Explore Baja Underwater Photo Workshop 2024

2024 Explore Baja Photo Workshop on October 5 - 17, 2024


Explore Baja 2024 Photo Workshop

Join us on October 5 - 17, 2024 for Rocio del Mar's best liveaboard trip!!

October 5 - 17, 2024

Trip Leader: Mark Hatter

12 Nights for only $4,695

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Optional 7-Night Land Extensions in La Paz:

The Hotel CostaBaja Resort & Spa - $2,087 pp

La Concha Beach Resort - $1,803 pp

Hotel Catedral La Paz - $1,670 pp


Why Join This Trip?

  • 25% off rental photo gear from Bluewater Photo
  • Daily photography workshops by photo pro at no extra cost, suitable for beginners and experienced photographers alike 
  • Unique itinerary sailing the entire length of the Sea of Cortez from south to north
  • See the unexpected in remote locations: dolphins, sea lions, whales, mantas etc
  • Sail with one of the best liveaboards in the Sea of Cortez, the Rocio Del Mar
  • Easy travel: fly into San Jose del Cabo to start the trip and fly out from Phoenix, Arizona

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Trip Overview

Experience what very few people have - a journey where there are no roads, very few people, and almost no boats. At night you hear something splashing. It could be anything - dolphins, marlin, a school of bonitos? Then you hear a huge sound of blowing and water spouting. It's a whale! You can't see him, but he sounds big. At a distance, you hear sea lions and pelicans. What a splendid way to end a magnificent day. 


 Video by our guest Dan McGanty on our 2018 Explore Baja Photo Workshop.


During the day we move from one island to the next, diving 3 to 4 times daily. If you wish to hike the remote islands during surface intervals, there is always a dinghy available to take you to shore. Kayaks are also always available for a serene cruise around the islands.

Exploring one island to the next is a magical experience - one that will linger in your memory for years to come. The Sea of Cortez remains a secret oasis where the desert meets the sea.

Read all about our 2021 Explore Baja trip. 

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Marine Life To Photograph

The biodiversity between the Northern and Southern Sea of Cortez is incredible. The sea life we witness on the surface from the boat, dinghies or snorkeling is fantastic. There's potential to see dolphins, sea lions, pilot, humpback, blue, fin, sei, orca, and sperm whales. Also, flying mantas, blue and brown-footed boobies, cormorants, frigate birds, and the endemic yellow-footed gull.

Baja 2021 Baja Trip 2021


Diving Conditions in September/October

Average water temperatures in September/October are in the low to mid-80s. A full 3mm wetsuit is recommended. Although the conditions in the Sea of Cortez are mostly calm, there are times that the sea is rough. Please be prepared for this type of situation and bring sea sickness medication if necessary.

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  • Three meals per day, snacks, beverages including soft drinks, juice, domestic beer & wine
  • 3-4 dives per day; tanks, weights & weight belts are provided
  • Activities included: Diving, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling & several land excursions exploring small towns & missions
  • 16% Mexican tax
  • Port fees



  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers - around $20 per person for a taxi from SJD Airport to Puerto Los Cabos to join the boat, and $115 per person for the arranged group shuttle from Puerto Penasco to PHX Airport at the end of the trip.
  • National park fees ($28)
  • Nitrox ($120)
  • Dive insurance
  • Gratuity
  • Fuel surcharge. Rocio has never charged a fuel surcharge to date but reserves the right to implement a fuel surcharge on all trips in the event the cost of fuel surpasses 20 pesos per liter. Should this occur, all guests will be notified prior to boarding.
  • Travel Insurance: click here to learn more about our preferred plan

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Trip Type

This trip is a PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. It will be led by one of our photo instructors and will include daily underwater photography tutorials, in-water photography support, and one-to-one advice and guidance as required.

What to expect from our Photo Workshops

  • Daily photo workshops - Your photo instructor will schedule seminars each day on topics including, but not limited to, equipment type and selection, the concept of underwater photography, lighting and composition techniques, and post-processing. They will also include additional topics relevant to the location and your experience.
  • In-water support - Where possible, each dive group will spend time underwater with the photo instructor, receiving in-water support and guidance on their shooting techniques.  Participants can also request in-water assistance during the workshop and the photo instructor will do his or her best to accommodate all requests. 
  • Consecutive days of practice & review - Each day you will have the opportunity to practice the techniques and skills learned in the previous day’s tutorials. If you are new to underwater photography you will likely see a vast improvement in just a few days.
  • Daily photo image reviews - You are strongly encouraged to bring your laptop, a thumb drive, edit your photos, and submit your shots for review from both the instructor and your peers. These are fun and interactive sessions encouraging you to improve throughout the trip.
  • Quality time with fellow photographers - Both new and experienced photographers from past workshops have expressed the advantages of joining a trip with like-minded divers with a passion for underwater photography.
  • Suitable for everyone - New and experienced photographers are welcome on all our trips. Gain the necessary skills to start shooting great photos, increase your confidence in finding the best underwater shots, or hone specific skills. We also encourage non-photographers to join, as many of them really enjoy the daily photo reviews, learning about underwater photography, and some have even returned to a photo workshop with an underwater camera setup!

