3 Epic Liveaboard Destinations in Mexico
By now, you’ve probably heard of all the wonderful diving in Mexico. From reefs to whale sharks and cenotes, the country is full of great dive sites. However, many divers simply explore the Yucatan Peninsula from Cancun to Tulum and think they’ve seen everything the country has to offer. While diving in that area is wonderful, there is epic diving further afield. You’ll just need to hop on a liveaboard to find it.
Mexico sits in a prime position for diving, between the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. With such a wide range, it’s no surprise that the diving is so diverse. Liveaboard diving mostly takes place on the Pacific side of the country, and the three best liveaboard destinations are Guadalupe, the Revillagigedo Archipelago (a.k.a. Socorro) and the Sea of Cortez.
Guadalupe and the Revillagigedo Archipelago are only accessible by liveaboard as they are at least half a day’s sail from land. However, the Sea of Cortez can be dived from land, but to see more dive sites around this body of water, liveaboard diving is recommended.
1. The Revillagigedo Archipelago
In recent years, the Revillagigedo Archipelago (also called Socorro) has become an increasingly popular diving destination. One of the main reasons to travel to these islands is to dive with giant oceanic manta rays. They can be seen in significant numbers passing by on ocean currents. Sharks are plentiful, too, and divers can spot hammerheads, tiger sharks and whale sharks as well as oceanic whitetips. Humpback whales and dolphins also make an occasional appearance. Due to its distance from the mainland, typical trips to Socorro last 8 to 10 days.
- Diving Season: November to May
- Recommended Liveaboards: Quino El Guardian, Socorro Aggressor, Vortex
2. Isla Guadalupe
Diving in Guadalupe is all about diving with great white sharks. This is one of the best places in the world to do so thanks to the sustainable practices of the operators and the normally crystal clear visibility. All the diving is done within cages on the surface or set down a few meters. It’s possible to see several great whites in a single cage dive. Furthermore, some of the sharks in the area are huge females, which can measure up to 18 feet (5.5. meters). Typical liveaboard trips to Guadalupe last 4 to 5 days.
3. Sea of Cortez
Less popular than Guadalupe and Socorro, the Sea of Cortez still has plenty to offer every diver. There’s no shortage of huge marine life here. From friendly sea lions to mantas and shoals of mobula rays, you never know what you’re going to see. Hammerheads and whale sharks as well as populations of whales and dolphins call this sea home (at least for part of the year). Orcas, humpacks, pilot whales and sperm whales are just a few of the exciting species regularly seen in this part of Mexico. Because the Sea of Cortez does not include a lengthy journey at the beginning and end of a cruise, liveaboard trips here are slightly more flexible. They usually last 7 to 10 days.
- Diving Season: July to October (September to November for whale sharks)
- Recommended Liveaboards: Rocio del Mar, Quino El Guardian, MV Valentina
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