Socorro Island General Information
Socorro Island liveaboard diving trip is top level lifetime experience for every diver! It is possible to say that Socorro together with Cocos and Galapagos Islands form the BIG 3 of the most thrilling diving adventures not only in the Pacific but in the whole World.
Socorro is one of the four islands in the Revillagigedos of Mexico. Together with Roca Partida, San Benedicto and Clarion, Socorro Island forms an archipelago on south-west from Cabo San Lucas, the very tip of Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. The Revillagigedos is purely a volcanic archipelago that lies 400 km (250 miles) off the shore and represents wild pacific underwater scenery and action in their best! A 1,130 meter volcano rises in the middle of the Socorro Island which erupted in 1993 for the last time. Socorro is the best known island of the archipelago, so the name of “Socorro” is often referred to the Revillagigedos is general. The archipelago is home to many endemic flora and fauna representatives and the whole ecosystem is quite fragile. All four islands were declared as a Marine Biosphere Reserve in 1996 and got its status of World Heritage Site in 2016.
Socorro Island Diving
Socorro Islands Liveaboard Diving is a synonym for underwater action movie! Islands are remote and wild, they offer the most thrilling marine encounters one can imagine. Liveaboard diving in the Socorro Islands is challenging, open ocean is choppy, currents are strong. You should have a solid diving experience to feel yourself comfortable underwater. The common requirement from liveaboards is advance certification with a minimum of 30-40 dives logged, however everyone should evaluate his/her skills realistically before going to Socorro. Divers should have great buoyancy control and good skills diving in currents, not to panic and be calm while diving this incredible volcanic environment featuring world-class deep, wall and drift dives. Some divers say that currents sometimes are stronger than they would expect. However, it’s currents that bring action here with sharks and mantas!
No doubt that diving Socorro can fill in multiple check-boxes in bucket lists of many divers in terms of marine life encounters. Sharks, sharks and more sharks… Multiple shark species are seen on every Socorro island liveaboard diving trip. Divers are lucky to meet many oceanic whitetip and silvertip sharks, silky and dusky sharks with some occasional encounters of tiger sharks and Galapagos sharks. On deeper dives you will be witnessing big groups (counting up to 50 individuals) of hammerhead sharks passing above your head. Hammerheads are commonly seen from April to June. Some sharks, like silkies and oceanic whitetips, will be cruising right under the vessel when it’s moored.
You will never forget coming up close with gentle and gracious Manta Rays. These pacific giants can get up to 7 meters from one wingtip to another. Giant oceanic manta rays with a deep black colored backs are the goal for many photographers. Many underwater photo-pros a dying to catch that perfect moment of several giants dancing together, going belly to belly in one shot. The most famous place for these encounters is a cleaning station near San Benedicto on the site called the Boiler. The Boiler is a large pinnacle, and small enough at the same time to swim around during one dive, that starts from a bottom at 50 meters and rises up to 6 meters above the surface. Water motion makes it look like it’s boiling, that’s how the site got its name. Giant Manta Rays won’t make you wait long and will show up a few minutes after you descend. The Canyon, another must-visit dive site at San Benedicto, is also known for memorable diving with many mantas, multiple shark species (including hammerheads, Galapagos and silkies) and bottlenose dolphins. San Benedicto diving features more beauties underwater, humpback whales are seen here during a migration season from end January through April!
Cabo Pearce, The Aquarium, Punta Tosca and Roca Partida are four the most visited dive sites around the main Socorro Island featuring all kinds of marine life. The topography is particularly interesting with sharp cliffs and even a few caves. Roca Partida, a massive pinnacle going down to at least 60 meters and up to 30 meters, is a magnet to large pelagics and massive schools of fish. The rock is so beautiful itself, you will want to swim around and just contemplate this formation... But you will surely be distracted by sharks and mantas anyway.
Roca Partida, the smallest from Revillagigedos, is located west from Socorro and San Benedicto. This small pillar pinnacle attracts large pelagics and big schools of tuna and jacks. At around 12 meters you will find whitetip sharks sleeping in their “beds” at ridges on the wall, those shelves are also great places to hide for other marine inhabitants.
It’s worth mentioning that on the top of this impressive fauna, Revillagigedos features some of the most amazing landscapes you will see underwater!