Diving Mexico's Islas Revillagigedo

Socorro | San Benedicto | Roca Partida

Although most divers and dive operators refer to this destination as Socorro, the correct name for the island group southwest of Mexico's Baja Peninsula is Islas Revillagigedo. These islands have a unique marine ecosystem. Inside the Pacific Ring of Fire they are isolated from any major land mass and for that matter, each other. They are often nicknamed the mini-Galápagos and you can see why. Both above and below the water, the landscapes are similar to those islands further south.

For scuba diving, the marine life is also closely aligned to that of the Galápagos with sharks and mantas, dolphins, whales and whalesharks but where this destination differs is that it is all about interaction. The mantas are so friendly they swoop in to see visiting divers. Dolphins come to play, the sharks approach the boat to see what is happening.

San Benedicto – The closest island to Cabo San Lucas on Baja and usually the first stop on a diving trip, this island is best known for it's giant manta rays but there is much more including endemic fish species like the the Clarion angelfish and Clarion damselfish.
Socorro – There are more mantas here too, plus silky sharks, octopus, hammerheads and the underwater terrain is fabulous.
Roca Partida – Ranking as one of the best diving sites we have ever done with mantas, dolphins, humpback whales, five different shark species and incredible macro animals – if you take time to look away from the big stuff.
Whitetip sharks
Marine Life

Giant Pacific manta rays
Silky sharks
Galápagos sharks Bottlenose dolphins

Top dive site Roca Partida
Seasons November to May
Visibility 10 – 40 metres
Water temperature 20 – 24º C
Deco chambers Cabo San Lucas
Flights to San Jose del Cabo from any main US based airport.
Transfers 20-24 hours sailing time to San Benedicto Island
Liveaboards Nautilus Liveaboards
Accommodation San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas.
PROS and CONS – There is only one negative about this trip – it takes a long time to reach these offshore islands and the trip through open ocean can be rough. The big positive is the animals you will see, and that makes this trip truly worthwhile. This is the place for getting up close to pelagics.

SCUBA DIVING – Conditions can be a little frisky around the islands, altough nothing that most divers would struggle to cope with. It's miles easier than diving in the Galápagos and worth putting up with a little current to get so close to so many big animals.

OPINION – We have wanted to go to this region for a very long time, but kept putting it off due to cost. Now, our only regret is that we waited so long. This is truly a unique scuba diving experience, where just one encounter with a giant manta ray will make the entire trip worthwhile. What's even better is that you will get far more than one encounter.

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.
The digital edition is on iTunes.