Socorro Big Animal Trip December 2019

Socorro Islands Underwater Photo Workshop on December 8 - 16, 2019

Socorro Islands Underwater Photo Workshop Dec 2019

Join us on this 8-night Socorro trip on Nautilus Under Sea for giant mantas, sharks, dolphins and more! Fly into San José Del Cabo, Mexico for amazing liveaboard diving in the beautiful Socorro Islands. Trip led by Erik Lukas.


December 8 - 16, 2019

ANNOUNCEMENT: $500 discount - one spot opened for this workshop due to cancellation. 

Contact us for the available cabin.

8 Nights for:

Quad Stateroom - $2,895* / Double Stateroom - $3,195*

Superior Suite - $3,695* / Premium Suite - $4,295*

*Prices do not include 5% Mexican VAT & $65 port fee. Port fee is payable onboard.

 *IVA tax has been harmonized at 16% across Mexico. The original 11% tax is included in your trip fee. The 5% increase in tax is shown separately.

Optional 7-Night Land Extensions in La Paz:

The Hotel CostaBaja Resort & Spa - $2,087 p.p

La Concha Beach Resort - $1,803 p.p. 

Hotel Catedral La Paz - $1,670 p.p.


Go to:

Why Join This Trip? - Trip Overview - Inclusions & Exclusions

Accommodations - How to Get There - Daily Workshops - Trip Leader

Booking & Payment - Trip Extensions - Underwater Photos


Why Join This Trip?

  • 25% off rental photo gear from Bluewater Photo
  • Amazing boat, staff, food, and crew!
  • Four guided dives per day (conditions permitting)
  • Timed to offer the best opportunity to see hammerhead & silky sharks, whale sharks, dolphins, large schools of fish besides THE GIANT MANTAS
  • Wi-Fi connection available at $100 (for emails and light apps)
  • Great support from Bluewater Travel if flight/weather issues occur 
  • Leaders who care about their guests' experiences

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Trip Overview

Socorro Island is part of the Revillagigedos, a group of small islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Dive sites include Socorro, San Benedicto & Roca Partida but may change due to ocean conditions.

You can see mantas in many places around the world. But nowhere else boasts a population of giant mantas that literally seek out interaction with divers and snorkellers. The behavior these giant mantas exhibit is almost inexplicable. These gentle giants with a wingspan up to 20 feet consistently approach divers for intimate eye-to-eye encounters. If you are able to be calm and still in the water, you are almost sure to experience what we call “manta love.”

Your journey will include four dives per day (subject to weather and unforeseeable circumstances)—each an opportunity to encounter resident pods of playful dolphins. You may also see up to 10 varieties of shark: schooling scalloped hammerheads, solitary giant hammerheads, Galápagos, whitetip reef, silver-tip, silky, tiger and oceanic whitetips. The list also includes whale sharks and dusky sharks and on occasion even a thresher shark. 

Erik Lukas' manta shots. See more Socorro underwater photos here

November and December boast the warmest water temps of the year in the low 80's. On most days, we enjoy visibility of 70 to 100 feet. When the current picks up, the ash from these volcanic isles can rise, reducing the visibility to 30 feet. For the wide-angle experience that is big-animal diving, this isn’t ideal. But, we’re still cruising one of the most pristine underwater environments—so we then choose dives where we’re closer to the reefs and marine life such as eels, octopuses and Socorro lobsters.

Trip boards at 8:00 pm on Dec 8, 2019 and disembarks at 8:30 am on Dec 16, 2019. Here's the sample itinerary:

 > Day 1 -  Meet at Nautilus dive center in the sunny vacation hotspot, Cabo San Lucas. Guests who wish to do the complimentary warmup dive at Lend's End must check into the dive center by 12:00 pm. 

Cabo Dive Center is located next to the main lobby and bar of the Tesoro Hotel on the picturesque walkway of the Cabo marina. Nautilus staff will be there to assist you with any rental gear you need, pre-trip day boat diving and the loan of a Nautilus LifeLine, Dive Alert and SMB.  Your ship will be available for boarding at 8 p.m. and is just a short scenic stroll away, where appetizers and champagne will be waiting for you.

