Revillagigedo Archipelago (better known as Socorro), Mexico
Consisting of 4 volcanic islands; San Benedicto, Roca Partida, Socorro and Clarión
What to see: Giant oceanic mantas, bottlenose dolphins, sharks (white tip, silky, silver tip, hammerhead, galapagos, whale), humpback whales
Diving: Liveaboard diving, dinghies bring the divers to the sites, negative entries
Level: Experienced divers, currents and deep dives, nitrox
Who should go there: Divers who love big stuff like mantas, dolphins, sharks and whales
How to get there: Flight to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California. Liveaboard from there (the crew will pick you up at the airport or your hotel), distance to the first island is 400 km, which is around 24 hours on sea to San Benedicto. 7 different liveaboards offer trips to the Revillagigedos.
Where to dive: With one of 9 liveaboards; Nautilus Belle Amie, Under Sea and Explorer, Quino el Guardian, Rocio del Mar, Sea Escape, Solmar V, Southern Sport or M/V Valentina.
Rates: $ 3000-4000 for a one week liveaboard trip
Climate: During the diving season the temperatures lie between 20°C and 25°C
Water temperature: 26-27°C in Nov-Dec, 21-24°C in Jan-Mar, 24-26°C in Apr-May
Visitbility: 30 m or more normally, depending on the conditions the visibility might drop as well
Season: Nov-May (whale sharks Nov-Dec, May; humpback whales Feb-Mar)
Favorite dive sites: Roca Partida is just a rock sticking out of the water dropping steep and deep down underwater. The rock is surrounded by numerous large pelagics. It is possible to see sharks hunting bait balls, mantas and dolphins playing with scuba divers and schooling hammerheads circling. The steep walls also serve as a white tip reef shark nursery with the young ones lie stuck on piles in the rocks.
Another favorite is “The Boiler” in San Benedicto. The pinnacle lies just below the surface. The water above does look as it is boiling through the surf and swell. Below it feels like the water is boiling too sometimes when several friendly giant mantas cruise around a group of divers.
I chose Southern Sport. The boat is basic but offers everything you need. The crew was very helpful and the food amazing. I did have a very experienced guide who knew how to handle the group and leaving us a lot of freedom.
Especially during the Whale Season the boats are fully booked long before. Make sure to book in advance or check for last minute deals. I was lucky as they had some cancellations on this trip and I booked last minute.