SCUBA DIVING SOCORRO
Socorro is the ultimate destination for diving enthusiasts in Mexico. This site has been referred to as the “Little Galapagos” or “Mexican Galapagos” due to the rich diversity of marine life waiting to be discovered.
Socorro is a diver’s paradise. If you would like to experience marine life encounters, you won’t be disappointed with this diving destination. It is home to some of the largest creatures in the ocean. In fact, this is one of few places that enable you to swim with humpback whales.
The other highlights of diving Socorro would be hammerhead sharks, dolphins, manta rays, and other schools of fishes that you will encounter along the way. There is also a variety of diving environment that is suited for advanced divers.
The only way you can dive in Socorro is via a liveboard. You won’t be able to find any hotels nearby and it is also too remote to access on a day trip. Now, you can understand why this diving destination is only recommended for experienced and advanced divers since you are going to deal with currents in the open sea.
In this guide, you will learn all of the information you need to know before you embark on that diving trip in Socorro, Mexico. The goal is to help plan your diving itinerary so you can optimize the experience. With such a massive diving environment and lots of opportunities, it can easily overwhelm.
BEST DIVE SITES
As already mentioned, Socorro offers a variety of diving environment and sites that are each worthy of being explored. Taking note of the best dive sites will simplify your planning for the best dive route. It also ensures that you won’t miss the best that this diving site has to offer.
This is one of the first sites that are dived by enthusiasts when they visit Socorro in Mexico. This is also a good site to start before heading out to more challenging sites because it has generally calm currents and is not too deep. The highlight of this site are the three large pinnacles that can be found here. These pinnacles are full of marine life such as eels, lobsters, and some sharks.
This dive site is popular because of a 20-feet pinnacle that rises from the sea floor. Despite that, the pinnacle is completely submerged so you won’t be able to see it from the surface of the water. The site got its name from the fact that the surf and swell creates a ‘boiling’ effect on the water.
This pinnacle is small enough that you can circle around it in one dive. It is definitely worth of exploration because the pinnacle looks beautiful at every angle. Other possible sightings in this dive site are Tiger sharks and humpback whales.
This dive site is located on the eastern side of the island. You need to add this to your diving itinerary if you are keen to find mantas, dolphins, and humpback whales.
If you like to play around with and interact with dolphins, you need to add Punta Tosca in your itinerary. This is a beautiful site with plenty of underwater life to marvel at. Aside from dolphins, this is also a great site to dive for spotting silky sharks.
‘The Aquarium’ is one of those dive sites that you cannot afford to miss while in Socorro, Mexico. From offshore, you can even spot the whales come out of the water from this site. The opportunity to get close to them is therefore a magical experience.
The Roca Partida dive site is located approximately 85 miles from San Benedicto Island. This is actually a guano-covered pinnacle that is up to 100 feet high. The pinnacle also acts as a magnet for pelagics so it is not uncommon to find them here.
The Canyon is the other popular dive site in Soccoro, Mexico (aside from ‘The Boiler’). It is located at the southern tip portion of the island. This is the best place to dive for those who are seeking marine life encounters such as Galapagos sharks, manta rays, silky sharks, hammerheads, and dolphins.
BEST TIME TO DIVE
The best time to dive Socorro, Mexico is from November to May. This is the peak of the liveboard season in the region. If you are specifically diving to spot humpback whales, make sure to book your trip during the winter months of January to April.
This also offers the lowest water temperature at a range of 21 to 23 degrees Celsius. If you are not diving in the winter months, expect to find manta rays and sharks.
The water visibility in Socorro, Mexico is very good on average. But it does vary according to the specific dive sites you are visiting. The wind, rain, current, and tide can all play a part in determining the actual visibility.
COMMON TRAVEL QUESTIONS
Are you planning a diving trip to Socorro, Mexico? If so, you might have a few questions in mind. Take a look at some of the frequently asked questions for those visiting Socorro for the first time and get the information you need to plan your trip.
How are diving trips usually run?
The only way you can dive in Socorro, Mexico is via a liveboard. The diving sites are extremely remote that it would take a long time to get there via day trip. You must therefore book a liveboard tour with any of the local operators in order to arrange your liveboard trip. The great thing about a liveboard trip is that you can visit as many diving sites in one tour in order to maximize your time in the water.
Your lodging and food will already be included in the cost of paying for this liveboard trip. Hence, it is a full diving experience that you can enjoy in Socorro, Mexico.
How do I get to Socorro, Mexico?
You can travel via Isla Socorro Airport or San Jose del Cabo Airport in Cabo San Lucas. There are daily flights from major airlines that service these airports. From there, you can stay on the mainland and book your diving trip with any of the local tour operators.
What to pack for a diving trip to Socorro?
The cabin space in your liveboard is usually limited. Therefore, pack only the essentials such as your swimsuit that you will be using for your diving trips. There is no need to bring your own diving gear as they will be provided for you. Other things to pack include underwater camera (if you want to capitalize on the excellent underwater photography conditions).
Who can dive in Socorro?
Due to the extreme diving conditions, only experienced or advanced divers with certificate are allowed to dive in these sites. Make sure to bring your PADI certificate or any form of certification that would showcase you have advanced or experience in diving prior to this trip. Some tour operators will decline guests who are unable to provide certificate or any proof of their diving experience and skills.
Socorro belongs to an archipelago known as Archipelago de Revillagigedo. It is located approximately 250 miles to the south of Cabo San Lucas in the Pacific Ocean. You will find the island of Isla Socorro at the tip of the Baja Peninsula.
The islands of Socorro and other neighboring islands comprising this archipelago has had many comparisons to that of the Galapagos Islands. This is due to the vast amount of big animal encounters waiting for those who dive this site.
Aside from Socorro Island, the archipelago consists of three other islands: San Benedicto Island, Clarion, and Roca Partida.
When diving during the peak season in Socorro, you can expect calmer seas and current. The water visibility is also good for up to 30 feet. But for most part of the year, visibility is to be expected within the 80 to 100 feet range.
In terms of water temperature, you can expect a low of 21 degrees Celsius and a high of 28 degrees Celsius. The marine life is abundant in this region with the Pacific pelagic fishes, mantas, humpback whales, sharks, and dolphins among those frequently spotted.