When one thinks of islands in the Pacific Ocean, many would not think of Mexico. But Mexico has several stunning islands in the Pacific and some of these are some of the best places in the world for diving. One of the most popular Mexican islands is Socorro Island for its rich marine life.

For people who would like some really extreme diving locations, consider diving companies specializing in extreme locations like the Galapagos and Bikini Atoll. If one is more interested in shipwrecks, then consider the famous sunken Japanese fleet at Chuuk (Truk) lagoon.

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What To Know About The Mexican Pacific Island Of Socorro

Socorro Island is a small volcanic island and part of the Revillagigedo Islands around 600 kilometers or 370 miles off the east coast of Mexico. It is volcanic and last erupted in 1993 with earlier eruptions occurring in 1905, 1896, 1848, and 1951 and is part of the largest northern Mathematicians Ridge (seriously - that's the name!), a mid-ocean ridge.

  • Located: 370 Miles off The East Coast of Mexico in The Pacific Ocean
  • Size: 132 km2 (51 sq miles)
  • Dimensions: 10.25 by 7.15 miles

The island rises abruptly out of the ocean and towers 1,050 meters (3,440 feet) into the sky. What one sees is just the summit of a massive mostly predominately submarine shield volcano poking out of the water. The island is marked with furrows, small craters, and numerous ravines, and is covered in lava domes, lava flows and cinder cones.

Before the Spanish arrived, there is no evidence of human habitation on the island.

The island is covered in thick shrubland of mostly endemic Croton masonii and prickly pear cactus. It is also an important breeding location for seabirds and there are a number of breeding colonies on the island.

Related: Why The Great Barrier Reef In Australia Is One of The World's Most Valuable Underwater Treasures

Socorro Island - One Of The Best Locations For Scuba Diving With Mantas

The main attraction is not the island itself, but rather the rich waters around the island - and in particular scuba diving with the manta rays. People come from far and wide to see close and underwater encounters with dolphins, up to 10 species of sharks, manta rays, whale sharks, humpback whales, and other marine life.

"...nowhere else boasts a population of giant mantas that literally seek out interaction with divers and snorkellers. While mantas are the main reason to voyage out to Socorro, there are lots of other animals to see, including schooling hammerheads and silky sharks, plus 10 other species of sharks, bottlenose dolphins... and, in season, humpback whales."

- Nautilus Dive Adventures

  • Humpback Whales: 1,200 Humpback Whales Migrate From Alaska To Mate And Breed Seasonally

The only way to get to the island is by boat and divers come on live-aboard dive vessels (there is no airport on the island).

  • Season: The Most Popular Months Are Between November and May (Seas Are Calmer)
  • Whale Sharks Season: November to December
  • Humpback Whales Season: January and February

The crowning attraction of the marine animals here is the giant mantas - dubbed the friendliest in the world.

Related: Adventure Awaits: Snorkel The Largest Reef In The Caribbean

Diving Expeditions To Socorro Island

Nautilus Dive Adventures offers many dives in many different locations targeting different marine life and attractions. For Socorro, they offer an 8-night and 9-day expedition to dive with the giant mantas, sharks, dolphins, and anything else that is in the area or whatever happens to be the season for. The expedition leaves and returns to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.

  • Duration: 8 nights 9 days
  • Departs/Returns: Cabo San Lucas In Mexico

Cost:

  • Triple Stateroom: $3,295 (Plus Tax and Port Fees)
  • Stateroom: $3,695 (Plus Tax and Port Fees)
  • Premium Suite: $4,795 (Plus Tax and Port Fees)

On this tour, one will be able to interact with the giant mantas - no other mantas in the world behave as these do.

Another option for diving in the waters around Socorro is by booking with Blue Water Travel, which works with other diving companies. Their Preferred Partners are Pelagic Fleet (with their vessels the Vortex and Solmar V or the Quino El Guardian and Rocio Del Mar). They offer various options of liveaboards that range from budget to luxury.

But no matter who one books with, one's journey to Mexico's "Little Galapagos" will be full of treasured memories. The waters here are often compared to that of other Pacific giants, namely the Galapagos in Ecuador, Cocos Island in Costa Rica, and Malpelo in Colombia.

One of the bonuses of choosing Socorro is that it is the easiest of those destinations to reach from the Americas.

  • Travel Time: It Takes Around 24 Hours To Reach The Island By Boat

It is recommended that only experienced divers embark on expeditions to Socorro. That is due to the exposed nature of diving there. There are often choppy seas and strong currents -  which are what attract the rich pelagic life in the first place.

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