Enjoy free, unlimited access to a wealth of knowledge and advice from your photo instructor.


Trip Syllabus

This is an opportunity to hone your UW skills shooting both wide-angle and macro imagery. The workshops will consist of 6 sessions of 45 minutes each on formal instruction during the trip. In addition, there will be a 1-hour intro to UW photography via a Zoom session 1-3 weeks prior to departure. Workshops and tutorials will take the form of PowerPoint presentations, informal group discussions, one-to-one training, streaming live demonstrations (e.g., using programs like Lightroom), and underwater help. Informally, there will be one-to-one instruction for individuals above and below water as needed.

  • Beginner Topics:
    Intro to UW photography, wide angle photography, macro photography, as much one-to-one teaching as necessary
  • Intermediate Topics:
    Wide angle shooting, natural light shooting for distant subjects (schooling sharks)
  • Advanced Topics:
    Using Lightroom local adjustment tools for balance of light in gradient images


Trip Schedule

This is a sample itinerary from San Jose del Cabo to Puerto Penasco, subject to weather and other conditions.

  • Day 1 - Board the boat at 5 pm. Depart from San Jose del Cabo around 6 pm.
  • Day 2 - Check out dive at Punta Prieta in San Gabriel Bay, part of Espiritu Santo Island, and diving Fang Ming wreck and Salvaterra wreck.
  • Day 3 - Dive at La Reyna, a great spot for sea lions, a school of barracuda, and occasionally oceanic manta rays.
  • Day 4 - Los Islotes, in the northern part of Espiritu Santo Island. Dive with the friendliest sea lion colony in the Sea of Cortez. Depending on weather and ocean conditions (visibility and current), we hope to dive "El Bajo", known for big schools of hammerheads. At night we will do the spectacular mobula night dive!
  • Day 5 - Las Animas, near San José Island. Great dives on the east and north pinnacles and afternoon diving at San Dieguito for a 3pm dive followed by a night dive.
  • Day 6 - Danzante Island, part of Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto. Dive at Submarino, Silhouette, and the artificial wreck, C-54 Agustin Melgar. Afternoon hike at Honeymoon Beach.
  • Day 7 - Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto, visiting Coronado Island: macro and sea lions. We do 3 dives and then a nice evening with dinner in Loreto.
  • Day 8 - San Ildelfonso Island where we will do 3 dives. Don't miss the Green Moray City!
  • Day 9 - San Pedro Martir Island. Enjoy fabulous diving with sea lions, incredible black coral fields, and some of the best macro of the Midriff Islands. (3-4 dives).
  • Day 10 - An early dive at San Pedro Martir, followed by whale watching crossing to Sal Si Puedes area. A 3pm dive at Lavadero in Las Animas Island in the chain of San Lorenzo - Las Animas - Sal Si Puedes. Night dive at the same location.
  • Day 11 - Sal Si Puedes: Some of the best macro diving along the Sea of Cortez at El Caballo, Los Cuervos and La Corona.
  • Day 12 - Wake up on the east coast of Baja California and dive El Pescador or Punta Don Juan. After breakfast, snorkeling with Whale Sharks at Bahía de Los Angeles. At 2 pm, the boat will start motoring to Puerto Penasco.
  • Day 13 – Arrive at Puerto Penasco and disembark at 7 am 



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About The Rocio Del Mar

The Rocio Del Mar is an 89-foot liveaboard yacht that offers 10 cabins for up to 20 divers. One of the best parts of the trip is the friendly, knowledgeable staff of the Rocio, the delicious Mexican cuisine, and the spacious room provided for underwater photographers to prepare their equipment before and after each dive, so you can be sure you'll be able to document your underwater encounters with the large pelagics completely.

All of the yacht's rooms have private bathrooms with hot shower stalls, Western-style toilets, lavatories, and above height window. Each cabin is air-conditioned. There are room-length windows with privacy curtains and convenient gear and clothes storage drawers beneath the beds.

Rocio Del Mar Rocio Del Mar

Rocio Del Mar Rocio Del Mar 

Check this page to see more details and customer reviews on the Rocio Del Mar.

Rocio Del Mar Deck Plan

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About The Trip Leader

Mark Hatter is an accomplished photojournalist who has had nearly one hundred feature articles with many hundreds of images published in more than two dozen fly fishing and diving publications over the last two decades.  His most recent destination features have appeared in Alert Diver and Diver (UK) magazines. 

