Besides moderate temperatures, winters in Mexico are defined by big fish, like giant manta rays, schools of sharks, whale sharks, bull sharks, dolphins, humpback whales, sailfish, gray whales, marlins, and much more!
Mexico boasts of diversity on all accounts – big fish encounters, the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, a unique freshwater cave system (cenotes), rich culture and history with plenty of archeological sites, breathtaking nature, delicious cuisine, and so much more!
Why not make your next trip one of the most exciting ones in your life by combining both destinations into the ultimate adventure? First spend a few days on a Liveaboard in the Pacific and then head over to the sunny Caribbean to warm up, complement your logbook with bull shark and sailfish encounters, dives in the famous cenotes and Cozumel’s colorful reefs and walls, and bury your toes in the sand with a well deserved cocktail on hand reminiscing about the dream you just lived.
First Part of your Dream
TOP 5 Liveaboard Destinations
1. Socorro Island
Giant mantas, mind-boggling schools of sharks, dolphins (Nov-Jul)
Socorro – A small island located in the Revillagigedo Archipelago, a group of 4 volcanic islands 370 mi/ 600 kms off Mexico’s west coast. A diving destination that many divers never even imagined in their wildest dreams. There’s a high chance that you’ll be able to frame a manta ray, whale shark and dolphin all in one photo! It’s real! Excited yet?
And if this wasn’t enough, you will also meet the friendliest giant mantas in the world. Mantas can be observed in many places around the world, but nowhere else boasts a population of giant mantas that literally seek out interaction with divers and snorkelers.
Even the local bottlenose dolphins are so friendly, they follow divers around the dive sites and often come as close as 3 ft. On top of that, witness up to 10 species of sharks, schooling hammerheads, large schools of pelagic fish; and in season you might come across humpback whales, pilot whales, tuna, or even false killer whales.
© Miyoko Katada
2. Guadalupe Island
Great white sharks (Jul-Nov)
Guadalupe Island is another volcanic island 130 mi/ 241 kms off the west coast of Mexico’s Baja California. It’s renowned for the best great white shark cage diving on the planet, and perfect for divers and non-divers alike with its calm clear water and consistent high probability of multiple shark encounters per day.
Over 366 individually identified sharks call Guadalupe Island their home. Seeing your first great white can be a spine-tingling experience. These bold and fearless predators can reach a whopping 20 ft/ 6 m in length. Though after spending some time with them, you may notice their startling beauty and amazingly blue eyes.
On this trip, you can enjoy at least 3 dives a day in the submersible cages reserved for certified divers only, and virtually unlimited diving in the surface cages. And there’s often time to get a few more dives in.
July and August feature rowdy gangs of male sharks. Female great whites usually start showing up in August, turning into Big Mommas in October and November.
© Adil Schindler
3. Sea of Cortez
Aquarium of the World (Jul-Nov), Mobulas, Orcas (Apr-Jul)
Cousteau once called the Sea of Cortez “The Aquarium of the World”, and this is exactly what you can expect: A LOT of fish! With four dives a day, you will literally be haunted by fish in your dreams for months to come.
Whale sharks, California sea lions, giant manta rays, a huge variety of shark species possibly including hammerheads, several shipwrecks, garden eels and diving cormorant birds will all be there to welcome you.
Join the trip from May to July to see one of the most exciting migrations: mobula rays. This iconic species gathers in the tens of thousands (not a misprint!), and you have the privilege to follow this epic migration across the Sea of Cortez. Snorkelers, swimmers and divers of all levels of experience and fitness can be in the water with schools of mobulas for virtually unlimited time.
And where there are mobulas, there are orcas! Be on the lookout for large pods of dolphins and of course, you will have the opportunity to jump with those guys as well. To be frank, you never quite know what amazing animals you might see in the Sea of Cortez. We’ll be keeping a sharp lookout for sperm and fin whales, as well as for whale sharks.
© Dan Taylor
4. San Ignacio Lagoon
Pacific Gray Whales (Jan-Apr)
Imagine a 49 ft/ 15 m long gray whale, no more than an arms length away, raising its massive head from the water to look you directly in the eye. A mother whale approaches and gently nudges her newborn calf towards your boat, presenting him to be admired. There is a remote lagoon in Baja California where these dreamlike encounters are a reality, and a visit there will touch your soul!
Once hunted to near extinction, gray whales have since undergone both a remarkable recovery in population. San Ignacio Lagoon, with decades of respectful ecotourism, has been the center of this heartwarming display, where gray whales place their trust in humans to the point of seeking out interaction with visitors.
© Scott Davis
5. Magdalena Bay
Striped Marlin (Oct-Dec)
During October and November, as the nutrient rich swirling blue waters converge off Magdalena Bay, a magical event happens. Striped marlin gather to hunt on the second largest sardine run in the world!
Witness this thrilling underwater scene as you snorkel and freedive amongst the action. Marlin slamming at top speed into bait balls while birds dive down from above. There is also an excellent chance of seeing California sea lions, dolphins, pelicans, boobie birds, frigates and even an albatross.
Throughout your trip there will also be 3 to 4 dives with massive schools of fish, turtles, and the wreck of a WW1 submarine and the passenger steam ship SS Independence. But wait, there is more! Humpback whales are on the move at this time of year, and if we are really lucky, we might even see orcas or blue whales!
© David Serradell
Second Part of your Dream
Highlights of the Riviera Maya & Cozumel
Now it’s time for you to get pampered with Caribbean vibes, sunshine, warm waters, bull shark encounters (Nov-Mar), dives in the spectacular cenotes (all year-round) and Cozumel’s vibrant coral reefs! Perhaps you want to add some trips to ancient Mayan temples and archeological sites, or simply lazy around and soak in sunshine, fine sandy beaches, delicious Mexican cuisine, and tequila tastings.
Stay in one of the many beautiful 4 or 5 star resorts in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel or Puerto Aventuras with Pro Dive International’s dive centers located on site for your convenience, and where all your needs are taken care of.
@ Javier Sandoval
Ready for your big adventure?
It will be a pleasure for Pro Dive International’s experienced reservations team to assist you with your adventure package and all arrangements of your perfect Winter Dream. Please contact them here…