Diving Mexico's Isla Guadalupe

Great White Shark cage diving

Guadalupe Island is famous for just one thing – Great White Sharks. Located to the east of the Baja California Peninsula, there is no scuba diving around Guadalupe for obvious reasons. Despite that, this is one of the most thrilling experiences we have ever had.

On the first morning of our trip, we were up with the dawn (but we always do that) and wandered to the stern – four surface cages had been hoisted into the ocean the previous evening and a submersible cage was hanging from a boom arm over the water. We stood bleary eyed, coffee in hand when suddenly, out of the blue, a grey shadow appeared.

It was a monster grey shadow. It rose to the surface and swung past the first cage. It swung past the second cage. It's tail was still off the the port side of the boat. Our wetsuits went on in a flash. We dropped into a cage, breathing from a hookah, and met the ocean's apex predator. Right beside us. Looking at us. A fully grown, male great white shark was in touching distance and he was a phenomenal sight.

Great White shark
Marine Life Great white sharks
Seasons August – October
Visibility 10 – 30 metres
Water temperature 18 – 24º C
Deco chambers La Paz
Flights San Diego or Tijuana
Transfers by road (2-3 hours) to Ensenada in Mexico then by boat (20 hours) to Guadalupe
Liveaboards Nautilus Liveaboards
PROS and CONS – There is only one real negative to this trip – it takes a long time to reach Guadalupe and the trip is through open ocean, which can be rough. The trip is also expensive but it is one of the few chances most scuba divers will ever have to sit within inches of a Great White shark and know they are safe. It was truly worth every penny.

SCUBA DIVING – Like almost every diver we have ever met, we were cynical about both cage diving (well, it's not real diving is it?) and how much we would enjoy seeing a marine creature in this way. It's almost impossible to describe how good the experience was – for three days we had the privilege of sliding in and out of the cages whenever we felt like it to watch these magnificent animals.

OPINION – We had not expected to be impressed. Well, impressed but not that impressed. Actually, we are really not sure what we expected, but it wasn't the 100% full-on adrenaline rush that is a face-to-face meeting with a great white shark. We travelled with Nautilus Explorer, a big boat that is perhaps a little crowded but the operation is run so smoothly you hardly notice. And any operation that hands you hot chocolate and freshly-baked cookies as you come up from a chilly dive gets a big thumbs up from us.

More diving destinations in Mexico
Pacific Mexico
Isla Guadalupe
Islas Revillagigedo
Caribbean Mexico
The Cenotes and Playa del Carmen
Diving video for Socorro here...
Complete reports on this area are in
Diving the World.
Order the book direct from SeaFocus here.
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