Big Animal Scuba Diving Adventures
The Socorro Islands are 250 miles due south into the Pacific Ocean from the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Mexico. Sometimes referred to as the "Mexican Galapagos," these islands have been compared to Galapagos Islands, or Cocos, for the quality and quantity of big marine life they provide. The Socorro Islands are famous for unbelievable encounters with Giant Mantas. These winged giants are up to 22-feet across and it is common to be in the water with five or more of these winged giants at once. They seem to enjoy interaction with scuba divers thinking we are giant cleaner fish and once they arrive stay with our divers all day long. There is no finer place in the world to photograph giant mantas. The water is blue, there are plenty of mantas, and they even seem to pose for your camera. There also plenty of sharks at Socorro - huge schools of hammerheads, white tips, silver tips, silky sharks, duskies, Galapagos sharks & occasionally tiger sharks. There are frequent encounters with wild Bottlenose Dolphin and in February to mid-April these islands are home to a large population of Humpback Whales that come here to breed and calve. Throw in whale sharks, giant tuna (the world record yellowfin tuna is from these waters), wahoo and many other big critters along with endemic tropical fishes found nowhere else in the world and you have an unequalled diving experience.
Socorro Seasonality -- Due to weather conditions, the Socorro Islands are only available November through mid-June. During these months all the mantas and sharks are plentiful. The water temperature ranges are 78 - 82 F in November, December, beginning of January and late April and May. In late January, February, March and the beginning of April the water is just a little cooler down to 70 - 74 F. BUT the Humpback Whales visit Socorro in great numbers during these cooler water months. You can hear these gentle giants singing on almost every dive and as previously mentioned, underwater encounters with these whales are on the increase every year. There is really no best time to dive these islands. The diving is great thoughout the season. For divers looking to photograph or interact with some of the planets biggest creatures these islands can not be beat!
Sea of Cortez Option -- When not diving the Socorro Islands, the SOLMAR V heads north from Cabo San Lucas into the Sea of Cortez. This body of water located between the Baja Peninsula and the mainland of Mexico is one of the youngest and most fertile seas on earth. The SOLMAR V visits this area from mid-June to November. During this time the water is warm (76 - 84 F) and the visibility ranges from 60 - 100+ ft. The Sea of Cortez contains over 850 species of reef fish. Along with these huge schools of tropicals, game fish such as jacks, tuna, wahoo, marlin and others can be found. The Sea of Cortez is also home to many endemic species, such as the cortez angel and cortez damsel, found nowhere else in the world. We also encounter whale sharks, hammerheads, orcas, whales, dolphins, and of course our friendly sea lions. This area is mainly calm and the distance between dive destinations is not far. Although there are some advanced dives most of the diving is moderate. This is a great trip for those looking for a live-aboard experience in calm water with both big and small marine animal encounters.
Getting to Baja -- There are a number of airlines that fly directly into San Jose Del Cabo (airline code SJD) which is the international airport for our destination. Alaska Airlines flies 3 to 4 times daily from Los Angeles as do Mexicana & Aero California. Both Alaska Airlines & America West fly from Phoenix. Alaska & Aero Mexico fly from San Diego. Continental flies daily from Houston and American Airlines flies daily from Dallas and Chicago. Delta Airlines flies part of the year from Atlanta. Island Dreams offers discounted airfares on Continental, and will assist you in finding the most efficient and cost effective flights.
Pricing and Cruise Schedule -- Contact Island Dreams for up-to-the-minute pricing, scheduling, and availability. Phone toll free 1-800-346-6116, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the difference between the standard and superior rooms? -- The main difference is location and size. Both categories have the same amenities including private head/shower, air conditioning, TV/DVD. The standard rooms are located in the bow of the boat and the superior rooms are in the middle. The middle section of any boat will move less than the front. If you are prone to motion sickness, a superior room is recommended. The superior rooms are also a little bigger but not greatly so. Once Solmar arrives at the dive destinations, there are plenty of safe harbors in which to anchor at night so motion is not an issue.
Booking Information -- Individual, small groups, and full boat charters are welcome. Top commission to bonafide travel agents and dive stores. Group discounts and discount airfares are available. Contact your Adventure Experts, Island Dreams Travel, today!
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Pictures tell the story at our Sea of Cortez Photo Gallery
Detailed Diving Report: Exploring Socorro aboard Solmar V
Additional Resources: Island Dreams can help to arrange your individual cruise, or perhaps you'd like news about other individual and group trips to this region. You are invited to call or e-mail for additional information, advice, or assistance with bookings and airfares.