SOCORRO ISLAND diving presents massive PACIFIC MANTA RAYS, BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS & huge sting rays. Don't forget the SEVEN SHARK SPECIES, big fish action, moray eels & octopus. Late winter/early spring you'll likely be treated to HUMPBACK WHALES, January through March and WHALE SHARKS in November & December. GUADALUPE ISLAND diving is all about GREAT WHITE SHARKS ... that's all ... just you and the cage and those humongous, powerful sharks !
THE THRILL OF OCEAN PELAGICS & BRILLIANT VIZ
If you love adventure diving .... if you adore ocean pelagics .... if you've dreamed of diving within inches of a Giant Manta or staring down a Great White through the bars of a solid cage, Mexico's Socorro and Guadalupe Islands should absolutely figure somewhere near the top of the list of your most desired diving destinations.
The visibility in these locations is so fabulous (often 100 feet or more), the immense number of animals so staggering and the photo ops so overwhelming that we have to say you'll have experiences here you can never have anywhere else on the planet.
COLOSSAL PACIFIC MANTAS
Some of the Giant Mantas attain an implausible wing span of up to 22 feet (7 meters) across, though most are a bit smaller than that, and it is not unusual to be surrounded by as many as 5 to 10 individuals of this size. You've probably heard that the mantas seek out interaction with divers and choose to stick around as long as there are divers in the water. Their curiosity seems to draw them to the divers and apparently they just like to see what the strange rubber-clad creatures are doing in their world !
It's been noticed in the recent past that the bottlenose dolphins have adopted a similar interaction style so you will hopefully have the opportunity to experience this also.
SEASONS IN THE SUN .... SOCORRO OR GUADALUPE?
Also, it's important to note that in the Revillagigedo Islands, the wildlife varies by season.
November to December is generally the perfect time for dolphins, giant mantas and 10 different species of sharks – including whale sharks. This is also the time of year for the warmest water temps.
Moving into January and the early spring months, you still have the big hitters – the mantas & dolphins – but you also get humpback whales and it's the only place on the planet we know of where you can actually scuba dive with them versus swimming or snorkling.
As the Socorro season finishes, from May to July, the excitement is due to the bait balls which attract all the various species (except the humpbacks) and the waters are a frenzy of hungry pelagics ! At this point, the season opens in Guadalupe and it's time to take your place in the viewing station for an eye-to-eye chat with a Great White shark or two .....
Probably needless to say, liveaboards are the only way to go for truly great diving in both of these locations.
SOCORRO & GUADALUPE LIVEABOARDS
AND WHAT ABOUT THE HUMPBACKS?
Just after every New Year, Humpback Whales arrive in the Socorro Islands in an annual migration from the cooler waters of Alaska and Canada. Hundreds of them! Their migration is an epic journey through open ocean and thousands of miles, and yet each year they find the small islands of the Revillagigedos Archipelago (Socorro).
You can see the magnificent Humpbacks during your dives at Socorro from January through March. This is not a dedicated swim with the whales program ... but as the waters at this time of year are filled with migrating whales, the likelihood of meeting one or more while you're in the water is very strong.
MANTAS ... OR GREAT WHITES ... OR BOTH ?
Twice a year, when the boats reposition from one destination to the other, you have the opportunity to join a trip which visits both Socorro & Guadalupe. These fill quickly ... so, don't hesitate to let us know well in advance if it takes your fancy !
In recent years, the dolphins have taken up the behavior of the mantas, in terms of human interaction and you'll find them delightfully playful. Seven species of sharks, including silky, Galapagos, silver tip, hammerheads and white tip reef sharks, not to mention tiger sharks on occasion and whale sharks in season are in the area. The hammerheads, by the way, are there all year, but from April to June you find really big schools of them for an added thrill.
To top it all off, you will certainly see plenty of lovely reef fish, huge swirls of jacks, wahoo, barracuda & giant dogtooth tuna, handsome octopus, copious quantities of turtles and scorpion fish hiding in crevices. Even the occasional marlin can be sighted.
Do note that these are largely migratory animals and don't appear on cue at the dive sites! So, you may find some dives without a lot of action while others will leave your head spinning. It's part of the adventure.
Roca Partida, which is included in Socorro itineraries, is a little rock out in the middle of nowhere. Part of the Revillagigedo Islands, it lies about 70 miles west of Socorro and 85 miles from San Benedicto Island.
Topside its two pinnacles make a comfortable home to booby birds and gulls. Underwater it is a magnet to giant manta rays, whale sharks, schools of hammerheads, dolphins, white tips, Galapagos sharks, humpback whales, large schools of jacks and tuna, and of course, scuba divers.
"The Boiler" at San Benedicto is world-renowned for the up-close and personal encounters divers experience with the Giant Pacific manta ray which can grow to a wingspan of over twenty feet, yet they are gentle giants. Mantas commonly greet divers upon their arrival and stay as long as there are divers around.
The mantas are only some of the large animals seen at San Benedicto. At "The Canyon" divers have spotted schooling hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, silky sharks, duskies, white tips, dolphins and even an occasional humpback whale or whale shark.
The liveaboards here make every effort to ensure that you can be in the water with the sharks as often as you like during the day. There will be other enthusiastic divers on your cruise who generally are seeking as much water time as you are .... but the organization runs smoothly and everyone gets equal opportunity – and lots of it!
From time to time, a trip is scheduled to include San Benitos Island where you dive in the giant kelp forests with delightfully playful sea lions.
The kelp forests are like underwater rainforests brimming with life. You have abundant seals and sea lions …. plus large numbers of sub-tropical fish … and this regions is home to many sharks, guitar rays, lobsters, abalone, wahoo and tuna …. and the endemic orange Garibaldi.
Check our availability list for the next scheduled trip.
Recently named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Revillagigedo Islands of Mexico, which include Socorro Island, are situated 600 kilometers (375 miles) off the west coast of Mexico, directly south of the Baja Peninsula. Socorro's three sister islands are: San Benedicto, Roca Partida & Clarion. Socorro, an active volcano, rises dramatically out of the sea. Inhabitants include plenty of birds & other wildlife plus a small naval station. Guadalupe Island lies 241 kilometres (150 miles) off the west coast of Baja California.