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Liveaboard Diving in Mexico
Take the plunge into Mexico's spectacular Cenotes, climb into a cage for a personal encounter with a great white shark or swim among a school of humpback whales.
Liveaboard diving in Mexico is extremely popular with divers looking to encounter large pelagics. Deciding to join a liveaboard trip in Mexico means you will visit some of the most spectacular dive sites and areas, all located on the west side of Mexico. These dive sites focus more on the impressive marine life you will see, and less on extremely colourful reefs, but believe me, when you are seeing the marine life there you will have no time to even realise that there is no colourful reef as a backdrop. The Mexico dive cruises which liveaboard.com offers go to three areas; the islands of Socorro, the Sea Of Cortez and to Guadalupe.
There are numerous Mexico liveaboards available via Liveaboard.com which visit these dive sites. The boats vary in length from 25m (82ft) up to 41m (135ft) with a number of passengers ranging from 16 to 30. There are also different amounts of nights you can go, starting from a 5 night, 6-day trip up to a 10 night, 11-day trip. Each liveaboard is unique, with additional features and/or expenses whether you want a luxury liveaboard or a more budget-friendly cruise, so please always read all the information before booking.
Sailing in Mexico most trips depart from two different cities, either Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo, both are located in the south of the Baja California state. Most of the dive cruises depart at night, around 9 pm as it will take quite some time to get to the Socorro islands; which is located 400 km from the Mexican mainland. Some do leave in the morning, so please check this thoroughly. Once you arrive at the first destination you will first do a check dive with the staff, just so they get to know you as a diver and also to get you into the ‘groove’ of things. These dives will also help the captain and staff choose the most suitable dive sites for the trip. Divers aboard a Mexico dive liveaboard can expect to do 3 - 4 dives per day, except for departure and return days, and depending on the weather and itinerary.
All itineraries are subject to change depending on the divers and the weather, it will always be the Captains final choice, and safety is always the main priority.
Dive Sites And Areas In Mexico
SOCORRO: This spectacular area has four islands to keep divers entertained, a group of four volcanic islands called the Revillagigedo Archipelago, or otherwise known as the Socorro Islands. This is a paradise for many large species of Pelagic species, including many species of sharks, Humpback whales, dolphins and they are also known for the many large Manta Rays. The visibility in this area varies from 15-50m (49-164ft) and water temperatures range from 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) up to 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit). They are part of a protected biosphere reserve and many conservation organisations are working around here to preserve the unique wildlife which inhabits and pass here.
GUADALUPE: One of the most popular dive sites in the world for cage diving with Great White Sharks; if you are looking for the thrill to truly coming up close and personal with these impressive sharks, this is the area for it. Also, read our tips on cage diving with sharks.
SEA OF CORTEZ: The sea of Cortez has many different dive sites and also provides divers with incredible marine wildlife encounters. One of the dive areas called La Paz is best known for the extremely large schools of Hammerheads which roam here during the winter and autumn months. Another dive area, Cabo Pulmo, is one of the few coral reefs in this area; a colourful and thriving reef which inhabits more than 6000 marine species, with generally great visibility this is the spot for some colourful underwater photography.
When To Go
Mexico is an all year round diving destination but the best times to go depends on the marine wildlife and their presence at the dive sites. Socorro has the calmest seas from November to May with the waters being around 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) in November, 21 degrees Celsius (69 degrees Fahrenheit) in February and back up to 25 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in May. These winter months also bring with them the main spectacles; thousands of humpback whales which come here to breed, and many manta rays. The visibility here depends solely on the plankton in the water which depends on the moon, but in general, the visibility is great.
The best months to dive in Guadalupe are August to October with the best visibility to see the many rowdy male sharks which are around during this time, but waters here are colder, around 20 degrees, so a wetsuit is important. If Hammerheads is what you are hoping to see then September and October are the best months to go.
Tips For Travellers
Each liveaboard has their own minimum dive experience level, most expect to have your Advanced Open water with at least 50 logged dives, but there are a few which only need you to have your Open Water and no minimum logged dives please always check this before booking and it is important to remember your dive logs/logbooks.
The main language is Spanish, however, English is widely spoken all around the country and on the liveaboards. The currency is the Mexican Peso and you can easily exchange all popular currencies such as US dollars and Euros etc.
The plug is the same plug as the US; two flat prongs with the standard voltage being 127V. Please remember to bring an adaptor for all your electrics if you are not coming from the US.
How To Get There
There are two ports from which the liveaboards we have to offer, these are Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. These are both cities in the state of Baja California and located in the most Southern municipality; Los Cabos. You will most likely fly into Los Cabos International Airport, which has flights arriving from the United States, Canada, and other Mexican Cities. Both cities have their own ports which the liveaboards will depart from.
