The Best Mexico Liveaboards | Mexico Dive Guide

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From the sunny Caribbean to the sublime South Pacific, the liveaboard experience has caught the imagination of divers from all around the world. Our 10 top quality vessels featured here will transport you to an unforgettable diving experience in Mexico. In complete luxury and comfort, these liveaboards will make you feel as if you’re diving from your own home.

The Best Mexico Liveaboards: Quick Picks

  1. Socorro Vortex
  2. MV Valentina
  3. Socorro Aggressor
  4. Nautilus Explorer
  5. Nautilus Bella Amie
  6. Nautilus Under Sea
  7. Solmar V
  8. Rocio Del Mar
  9. Quino El Guardian
  10. Nautilus Gallant Lady

The Best Mexico Scuba Liveaboards – At a Glance

LIVEABOARDROOMSNITROXWIFILENGTHCOSTPADI TRAVELLIVEABOARD
SOCORRO VORTEX7YesYes45m$$$CheckCheck
MV VALENTINA10YesNo38m$$CheckCheck
SOCORRO AGGRESSOR13YesNo40m$$CheckCheck
NAUTILUS EXPLORER13YesYes35m$$CheckCheck
NAUTILUS BELLE AMIE
17YesYes41m$$$CheckCheck
NAUTILUS UNDER SEA9YesYes28m$$$CheckCheck
SOLMAR V12NoNo35m$$CheckCheck
ROCIO DEL MAR10YesNo33m$$$CheckCheck
QUINO EL GUARDIAN4YesNo27m$$CheckCheck
NAUTILUS GALLANT LADY6YesYes33m$$$CheckCheck

The Best Mexico Scuba Liveaboards – In Depth

SOCORRO VORTEX – Our Top Pick

Overview: Top rated luxury liveaboard catering to pelagic diving in Mexico’s Socorro and Guadalupe Islands.


The Socorro Vortex is a luxurious liveaboard yacht taking trips to the Socorro and Guadalupe Islands. Built in 2019 and spanning 45 meters long, the Socorro Vortex is one of the most modern liveaboards around. This former Canadian Coast Guard vessel has 7 spacious cabins that can accommodate up to 14 guests. Each room comes with air conditioning, a private bathroom, and plenty of space to put your luggage.

If you live to dive with pelagics, then the Vortex is ideal for you. Expect to see hammerheads, silky, silver tip, and white tip sharks in the Socorro Islands. You also might spot a Humpback whale or dolphins during your time. For divers, the vessel is Nitrox-only, and those who have yet to be Nitrox certified can get their certification onboard. On their Guadalupe Island excursions, you can go cage diving with great white sharks. Since cage diving uses no tank, non-divers can join their Guadalupe Island trip as well and see massive apex predators in their wild environment.

After your day in the water, unwind at the bar with complimentary drinks, soak in the hot tub, cool off in the lounge area, or get some sunshine on deck. If you’re looking for a luxury liveaboard in Mexico, the Socorro Vortex is a top contender.

  • Year Built/Renovated: 1981/2019
  • Cabins: 7
  • Length/Width: 45m/8m
  • Rental Gear: Yes ($)
  • Internet: Yes
  • Nitrox: Free

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard


MV VALENTINA

Overview: Luxurious Mexican liveaboard vessel with comfort and convenience in mind.


The 38m MV Valentina is a liveaboard yacht that explores the waters of the Sea of Cortez. It’s common to dive among huge schools of sardines, whale sharks, dolphins, and sea lions. Orca and Humpback whales frequent the waters as well. See the Salvatiera Wreck and look for stunning macro life.

Each of their 10 cabins come with a private bathroom, air conditioning, and there are a variety of bed configurations. Onboard, you can spend your surface intervals on the sun deck or inside the air conditioned lounge room. Expert chefs cook a variety of European and Asian dishes — though no trip to the Sea of Cortez would be complete without a Mexican feast or two.

  • Year Built/Renovated: 1999/2013
  • Cabins: 10
  • Length/Width: 38m/10m
  • Rental Gear: Yes ($)
  • Internet: No
  • Nitrox: Yes ($)

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard


SOCORRO AGGRESSOR

Overview: Top-rated liveaboard offering cage diving with great white sharks in Guadalupe island.

The 40m Socorro Aggressor is one of the most popular liveaboard yachts in Mexico. During winter, the recently restored Socorro Aggressor runs liveaboard trips to the Socorro Islands–venturing to Roca Partida, San Benedicto, and leaving from Cabo San Lucas. During the summer, go cage diving and see great white sharks up close in Guadalupe Island. Marine life like sharks, manta rays, whale sharks, and silvertip sharks make frequent appearances on their dive trip.

Each of their 13 cabins are equipped with air conditioning, flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom. The boat itself has a lounge area with TV, a spacious deck, and family-friendly movies onboard. One of the Socorro Aggressor’s main highlights is its food. Divers never go hungry with plenty of snacks, a variety of foods to choose from, and dishes with a hearty Mexican and Italian influence. Beverages are complimentary.

