Socorro Manta & Shark Madness Liveaboard Trip Feb 2025

Socorro Islands Photo Workshop on the Rocio del Mar in Feb 2025.


Socorro Manta & Shark Madness Liveaboard Trip Feb 2025

Join Bluewater Travel's February 2025 trip to the Revillagigedo Islands, known to many as Mexico's "little Galapagos" because of the immense variety of flora and fauna. Here you'll find not only sharks, jacks, barracudas, humpback whales, but also the mantas which are Socorro's claim to fame.


Why Join This Trip?

  • Intense focus on repeated encounters with friendly giant Manta Rays, hammerhead, silvertip & galapagos sharks, and dolphins
  • Prime season for breaching humpback whales
  • A short 2-hour flight to Cabo from the SouthWest United States
  • On one of the best-reviewed liveaboards, the Rocio Del Mar. Beer & wine included
  • Includes FREE photo workshop from Nirupam Nigam


February 19 - 28, 2025

Trip Leader: Nirupam Nigam

9 Nights for $4195 per person, double occupancy

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Tim Johnson shares his underwater footage from Bluewater Travel's Socorro 2023 Underwater Photo Workshop

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Trip Overview

The trip starts and ends in San Jose del Cabo, then goes on to the Revillagigedo Archipelago which includes Socorro Island, Roca Partida, and San Benedicto Island. The Rocio del Mar is one of the better liveaboards cruising to Socorro. Dive to your heart's content as many as four times a day and get to interact with large pelagics up close and personal. 

 Socorro 2023 Manta  Socorro 2023



Here's a sample day-by-day itinerary of this trip (subject to change):

  • Day 1 (Feb 19) - The Rocio Del Mar will be ready for boarding at 5:00 pm, dinner is served at 7:00 pm, and will depart that evening.
  • Day 2 - Rocio del Mar arrives in San Benedicto. 
  • Day 3 – San Benedicto, 4 dives scheduled.
  • Day 4 – Roca Partida, 3 dives scheduled.
  • Day 5 – Roca Partida, 3 dives scheduled. 
  • Day 6 – Socorro Island, 4 dives scheduled (check-in with naval station)
  • Day 7 - Socorro Island, 4 dives scheduled
  • Day 8 – San Benedicto, 4 dives scheduled. At the end of this day, we will start our departure to San Jose del Cabo.
  • Day 9 – Arrive at San Jose del Cabo. Guests may sleep on the boat.
  • Day 10 (Feb 28) - Disembark after breakfast by 8:30 am.


Dive Overview

The Revillagigedo Islands are where you will have an experience of a lifetime with large ocean pelagic animals including a wide variety of sharks (hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, Galapagos sharks, and silky sharks), dolphins, tuna, barracudas, clouds of jacks, and of course, the friendliest mantas in the world. This is also humpback whale season, and if lucky, you may see a humpback whale swim by underwater. 


  Socorro 2023 Hammerheads  


Diving Conditions In February

Water temperature will be around 25-27°C (77-79°F).

To learn more about what you can expect from this Socorro trip check out our 2023 trip report. You can also read the great reviews of the Rocio del Mar & the reviews on diving Socorro here.

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  • FREE daily photo workshops
  • Your accommodation and housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, and beverages, including breakfast on the day of disembarkation
  • Local beer and wine
  • 4 guided dives per day (conditions permitting)
  • Tanks, air and weights
  • 16% Mexican tax
  • Port fees 



*For people who are over 60 and can provide documentation that they are retired or pensioned, the park fee will be waived. According to the CONANP, any official document with the words "RETIRED" or "PENSIONED" will be accepted along with a photo of a current passport. Any other documentation will NOT be accepted.
In our experience, US citizens who are receiving retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration can download a Benefit Verification Letter from the website.
For students and teachers: A 50% discount is available for ACTIVE/CURRENT students and teachers. To get this discount, a photocopy of an identification card with a photo and current date is required.
To apply for an exception, the above documentation is to be sent to Guest Services at no later than one month prior to boarding. Please note that CONANP has the final word if a document is accepted or not. They do not verify the exception prior to the trip. If it is not accepted, the applicant will be required to pay the full park fees.

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Trip Type

This trip is a PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. It will be led by one of our photo instructors and will include daily underwater photography tutorials, in-water photography support, and one-to-one advice and guidance as required.

