Everybody knows you can go SCUBA diving in Mexico. In the ocean. However, hardly anyone knows that you can go SCUBA diving in a spring-fed lake at 3,200 feet in the middle of the country. We certainly had never heard about SCUBA diving in Laguna Media Luna (Half Moon Lagoon) just outside of Rio Verde in San Luis Potosi state until we stumbled across a random blog post about it.
We love things that are news to us so we immediately started digging for more information. It soon became apparent that the go-to guy when it comes to SCUBA diving at Media Luna is Ossiel Martinez a dive master, instructor and owner of Centro de Buceo Media Luna.
Media Luna, as everyone calls it, is a very unique body of water. It’s fed by natural springs, which move nearly 70,000 gallons of water through the lagoon per minute. This means that the water is incredibly clear. Visibility of 100 feet or more is common. The constant flow of earth-warmed spring water also means the lagoon is always 85 degrees. Yep, bath water.
Because the lagoon is a spring-fed closed system (ie, no rivers run into it) there isn’t much animal life in the water except for tilapia fish (an invasive species) and some other small fish. But there are beautiful submerged water lilies everywhere and a very interesting underwater tube created by rock formations that have become covered in dense vegetation which creates a cave-like environment. A few areas where the overgrowth is thinner act as “skylights” letting in some sunlight.
The clear water, warm temperatures and lack of current make Media Luna a great place to learn to SCUBA dive. Conveniently, Ossiel Martinez (who speaks English and Spanish) owns and operates a PADI-certified dive shop and school called Centro de Buceo Media Luna which is located just a few miles from Media Luna. Be sure to ask him about the time his dad went diving with Jacques Cousteau.
SCUBA diving makes you hungry so here are some great places to eat in nearby Rioverde:
1. Gorditas El Molino: Talented ladies at this glorified shack on the road off the highway and toward the plaza in Rioverde churn out delicious thick corn patties which are cut open and stuffed with a mind-boggling array of meat and veg choices–all delicious and all for about 8 pesos apiece. Warning, they are not open every day.
2. El Famoso Chicken: 70 pesos gets you an entire rotisserie chicken that tender and juicy at this primarily take out place on the main highway from the dive shop toward the town of Rio Verde.
3. La Cabana Restaurant: Sit down and relax with a cold beer and an enormous plate of food for less than 100 pesos at this restaurant also on the main highway between the dive shop and the turn off into Rioverde itself.