Freediving Shark Adventure in Socorro, Mexico

8th December 2017   |   Mario Passoni

Photo Credit: Christian Vizl

Don’t miss the opportunity to have a unique shark experience at Socorro Island and the Revillagigedo Archipelago. This trip is ideal for anyone who loves freediving.

Freediving champion Fred Buyle and shark specialist Dr. James Ketchum join forces to lead an unprecedented trip, showing you how to tag hammerhead sharks while freediving.

Moreover, you will learn more about sharks and how to behave with them. Your free time can be spent spotting pods of dolphins and whales, going snorkelling or simply relaxing and sunbathing.

To take part in this expedition, you’re not required to be an expert in marine biology. It’s only necessary to be a diver and to have a passion for the sea and its inhabitants.

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shark in San Benedicto

Photo Credit: Christian Vizl

Essential Information

  • Where: Socorro Island and the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Mexico
  • When: February 18 - March 1, 2018
  • Who: Fred Buyle & Dr. James Ketchum
  • Trip Duration: 13 days
  • Liveaboard: Quino El Guardian
  • Research Activities: Shark surveys, photo identification, collecting and replacing receivers, tracking sex/size ratios and tagging sharks while freediving
  • Max Number of Guests: 16
  • Price: USD $3,700 per person

socorro map


The itinerary, the number of dives and freediving sessions may vary depending on weather conditions.

  • Day 1: Board the boat between 5pm and 7pm. Dinner is served at 7pm. The boat departs San Jose Del Cabo at approximately 10pm.
  • Day 2: Day at sea
  • Day 3: San Benedicto (2-3 dives)
  • Day 4: Socorro (2-3 dives)
  • Day 5: Roca Partida (2-3 dives)
  • Day 6: Roca Partida (2 dives). Leave for Clarion after the second dive.
  • Day 7: Clarion (2-3 dives)
  • Day 8: Clarion (2 dives). Leave Clarion after the second dive.
  • Day 9: Roca Partida (2-3 dives)
  • Day 10: San Benedicto (2-3 dives)
  • Day 11: Open - you will go wherever conditions are best, i.e. Clarion or Socorro (2-3 dives)
  • Day 12: Day at sea
  • Day 13: Disembark at approximately 8:30am in San Jose Del Cabo

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swimming with sharks

Photo Credit: Christian Vizl

Experience Overview

Sharks are one of the apex predators of the marine food chain and are fundamental to the marine ecosystem. Unfortunately, we still lack information about their biology. Precisely for this reason, one of the most beautiful areas of the world is surveyed every year.

During this experience, you will be able to garner advice from a freediving world champion and hone your skills. In addition, a specialist of sharks will teach you everything you've ever wanted to know about them. Both of these experts will involve you in their fantastic research on sharks.

18 to 25 recreational dives plus freediving sessions and nightly biology lectures are scheduled. Experts will show you how they carry out their projects and how to interact safely with sharks.

During your free time, you can go snorkeling or simply relax and enjoy the charming landscape. In addition, delicious meals with local specialties are served on the Quino El Guardian.

Keep in mind this will be a real holiday. You can take part in the research as often or as little as you want.

We have scheduled this trip during the best time of year to spot whales, dolphins, sharks and rays, but don’t forget these are wild animals in their natural habitat, so we cannot guarantee sightings.

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Quino El Guardian


Quino El Guardian is a 90-foot boat with air conditioning throughout the ship for your comfort. The Quino has 5 cabins (4 with 4 beds and 1 cabin with 2 beds) which can accommodate up to 16 guests.

Each cabin has a drawer and a bed with a privacy curtain for each person. There are 4 comfortable bathrooms with full-size showers and each is assigned to one cabin so guests can leave their personal items inside.

The Quino has a galley that comfortably accommodates all passengers and includes a projector and a screen for presentations. In addition, there is a salon with sofas, a TV and a computer table. There is also a large, shaded sundeck with lawn chairs for relaxing between dives or for enjoying the stars in the night sky.

In the back of the boat, you’ll find a large dive deck organized with gear storage for all your diving equipment and a spacious camera table.

There is a dive platform that gives you access to two inflatable tenders. These will ferry you to the dive sites and back to the boat. All safety equipment required is on the vessel.

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manta in socorro

Photo Credit: Christian Vizl


February 18 - March 1, 2018: Check Availability

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The Trip Leaders

Fred Buyle

Fred Buyle is a 3 time world-record freediver, underwater photographer and marine conservationist. Fred is the only freediver to have dived at the Geographic North Pole (2005) and Antarctica. Since 2005, he has worked with scientists around the world to field missions in which freediving is paramount, i.e. telemetry studies that involve tagging sharks or researching cetacean acoustics.

James Ketchum

Photo Credit: Christian Vizl

Dr. James Ketchum has been an expert in sharks and migratory pelagic species since 1996. He is especially concerned with whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and dolphinfish in the Gulf of California and Eastern Tropical Pacific. James holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from UC Davis where he studied the movement patterns and habitat use of scalloped hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos Islands.

James is also a co-founder of Pelagios Kakunjá, a Mexican non-profit organization which works to conserve sharks and pelagic species by understanding their movements, migratory patterns and population dynamics in the Mexican Pacific.

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biology lesson

Photo Credit: Christian Vizl

Recommended Equipment

  • Snorkeling and diving gear
  • 5mm or 7mm wetsuits (The temperature of the water is 22-25°C)
  • Underwater camera
  • Polarized sunglasses

The Trip Includes

  • 18-25 dives are scheduled
  • 3 fabulous meals per day
  • Snacks all day
  • Beverages including soft drinks, juice and water
  • Complimentary beer and wine
  • Tanks, weights and weight belts are also provided
  • Free dive insurance from Diviac

The Trip Doesn’t Include

  • Fuel surcharge: Quino El Guardian has the right to implement a fuel surcharge on all trips in the event the cost of fuel surpasses 14 pesos a liter. Should this occur, there will be a fuel surcharge to each client of $100. For every additional peso per liter, there will be an additional $40 per passenger increase.
  • National Park fees of USD $28 per person
  • Hyperbaric chamber fee of USD $15 per person
  • Nitrox fee of USD $120 per person per week


  • Passport
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Diving certificate

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