Scuba Diving at Revillagigedo, Mexico – Travel, Dive Guide, & More

Drone Shot of Revillagigedo Archipelago, Socorro, Mexico. Isla Socorro. Ocean, islands, water, Pacific Ocean. With boat

Scuba Diving at Revillagigedo, Mexico – Travel, Dive Guide, & More

Mexico’s island archipelago Revillagigedo — off the coast of Baja California — is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was declared a marine reserve and national park in 2017. - Photo by Francisco Jesús Navarro Hernández at Unsplash
Mexico’s island archipelago Revillagigedo — off the coast of Baja California — is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was declared a marine reserve and national park in 2017. – Photo by Francisco Jesús Navarro Hernández at Unsplash

The group of four volcanic islands makes up the Revillagigedo Islands. Its natural scenic beauty and geography make it a perfect spot for scuba diving. As a result, this global tourist location succeeds in attracting countless visitors throughout the year, including scuba divers. If you’re a scuba diver or want to try out a new diving location, this group of islands will offer you several diving spots.

In this article, you’ll learn about the islands of Revillagigedo, how it’s like diving there, some fascinating diving points, and pretty everything you as a traveler should know. This is your one-stop scuba diving and travel guide at Revillagigedo, Mexico.

What It’s Like Diving at Revillagigedo?

So, if you’re planning on diving at Revillagigedo, you must be aware of what it’s like diving on the spot. This section will brief you about it.

  • The water here ranges from 23 o to 27o and features walls and currents that attract many bigger marine lives.
  • There’s a diversity of marine life on the islands. You’ll get to encounter sharks, dolphins, manta rays, and even whale sharks.
  • The number of liveaboards in the park is limited, so expect some flexibility when there are many divers in a certain dive site.

Marine Life at Revillagigedo

Each diving spot in this group of islands is filled with several marine animals. A great place to check many creatures figuring on most divers’ bucket lists, Revillagigedo really impresses even seasoned divers.

Manta ray at a cleaning station, Raja Ampat, Indonesia - Photo By Swanson Chan on Unsplash
Manta Ray at a cleaning station – Photo By Swanson Chan on Unsplash

1.     Manta Rays

Manta rays are the largest rays known to mankind. The ones found at these diving spots can be as large as 29 feet wide. They feed on plankton.

2.     Bottlenose Dolphins

If you are lucky, you may encounter dolphins in these waters. If you are really lucky, the dolphins will be playful and interact with your diving group.

3.     Galapagos Sharks

To put it simply, sharks have always been breathtaking creatures of the marine world. And if you’re brave enough to lock a close view with these giant scary creatures, then Revilagiggedo, Mexico, is a good diving destination to accomplish the mission.

4.     Hammerheads

With wide heads resembling a hammer, these creatures are found at the diving site, and many divers fantasize about encountering them under the water.

5.     Humpback Whales

These gigantic animals migrate from Alaska to Revillagigedo warmer waters during the winter to give birth to their offspring. So if you want to encounter these beautiful creatures, plan accordingly.

Humpback whale - Photo by Elianne Dipp at Pexels
Humpback whale – Photo by Elianne Dipp at Pexels

Expected Time To Encounter Different Marine Animals

  • Sharks: November to June
  • Whale Sharks: April to June + November and December
  • Manta Rays: November to June
  • Hammerhead Sharks: November to June
  • Whales: January to April
  • Dolphins: November to June
  • More Reef Creatures: November to July

Diving Conditions

Before planning your dive trip to Revilagiggedo, it’s crucial to know a few factors associated with the environment of this diving site.

  1. Diving Difficulty: Intermediate, Experts, & Above
  2. Diving Depth: 18m to 40m+
  3. Water Temperature: 23 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius
  4. Visibility Under The Water: 15m to 30m+
  5. Best Diving Season: November to July

Dive Sites You Shouldn’t Ignore!

So, if you’re fired up to pay a visit to some of the diving sites situated at Revilagiggedo, Mexico, here’s a compilation of some leading diving sites just for you!

