The Best Liveaboards in Socorro22nd February 2017 | Sarah Morlock
Socorro Island in the Revillagigedo Archipelago, well known for its Giant Oceanic Manta Rays, is a destination for lovers of all big marine life. On a good trip, you might see whale sharks, dolphins, hammerheads, silkies, silvertip sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, tiger sharks and humpback whales.
Don’t expect to see colorful coral reefs while diving in Socorro. Underwater landscapes are volcanic in nature with visible geothermal activity. There are chimney-like lava tubes and intricate rock formations scattered around the islands.
Because the Revillagigedo Archipelago is 250 miles (400km) from the Mexican mainland, diving in Socorro is only possible from a liveaboard. It takes about 24 hours to reach the archipelago, so this trip may not be for you if you suffer from seasickness.
Liveaboards headed for Socorro usually depart from Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. The typical length of the trips is 7 nights, but some liveaboards will offer 8 to 10 night itineraries.
The best time to dive in Socorro is from November to May. Within these months, several important events occur. From late January to early April, humpback whales migrate through the area. From November to early January and then again during April and May, manta rays and sharks are prevalent.
Keep in mind, the underwater conditions can be challenging with occasional surge and current; therefore it is recommended that only experienced divers travel to Socorro Island.
Best Luxury Liveaboard: Vortex
The Vortex is the most newest, air conditioned vessel in its class.
At 140 feet (43m), this yacht was originally a Canadian Coast Guard vessel, built for accessing the most adventurous locations. On most itineraries, you’ll enjoy 3 to 4 dives per day. This liveaboard also features a small ratio of dive pros to guests.
You’ll experience all of this under the water while enjoying absolute luxury above the surface. The Vortex boasts 7 spacious cabins for 18 guests. In particular, the master suite is astounding. It boasts a California king-size bed with a pillow-top mattress. You’ll truly want for nothing aboard the Vortex.
Best Mid-Range Liveaboard: Rocio del Mar
The mission of the Rocio del Mar is to give its guests a true adventure in the Revillagigedo Archipelago on a boat that’s been built for divers. Unlike other boats in Socorro, the Rocio del Mar is not a modified fishing boat. Instead, it has been adapted specifically for the needs of scuba divers.
In addition, you’ll also get more dives per day on the Rocio del Mar than on any other boat in Socorro. Most boats feature 21 to 24 dives completed over 10 days, and the average liveaboard in Socorro begins diving on Day 3. On the Rocio del Mar, you’ll get 24 dives over 9 days with up to 4 dives per day beginning on Day 2.
Plus, the Rocio del Mar has one of the best ratios of dive pros to guests in Mexico. There are 5 pros for a total of 20 guests on board.
And if you’re worried about sleeping on a boat, rest easy in the knowledge that the Rocio del Mar is designed to minimize side-to-side movement and engine noise - a very important feature on the 24-hour journey to Socorro. All 20 guests can be accommodated in 10 well-appointed cabins.
For a well-priced liveaboard trip with a touch of luxury, the Rocio del Mar is an excellent choice.
Most Eco-Friendly Liveaboard: Quino el Guardian
Boasting an extra full day of diving, the Quino el Guardian graces our list of the best liveaboards in Socorro because of its unique itineraries. This boat offers citizen science adventures during which you can freedive while tagging hammerhead sharks, snorkel with humpbacks or complete research on manta rays. On most itineraries, you’ll enjoy three to four dives per day.
The Quino is also slightly more affordable than most boats in Socorro. 16 guests are accommodated in 5 cabins, most of which are 4-bunk rooms, but common areas are spacious enough to feel like you have your own space.
If you want to visit Socorro and have an extra memorable experience, the Quino el Guardian is a great choice.
The three liveaboards you’ve read about were hand-picked by our scuba diving experts, but there are a few more boats available. To see the full list of liveaboards in Socorro, click the button below.