  • Year Built/Renovated: 2006
  • Cabins: 13
  • Length/Width: 40m/8m
  • Rental Gear: Yes ($)
  • Internet: No
  • Nitrox: Yes ($)

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard


NAUTILUS EXPLORER

Overview: A popular Mexican liveaboard that is rebreather friendly.

This sturdy 35m long, steel hulled boat, offers great value for money for those seeking to unravel the hidden underwater mysteries of Guadalupe. The magnificent, fully air-conditioned, Nautilus Explorer can accommodate up to 27 guests in its state-of-the-art rooms. These rooms comprise of 4 suite rooms on the upper deck and 9 staterooms on the lower deck, including one with triple occupancy. All rooms have modern facilities and adequate storage space.

The Main Salon serves as the dining and entertainment venue with a fully stocked bar, library, and movies playing during evenings. The open deck has a dedicated camera area. Guests can take advantage of the free kayaking facility or go snorkeling and diving to view some great pelagic marine species like, manta rays, humpback whales, and sharks. The onboard chefs take great pride in serving some high quality food as per the requirements of the guests.

  • Year Built/Renovated: 2000/2015
  • Cabins: 13
  • Length/Width: 35m/8m
  • Rental Gear: Yes ($)
  • Internet: Yes ($)
  • Nitrox: Yes ($)

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard


NAUTILUS BELLE AMIE

Overview: A highly-rated liveaboard famous for its spectacular dives off Baja.

The well-furbished 41m long Nautilus Belle Amie has been sailing to some of the most unique diving spots of Baja, Mexico for many years. The highly experienced 11-member crew allow guests to view the diverse marine life like, manta rays, dolphins, and a variety of sharks safely at close quarters.

The 17 rooms on the liveaboard can accommodate 36 passengers. All rooms are air-conditioned and fully equipped with all the modern comforts to make your diving holiday truly a special one. This motor vessel has superior suites and cabins located at different levels.

The Nautilus Belle Amie has excellent viewing and photography facilities which allow guests to have a 360 degree panoramic view. Alcohol is available for extra at the liveaboard bar. Guests can spend their time relaxing at the bar or receive a massage at the spa. Free kayaks are available for everyone and are a great boon for those who cannot dive and enjoy exploring the surroundings.

  • Year Built/Renovated: 2005/2015
  • Cabins: 17
  • Length/Width: 41m/10m
  • Rental Gear: Yes ($)
  • Internet: Yes ($)
  • Nitrox: Yes ($)

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard


NAUTILUS UNDER SEA

Overview: A world-class liveaboard that is expertly designed to handle open ocean conditions

The Nautilus Under Sea is a refurbished luxury liveaboard vessel, that is 28m in length and can accommodate up to 18 guests in its 8 state rooms. Originally a ship designed for research purposes, the boat now ferries diving enthusiasts on extended trips to Socorro and Guadalupe smoothly and in comfort.

While making a reservation, guests have multiple choices for rooms which range from suites, cabins and bunks all with modern amenities and air-conditioning. There are ample vantage points on the sun deck for guests to relax and spot the varied marine life like dolphins from time to time. Other features include a dining hall, lounge and free satellite phone availability in lieu of WiFi.

As guests enjoy the encounters with sharks and manta rays on their day to day dives, the onboard hostesses strive to serve some exciting food options everyday. Fresh American and Mexican cuisine is served at meals. Unlimited soft drinks and snacks are served free throughout the day and a wide variety of alcohol is available for extra cost.

  • Year Built/Renovated: 1968/2015
  • Cabins: 9
  • Length/Width: 28m/7m
  • Rental Gear: Yes ($)
  • Internet: Yes ($)
  • Nitrox: Yes ($)

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard


SOLMAR V

Overview: A popular liveaboard offering world-class pelagic diving in Socorro and Guadalupe islands.

Being one of the most established of all boats operating year round cruises for divers to the islands of Guadalupe and Socorro, the Solmar V stands apart from its nearest rivals by far. Encounters with sharks, manta rays, and other sea life are guaranteed.

The 12 lavish, well-appointed rooms of the stunning Solmar V offer guests high class service and comfortable travel. There are 6 superior staterooms, 4 standard staterooms, and 2 single staterooms all with modern facilities available. The brass fittings, mahogany interiors, wall to wall carpeting, and granite table tops add to the luxurious ambiance.

At the end of a hard day, guests can relax in the salon with a drink or catch a movie on the entertainment system.  A spacious sundeck on the upper tier is great for sunbathing or watching the varied bird and marine life.

Needless to say, meals on the Solmar V are in a class if their own. There is a wide range of snacks and regular meals on offer, both before and after all dives and during meal times. Free Mexican beer and Chilean wine can be consumed in the evenings, while a wide bar selection can be availed of on payment.

  • Year Built/Renovated: 1980/2006
  • Cabins: 12
  • Length/Width: 35m/7m
  • Rental Gear: No
  • Internet: No
  • Nitrox: No

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard


ROCIO DEL MAR

Overview: A modern liveaboard known for its night diving with sharks.