Drone Shot of Revillagigedo Archipelago, Socorro, Mexico. Isla Socorro. Ocean, islands, water, Pacific Ocean. With boat

1.     Socorro Island

This is one of the four islands making up the entire Revilagiggedo, Mexico. You’ll find some manta ray cleaning stations here, along with a couple of pinnacles. Those hoping to encounter hammerhead sharks should aim for pinnacles because that’s where they’re easily sighted. Moreover, nearby diving sites on this island enable divers to sight some bottleneck dolphins, while the eastern region features a calm sea for relaxed diving sessions.

2.     Cabo Pearce

The diving site is at the eastern region of the islands. This is a regular and usual sight for spotting some dolphins and divers often spend some time here with them. And if that’s not enough for you, dive a bit deeper and you’ll be surrounded by some hammerhead sharks too. Humpback whales are also said to be in the region but only a few have been lucky to sight them.

3.     Roca O’Neal

This diving site is very popular for sighting hammerhead sharks. In fact, the population of those large creatures is so much, that Roca O’Neal is also called Hammerhead Central. Other creatures to spot here include lobsters and other small sea animals. Dive up to 40 feet to locate a plateau to sight some small marine life.

4.     Punta Tosca

This is another diving site for encountering dolphins and having some personal time with them. Moreover, those hoping to see humpback whales should aim for this site. Silky sharks, Galapagos, and lobsters are all popular in this region.

5.     The Aquarium

Underwater photographers and marine life documentarists often target this site. The name says it all! It’s like an aquarium with plenty of variety of small fishes. Some are colorful, some are so small you’ll be amused by their cuteness, while some have adorable tails. A good variety of fishes to have a close look at.

6.     San Benedicto Island

This is another one of the four islands of Revillagigedo. It earned global fame and popularity due to its richness in manta rays, dusky sharks, dolphins, hammerhead sharks, humpback whales, silky sharks, whale sharks, etc., all at one point.

7.     El Boiler

This is a diving site that is a guyot (seamount) that rises from 100 feet to just below the water surface. Small as a football field, it delivers a promising diving experience. That’s because the marine life is plenty here, and you don´t need to dive deep to encounter a variety of creatures like mantas. Some special creatures here include octopuses, lobsters, while jacks, manta rays, reef fish, silky sharks, etc.

8.     El Canyon

You’ll find two cleaning stations at this diving point, which is famous for encountering large pelagic fishes. Moreover, sharks dominate this diving point. Diving here will make you run into Galapagos and hammerhead sharks, silkies, dolphins, and more.

9.     Roca Partida

Rumors had it that a diving trip at Revillagigedo ain’t complete without diving at this site. Located nearly 85 miles away from San Benedicto, this diving point is full of tons of marine creature varieties. In a nutshell, you can encounter mantas, sharks, whales, and other large fishes.

Best Time to Show Up – Get The Best of Your Diving Trip

November to May is the peak time to encounter the majority of marine animals at Revillagigedo, which is why it’s said to be the best time to show up there. Furthermore, the Pacific Ocean is the calmest at this period, which offers a stable underwater environment to the divers. Calm water is not only safe but also offers better view, which is much helpful, especially for the less experienced ones.

If you’re prominently concerned about mantas, you can pay a visit here anytime throughout the year due to their all-year-long presence. The weather at Socorro Island can get a bit rainy or sunny at times, though. Many divers have been lucky enough to encounter whale sharks and humpback whales in winters.

Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico

So, if you’re fired up to pay a visit to this awesome set of diving sites, first things first- you should know well about the destination. This section talks about it in brief.

San Benedicto Island. Taken using a Mavic Air Drone 500 meters high. - Photo by Raphaelgatti at Wikipedia
San Benedicto Island. Taken using a Mavic Air Drone 500 meters high. – Photo by Raphaelgatti at Wikipedia

History of Revillagigedo

Located in the Pacific Ocean, the Revillagigedo Islands are 4 volcanic islands. The islands are known to house the largest population of sharks, manta rays, tunas, certain species of sea turtles, and humpback whales in the world. Owning to rich marine life diversity and potential endless tourism options, the islands were introduced in the Mexican biosphere reserve, where only 6NM are covered so far since 1994. The Spanish explorers are said to be the first-ever humans to discover the land. Following the discovery, the Mexican government set up a naval base in 1957 and has occupied the land since then.