 > Day 2 -  Today is a traveling and relaxing day at sea. It is a one day run out to the islands. An orientation briefing will be held in the morning, followed by a fire and boat safety drill. We will be watching for the “green flash” at sunset, and we should arrive at San Benedicto Island that evening allowing you a calm night to relax and get a restful sleep before the next morning’s excitement of diving with the friendliest giant mantas in the world.

 > Day 3-7 -  Over five full dive days you will be able to experience some of our favourite sites such as El Canyon, the Boiler, Red Rocks, Roca Partida, Cabo Pearse, Punta Tosca and Roca Oneal. We know that many of our guests want the option of as many dives as possible and we strive to offer an average of 4 dives a day, other than the day that we do our mandatory check-in at the local navy base when you will likely have the option of 3 dives plus our world-famous silky shark night snorkel. Our roots are in the cold, current-swept waters of BC and Alaska and we have always catered to experienced self-reliant divers looking for complete freedom on their dives. These divers are usually first in the water. We love buddying up with new divers looking for the reassurance of being with a dive master from the time they start gearing up until they are back on the big boat. Most divers are somewhere mid-spectrum between these 2 groups and we make sure they are very well looked after as well!

Note that several dives may be quite challenging and not suitable for divers of lower experience levels. The number of dives on offer is subject to weather, the whims of Mother Ocean, and crowding by other diveboats.

 > Day 8 -  We will likely get underway very early this morning for the voyage back to Cabo San Lucas. This is the perfect day to check out photos and videos with the new friends you made onboard, pack your dive gear up and take time to relax before reality sets back in. The islands, the mantas, the sharks and the dolphins are almost “other worldly” and we hope the magic stays with you for a long time.

 > Day 9 - Disembarkation in Cabo at 8:30am for either SJD airport or the dive center in Cabo San Lucas.

See how our 2018 trip to Socorro went and see the reviews on diving in Socorro.

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Inclusion & Exclusions


  • Non-alcoholic drinks 
  • Tanks and weights
  •  3 to 4 dives per day 
  •  Full-board meals 
  • Complimentary warmup dive at Land's End in Cabo on embarkation day. Guests who wish to do this dive will need to check into the Cabo Dive Center by 12:00pm on Dec 8.


  • Prices do not include 5% Mexican VAT, departure tax & a possible fuel surcharge
  • Airport transfers to/from your hotel or Nautilus dive center
  • Wi-Fi at $100/person*
  • Single supplement (available for a 25% surcharge). For same gender roommate, please book a shared stateroom or suite
  • Submersible dives
  • Rebreather service available at an extra cost 
  • Dive equipment rental 
  • Park fee at $65 per person per trip
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended but not mandatory)

* You will have unrestricted and unlimited access, but the Wi-Fi connection is likely much slower than you are used to and it is not like using broadband onshore. The Wi-Fi is good for emails and applications like WhatsApp. It is not good for Facebook, YouTube or streaming functions.

About the Nautilus Under Sea

The Nautlius Under Sea is a classic and beautiful small ship catering to small groups of only 18 divers. Many divers know her from her previous life as the Undersea Hunter of Cocos Island fame, but with massive upgrades including lengthening by 20 feet, a new superstructure, an enclosed dive deck and a host of other improvements, it is hard to recognize the original ship. The special feature of this ship is the intimate group size combined with Nautilus spaciousness and luxury.

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Flight Information

Trip attendees should fly in and out of San José Del Cabo, Mexico (airport code SJD). We recommend divers fly in a day earlier and spend the night in Cabo to get over jet lag and any flight or baggage delays. Recommended hotels include Tesoro Hotel, Tropicana Inn, Hotel El Ganzo, or El Encanto Inn & Suites.

Terramar Transfers is the recommended provider of airport transfers to and from Cabo San Lucas. Shared shuttle with an average wait time of 10 - 15 minutes and 1 - 2 stops enroute to either your hotel or Nautilus Dive Center at Tesoro Hotel is available at $25/pp one-way. Service is also available from Main Marina to SJD on return. They also provide private transfer from SJD airport to Tesoro Hotel at affordable pricing, please contact us for more info.

