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5 Dive Locations for Vacation in Mexico

Last updated November 21, 2022

Mexico wellness vacations are full of dive locations. These 5 dive locations in Mexico are popular among scuba divers and tourists alike.

Aerial view looking down at the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico Darwin Arch glass-bottom boats viewing sea life.

Dive locations. An idyllic beach. Blue waters. This is what comes to mind for Mexico. Perhaps you even envision a holiday filled with rest and relaxation. The day starts with breakfast in an enormous dining room with tall ceilings and marble walls. The centerpiece is a fountain showering water from the sky. A waiter approaches the table to give you the A-okay for the buffet line.

After fueling up for the day, it’s time to go to the beach. There are natural hot tubs sculpted out of the rocks. Little minnows greet you seconds after the sole of your foot touches the first step. The bright sun bounces off of the water and onto your sunglasses.

The day goes by slowly. Just as every day on a vacation should! Fiesta fueled evenings after sunset. Mexico isn’t limited to nightlife and daytime relaxation. For active travelers, Mexico is an amazing dive destination.

The country offers plenty of chances to witness the magic and mystery of its creatures—both fish and marine mammals—in the depths of the ocean. For divers (and snorkelers, too), here are 5 dive locations in Mexico for vacation to consider for your next break.

1. Cage Dive for the Great Whites in Guadalupe

Many people equate diving with Great White sharks. A popular dive location is South Africa. Deep-sea diving in protective cages among the shark-infested waters of South Africa remains a popular tourist attraction. Tourists from all corners of the earth hop in cages to protect themselves from these lethal aquatic beasts. Plunging into the depths of the sea, tourists get hands-on experience with the predators. These apex predators are not limited in location. They can be found across all oceans. Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern Oceans are all home to Great White sharks. One “great” place to jump into a cage and encounter Great Whites is off the Pacific coast of Mexico. Near Guadalupe Island, tourists enjoy getting up-close-and-personal with these feral underwater beasts.

Located 165 miles from Ensenada on the northern end of the Baja Peninsula, this site is often preferred by wildlife photographers as it offers visibility of 100 feet and 65-70 degree water.

Trips here typically take five days. This includes three full days of cage diving. Guests will sleep on a vessel out in the Pacific Ocean. The travel is made easy through the US city of San Diego, located on the coast of California.

2. The Gateway to the “Aquarium of the World” in La Paz

La Paz is not on the pacific coast of Mexico per se. It is on the west coast located on the inner southern edge of the Baja Peninsula. The coastal capital city of the Baja California Sur serves as the gateway to the “Aquarium of the World.” As ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau penned it.

It is in La Paz that deep-sea divers gain access to the Sea of Cortez. Here divers have the opportunity to swim alongside Whale Sharks. Whale sharks are gentle giants and happen to be the largest fish in the ocean.

Sea lions swimming in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico

Divers have been known to interact with sea lions. Diving in the water will result in a friendly welcome by a group of happy sea pups. The playful pups from growing colonies swim over to greet you. The sea pups are perfectly unconditional in welcoming strangers into their beautiful aquatic home.

A person can dive or snorkel to swim with these majestic creatures.

La Paz serves as a travel destination for all different kinds of travelers. Land-loving travelers visit La Paz to appreciate the beautiful landscapes and many other baja-based adventures.

Don’t write this off if you dislike the water! La Paz has plenty of adventures for land-lovers. Are you a lover of dry land? Check out our article about hiking trails in Mexico.

3. Beyond the Tip of Baja at Socorro Island

Often compared with the Galapagos Islands or Cocos in Costa Rica, Socorro Island offers big animal encounters. Travelers can take on deep-sea diving to get a firsthand experience of these aquatic creatures. Divers see a variety of aquatic wildlife in the waters surrounding Socorro Island. Giant mantas, dolphins, humpback whales, and at least seven shark species roam freely. Divers have even reported the occasional orca.

Approximately 250 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, Socorro Island is part of the Revillagigedo Archipelago. Socorro Island offers a unique dive destination in a remote location. The lack of human civilization and population leaves room for a high population of aquatic wildlife! Get your sea scooter and oxygen tank ready. The saltwater is calling!

There are no day trips; Divers must plan to spend their evenings and nights on yachts on the sea. The luxurious resort town of Cabo provides an excellent back drop to extend a holiday and pamper oneself properly upon return to land.

4. Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas 

Just offshore, visitors head in boats to Los Arcos and the coves of Majahuitas. A simple snorkel excursion will reveal a multitude of fish and plenty of bird sighting opportunities on the way.

Humpback Whale Tail Fluke and another Hupmback’s Pectoral Fin in Banderas Bay near Puerto Vallarta Jalisco Mexico on a Sunny Day

The Bay of Banderas is whale heaven. Divers can head out to dive depths of discovery and listen to the songs of the Humpback whales as they return each winter to breed. This dive location is a perfect scuba diving destination.

This destination is known for its cutting edge culinary focus, seaside malecon, and luxurious resorts. Do not forget Puerto Vallarta has many other eco-friendly adventures!

5. The Protected Bays of Huatulco, Oaxaca

Oaxaca, the southern Mexico state, is often known for its culture and cuisine, a multitude of UNESCO heritage sites, and its artisanal mezcal production.

View of dive location Playa Arena and Conejos bays at Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Yet heading to its Pacific Coast offers surfing opportunities along with time spent in less crowded beach havens. A trip to Huatulco, a small town resort region, puts travelers in an area of nine protected bays for beach days.

This dive destination provides a chance to witness a plethora of marine life in underwater canyons and cliffs, volcanic rocks, and coral plates.

Diving Oaxaca may not offer the visibility of the Caribbean. Here you are on Mexican time! Departure times are around 9:30 a.m. Sleep in. Rest assured that your day will be full of diving!


These stunning diving vacation destinations on the west coast of Mexico are definitely bucket-list-worthy. Happy diving!

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