What to expect from our Photo Workshops

  • Daily photo workshops - Your photo instructor will schedule seminars each day on topics including, but not limited to, equipment type and selection, the concept of underwater photography, lighting and composition techniques, and post-processing. They will also include additional topics relevant to the location and your experience.
  • In-water support - Where possible, each dive group will spend time underwater with the photo instructor, receiving in-water support and guidance on their shooting techniques.  Participants can also request in-water assistance during the workshop and the photo instructor will do his or her best to accommodate all requests. 
  • Consecutive days of practice & review - Each day you will have the opportunity to practice the techniques and skills learned in the previous day’s tutorials. If you are new to underwater photography you will likely see a vast improvement in just a few days.
  • Daily photo image reviews - You are strongly encouraged to bring your laptop, a thumb drive, edit your photos, and submit your shots for review from both the instructor and your peers. These are fun and interactive sessions encouraging you to improve throughout the trip.
  • Quality time with fellow photographers - Both new and experienced photographers from past workshops have expressed the advantages of joining a trip with like-minded divers with a passion for underwater photography.
  • Suitable for everyone - New and experienced photographers are welcome on all our trips. Gain the necessary skills to start shooting great photos, increase your confidence in finding the best underwater shots, or hone specific skills. We also encourage non-photographers to join, as many of them really enjoy the daily photo reviews, learning about underwater photography, and some have even returned to a photo workshop with an underwater camera setup!

Enjoy free, unlimited access to a wealth of knowledge and advice from your photo instructor.

NOTE: Over the last couple of years we have received reports that some visitors have been charged a tax for bringing their camera housing into the country. Please click here for details on how to naviagate this issue should it arise.


Trip Syllabus

Bluewater's Socorro workshop with Nirupam Nigam is all about photographing and swimming with ocean giants - from giant oceanic manta rays to the numerous silvertip & whitetip sharks to the occasional humpback whale! Learn how to shoot wide-angle, quick-action photos and videos while experiencing one of the best destinations in the world for large, pelagic wildlife.

This workshop will include 7.5 days of instruction including 7 x 60-minute presentations as well as 2-3 x 30-minute image review sessions and a final underwater photo contest. Teaching will take the form of PowerPoint presentations, informal group discussions, 1-on-1 training, streaming live demonstrations (e.g., using programs like Lightroom), and underwater help.


  • Introductory Topics (Days 1 & 2): 
  • Introduction to Socorro's Top Creatures and Photographic Opportunities: This introduction will go over our favourite subjects and reef scenes we can photograph in Socorro. Nirupam will cover his top tips for photographing each subject as well as information about their natural history, habitat, and lifecycle. Top subjects include giant oceanic manta rays, silvertip sharks, whale sharks, white tip reef sharks, whale sharks, and humpback whales. 
  • Introduction to Underwater Photography: This class is Nirupam's grand introduction to the hobby of underwater photography. He will cover essential information from the phenomenon of light attenuation to the triangle of exposure to underwater composition and strobe positioning. This class can sometimes span over 2 days.
  • Internediate Topics (Days 3 & 4): 
  • Underwater Lighting Demonstration: This is a short class that will cover general positions for both underwater strobe and video lights with a single light source or dual light sources. Nirupam will cover both wide-angle and macro photography as well as what to do in difficult conditions with limited visibility or white sand. 
  • Adobe Lightroom - the Full Spectrum: This is the largest class of the workshop. Nirupam's Adobe Lightroom class includes the full spectrum of use for underwater photography including importing images, using the star rating system and sorting, creating collections, basic underwater editing, backscatter removal, and new AI masking tools/denoise/sharpen. As a follow-up, students will have the opportunity for 1-on-1 lightroom instruction in the evenings. Introduction to Wide Angle Photography (short class): This class introduces students to wide-angle lenses, photographing large pelagic subjects, and dome port optics. It covers ideas for composition and lighting as well as different techniques for photographing the ocean giants of Socorro. 
  • Photographing Sharks: Nirupam's top tips for photographing sharks with an overview of shark behaviour, approaching sharks, and techniques for focus and lighting. This class will focus on silvertip sharks, whitetip reef sharks, Galapagos sharks, and whale sharks.
  • Advanced Wide Angle Topics (Days 5 & 6):
  • Ambient Light & Close Focus Wide Angle: This class covers more advanced wide-angle techniques for close focus and ambient light. We take a look at lighting techniques, lens selection, capturing refraction, and light attenuation. Motion Blur Photography: Motion blur can add a sense of drama and chaos to your Socorro shark photos. This class introduces the concept of motion blur and teaches students how to use it in their shark photography. We will practice these concepts with silvertip sharks at the Canyons and whitetip reef sharks at Roca Partida. 
  • Advanced Dome Port and Wide Angle Optics: The group will be covering optics from an engineering perspective and how different optical devices like dome ports or wide angle correction ports affect your underwater photography. This presentation will review virtual images, apertures & f-stops, minimum focusing distance, diopters, and more! 
  • Capturing Quick Action Underwater: It can be difficult to photograph quick pelagic subjects underwater. This class will cover my top techniques for locking focus, using burst shooting, and composition with quick underwater subjects.


