The Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortés or Sea of Cortez, or less commonly as the Vermilion Sea, is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. It is bordered by the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, and Sinaloa with a coastline of approximately 4,000 km (2,500 mi). Rivers that flow into the Gulf of California include the Colorado, Fuerte, Mayo, Sinaloa, Sonora, and the Yaqui. The surface of the gulf is about 160,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi). Maximum depths exceed 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) because of the complex geology, linked to plate tectonics.
The gulf is thought to be one of the most diverse seas on Earth and is home to more than 5,000 species of micro-invertebrates. Parts of the Gulf of California are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.