Mexico is one of the best diving destinations in the world. Highlights include Socorro Island, the Sea of Cortez and Guadalupe. This megafauna hotspot offers the chance to escape winter and see numerous whales, sharks and more. There are dives suitable for all levels of divers in Mexico, with a variety of liveaboards that ask for different numbers of logged dives. Here are our top five reasons to hop on a liveaboard and aboard dive Mexico this winter.
Enjoy perfect dive conditions at Socorro
The uninhabited, isolated Revillagigedo Islands, which include Socorro and Roca Partida, are a unique dive destination with huge numbers of megafauna. This biosphere reserve is only accessible by Socorro liveaboard diving and is at its best during winter due to calm seas. Water temperatures range from a high of 82 F (28 C) to a low of 69 F (21 C) in February. The visibility varies with plankton in the water, but it is generally great and can reach up to 164 feet (50 m).
Dive with the world’s friendliest giant Pacific manta rays
Giant manta rays certainly live up to their name, growing to a huge 23 feet (7 m) across. Divers can find them year-round at San Benedicto Island, one of the Revillagigedo Islands.
These curious rays congregate at sites such as the submerged pinnacle and a cleaning station called The Boiler. Known to be very friendly, they seem to enjoy the presence of people and come close to divers. You can also dive with these rays in the Sea of Cortez.
Surround yourself with the song of migrating humpback whales
There is an ancient whale-migration pathway in the Baja region of Mexico that brings huge aggregations of humpback whales to Mexico each winter. The whales arrive in late January, when you have the chance to see and hear them in Socorro. Humpbacks are present there each year until April.
Whale sharks, sea lions and more whales in the Sea of Cortez
You can also find another gentle giant when diving Mexico in the winter: whale sharks. From December to May, the plankton in the water is at its highest, attracting numerous whale sharks to the Sea of Cortez. Home to nearly 3,000 marine species, winter is also the best time to spot gray whales, mobula rays and humpback whales in the Sea of Cortez. And don’t miss a dive with playful sea lions at Los Islotes, doable year-round.
Pods of bottlenose dolphins at Socorro Island
If you’re a fan of dolphins (and who isn’t), January to March is a great time to visit Socorro. There are plenty of bottlenose dolphins here during winter and they’re famed for following the giant mantas and mimicking scuba divers underwater.
Divers and writers at LiveAboard.com contributed this article.