Accessible only by diving liveaboard, the remote volcanic island of Guadalupe is word famous for cage diving with great white sharks.
Guadalupe Island liveaboards
The island of Guadalupe is located around 250 miles (400 km) from the city of Ensenada on the west coast of Mexico. The island is only reachable by an 18-hour sail from Ensenada harbour and has no accommodation for tourists, liveaboard diving is the only way to visit Guadalupe. There are several dive cruises that depart from Ensenada, most have an itinerary around 4-5 days long. Many of the dive boats in Guadalupe, offer unlimited diving with great white sharks while the boat is at the island.
Diviac has three diving liveaboards in Guadalupe which are available for online booking. The Solmar V boasts a very experienced crew who have been diving this part of west Mexico for more than 20 years. The ship also boasts a ratio of one crew member to two guests so you will be well looked after on board. The Nautilus Belle Amie and Nautilus Explorer are both beautifully modern with comfortable ensuite cabins and a relaxing roof deck to relax between dives. Both ships also boast custom dive decks and cages for diving with the great whites.
Diving in Guadalupe is all about the great white sharks that can be found in significant numbers around the island. Scientists believe that these giants come here to feed on the elephant seal colonies on the island’s coast. This phenomenon has led to the creation of numerous shark documentaries filmed around Guadalupe island. It is possible to see other large pelagics in these waters such as amberjacks and even whales but the great whites really are the main event.
The diving in Guadalupe is almost entirely done out in the open ocean so divers shouldn’t expect to visit any coral reefs when they are here. The diving is also almost always done in cages and when you see just how many great whites there are around, you will be glad. It is often possible to see up to six great whites in a single dive. Guadalupe is also very fortunate to have excellent visibility with up to 140 ft. (40 meters) in the open ocean. The water is also relatively warm with temperatures of 67° - 72° F (20° - 22° C) during the shark diving season.
BEST TIME TO GO
July to November
The diving season in Guadalupe is from July to November.
During this period huge numbers of great whites migrate to the island to hunt elephant seals. There are two distinct periods within the season as well. In the height of summer, from July to August is the best time to go to Guadalupe to see groups of juvenile male great whites. These younger males are very active and it is likely that divers will see them in greater numbers. At the end of the summer, is the best time to see the huge females which arrive around October. These giants are a spectacular sight, they can be up to 18 ft. (5.5 meters) long and normally travel and hunt alone.
Most Guadalupe liveaboards depart from the cruise port at Ensenada on the coast of Baja California. Getting to Ensenada is possible by either flying into San Diego, California or Tijuana in Mexico. If you arrive into San Diego, you will have to cross the border into Mexico at Tijuana. Times for crossing the border vary but once you are through it is only an hour and a half drive to Ensenada. Most of the dive cruises will pick you up from either of these airports and take you to the departure port.