Return flights should be made anytime on the last day of the trip. We recommend that you book your return flights for 10:00 AM or later.

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Daily Photo Workshops

Daily workshops will be given daily on topics such as wide-angle underwater photography, ambient light shots, snorkeling with large animals, strobe exposure and positions, avoiding backscatter and composition. Help underwater is also given. 

Check out this page for more information on what to expect from our photography workshops as well as some testimonials!

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About the Trip Leader

Erik Lukas is an active diver and photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He is a volunteer scuba diver at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. You can expect to find Erik diving many of the amazing Pacific Ocean sites of Southern California, camera in hand, at any chance he can get.

See more of Erik’s photography at or on Instagram @seeundersea.

"I am passionate about underwater photography in general and have a special love for macro subjects. For me the things that are hardest to spot hold the most interest. Documenting the commensal and symbiotic relationships is for me the most interesting…the smaller and more bizarre the better. I also have a passion for sharing my knowledge with others. My goal with all of my workshops is to ensure each guest leaves with a group of images that they are proud to share."

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Socorro Underwater Video

To learn more about what you can expect from this Socorro trip aboard the Nautilus Under Sea, check out this video:


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Payment & Booking

Payment Schedule

$800 deposit to confirm your spot. 

Got Questions? Ready to Book?

Call Bluewater Travel at +1-310-915-6677 or email and let them book your dream vacation at the best price!

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Want to Extend Your Trip?

We can help with that! See more of Mexico before or after your trip with Bluewater in Socorro. Flying all that way merits a multi-destination vacation! La Paz is an amazing destination nearby that offers a range of additional unique experiences. Here are some examples of packages we can add on to your trip reservation:

*Rates are subject to change any time, please contact us for the most updated pricing.


Price: $2,087 per person based upon double occupancy

The Hotel CostaBaja Resort & Spa is the first and only luxury hotel & spa in the city of La Paz. This boutique hotel offers a selection of ocean, mountain and marina views. North of the hotel is Espiritu Santo Island, where you will find the greatest marine life in the world and the best sport fishing within Baja Sur.

✓ 7 nights in a king or twin room

✓ Full buffet breakfasts

✓ 5 days of 3 tank dives

✓ Lunches & drinks on the boat

✓ National park permit fees

✓ Roundtrip Cabo transfers

✓ Free WiFi: Yes

✓ Swimming Pool: Yes

Costa Baja Resort La Paz Costa Baja Resort La Paz

Costa Baja Resort & Spa



Price: $1,803 per person based upon double occupancy.

A beach resort offering a peaceful and mellow atmosphere on the Sea of Cortez. Over a hundred sea view rooms are featured in La Concha Beach Resort. Located in front of the ocean and with full view to the beach and pool, the accommodations include from essential details to luxury amenities. 

✓ 7 nights in a king or twin room

✓ Full buffet breakfasts

✓ 5 days of 3 tank dives

✓ Lunches & drinks on the boat

✓ National park permit fees 

✓ Roundtrip Cabo transfers

✓ Free WiFi: Yes

✓ Swimming Pool: Yes

La Concha Beach Resort La Paz La Concha Beach Resort La Paz

La Concha Beach Resort



Price: $1,670 per person based upon double occupancy.

Hotel Catedral La Paz is a new concept of accommodation to suit the needs of today's travelers. It is part of the historic center of the city, surrounded by major attractions next to Our Cathedral Lady of La Paz. With its sophisticated contemporary modernist architecture, Hotel Catedral La Paz it focuses on every detail to offer its guests an excellent service and quality, both in the rooms and its gourmet restaurant.

✓ 7 nights in a king or twin sea view room

✓ Full breakfasts

✓ 5 days of 3 tank dives

✓ Lunches & drinks on the boat

✓ National park permit fees

✓ Roundtrip Cabo transfers

✓ Free WiFi: Yes

✓ Swimming Pool: Yes

Hotel Catedral La Paz Hotel Catedral La Paz

Hotel Catedral La Paz


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Underwater Images

Socorro Underwater Photos from Previous Trips




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Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


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