Shore Day Trip Live Aboard
Country: Mexico Area: Baja Peninsula
Water Temp: 21 - 28°C (70 - 82°F)
Visibility: 15 - 50m (49 - 164 ft)
Manta Rays, Sharks and Whales!!! The Socorro Islands are a diver’s paradise offering once in a life time encounters with the oceans largest creatures, and is one of the only places in the world where you can swim with Humpback Whales!
The Socorro Islands, or the Revillagigedo Archipelago as it is known locally, are 4 volcanic islands; San Benedicto Island, Socorro Island, Roca Partida and Clarion.
These islands are located in the Pacific Ocean about 250 miles southwest of tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula and have a unique ecosystem which attracts large concentrations of pelagic species making them a spectacular spot for marine encounters. This abundance of large marine species has earned the islands the title of the Mexican Galapagos.
The Socorro Islands are a destination that has to be on every diver’s wish list! Close encounters with Mantas and Humpback Whales will be an experience that you will remember for the rest of your lives!
Socorro is not an area to visit for macro life and critters as it is entirely focussed on the large marine encounters. The underwater topography is made up of boulders and walls, it is not great for coral as it is a cool water destination, but again the large marine encounters take your attention away from these missing points.
These trips are only available when the seas are at their calmest from November to the end of May due to the exposed location and weather conditions the rest of the year. The water temperature varies throughout these months from around 28C in the month of November, slowly dropping to 21C by February and then rising back up to 26C by May.
The visibility throughout this time is variable with typically the worse viz in November and December but it does all depend on the weather and currents, but when it’s good it’s crystal clear allowing you to see over 40m.
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Diving on the Socorro Islands is very challenging with deep sites, strong currents and rough seas usually undertaken without a guide, so the liveaboards are not suitable for beginner divers or non divers.
Mantas are the Socorro’s islands claim to fame, these graceful giants are the most majestic creatures in the ocean and can grow up almost 8m wide. They can be seen in most of the dive sites around the area, one of the best at San Benedicto Island called “The Boiler”. This is a popular cleaning station for mantas and it usually will only take a matter of minutes for one to turn up.
The manta of this area are very friendly and curious about divers so will interact will you and get very close! They tend to swim around you and are genuinely thought to enjoy the interaction with divers and will hang around the whole time you are there. This exhilarating experience can’t fail to put a smile on any divers face, and is worth the long journey in itself. Although this is the top reason most people visit the islands there is much, much more to enjoy.
One of the other attractions are the Humpback Whales that visit the Socorro’s during the cooler months of late Jan to early April and can get up to 1200 in number in the surrounding waters. These are frequently spotted on the surface and some lucky divers may even get the chance to swim with them underwater! Although this isn’t guaranteed the encounters are increasing every year and even if you don’t see these gentle giants whilst diving, you are made aware of their presence by the whale song that you can hear on almost every dive......so enjoy the music!
If that wasn’t enough many species of Sharks are frequently seen such as Silky, Galapagos, Hammerhead, Whitetip and Silvertip, Reef and occasionally if lucky even some Tiger sharks. Dolphins are also seen around the islands and can be most frequently sighted from January to March with your best chance to swim and dive with them around Socorro Island. These dolphins over the last few years have started to imitate the Mantas and will also interact and imitate the divers, some have even been known to hang on the line with divers on their safety stops.
The Nautilus Explorer voyages to dive and interact with the friendliest giant mantas in the world. This is by no means a trivial goal. Our highly experienced crew have spent many years diving these waters which gives you the edge needed for a truly spectacular experience.
The giant Pacific mantas which you will meet at Socorro are the largest of the rays and we believe they are the most majestic creatures in the ocean. They swim by moving their wing-like pectoral fins, which can grow up to 7 meters wide, but usually average about 5 – 6 meters.
At Socorro, these giants choose to interact with divers! They come in very close – less than 1 meter! – make eye contact with you and then swim along beside you – totally on their terms. What is even more extraordinary is that the local population of bottlenose dolphins have learned to mimic the behaviour of the giant mantas. It is very likely that these wild dolphins will also move in close and intimate to divers during your trip.
Shark sightings are also very good at Socorro Island with common sightings of silky, galapagos, hammerhead, white tip, silver tip and Whale sharks. A population of 1200 humpbacks moves into the island’s waters in January and chances are excellent that you will have encounters with these mighty giants. You may even hear them singing through the hull of the ship at night as you lie in your bunk.
We guarantee that you will have the chance of a lifetime for truly spectacular interaction with giant manta rays. Other dive boats visit these islands but only one of them has the experience necessary to get you up close and intimate with these animals and thats us!
Air Conditioning, En-Suite, Equipment Hire, Non-Divers, Meals included
Most questions are answered by our
diving community within 24 hours
The islands can only be reached by a liveaboard trip as there is no accommodation and on most of the islands there isn’t even a place to get off the boat onto the land.
The liveaboards leave from Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula and usually take around 24hrs to reach the islands.These crossings can be quite rough, so if you suffer from seasickness make sure you are prepared but divers are rewarded at the end of this long journey by amazing diving!
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