Socorro Islands - Mexico - Only by Liveaboard!
Mexico’s Revillagigedo Islands are synonymous with liveaboards and big-animal encounters. The archipelago lies about 300 miles off the southern tip of Baja California, requiring a 22-hour transit from Cabo San Lucas.
Four uninhabited volcanic islands make up the Revillagigedos: Socorro, Clarion, San Benedicto, and Roca Partida. They raise up from sea level from 100 to 3,800 feet out of the water from the seafloor, creating exceptional walls, pinnacles and sheer drop-offs that act as cleaning and feeding stations for oceanic mantas and half a dozen shark species, including mass aggregations of scalloped hammerheads.
Revillagigedos is an oasis in the middle of the eastern Pacific. The four islands sit at the convergence of the cool California Current flowing from the north and the warmer North Equatorial Current, creating an ideal spot for nutrients to rise from the deep and attract passing pelagics. This makes Revilla a hotspot for manta rays, humpback whales, whale sharks, dolphins, hammerheads, Galapagos sharks—nearly every variety of hungry traveler.
The Revillagigedos are part of a unique chain with amazing undersea volcanic mounds. Because of the remote nature, there’s just not a lot of pressure on the sites.
Cabo Pierce, the Aquarium, and El Canyon dive sites offer the chance to see just about any big animals you can imagine—humpback whales, pacific bottlenose dolphins, whale sharks, the list goes on.
Because these are important waterways for endangered megafauna, the islands were deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016, and a year later were established as the Revillagigedo National Park. Even though they’re remote, they’re patrolled by the local government to prevent illegal fishing.
Because the archipelago is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, certain protective measures are in place. Night diving, solo diving, and diving in the blue are not offered for safety reasons. Also, reef hooks, knives, dive lights not connected to cameras, and gloves are not permitted. In order to manage the number of divers on each site, liveaboards coordinate the timing of their dives. Because of this, if there are several boats at a site, they may limit the number of dives per day to three. The park has a set limit on the number of liveaboards that can visit, but flexibility is key in these parts.