In this post I am going to tell you a little about what is and how to dive in the archipelago of Revillagigedo, also called Socorro Island which is the name of one of the islands. For some time now, they have become famous and a large number of divers are interested in having information about this wonderful diving destination. I was fortunate to be able to visit them a few years ago, just before they were declared by UNESCO as Heritage protected by its biodiversity and it has been a simply amazing experience.
The Revillagigedo Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, about 280 nautical miles south of Cabo San Lucas, in Baja California, Mexico. It is made up of the great island of Socorro, the island of San Benedito, Roca Partida and the farthest island of Clarion (where life does not arrive on board diving). The distance between islands is also considerable, for example from San Benedito to Roca Partida we have more than seven hours of navigation. To get here, it goes without saying that it is only possible in a liveaboard, after about 27 hours of navigation on the Pacific (which only has the name of Pacific) appears before us the island of Socorro. The remoteness of any inhabited area and the little accessible is just what makes these islands a privileged place for diving as its waters harbor a quantity of marine life comparable only to the Galapagos Islands. The islands are of volcanic origin and have nothing on their surface, and when I say nothing is nothing, for example in San Benedito you will not see a single tree, it’s all dry lava, everything interesting is under the surface. We will not find coral in its waters, there are no reefs, only volcanic rock and a lot, a lot of life.
The diving season runs from November to May, the rest of the year it seems that several hurricanes pass through and do not travel. Especially interesting to visit them in February, which is when the humpback whales come in, but when more life overflows it is at the beginning of May, when more sharks will see. The water is not especially cold, around 21º which can rise to 23º.
The three islands in which you dive are Socorro (the largest and the one that we find first, is the least interesting in terms of diving) the island of San Benedito and “Roca Partida”.
San Benedito is a volcanic island of medium size, with a small bay where the boats can put to the shelter of the wind. There are two dive sites but I assure you enough to make you hallucinate for a while. One is “El Boyle” which is a cleaning station for the Mobulas or giant Manta. Scientists say that the Mobulas we see here are the largest on the planet. The dive is drifting and practically on the surface you can see dolphins and Mobulas walking majestically in the area. The visibility is usually good and the show guaranteed. The other point of diving, the “Canyon” is nothing less than a zone of passage (and recreation I would say) of hammerhead sharks. Here unlike other areas like Maldives, it does not matter what time you get in the water, there are hammers to cascoporro, many, uncountable, that happen very close to you snooping and are of a size more than imposing. The dives are simply spectacular, I remember being 5 meters doing the safety stop with my good friend Jesus (who should not be more than 25 meters) and stop seeing him from the hammers that started to get in the middle!
When you are already excited and you think that nothing can overcome this, then you go to Roca Partida, the farthest from the islands where you dive. It is an islet that protrudes about 35 meters above the surface and below it is lost in the abyss to more than 200 meters deep. The dives from the technical point of view are not complicated, to turn (or several turns) to the island. Not for nothing have they considered Roca Partida as the best “dive site” in the world and it’s no wonder, I’m just going to recount one of my dives at this point. I throw myself into the water, just dive and a group of dolphins come to play with us that I suppose would be bored because in every day we were there we did not see any other dive boat. When we have tired of playing with them and among this see several huge Mobulas, we started to approach the wall of the island, where there is a “nurseie” of white tip sharks, impossible to count them all crowded and letting themselves be photographed at pleasure … this is only 10 meters deep. I set out to follow the wall separating a bit since the blue looks like an authentic highway of bugs, not without looking to one side and another where I see schools and more schools, carangids and all kinds of bug! Indeed, my intuition does not deceive me and soon I see underneath me a school of hammers, and behind a countless number of Pacific Longimanus sharks, something incredible. I do not go below 25 meters and I am surrounded by fauna, rather surrounded by sharks, Longimanus, hammers, white tips, “silkie” and a large number of “Galapeños” that look impressive. This is how the diving in Roca Partida goes, and I have not been among the lucky ones who have crossed with humpback whales or even Orcas … We return to the surface, and the boat to rest while we wait to dive again between the ship and Roca Partida the whales Humpbacks give us spectacular jumps, it seems incredible that such a big bug can go completely out of the water, a unique show.
In short, if you want to swell to see sharks at a price much lower than other similar destinations such as Galapagos or the island of Coco in Costa Rica, Revillagigedo will love you.