Friday, June 21, 2024

Mexico Liveaboard Diving


Mexico Liveaboard Diving is part of the Ultimate Guide to Liveaboard Diving

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Mexico is home to a rich coastline and offers a wide range of dive sites guaranteed to leave you stunned and wanting to return for more! 

Mexico’s underwater world is characterized by underwater pinnacles, caves, shipwrecks, shark diving, corals, and key pelagics; it is home to an array of marine megafauna, and even species as small as crustaceans won’t go unnoticed. 

Joining a liveaboard in Mexico allows you to explore the underwater world like never before, and when the seasons and elements align, it won’t disappoint.

Mexico Liveaboard Routes

Mexico offers three main liveaboard routes that leave from different ports in Mexico.

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Located 150 miles off the west coast of Baja California lays Guadalupe island. It is world-famous for white shark cage diving and more so for its crystal clear visibility from July until December!

In a tailored designed cage, divers and underwater photographers can see these apex predators up close in their natural habitat!

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Great White Sharks while Mexico Liveaboard Diving in Guadalupe
Great White Sharks while Mexico Liveaboard Diving in Guadalupe

Sea of Cortez

The world-famous explorer Jacques Cousteau once named the Sea of Cortez the “aquarium of the world.” Today, this dive site still lives up to its reputation by being filled with marine life!

Being home to 850+ marine species, the temperate waters of the Sea of Cortez draw schooling hammerheads, sea lions, mobula rays, giant mantas, and a vast selection of whale species from sperm whales to blue whales and not to forget macro species like seahorses and nudibranch!

This route visits some of the more popular dive sites, such as El Bajo for the schooling hammerheads, La Reina for Mantas, among other big marine life, and Los Islotes for sea lions and schools of fish.

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Sea Lions are a must at Los Islotes while on a Mexico Liveaboard
Sea Lions are a must at Los Islotes while on a Mexico Liveaboard


Socorro comprises four islands, also known as the Revillagigedo islands, on the tip of Baja California, Mexico. It is also part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique and diverse marine life.

The Socorro route mainly focuses on bigger marine life and deeper dives. 

Socorro offers amazing visibility and the opportunity to encounter schooling hammerhead sharks, silky sharks, white tip reef sharks, tiger sharks, manta rays, humpback whales, and yellow-fin tuna, to name a few pelagic species. The Socorro route will visit dive sites such as Socorro, Roca Partida, and San Benedicto.

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Giant Oceanic Manta Ray, while diving in Socorro - a must while on a Mexico Liveaboard
Giant Oceanic Manta Ray, while diving in Socorro – a must while on a Mexico Liveaboard

Mexico’s Seasonality

Diving in Mexico is almost possible year-round. However, liveaboard itineraries strictly follow seasonality. Below is the seasonality timeline for getting the best out of liveaboard diving in Mexico.

You can expect more unstable and wet weather from May to November. The dry season typically starts from November until April, when water temperatures range between 26-29°C.

According to the liveaboard routes, the optimal time of year to visit Guadalupe is from July – November. For Socorro, it is November – May when all the big predators are present. As the Sea of Cortez is a great destination year-round, the liveaboard season is from July to October.

Marine Encounters While On Mexico Liveaboards

Mexico offers diversity for divers; with this, it has something for any diver with colorful reefs, offshore islands, shallow bays, wrecks, and caves! It is important to note that the type of life you can expect will depend on your route. To be sure that you are at the right place at the right time, the marine encounters according to the Mexico liveaboard routes are listed below:


January – April is the optimal time to encounter humpback whales, manta rays, various shark species such as schooling hammerheads, silkie sharks, oceanic white tip sharks, silver tip sharks, Galapagos sharks, tiger sharks, and whale sharks, as well as dolphins, seahorses, starfish, angel fish, and octopus.

Sea of Cortez

Sea of Cortez offers encounters with playful sea lions, schooling hammerhead sharks, manta rays, breaching mobula rays, and whale sharks. It also offers encounters with dolphins, porpoises, pilot whales, killer whales, humpback whales, and even sperm whales! The dive sites are characterized by colorful sponges, gorgonian sea fans, and mystical kelp forests, which are a home and a haven to smaller critters like seahorses, nudibranchs, a variety of damsel fish species, and angelfish.


It is home to the Great white sharks, and the cage diving season is from July – November, as well as the optimal time for crystal clear visibility.

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Types of Mexico Liveaboards

The boats that operate in Mexico are mainly large and luxurious expedition-style motor yachts with multiple decks for relaxing and sleeping. They also offer well-equipped diving decks with easy access to the water or tenders and indoor dining and relaxing areas.

Cuisine Onboard Mexico Liveaboards

The cuisine on board is a mixture of Western and Mexican-orientated food. Should you have any dietary requirements, please notify your liveaboard agency or operator before you embark on your trip.

How Many Dives A Day?

The number of dives a day will depend on which liveaboard you are doing. You can generally expect to do up to three dives a day! Guadalupe has no time limit to cage diving with the white sharks.

Dive Certification Requirements

Diving in Mexico is accessible for divers of all levels.

However, it is advised to have your open water or equivalent certification when you want to book a liveaboard trip. The majority of exciting dive sites are deeper than 18 meters, and on the dive sites where you can find bigger marine life like sharks and pelagic species, you can expect strong to moderate currents. It also comes advised to bring your Nitrox certification as some liveaboards offer Nitrox.

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Other Useful Information For Mexico Liveaboard Diving

Entry into Mexico

To enter Mexico, you must show a valid passport with at least one blank page for your visa stamp. You must also fill out a tourist card upon entering Mexico. While many nationalities are exempt from obtaining a visa before entering Mexico, some will need a visa before crossing the border. Please be sure to check on this with your agency or do some research about this before traveling to Mexico.


The local currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso, but U.S. Dollars are widely accepted.

Culture and Religion

Mexico is a culturally and religiously diverse country. As the world’s second most populous Spanish-speaking nation, it has a rich cultural history based on centuries of colonization by the Aztecs, Spanish conquistadors, and indigenous peoples. Religion plays an important role in Mexico’s culture, with Catholicism being the predominant faith. Non-Catholic denominations are also practiced throughout the country, though their presence is much less defined than Catholicism. From traditional folk art to modern festivals, Mexico celebrates its unique culture and religious values by incorporating them into its everyday practices.

Getting Around

Airport and other transfers are usually included in your liveaboard booking. If you would like to go sightseeing before or after your liveaboard, the most common modes of transport are taxis or buses.


Tipping your boat crew and dive guides at the end of your stay on the liveaboard is customary.

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