Located approximately 260 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas, the rugged Revillagigedo Islands have sometimes been called the “Galapagos of Mexico” for the stunning variety of marine life found in these protected waters. This group of four volcanic islands include Socorro, San Benedicto, the islet of Roca Partida and Clarion Island. Recently, our company president Don Hirschaut had the opportunity to revisit Socorro Island and Roca Partida, as well as San Benedicto with the expert team of Nautilus Diving for a spectacular live-aboard diving trip on the state-of-the-art Belle Amie dive boat. Here, he shares some spectacular video footage, photos and insights from this amazing experience.
The dive trip departed the Puerto Los Cabos marina for the approximately 25-30 hour boat ride to Socorro with Nautilus Diving. Don says, “I had the opportunity to experience the new Belle Amie vessel, it is as beautiful as it is world-class, with excellent equipment, a friendly and knowledgeable crew, and comfortable accommodations.”
Only a limited number of dive trips are permitted into this protected area each year. Conservation efforts have been successful in preserving and even increasing populations of the numerous species of marine life surrounding these islands. So much so that Don says, “the diving is some of the very best in the world, with lots of interaction.” The islands are also an important breeding area for seabirds including various types of shearwaters, tropicbirds, frigatebirds and boobies.
Enormous manta rays, whale sharks and other large pelagic species frequent the area to take advantage of natural “cleaning stations,” where small fish like clarion angelfish provide a much-needed service by feeding on parasites off of the larger organisms. Don says, “it was fascinating to observe the mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships taking place between the different creatures, large and small.”
Another interesting aspect of the dive trip, says Don, was the “experience of observing whale sharks in close proximity – I was able to follow one circling several times around Roca Partida. It was a magical experience!” Whale sharks are the largest species of fish in the world and can reach lengths of over 40 feet. This gentle filter-feeder obtains its sustenance mainly from plankton.
Some of the other charismatic denizens of the islands include enormous schools of hammerhead sharks, curious dolphins, tuna, diverse species of coral, whitetip sharks – and many others!
See Don’s Previous Socorro Island Trip Reports:
To plan a Live-Aboard Diving Trip to Socorro Island, Visit:
Nautilus Live-Aboard Diving