Scuba Diving Mexico
Diving Mexico is for pelagic life enthusiasts who want close up encounters with great white sharks, Pacific manta rays, humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins to name a few.
The Pacific coast has some of the best scuba diving Mexico has to offer. Most of the dives are only available by joining a liveaboard cruise to these remote and unique destinations.
The Socorro Island diving is world renowned for their close up encounters with the giant Pacific manta rays. They frequent this area often seeking out divers to interact with them.
The Sea of Cortez is a destination for many of the must-see pelagic creatures on many divers list. Here, migrating humpback whales, curious sea lions and dolphins, schooling hammerhead sharks and whale sharks are all often seen many at the same locations.
Guadalupe is for the thrill-seeking divers who want to experience cage diving with great white sharks. They are present here in large numbers.
No other place can offer this much sizeable pelagic life in one relatively small area. Mexico has something for the pelagic dive enthusiast that cannot be found easily in any other area worldwide.
Take a look at the Liveaboard Cruise options below.
Scuba Diving Mexico - 10 LIVEABOARDS
Nautilus Explorer Liveaboard in Mexico is a 35m steel vessel that was purpose-built for divers. She has 13 cabins and can accommodate 25 guests easily in her eight staterooms, three superior suites and one premium suite. All cabins have individually controlled air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. There is a spacious lounge and dining area along with a large sun deck. The dive deck is well organised with a camera storage area for each diver.Book Now
Nautilus Belle Amie
Nautilus Belle Amie Liveaboard in Mexico is a purpose-built liveaboard, 41 metres in length, designed with diver comfort and safety in mind. She has a large, spacious interior with 16 bright and airy cabins accommodating up to 30 guests. There is a camera charging station and a spacious dive deck. The three high-speed skiffs ensure quick and easy access to the dive sites while providing for additional safety. Along with her sister ships, she offers fantastic itineraries to Guadalupe and the Socorro Islands.Book Now
Quino El Guardian
Quino El Guardian Liveaboard in Mexico is a 25 metre vessel with state of the art electronics and safety equipment, built for scientific expeditions in the Mexican waters. She accommodates 16 guests plus another two if a charter is organised. She has three itineraries throughout the year offering world class diving. The dive deck is spacious and well organised, with all dives completed from tenders. For relaxing, there is a partially covered sundeck with comfortable seating and a spacious dinning lounge area.Book Now
The liveaboard dive destinations for Mexico are on the Pacific coast where the waters are protected and sheltered due to the peninsula. The relatively warm waters with excellent visibility offer year-round diving with playful marine mammals, swimming with sharks and genuinely interactive manta ray experiences. The area is also on the migration route of several species of whales which are predictable at certain times of the year.
The dive areas are under protection either as part of a biosphere project or as part of the UNESCO world heritage area.
Enjoy a relaxing cruise to one of the three distinct areas of Mexico where sites are uncrowded and memorable.
Best Places to Dive in Mexico
Diving in Mexico on the west coast from a liveaboard cruise can be split into three distinct areas.
Diving the Sea of Cortez is to enjoy the pelagic life rather than colourful reefs and macro life which is not present in the area. A UNESCO World Heritage site this area has so much to offer any diver with great diversity, whales, dolphins, rays, sea lions and over 800 species of fish.
Socorro Island is one of the four islands that form the archipelago of Revillagigedo. These islands have regular sightings of hammerhead, silky and white tip reef sharks as well as the manta rays, dolphins and migrating humpback whales. Only accessible by a diving liveaboard cruise, the sites are uncrowded and protected away from the crowds.
Guadalupe is not a traditional liveaboard diving destination but is for thrill-seeking divers who want close up encounters with great white sharks. All diving is from cages, there are no reefs to explore. Enjoy three submerged cage dives per day and unlimited surface cage experiences on the genuinely unique Mexico diving experience.
Best Dive Sites in Mexico
La Vela, Angel Island
In the north of the Sea of Cortez and is one of the best sites for scuba diving in Mexico. Here divers can interact with the playful sea lions which will swim around you during the dive. Often schooling mobula rays are here.
El Bajo Sea Mounts
These are three underwater pinnacles. This is a shark diving site with schooling hammerheads, up to 500 seen at a time. There are also occasional sightings of whale sharks and manta rays.
A pinnacle with many pelagic species including humpback whales, whale sharks and schooling hammerhead sharks. But it is the giant Pacific manta rays that school here in the cleaning station that is the highlight.
A great site to see the Pacific manta rays and whale sharks in the season, they will be circling you along with many other shark species. Lucky divers can have an interactive experience with the bottlenose dolphins.
Read more information about Mexico Dive Sites
Rich, diverse waters with healthy reef life can be found when diving in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. The area is best known for the sea lions interaction. For more information about the Sea of Cortez, please click on the photo
Socorro Island diving in Mexico is known for its pelagic interactions in this remote area that can be reached only by a liveaboard cruise. For more information about Socorro, please click on the photo.
For diving with great white sharks, Guadalupe liveaboard cruises are a once in a lifetime experience where encounters with this amazing creature are guaranteed. For more information about Guadalupe, please click on the photo.
Mexico Scuba Diving Highlights
- Common sightings - Manta rays, great white sharks, hammerhead sharks, sea lions
- Special sightings - Whales, whale sharks, dolphins
- Topography - Walls, drift, pinnacles, cage diving
- Visibility - 10 to 30m
- General information - Most sites are for advanced divers with 50 logged dives, but a few trips are open to new divers.
Best Time to Go
Diving Mexico is a year-round activity but the best time to visit does depend on the area and dive activity you wish to enjoy.
Socorro is considered to be best to visit between November and May. The winter months have good visibility, but this is dependent on the plankton blooms. Water temperature is 21 to 28 Celsius, the sea is calm and flat, and there is occasional rainfall.
The main highlight for this area and time are the manta rays which are here all year, but at this time there are also humpback whales and whale sharks.
For Guadalupe the time to visit is August to October, the water is cooler 19-22 Celcius, but the great white sharks are prevalent at this time of year, and the visibility is excellent. Hammerhead sharks are most often seen in September and October.
For the Sea of Cortez, August to November is best. The temperature is 27 Celsius and hammerhead sharks are found here at this time.
August to October is hurricane season in Mexico.
Water temperature is between 21 and 28 Celsius depending on the time of year that you visit. Suitable protection should be used depending on this.
How to Get There
For many liveaboard departures the closest airport is actually in the USA.
The departure ports for the Sorocco liveaboard trips are usually Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo meaning Los Cabos International Airport would be the closest to fly into.
For Guadalupe liveaboards, San Diego airport (Ensenada International Airport) is the closest airport.
Sea of Cortez liveaboard guests can fly into Phoenix and take a land transfer to Puerto Penasco.
Flying into Benito Juarez International airport in Mexico City with a transfer to the departure port is also a possibility. There are many international flight options to these airports.
Local time vs GMT
What to pack
Food and drink
Mexican Peso (MXN)
On arrival for many countries, check with your embassy.
Spanish; English is spoken in some areas
There are different departure points for the liveaboards, please check for the closest airport.
Suncream, lightweight, beach apparel with a light cover up for evenings
23 - 30 C daytime, 21 - 25 C evenings
Beans, tortillas, meat and vegetables