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Diving at the Socorro Islands

The Revillagigedos Archipelago

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...Highlights: whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, shark action, dolphins, whales, manta rays, schooling fish & big pelagics...
...Socorro's diving environment: wall dives, drift diving, advanced divers, off the beaten track...

The best known of the Revillagigedos of Mexico is Socorro Island, so much so that the group of islands is often referred to collectively as 'Socorro'. Approximately 9 miles (15 km) wide, the island and its surrounding waters have become synonymous with liveaboard diving cruises and big fish action, particularly manta rays, sharks (hammerheads, silkies, oceanic whitetips, silvertips, Galapagos sharks, tiger sharks and whale sharks), dolphins and even whales.

Imagine visiting these distant shores and then submerging yourself in a watery environment where the songs of gentle giants can be heard throughout your dive. Show more

Dive Site Descriptions for Socorro

Roca Partida - meaning 'split rock', is a small pinnacle that rockets up from the sea floor from below 164ft (50m) depth, approximately 64 miles (40 km) from Socorro. The 2 points of the split pinnacle rise above the surface and have met with the unfortunate fate of being a dumping ground for gulls and boobies that leave deposits all over the rock. To be on a dive tender downwind of this site is a sensory experience not to be forgotten!

The topside scenery and scent, combined with the incredible underwater action, have led many to compare the scuba diving here to Wolf and Darwin islands in the Galapagos. For some, Roca Partida represents the best spot in the Revillagigedos Islands and is an essential part of the Socorro diving experience. It is a magnet for pelagics like wahoo, marlin, Giant Pacific manta rays, tuna and mackerel. Oceanic whitetips, scalloped hammerheads, Galapagos sharks and whale sharks are among the shark species seen here. Dolphins and humpback whales are also regularly sighted. The list of possible encounters sounds like a "who's who" of marine heavyweights. Show more

How to Dive Socorro

The only way to visit Socorro is by liveaboard. There are no hotels on any of the islands of the Revillagegidos and they are much too remote for daytrips from the mainland. In fact the journey from the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula takes over 24 hours.

Socorro appeals to more experienced scuba divers for whom the open sea, currents and choppy conditions, cooler water and rocky outcrops, are all part of the fun. Liveaboard spaces are limited so we recommend you book many months in advance of your travel dates to avoid disappointment.

For more information on the tour options, and all the travel information you might need to visit Mexico, read our Socorro liveaboard section.

Socorro Islands Diving Season

November through May reflects the Socorro liveaboard safari season. The winter months of late January through early April are the best times to see humpback whales. This is when water temperatures are at their lowest at 70 to 73°F (21-23°C). Outside of this time it is likely to be warmer at 73 to 79°F (23-26°C) and a better time for manta rays and sharks. This is roughly the November through early January period and most of April and May. The Weather Atlas websiteOpens in a new window has more information on the climate at Cabo San Lucas, the harbour town used for cruises to Socorro.

Visibility, which on average is very good, varies from time to time and place to place. Wind, rain, current and tide can all play their part in affecting visibility. Sometimes in November and December the visibility can drop from the average of 98ft (30m) to around 50 to 65ft (15-20m), although this tends to be only at a few dive sites. Being open ocean islands, surface conditions at Socorro are variable. There are often quite sheltered mooring spots around the islands but the seas can be choppy during crossings.

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Where is Socorro Island and How Do I Get There?

Review our map below of Mexico, showing the location of Socorro. Here, you will find information on how to get to Mexico, and then cruise on to the Socorro Islands.

Map of Mexico (click to enlarge in a new window)

Reef Summary

Depth: 33 - 100ft (10 - 30m)
Visibility: 50 - 115ft (15 - 35m)
Currents: Moderate but can be strong
Surface conditions: Can be choppy
Water temperature: 70 - 79°F (21 - 26°C)
Experience level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: 12 in the whole area
Distance: 280 miles (450 km) west from Cabo San Lucas, Baja California
Recommended length of stay: 8 - 9 days

Useful References

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