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SOCORRO & GUADALUPE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

All the basics about travel, weather & diving conditions

To help you plan your trip, we've prepared a list of basic information you'll want to know before you book.   Once your trip has been reserved, you'll receive pre-departure information with all the details you need for your adventure.

 

GUADALUPE FAQ

Most of the liveaboards which serve Socorro also serve Guadalupe so you'll find both destinations here on this page  .... OPEN HERE TO CONTINUE READING ABOUT GUADALUPE

Getting to Guadalupe

Your international flights will take you either to San Diego, California or to Tijuana International in Mexico.  Many divers from Europe, South & Central America and Asia prefer to connect through Mexico City to Tijuana.

Either way, we'll work in conjunction with your chosen liveaboard to transfer you to Ensenada, Mexico for departure. 

It's an interesting, scenic drive down the coast once you get past all the Tijuana border traffic (if you're coming from San Diego). It's generally about a 1.5 to 2 hour drive to the port. Then, you have roughly an 18-hour crossing. Shark diving operations begin immediately after arrival and you're off and running to see those great white sharks.


Immigration

All guests must have a passport valid 6 months from entry.  Upon your arrival to Mexico you will need to complete a visa form which will be stamped by immigration officials.  Other visas are required from certain countries, so please check your specific requirements at a consulate or embassy online.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you make your own way to Ensenada from the United States, you MUST STOP at the IMN Immigration Office at the border and OBTAIN an FMT TOURIST PERMIT. The Mexican Authorities will not allow anybody without this permit to board.


Arrival/Departure

We suggest flying in the day before the boat departs. This allows time for any delays or missing baggage. Your transportation to Ensenada could be early to mid-morning, so best to be in San Diego (or Tijuana) the night before. 

Also, a night in Ensenada is a great experience and nice extension to your diving trip.

On your return, the transfer back to the States, if you're returning to San Diego, can be delayed at the border crossing so best to plan your flights for late afternoon, early evening.


What's the Weather like in the Mexican Pacific Ocean ?

Surface weather at Socorro Island and Guadalupe Island is similar to southern California climate. Very warm during the day, and cool at night. Summer clothing should be fine for your trip. We recommend bringing a sweater, pants and a windbreaker/rain jacket..  Don't forget your hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.


What about Water Temperatures ?

The water temp averages 65° - 70°F / 18° - 71°C) so be sure to pack your gloves, hood and booties plus either a 7mm full wetsuit or a drysuit. Guests rotate in and out of the shark cages every hour and you are not swimming at all so you might get chilly and should plan accordingly. 


Diving Conditions

Cages open early in the morning and are open until dusk. Each liveaboards' schedule is slightly different, however.  We'll supply all the details when you book (or before ... just ask !)  You will have virtually unlimited time in the surface cages, keeping in mind it might be a bit busy on the first morning and the deal is that all divers rotate in and out of the water, giving everyone a fair chance to stare down the Great Whites !

Certified divers will have the opportunity of 2-3 dives per day in the submersible cages ... possibly even more, 


Experience Required for Diving Guadalupe

You do not need to be certified to jbe in a surface cage with great white sharks. Therse cages are open to divers and non-divers alike. Please note that you do need to be a certified diver
to enjoy the submersible cages.


Best Time to Go

Guadalupe's season is July to November. July and August is when the males gather and are jostling for position. It has beensaid that they are like a bunch of rowdy teenage boys! The smaller females typically start showing up near the end of August, and they mingle with the males. October and November is when the dominant and reproductively successful females arrive.


SUN SCREEN

Certain sunscreen ingredients have been found to be damaging to corals.  These include oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, 4MBC, or butylparaben. Research indicates that these chemicals can cause DNA damage to corals, promote viruses in corals, and contribute to the bleaching.

Some dive destinations have banned these chemicals but we would encourage you to choose and use a sunscreen that is "coral safe" in all destinations..


Health

The boats are all equipped with the best First-Aid materials available. Please note that it's a long trip out to the Islands and can be a rocky crossing.  We recommend the use of the scopolamine “patch” as an anti-seasickness medication.


Flying after Diving

Current studies show that you should wait at least 24 hours after multiple days with repetitive diving before flying. Please keep this in mind before you book your onward international or domestic flights.


Money Matters

Currency is the Mexican Peso.


Taxes & Fees

Port Fee of $65.00 USD per person payable in cash onboard, transfers between airport and hospitality suite, gift shop purchases, bar, crew gratuities, dive gear rentals


Do I Need Insurance?

Travel insurance : We strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance to cover against unforeseeable events including personal & business impediments, illness, travel delays and missed flight connections.  We hate seeing any of our clients fall into the category of unfortunate travelers who are without coverage for unexpected circumstances

Diving insurance:  the liveaboards now require diving insurance. You must not confuse regular travel medical and/or travel insurance with diving-specific insurance such as DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure.  This type of insurance will cover all of your scuba diving and snorkeling activities, including the costs for recompression chamber treatment and emergency air evacuation. These are not covered by the average travel insurance.