Nirupam will have open sessions for 1-on-1 time at least one hour per day. During dives, he will be alternating dive groups and offering underwater help to provide lighting and triangle of exposure settings advice to the best of his abilities during the dive. He will be available by request to anyone. Many of these dives have currents or variable encounters with subjects, so there may be fewer underwater instruction opportunities than in other workshops. Nirupam will also be available underwater to anyone who is having camera issues, and I can try to fix any issues that are occurring underwater. He will be available for 1-on-1 advice throughout the workshop and will have open sessions in the evenings before bed to help with lightroom and any questions that people have.


About The Rocio Del Mar

Rocio Del Mar is one of the most popular liveaboards sailing in the area, offering excellent service and fantastic food. There are 10 cabins for up to a maximum of 20 divers, all offering private bathrooms with hot shower stalls, Western-style toilets, and above-height windows. Cabins are carpeted and have air-conditioning, plus convenient gear and clothes storage drawers beneath the beds. 


Rocio Del Mar Rocio Del Mar

Rocio Del Mar Rocio Del Mar 

Check this page to see more details and customer reviews on the Rocio Del Mar.

Rocio Del Mar

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About The Trip Leader

Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in Southern California's Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. He spent some time as a fisheries observer on fishing vessels in the Bering Sea and North Pacific, collecting data for NOAA. When he is not at sea, he is traveling with his wife and taking photos.

As the Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and the Chief Marketing Officer at Bluewater Photo & Video, Nirupam is one of the world's few full-time underwater photography editors. You can get in touch with him at or through his website www.photosfromthesea.comRead more about Nirupam here.

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Flight Information

Guests on this trip will need to fly into Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) and take a taxi to the Marina Puerto Los Cabos. The boat is located by the Hotel El Ganzo. Boarding time is at 5 pm.

Note: Guests arriving early may avail of day passes at Hotel El Ganzo, where they can spend time before boarding at 5 pm. There's an area for storing luggage and restrooms for changing. First come, first served, but guests can email the hotel before arriving.

  • Rooftop Pool - 1000 pesos, guests can use up to 750 pesos as a food and beverage credit
  • Beach Club - 750 pesos, guests can use the whole amount as a food and beverage credit.

On the way back, we arrive in San Jose during the early morning hours of the last day of the trip, February 28. Guests must disembark by 8:30 a.m. Since transfers are not included in our fees, guests will need to take a taxi to the airport, which the Rocio crew can help arrange. Return flights should be made anytime on the last day of the trip.

Recommended nearby hotels to book for extra nights include the Tropicana Inn, Hotel El Ganzo, or El Encanto Inn & Suites. You can get 10% off at El Encanto Inn by mentioning that you will be staying on the Rocio Del Mar.

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Payment Schedule

Deposit: $1,000

Payment 2: $1,000 due 1 Feb 24

Payment 3: $1,000 due 1 Aug 24

Balance: due 1 Nov 24

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Socorro 2023 Socorro 2023  



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 at any time; please contact us for the most updated pricing. 

7 Nights At The 5 Star Costa Baja Resort & Spa

Price: Starting at $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


7 Nights At The 3 Star La Concha Beach Resort

Price: Starting at $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 a full view of the beach and pool, the accommodations include essential details to luxury amenities.

  • 7 nights in a king or twin sea view room
  • Full American 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


7 Nights At The 4 Star Hotel Catedral

Price: Starting at $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 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



San Ignacaio Gray Whale Experience

Price: Starting at $2,495 per person (Glamping Tent) or $3,045 per person (Luxury Tent)

The San Ignacio Lagoon Gray Whale Experience offers a unique opportunity to have up-close and personal interactions with Pacific gray whales in their breeding and birthing lagoon. These gray whales are known to be the friendliest on the planet and exhibit behaviors such as swimming over to the boats (pangas) to be caressed, stroked, and even kissed. They may also roll onto their backs to allow visitors to scratch their bellies. 

The experience is entirely on the whales' terms, and even mother whales may push their babies up against the boats for human interaction. The first whale interaction at San Ignacio Lagoon occurred in 1972, and since then, the experience just continues to get more magical each year. You can also expect to see not only gray whales but also a variety of bird species, including nesting ospreys and egrets, during your visit to the San Ignacio Lagoon.

  • Return chartered flight from San José del Cabo
  • Hotel transfers in San José del Cabo
  • Accommodation
  • Activities
  • Meals, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Unlimited whale watching subject to capacity control and weather
  • On-site naturalist. 

Gray Whales San Ignacio Gray Whales San Ignacio Gray Whale San Ignacio

San Ignacio Gray Whale Experience San Ignacio Gray Whale Experience


Glamping Tent (L) & Luxury Tent (R)


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...and let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery 

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Socorro Underwater Photos from Previous Trips  

 Socorro 2023 Whale Shark Socorro 2023 White Tip Shark 


Socorro March 2017Socorro March 2017

Socorro March 2020 Trip Report Socorro March 2020 Trip Report

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