Mark has traveled the world in pursuit of new underwater photography challenges, including cold-water destinations such as British Columbia and even Antarctica in January 2018.  

“Of course, I love shooting in tropical locations but I think cold water diving is a great forcing function to hone one’s photography skills as the environment and equipment are much more demanding of a diver.  Good image capture in cold water is particularly rewarding.” Mark tells us. 

Mark has been shooting underwater since the early 1980s and has worked in both film and digital mediums in his photojournalism pursuits.  In 35 years of diving, Mark has logged over 2000 hours, much of it doing underwater photography.  Currently, he teaches underwater photography classes locally at Seminole Scuba in Lake Mary, Florida. More about Mark here.

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Flight Information


Guests on this trip will need to fly into San Jose del Cabo Airport (code SJD) and take a taxi to the Marina Puerto Los Cabos. The boat is located by the Hotel El Ganzo. Boarding time is at 5 pm.

Note: Guests arriving early may avail of day passes at Hotel El Ganzo, where they can spend time before boarding at 5 pm. There's an area for storing luggage and restrooms for changing. First come, first served, but guests can email the hotel before arriving.

Rooftop Pool - 1000 pesos, guests can use up to 750 pesos as a food and beverage credit

Beach Club - 750 pesos, guests can use the whole amount as a food and beverage credit.


Explore Baja South to North trips will end in Puerto Penasco. The boat returns to the Marina during the evening and a continental breakfast will be provided the last morning of the trip - guests must disembark by 7 am.  The closest airport for departure flights is in Phoenix, Arizona and a shuttle will take guests from the boat to the airport. The shuttle ride is approximately 4 hours and costs $115 one-way. Book return flights any time after 1 pm. 

Contact us for flight recommendations.

Head Out To Rocky Point offers a shuttle service between the boat and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. It takes approximately 3.5-4 hours. The cost is $115 per person, one way. On disembarkation day the shuttle departs the boat at 7am. We recommend you book your flight no earlier than 2pm if flying on the same day.

Book the one-way Head Out to Rocky Point Shuttle - Click Here

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Payment Schedule

  • Deposit: $700
  • Payment 2: $1,100 - due 9/1/23
  • Payment 3: $1,400 - due 3/1/24
  • Payment 4: $1,495 - due 6/1/24

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We can help with that! See more of Mexico before or after your trip with Bluewater in Baja. Flying all that way merits a multi-destination vacation! La Paz is an amazing destination nearby that offers a range of additional unique experiences. Here are some examples of packages we can add on to your trip reservation.

*Rates are subject to change at any time; please contact us for the most updated pricing. 


Prices start at $2,087 per person based upon double occupancy. 

The Hotel CostaBaja Resort & Spa is the first and only luxury hotel & spa in the city of La Paz. This boutique hotel offers a selection of ocean, mountain and marina views. North of the hotel is Espiritu Santo Island, where you will find the greatest marine life in the world and the best sport fishing within Baja Sur.

  • 7 nights in a king or twin room
  • Full buffet breakfasts
  • 5 days of 3 tank dives
  • Lunches & drinks on the boat
  • National park permit fees 
  • Roundtrip Cabo transfers
  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes

Costa Baja Resort La Paz Costa Baja Resort La Paz

Costa Baja Resort & Spa



Prices start at $1,803 per person based upon double occupancy.

A beach resort offering a peaceful and mellow atmosphere on the Sea of Cortez. Over a hundred sea view rooms are featured in La Concha Beach Resort. Located in front of the ocean and with full view to the beach and pool, the accommodations include from essential details to luxury amenities.

  • 7 nights in a king or twin sea view room
  • Full American breakfasts
  • 5 days of 3 tank dives
  • Lunches & drinks on the boat
  • National park permit fees
  • Roundtrip Cabo transfers
  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes

La Concha Beach Resort La Paz La Concha Beach Resort La Paz

La Concha Beach Resort



Prices start at $1,670 per person based upon double occupancy.

Hotel Catedral La Paz is a new concept of accommodation to suit the needs of today's travelers. It is part of the historic center of the city, surrounded by major attractions next to Our Cathedral Lady of La Paz. With its sophisticated contemporary modernist architecture, Hotel Catedral La Paz it focuses on every detail to offer its guests an excellent service and quality, both in the rooms and its gourmet restaurant.

  • 7 nights in a king or twin sea view room
  • Full breakfasts
  • 5 days of 3 tank dives
  • Lunches & drinks on the boat
  • National park permit fees
  • Roundtrip Cabo transfers
  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes



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Got Questions? Ready to Book?

Call us today at +1-310-915-6677 email us at trips@bluewaterdivetravel.com

Or stop by our office at 3961 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 206 Culver City, CA 90230 

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery 

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Underwater Photos from the Previous Trip  

 Baja Trip 2021


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