Socorro Island lies about 30 miles south of San Benedicto. The island is about 10 miles across and is surrounded by exciting dive sites such as Cabo Pearce, The Aquarium, Roca O'Neil and Punta Tosca. Dolphins, hammerheads, mantas and other sharks are commonly spotted here.
The Socorro Mockingbird, Mimus graysoni is one of the fifty rarest birds in the world. This species, endemic to Isla Socorro is critically endangered at less than 400 individuals. This is mainly due to loss of habitat created by sheep that have been introduced to the island.
The Solmar V has made more than 300 trips to the Socorro Islands since 1992. The crew has kept extensive notes identifying each manta by the markings on their bodies. They have established a special relationship with many of them and have a tremendous respect and admiration for these animals. Riding or chasing the mantas is not allowed. The mantas initiate the interaction by approaching the divers. If they like you they will return and again and again. This creates a truly magical experience for everyone.
The mantas are only some of the large animals seen at San Benedicto. At "The Canyon" divers have spotted schooling hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, silky sharks, duskies, white tips, dolphins and even an occasional humpback whale or whale shark.
San Benedicro Island
Boiler" at San Benedicto is
world-renowned for the up-close and personal encounters divers experience
ray. This pelagic,
which is a relative of the shark, can grow to a wingspan of over twenty
feet, yet they are gentle giants. Mantas commonly greet divers upon
their arrival and stay as long as
Roca Partida is a little rock out in the middle of nowhere. Part of the Revillagigedo Islands, it lies about 70 miles west of Socorro and 85 miles from San Benedicto Island. The tiny pinnacle jets up from hundreds of feet of water. Topside the two points make a comfortable home to the booby birds and gulls who have made their way here. Underwater it is a magnet to giant manta rays, whale sharks, schools of hammerheads, dolphins, white tips, Galapagos sharks, humpback whales, large schools of jacks and tuna, and of course, scuba divers.
When the Solmar V visits Roca, the dives are done from the pangas. The view of the rock is stunning, but the smell of guano usually helps get the divers quickly into the water. The visibility is usually very good and the rock is an impressive site above and under the surface.
The pinnacle is small enough that its possible to swim around it several times during one dive. Other times the current and surge can be strong making this more difficult. Its not a difficult dive, but like in open water, divers must always be aware of their depth and bottom time.
At about 30' there are several small caves on one side of the rock where whitetip sharks are usually sleep until disturbed by the underwater photographers. Its common to see large lobster here too. As you gaze up, the waves breaking over the rocks at the surface creates some interesting underwater waves.
Move further away from the rocks its not unusual to see schools of hammerhead sharks anywhere between 130' and 50'. There have been incidents where the sharks come very close to the divers to check them out.
Giant Pacific Mantas also congregate here and the encounter for divers and underwater photographers can be a life-changing experience. The mantas seem to be attracted to some divers and have been known to play with them by swirling around them and swimming directly toward them and over thier heads. Some believe the mantas identify you by looking into your eyes and remember you when you come back. Of course this makes for some fantastic photo opportunities. Mantas have been known to follow the divers all the way back to their panga and staying until the boat pulls away.
Whale sharks have also been spotted at Roca as well as humpback whales who stop here on their migration to and from Alaska.
For divers, Roca Partida is a world-class dive and is often compared to Darwin and Wolfe Islands in the Galapagos.
About 240 miles west of Socorro lies another body of land, the second largest in the Revillagigedo Islands. Formerly named Santa Rosa, it was renamed Clarion Island after the American brig "Clarión" in the early 1800s.
Isla Clarion is little over five miles long and two miles wide. With three volcanic peaks, rolling landscape and rocky, perpendicular cliffs, it looks much like Socorro Island. There is a bay called Sulphur Bay on the south side of the island.
The Clarion Angelfish is named after Clarion Island but is seen all around Revillagigedos. As a juvenile it has bright blue bands that fade away as the fish matures. It is generally considered to be an endemic species to the Revillagigedos archipelago. Adults are commonly seen cleaning parasites from the giant manta rays.
The Socorro Islands Site Map
San Benedicto Island
Getting to the Revillagigedos Islands
Wild Dolphin Encounters in the Socorro Islands
A Whale's Tale
Socorro Season Openers Rock!
The Mantas are Coming!
Cage Diving: Great White Sharks
Wild Dolphins of Socorro - The "Dolphin Dance" is an annual Socorro ritual...
At Socorro Island and Roca Partida, wild dolphins are curious and will come in to investigate divers
The New, Improved Solmar V
Big Animal Encounters
Whales of Socorro
Opening Day At Socorro
Whales of Socorro
Out of The Blue...
Tips On Spotting Whale Sharks
"Tall Tale" From My Solmar Trip by Kaia Thomsom
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