Revillagigedo Curiosities

  • 4 islands are Clarion, Roca Partida, Socorro, and San Benedicto.
  • Owing to the strong presence of a variety of endemic plants, marine life, and animals, the Revillagigedo Islands are also termed “Mexico’s Little Hawaii”.
  • The islands don’t have a freshwater source of their own.
  • The advisable number of dives prior to diving in Socorro is over 50 dives.
  • Most diving sites allow diving below 25 meters.

What To Pack For Your Diving Trip?

Here are a couple of items recommended to carry for a scuba diving trip to Revillagigedo, Mexico.

  • A wetsuit that is at least 5 mm thick.
  • Strong Fins are recommended due to the increased possibility of hitting strong current. Strong fins with good propulsion will keep you safe throughout your diving here.
  • Surface Marker Buoys (SMBs) are really helpful for people to locate you in case you get diverted from your group under the water.
  • Warm garments are another essential in your packing list for a diving trip to Revillagigedo.
  • Consider carrying seasickness tablets, since it’ll take nearly 26 hours in the open ocean to reach the Islands.
Scuba diver - Photo by Sebastian Pena Lambarri at Unsplash
Scuba diver – Photo by Sebastian Pena Lambarri at Unsplash

Reaching Revillagigedo

There are several transportation methods to reach the ultimate diving destination. This section highlights them.

By Sea

You can reach the Socorro Island from Cabo San Lucas through liveaboard ship. Estimated time to reach the destination is 24-26 hours. Visitors are not permitted to hit the shores in Revillagigedo, so you can only dive there from a liveaboard.

By Air

Your trip starts with a flight to Cabo San Lucas. There are several airlines providing direct flights to the city. You’ll need a passport and always check if you need a visa prior to your entry in the country.

Trip & Diving Tips for Revillagigedo

  • Consider keeping your camera at hand during boat rides to capture humpbacks, dolphins, and pilot whales on the surface.
  • There are no shops at the archipelago, so keep an extra backup of all the essentials you think you might need. A trip should last 7-9 days, so fill up the stock.
  • If you want to encounter whale sharks, visit from November to December or April to June. Or visit from January to April to sight whales here.
  • Don’t count for a night diving session as the diving site is extremely remote. However, some liveaboard operators allow evening snorkeling alongside silky sharks.

Essential Information about Revillagigedo

To know if you’ve got what it takes to dive at Revillagigedo, this section details some vital information for enthusiast divers before they pay a visit to the site.

  1. The level of diving is intermediate to advanced and a nitrox certification is advisable.
  2. The bottom here is deep, hence demands excellent buoyancy control. Take shallow dives before going deep.
  3. Be prepared for frequently changing currents at deep levels.
  4. Park rules indicate that the divers are not allowed to carry knives, reef hooks, any diving lights not attached to the camera along with gloves.
  5. The number of divers at each site is limited. This is why in case of increased boats at a certain site, they may reduce the diving time or the number of dives to three for each day.

How to avoid boredom while waiting at Cabo San Lucas Airport?

There are some points of interest near the Cabos San Lucas airport including bars. However, consider visiting a nearby resort or a hotel if you’re with your friends to avoid hanging out in a bar in the heat.

What’s gastronomy in Mexico?

Mexican cuisine has rich flavors achieved through herbs and spices. In a nutshell, some varieties include pozole, chiles en nogada, mole, enchiladas, etc.

Bottling Up

By the end of this article, you went through all the essential details you should know before scuba diving at Revillagigedo. This condensed travel and diving guide should educate you with ample details every intermediate to advanced diver should have. You’ll see divers reaching there from all over the world, so don’t hesitate in being friends, since You’ll spend several days on the boat with them.

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