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Cabo Pulmo/La Paz vs. Socorro liveaboard

Discussion in 'Mexico' started by Disco King, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Disco King

    Disco King Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    103
    14
    Has any one done both land based trip in Cabo Pulmo/La Paz and Socorro liveaboard? If so, are they comparable in terms of things to see? I was looking into liveaboard first in Jan or Feb. The best month appears to be tricky based in information I collected so far (online research, email an operator, talk with few agencies). Many say historically Feb is the best but recent years humpbacks are not spotted and you can only snorkel with humpbacks (no dive)? An operator says Jun is the best (bate ball?), others say Nov for whaleshark. I am confused and can't pick a month. I do not want to pay high $ on a liveaboard trip when I can't figure things out.. Now I am considering land based trip..

    For land based trip what would be the best month? I am interested in seeing big stuff (mantas, whalesharks, humpback, big pelagics) or mobulas. What are must dive sites? I have about 5 days to dive excluding travel times. I prefer not to drive in MX. Is there a shuttle from SJD to Cabo Pulmo or La Paz? Based on what I read you have to have a car to go to Cabo Pulmo and I am wondering wether it is the only option. Would you recommend to base Cabo Pulmo, La Paz or Cabo San Lucas (pick one) then buy dive packages to go other places (back and forth to the base) OR should I move one from another and dive?

    Will much appreciate your experience or local insights.
     
  2. yle

    yle Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California
    1,489
    1,254
    I haven't done a Socorro liveaboard, although it's definitely on my list. I did spend a week in Cabo Pulmo several years ago, during the summer.

    Regarding CP...

    I am 99% sure there is no shuttle to CP from SJD. The only way to get there is to rent a car and drive yourself. It's pretty quiet, and the locals seem to like it that way. But it is an easy drive and very scenic. The last six miles are dirt road.

    Using CP as a "base" would be... very inconvenient. It's pretty far removed, in regards to travel time and options, from anywhere else. I think some dive ops in CSL offer diving in CP, but it's a long boat ride. And an even longer drive. Be sure to figure out exactly how much travel time there will be between locations. If you're trying to go CSL to CP and back to CSL, it will likely be an all day trip... for two dives.

    Most rental car companies at the airport mention CP in their contracts... i.e. they don't want you driving their cars on that dirt road. (We rented from one of the few companies that allows it.) You have to be careful on the road to avoid ruts and holes... but it's not bad.

    Apparently winter is the time to see bigger animals in CP as they migrate north. We didn't see any, except for the resident bull sharks, in the summer.

    My impression is that a Socorro liveaboard and a week in CP are worlds apart. Our days in CP were: wake up, dive in the morning, spend all afternoon eating tacos and drinking beer, watch the sun set, go to sleep.

    Hope this helps. If you're planning to try CP, do your homework. There's practically no "customer service" for tourists heading to CP. The tourism industry in the area will direct you to CSL.
     
    drrich2 and Disco King like this.
  3. Disco King

    Disco King Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    103
    14
    Thank you yle! It appears to be it will be hard to do both La Paz and CP on the same trip..

     
  4. Moray

    Moray Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Here
    178
    39
    Cabo Pulmo Resort can give you the name of a shuttle, expensive though. I was quoted $ 350
     
  5. Moray

    Moray Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Here
    178
    39
    There are liveaboards,ie., the Valentina, that go from La Paz to Cabo Pulmo to SJD late summer to November
     
  6. Disco King

    Disco King Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    103
    14
    Awwww. It is pretty expensive ride. I saw a liveaboard option you mentioned am wondering how much difference it makes vs. land base dives while it is pretty expensive. Maybe better to do Socorro if it is liveaboard?
     
  7. dlofting

    dlofting DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    539
    450
    We did both last March.

    Cabo Pulmo is a great little town with good diving. You'll see mostly fish with a possibility of bull sharks at a couple of sites. You can get there for a day trip with some of the dive ops in Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo, but best bet is to rent a car. You can do La Paz in the same trip but again, you'll need a car. A five day dive trip to Cabo Pulmo is a bit short IMO but certainly doable.

    Socorro on the other hand is where you go to see sharks, mantas, dolphins and occasionally whales. It's a 28 hour trip from SJD to the islands so 5 days is out of the question. Liveaboards go for 8 or 9 days. Costs around $3500 US for the liveaboard unless you get a deal, but it's worth it.
     
    Disco King likes this.
  8. Disco King

    Disco King Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    103
    14
    Great to hear your perspective on the liveaboard. I will look into that option as well. Thanks!

     
  9. FettSolo

    FettSolo Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lebanon, NH, USA
    262
    131
    FYI Nautilus has a new boat doing liveaboard trips to Cabo Pulmo.
     
  10. Disco King

    Disco King Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    103
    14
    Did you see whalesharks or humpback? What is the chance based on your experience? I just booked Socorro for end Jan - early Feb.
     
    LiveaboardCom likes this.

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