Legendary Freediver, Coach, Adventurer, Ocean Ambassador, + First Human Below -100m CWT/FIM
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My journey into the world of freediving began out of curiosity and a desire to explore hidden underwater realms. It has become a personal journey of growth and has taken me to compete, travel, and discover awe-inspiring locations across the globe. Among these breathtaking places, Mexico has always held a special place in my heart.
Whenever I find myself in this captivating country, whether it's for competitions, teaching, or special events, I make it a point to venture beyond the well-known paths. Immersing myself in the local culture, connecting with the people, indulging in the cuisine, and delving into the rich history of the region have become essential parts of my exploration.
With over two decades of experience exploring the world's seas and oceans, and nearly two decades spent traversing Mexico's diverse landscapes, I can confidently say that this country offers one of the most comprehensive freediving experiences on Earth. While some may think this is an exaggeration or personal bias, let me explain why Mexico is truly a haven for freediving enthusiasts.
Think about it, which other country in the world can boast such an extensive and breathtaking network of submerged caves, known as cenotes? Mexico's coastline is blessed with the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean Sea, and the Sea of Cortez. These waters are home to over 50 species of marine mammals and approximately 80 species of sharks. As if that wasn't impressive enough, Mexico is also the proud owner of an archipelago comparable to the Galapagos – the Revillagigedo Archipelago, a unique treasure trove of biodiversity.
Imagine discovering a crystal-clear, sapphire gem hidden amidst the lush jungle. As you immerse yourself in these mystical places, you'll be captivated by the ethereal landscapes that resemble a natural spectacle, with sunlight piercing the depths of the earth. You'll witness the hidden grandeur of these remarkable caves, where the vibrant green canopy of the jungle seamlessly merges with natural pools of pristine water, bathed in the warm embrace of sunbeams. Whether you find yourself submerged or gazing at this spectacle from above, the experience feels like something out of a dream.
These underground cave systems hold great cultural significance in Mayan culture and offer a magical underwater world that leaves a lasting impression on your soul. The Yucatan Peninsula, in particular, boasts a unique concentration of cenotes – over 7,000 of them, each with its distinct characteristics in terms of depth, cave formations, size, light, structure, and colors. However, not all cenotes are suitable for freediving, which is why I highly recommend reaching out to a local freediving school or instructor to find the best options tailored to your skill level. Additionally, take the time to explore the picturesque towns, savor the local cuisine, and visit the ancient Mayan ruins – an essential part of the experience.
I and my partner Petra organize boutique freediving expeditions and courses in Yucatan Hidden Cenotes 1 or 2 times a year, those are unforgettable adventures for us and our students.
Baja California, affectionately known as "La Baja" by locals, is a paradise for sea adventurers. This vast peninsula, stretching 1,000 kilometers, is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Gulf of California, or Sea of Cortez, to the east. Every journey or beach visit in Baja promises extraordinary encounters with marine life. From massive pods of dolphins to acrobatic humpback whales, playful sea lions, and schools of mobula rays, each day brings something new, ensuring that the entire experience remains thrilling and enjoyable.
Baja California Sur, my current home, offers world-class locations for observing and interacting with marine wildlife, including Cabo Pulmo, Magdalena Bay, La Ventana, and Espiritu Santo Island, among others. To make the most of your freediving and exploration in Baja California, it's essential to plan your trip based on the seasons. Winter (January to April) provides ample action, although water visibility is limited, and temperatures drop to 16°C. Spring (April to June) is ideal for wildlife encounters and training, with decent water visibility (5-15 meters) and temperatures around 22°C. Summer (July to September) offers comfortable water conditions but warm air temperatures and fewer wildlife encounters. Autumn and winter are the most popular seasons in La Baja, offering excellent wildlife sightings and optimal water conditions, although some spots may be bustling with fellow adventurers.
The Revillagigedo Archipelago, affectionately known as Revilla by locals, stands as a premier destination for diving and freediving enthusiasts worldwide. Located approximately 500 kilometers south of Cabo San Lucas in the Pacific Ocean, this cluster of volcanic islands is home to an astonishing array of marine life, including sharks, whales, mantas, dolphins, and more. The archipelago's landscape itself is nothing short of epic.
I'm elated to announce that the Revillagigedo Archipelago takes the top spot on my list of freediving destinations. As a result, Petra and I are currently in the early stages of planning a Freediving Exploration trip for Autumn 2024. We'll be unveiling the details soon and extend a warm invitation for you to join us on this unforgettable adventure.