Scuba Diving With Whales in Mexico | Sport Diver

Have A Whale of a Time in Mexico

sea of cortex mexico humpback whale

Tail of a humpback whale in Mexico's Sea of Cortez. .


October is the start of the whale watching season in Mexico. This megafauna hotspot offers the chance to spend time with numerous whale species and other ocean giants.

Where Can You See Whales in Mexico?

Liveaboard diving in Mexico is extremely popular with divers looking to encounter large pelagics and is one of the only places in the world where you can swim with humpback whales. Socorro Island is visited by thousands of humpback whales during their breeding season each year and is the best place to visit to swim with the whales. A great way to enjoy the whales is just to find a quiet spot in the water and simply watch them swim by.

The Sea of Cortez, sometimes known as the Gulf of California, is a great diving destination for spotting numerous cetaceans; including humpback whales, pods of blue whales and also sperm whales.

Minke whales, pilot whales and orcas also make an appearance in Mexican waters, making this a destination not to be missed.

What Other Mexico Dive Highlights Are There?

The vast array of marine megafauna in Mexico’s waters is astounding. Dive sites are full of life, from numerous sharks to giant mantas, friendly sea lions and more.

Socorro This dive area is also known as the Revillagigedo Islands and sits off the tip of Baja California, consisting of Socorro Island, Clarion Island, Roca Partida and San Benedicto. Dive highlights include swimming with inquisitive Giant Pacific Manta Rays at San Benedicto and friendly dolphins at Socorro Island that are known for approaching divers. There are many species of shark to dive with, including large schools of hammerheads.

Sea of Cortez The Sea of Cortez is not just an incredible area for whale watching, this area is also home to mobula rays, sharks, sea lions and more. Divers and snorkelers can get up close and personal with playful families of sea lions at La Paz and enjoy their antics as they come close to investigate. La Paz is also known for visiting whale sharks and their young, plus schooling hammerhead sharks and pods of dolphins. Cabo Pulmo offers the chance to enjoy coral reef diving plus humpback whales, sharks, schooling mobula rays and plenty of macro life.

Divers visiting the Sea of Cortez should keep their eyes peeled for orcas during winter as well.

Guadalupe This is one of the most popular dive sites in the world for diving with large great white sharks in clear blue water.

Who Is the Diving Suitable For?

Mexico dive sites are often deep, with strong currents and waves, making them best suited to advanced divers. A minimum of 50 logged dives is generally required by liveaboard operators. That being said, the Quino el Guardian has no requirement for a number of logged dives for some of their Socorro and Southern Baja safaris.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Mexico?

• Socorro is a year-round dive destination but has the calmest seas from November to May, which also happens to be when thousands of humpback whales visit, along with numerous manta rays. October is generally the earliest that humpback and blue whales arrive at Baja.

• The Sea of Cortez season runs from August to November and is best visited late in the season for the chance to see whales.

• September and October are the months to visit Mexico for hammerhead sharks.

• Guadalupe’s dive season runs from August to October.

Which Liveaboards Visit Mexico?

Some of the best dive sites are only accessible by Mexico liveaboard diving and there are numerous liveaboards to choose from. Vessels cater from 16 to 30 guests and offer a variety of safaris, including 5 to 10-night trips, or even a 15-night Guadalupe and Socorro combo with the Nautilus Belle Amie.

This article was written by divers and writers at


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