It is important to note that there are potentially extra costs for these trips such as port tax, marine park fees, crew gratuities, dive equipment rental (if you do not have your own) and Nitrox. Each liveaboard differs so please check this before booking. It is important to know that you will require having insurance for the duration of your trip.
To get into Mexico you will need to have a passport which is valid at least six more months after arrival and a return flight. The large majority of nationalities can receive a tourist visa on arrival.
Please see your doctor if you are wanting to know which vaccinations might be needed before travelling.
Mexico Diving Reviews
- 9.2 Superb
- 60 Verified Reviews
On the one hand, we were able to see things not available in other places we have been to, the visibility was not as good in other dive destinations.
Diving Mexico in September on the Quino el Guardian
More than I could expect. Abs also recommend free diving. It can be as much as fun as diving. Believe me!
Diving Mexico in April on the El Duque
Like Mexico a lot and find it to be a very friendly place
Diving Mexico in April on the Socorro Vortex
Okay. I was hoping there would be more close encounters with bigger fish/mammals, but the manta rays compensated for that.
Diving Mexico in December on the Valentina
I love it here. The wildlife is amazing and the Mexicans are such a friendly happy race. They are quite simple in their needs. They like a beer and good food, and that's all I need with such great diving. This was the best trip ever in over 20 liveaboards and 18 years of diving. I have also dived Cozumel several times and Puerto Vallarta. Both are different but still good in their own ways.
Diving Mexico in April on the Valentina
Excellent experience. I’ll surely come back. It’s the best place to dive due to conservation measures taken by the government and created a economy based on conservation.
Diving Mexico in September on the Valentina
Excellent. Black coral and sea lions. Large jaw fish were another highlight. Visibility wasn't great but ocean was filled with schools of baby fish.
Diving Mexico in July on the Rocio del Mar
Water was not clear but the sea life was gorgeous. Diving with the sea Lions was amazing. Snorkeling with the whale sharks was an amazing experience
Diving Mexico in July on the Rocio del Mar
Out at San Benedicto it was excellent - in the Sea of Cortez it was very disappointing
Diving Mexico in June on the Nautilus Belle Amie
Fantastic. It is a heaven to dive. We dived Cabo side and in Cancun, along the Riviera Maya in Playa Del Carman in Tulum. Any dive here, whether it is the Cenotes of Tulum or the Bull Sharks of Playa Del Carman, or the Sea Lions of Espiritu Santo Island can easily be the best dive you will ever do.
Diving Mexico in December on the Nautilus Explorer
If you're in Cabo San Lucas, be sure to hike Mt. Solmar and walk both Divorce and Lovers Beaches - but don't plan on going swimming!
Diving Mexico in April on the Solmar V
Loved it - highly recommended for anyone who wants to see pelagics.
Diving Mexico in April on the Nautilus Explorer
Fantastic dive masters, boat crew, and other divers on this liveaboard. I highly recommend to anyone and everyone
Diving Mexico in April on the Valentina
In terms of once-in-a-life experience, it is definitely worth visiting looking forward to mantas, sharks
Diving Mexico in March on the Nautilus Belle Amie
The trip to Socorro was my best liveaboard (from more then 10 trips).
Diving Mexico in January on the Valentina
overall, it was worth as much as Galapagos trip. expecially, I love the steps who are kind and funny.
Diving Mexico in January on the Quino el Guardian
I'll return and I'll bring some more divers from Brazil. The experience was amazing. The crew is very educated and funny, and it was very safe in each step.
Diving Mexico in January on the Rocio del Mar
excellent introduction to the pacific side. much different than the reefs on the Caribbean.
Diving Mexico in December on the Quino el Guardian
Great experience and on the list to visit again in 2018.
Diving Mexico in December on the Nautilus Belle Amie
The great white shark diving was fantastic. I will also recommend the Socorro Islands trip, as we have done it twice.
Diving Mexico in October on the Nautilus Under Sea
Water is around 70-73F. Would get a bit cold after staying in the cage for extended time. Cage dives are quite safe, and great for observing sealife.
Diving Mexico in October on the Nautilus Belle Amie
Last year I was quite impress diving cozumel but I wouldn't have expected such a quality for Socorro.
Diving Mexico in November on the Quino el Guardian
Very good. I dove in the Sea of Cortez last year and will certainly return to that area. Glad to have experienced Socorro.
Diving Mexico in February on the Valentina
I did some diving in the Sea of Cortez which was great, a few dives in Yucatan (region Tulum) which were disappointing (heavy surge, bad visibility) and some breathtaking dives in Cozumel.
Diving Mexico in November on the Valentina