San Jose del Cabo, I hired a car (unable to resist the Jeep upgrade option) and took a spectacular two-hour drive through a mountainous, desert landscape, the sea coming in and out of sight as the road wound around the coastline.

The flight had been tortuously long, but I was now experiencing that elation that comes with arrival in an exciting new dive-spot. Taking a right turn off the main road, the last half-hour was spent driving along a bumpy, dirt road.

I couldn’t quite believe that Cabo Pulmo, a place about which I had heard so much, still existed within such humble, mass-tourism-free surroundings.

CABO PULMO is a village community that relied on fishing until, in the early 1990s, the population realised that their waters had been totally overfished.

It was then that one of the biggest families, the Castros, convinced the community that they had to protect their bay. In 1995 they successfully campaigned for the government to establish the Cabo Pulmo National Park.

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