We recommend Dive Assure as they are one of the few companies who offer insurance which includes general travel insurance, including trip cancellation .... plus full dive coverage.

Return to Socorro Guadalupe overview  

or close to read about Guadalupe


 

SOCORRO FAQ

Getting to Socorro

You'll want to schedule your international flight into and out of Los Cabos International (SJD) situated at the tip of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Many airlines fly to Los Cabos but most fly through the United States.  If you're not travelling on an American passport, please be sure that you have the visa you need to transit through the US.

Most of the liveaboards leave port late afternoon / early evening on the day of departure and make an overnight crossing. The exceptions are Vortex, Solmar V and Socorro Aggressor. 

For late departures, you may be able to find a flight which gets you to Los Cabos on departure day but it's a risk and we strongly recommend arriving a day early to avoid any eventual disappointment caused by travel delays or luggage gone astray.  It’s a one-day sail from Cabo out to Socorro which means the liveaboards can't wait for guests who have missing luggage or who missed their flight. 

We'll help you to organize a transfer into town from the airport, then to the port the next day.


Immigration

All guests must have a passport valid 6 months from entry.  Upon your arrival to Mexico you will need to complete a visa form which will be stamped by immigration officials.  Other visas are required from certain countries, so please check your specific requirements at a consulate or embassy online.


Arrival/Departure

We suggest flying in the day before the boat departs (this is imperative if your liveaboard leaves in the morning or mid-day). The extra allows time for flight delays or missing baggage. After the trip, flights departing Los Cabos after 12PM are perfect.  All the boats dock early in the morning upon return from the crossing.


What's the Weather like in the Mexican Pacific Ocean ?

Surface weather at Socorro Island is similar to southern California climate. Very warm during the day, and cool at night. Summer clothing should be fine for your trip. We recommend bringing a sweater, long pants and a windbreaker/rain jacket plus don't forget your hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen


What about Water Temperatures ?

You will be diving in water that averages 65°-72°F, 20°-20°C.  December and May are usually at the upper end of the range while January, February and March are cooler. A 5-7 mm wetsuit is recommended. All diving is from the dive tenders. 


Diving Conditions

The conditions in this island group can be challenging.  It's the eastern Pacific Ocean, after all, with currents which can be strong.  It's important to have good buoyancy control and can be too challenging for novice divers. 


Experience Required for Diving Socorro

Although the diving areas at Revillagigedo Islands require certain experience particularly in regards of buoyancy control, most divers who choose this destination are have sufficient experience for the conditions. Please note that several dives may not be suitable for divers of lower experience levels.  Your Cruise Director and dive guides will ensure that you skip dives that are beyond your level if you don't have a lot of logged dives under your belt. 

Please chat with us about your experience before booking.


Best Time to Go

The season at the Socorro Islands runs from the first of November through mid-June. Most of the liveaboards then switch to Guadalupe Island trips for White Shark cage diving. 


SUN SCREEN

Certain sunscreen ingredients have been found to be damaging to corals.  These include oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, 4MBC, or butylparaben. Research indicates that these chemicals can cause DNA damage to corals, promote viruses in corals, and contribute to the bleaching.

Some dive destinations have banned these chemicals but we would encourage you to choose and use a sunscreen that is "coral safe" in all destinations..


Health

The boats are all equipped with the best First-Aid materials available.

Please note that it's a long trip out to the Islands and can be a rocky crossing.  We recommend the use of the scopolamine “patch” as an anti-seasickness medication.

There is a navy decompression chamber on Socorro Island and civilian chambers in Cabo San Lucas.   Should you have a health emergency you can get a medavac flight.  There is a 5000-foot navy airstrip on Socorro Island. However, a single flight costs a minimum of US$10,000 and if you don’t have adequate insurance, you will need to arrange for pre-payment of the flight.


Flying after Diving

Current studies show that you should wait at least 24 hours after multiple days with repetitive diving before flying. Please keep this in mind before you book your onward international or domestic flights.


Money Matters

The currency is the Mexican peso.


Taxes & Fees

All guests will have to pay a USD $78 Natural Park Fee onboard, cash only. There is a 16% tax added to all onboard purchases.


Do I Need Insurance?

Travel insurance : We strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance to cover against unforeseeable events including personal & business impediments, illness, travel delays and missed flight connections.  We hate seeing any of our clients fall into the category of unfortunate travelers who are without coverage for unexpected circumstances

Diving insurance:  the liveaboards now require diving insurance. You must not confuse regular travel medical and/or travel insurance with diving-specific insurance such as DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure.  This type of insurance will cover all of your scuba diving and snorkeling activities, including the costs for recompression chamber treatment and emergency air evacuation. These are not covered by the average travel insurance.

We recommend Dive Assure as they are one of the few companies who offer insurance which includes general travel insurance, including trip cancellation .... plus full dive coverage.

Click here or on the button in the side panel to access Dive Assure directly.

Return to Socorro Guadalupe overview

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