The Rocio Del Mar is the ultimate luxury liveboard vessel in Mexico that runs scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing and boating excursions to the stunning Sea of Cortez. This 33m-long liveaboard can carry up to 20 passengers in its 10 spacious cabins. Amenities include air conditioning, attached bathrooms, ample storage area and option of twin or double bed configuration.

There is a salon for relaxation as well as a large dining area and a covered sundeck with sitting facilities. The ship has been so designed so as to allow for a smooth movement while anchored or when at sea.

The dedicated crew offer personal service to enhance the experience of your voyage. All meals and snacks onboard are included in the price, including complimentary beer and wine at the end of the day. Starting from a large continental breakfast spread and ending with a three course meal at dinner, there is no dearth of quality food served. And to add to the fun, if the weather allows, a rooftop dining option is available where the crew join hands to serve guests under a starry sky.

  • Year Built/Renovated: 2008
  • Cabins: 10
  • Length/Width: 33m/8m
  • Rental Gear: Yes ($)
  • Internet: No
  • Nitrox: Yes ($)

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard


QUINO EL GUARDIAN

Overview: A top-rated liveaboard designed for divers passionate about the marine environment.

The 27m long Quino el Guardian, is a research ship which can carry a maximum of 16 passengers in 4 cabins which are all four bedded. The cabins are all self-sufficient as far as all amenities are concerned. The ship plies in the waters of Pacific Mexico, where divers can opt for Baja California, Sea of Cortez or the Socorro islands to fulfill their dreams. No wonder these regions are known for easy sightings of Manta rays, humpback whales and dolphins.

When not diving, guests can unwind on the sundeck or in the salon watching TV or using the computer. There is a large deck for diving and plenty of space for camera tables.

Meals onboard are all fresh and served in the dining hall. Starting with a hearty breakfast and ending with a full course dinner, the crew leaves no stone unturned to attend to the culinary desires of the guests. And yes, beer and wine is also on the house! All that you can drink.

  • Year Built/Renovated: 1980/2015
  • Cabins: 4
  • Length/Width: 27m/8m
  • Rental Gear: Yes ($)
  • Internet: No
  • Nitrox: Yes ($)

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard


Nautilus Gallant Lady

Overview: A luxury liveaboard offering dive safari trips to Mexico

If you’re planning to explore Cabo Pulmo (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as go diving with manta rays in Socorro island, then have a booking with the Nautilus Gallant Lady. This 33-meter long vessel has 6 cabins that can accommodate up to 12 guest. Each room is airconditioned with ample storage space, and private en-suite bathrooms.

After a day of diving, you can relax onboard. Either you go on the sky-lounge, dip on the hot tub, or sip a cocktail at the sundeck. Don’t worry about getting hungry as gastronomic feast is always served. Choose from a fusion of Mexican and West Coast North American cuisine that is prepared fresh by their onboard chef. If you have specific dietary requirements, just tell the crew in advance and they will gladly prepare it for you.

  • Year Built/Renovated: 1984/2018
  • Cabins: 6
  • Length/Width: 33m/6m

Rental Gear: Yes ($)
Internet: Yes ($)
Nitrox: Yes ($)

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

Why go scuba diving in Mexico?

There are 2 common reasons why Mexico is a popular liveaboard and dive destination: accessibility and adrenaline loaded dives. With its proximity to the US, easy access to inbound guests is always guaranteed. While there are many shore dives in Mexico, choosing to go on a liveaboard will allow you to experience some of the world’s exciting dive. Cage diving with great white sharks in Guadalupe island is the country’s signature dive experience. With the protection given by steel cages, you can safely observe and interact with these large apex predators in their wild environment.

The best time to go scuba diving in Mexico

If you plan to dive in Socorro Island or in the Pacific Ocean in Mexico, the best time to visit is from November to May because the seas tend to be calmest during these months. The Caribbean side of Mexico is typically warm all year round. If you want to dive in Guadalupe, August to October is when most liveaboard trips run.

Marine life you can expect to see in Mexico

All types of rays migrate through the seas around Mexico (mobula rays, manta rays, devil rays), as well as whale sharks. If you enjoy shark diving, you can have a chance to see hammerhead sharks and bull sharks. There are plenty of reef fish, cave fish, seahorses, starfish, surgeonfish, and much more. Sea lions often come by during your surface interval. And of course, the country’s signature species for diving – the great white sharks of Guadalupe island.

Tips for choosing the best Mexico dive trip for you

If you are travelling alone, you will have no problem which liveaboard to go on board. Your options are endless. However, if you are travelling with a non-diving companion, then you must select the liveaboard vessel that offers amenities fitted for them. Aside from boating, snorkeling and island hopping, a great way to treat your non-diving friend is a guided cage dive with great white sharks. Just make sure to tell them not to focus on what they see on the movies as it is a totally different scenario once they are wet and submerged.

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