Diving Guadalupe

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Guadalupe, Mexico


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Country: Mexico  Area: Mexico

Water Temp: 19 - 24°C (66 - 75°F)

Visibility: 15 - 50m (49 - 164 ft)

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Famed for its close encounters with the most feared fish in the entire Ocean, The Great White Shark! Guadalupe is the ultimate destination for cage diving with these huge predators.

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Guadalupe is a small volcanic island 240 miles off the west coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula and because of its extremely clear water, remote location, with incredible numbers of White Sharks, Guadalupe is now one of the best places to cage dive with the Great Whites and an especially great place to Photograph these amazing creatures.

The Great White Shark strikes fear and terror in many people around the world and is the largest meat eating shark in the oceans today!  It is the oceans apex predator which has no natural enemies except humans. It has suffered hugely from over fishing around the world and it now classified as endangered. Luckily it is now protected in many countries such as South Africa, United States and Australia.

Guadalupe underwater, Credit

Climate & Sea conditions

The climate in Guadalupe is a very arid semi hot climate with air temperatures of 18-22C and water temperatures usually in the low 20s C. For your exposure protection you will need to wear a thicker wetsuit or dry suit thermals than you normally would in these temperatures as hanging for hours in cages makes you feel the cold water a lot more than if you were swimming around exploring. So it’s recommended to have a 7mm wetsuit or a drysuit, you don’t want to have to come up early and miss shark action because of the cold!

Dolphins! Credit

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Diving (Mainly Liveaboard)

There is no scuba diving around the island for obvious reasons and all the diving is undertaken from various cages, most operators have some cages attached to the back of the boat but also submersible cages that are hung at depth under the boat. These submersible cages are thought to attract more attention from the sharks and can give you a 360 degree view of all the action.

On a cage! Credit

Lots of these cages also allow you to exit and stand on the top, for an adrenaline pumping experience with nothing between you and the circling sharks! While you are in the cages your air is provided by surface supplied “hookah” so you have as much air as you need.

Great White Shark, Credit

The divers usually have about 45min to an hour in a cage and then are rotated around. With this system you can have 3 or 4 cage dives a day to watch these magnificent creatures, and even after 3 days the experience is still as thrilling as the first time.

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How to Get there

The Island can only be reached by a liveaboard trip and these tend to only run from August through to the end of October. The boat leaves from Ensenda in Mexico, but most liveaboard operators will meet you in either San Diego, California or Tijuana in Mexico and then provide a bus trip down to the waiting boat.

Antigua Basilica de Guadalupe, Credit

The boat trip across to Guadalupe Island usually takes about 18-20hrs and is through Open Ocean so it can get quite choppy. These trips only have one activity which is the Shark cage diving, you live on the boats for the whole week with not much else to do, so if you get sea sick or aren’t that bothered about sharks, then this destination definitely isn’t for you!

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Other Activities

Guadalupe is a destination with only one main activity; Shark Cage diving, but if you are a Shark fan who cares! If so, this is an awesome experience that you will want to do again and again.

Cathedral, Credit

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Rating 9/10

Isla Guadalupe Shark Diving Bucket List? You Bet!

Guadalupe10 Aug 2011 - 15 Nov 2011

Turning 40 this year finally lit a fire under me to fulfil a childhood ambition - diving with Great Whites. Luckily, my web research led me to Shark Diver's website, and I'm so glad it did.

After a long sea journey to Guadalupe we finally got to suit up and get going. Being non-certified, Dive Master Martin showed me the ropes of breathing with the regulator and clearing my mask underwater, and thankfully I didn't have any problems.

On the first day, amongst some 'regular' Guadalupe sharks returning to say hello to the cages, a notable encounter was with a very shy young male White Shark who was very wary of the cages. Martin said we should keep a special eye out for him over the next few days. Again on day two, our young shark turned up and kept his distance. We also saw Jaques, a Guadalupe regular who is now over 16-foot, and a female regular too.

Both sharks got very close to the cages.

On our last day, the regulars turned up again. Our mystery male also arrived, and this time headed straight for my cage. I took a lovely photo of him very close to the cage, which I have attached, and thought "He's not stopping". The next second he'd rammed our cage with his snout - just out of curiosity - and shot off at very high speed.

It might have been the shock of his life, but it was a huge thrill for myself and my cagemates.

I would like to thank Patric for his excellent customer service, and our crew; Captains Spencer and Kyle, Galley Crew Mark and Alyssa, Dive Master Martin, and crewmen Mark, Nick and Kyle, who were always friendly, informative, funny and professional, (and in the case of Mark and Alyssa, damned good cooks!).

I'd also like to thank my shipmates, who to a man (and woman) were excellent company.

They all helped to make the dreams of a 5-year old English kid an unforgettable experience for a 40-year old English guy!

See www.sharkdiver.com if you want to know what it was like for me.


James Woodhead UK

2010 White Shark Guadalupe 2001 Sharks 2011 Isla Guadalupe
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Catherine Jones

Excellent report and great photos! This is also on my wish list of things to do :)

Dee Shercliff

Fab photo's. Did this trip last August with the same company, we had mainly male great white sharks. One got a bit too excited, bumped our cage, then proceeded to bit everything it could including our cage, extremely thrilling :) I'd recommend this trip and this company to anyone.

Martin Graf

Thank you James. It was a pleasure having you come out with us!

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