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Dive Review of Rocio del Mar in
Mexico (Western)/Socorro

Rocio del Mar: "Great New Year's week Socorro trip aboard Rocio del Mar!", Jan, 2020,

by Christopher Watt, MA, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports with 16 Helpful votes). Report 11396 has 5 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments First trip to Socorro and first trip on Rocio Del Mar - a big thumbs up to both. Flew Boston-LAX-SJD outbound and SJD-Phoenix-BOS inbound...both on American. Arrived in the late afternoon the day before the cruise and stayed at the Tropicana Inn in San Jose del Cabo with my travel buddy in the "Arts District". The Tropicana Inn was $100 for the 2 of us....pretty reasonable. We were there on a Thursday night (Dec. 26), when SJC has their "Art Walk" (apparently most Thursday nights) - really fun atmosphere with many galleries showing their wares out on the street, big Xmas tree in the main square, many, many, many people out enjoying the warm evening. A fun start to the trip.

Breakfast at the Tropicana wasn't until 8AM (8AM boat boarding - RDM dock is 5 min taxi ride from the Tropicana), so we went to a restaurant that opened at 7AM recommended by the Tropicana - the French Rivera cafe, which is a 5 minute walk....definitely recommended, enjoying open air breakfast on their little patio.

We boarded the RDM at 8AM the next morning and were underway shortly after that - something like 26 hours out to San Benedicto, our first stop (we started diving mid-day on day 2). The crossings in both direction were moderately choppy..."this was nothing" said some other guests who had experienced past bumpy rides. Boat itself is solid although laid out slightly differently than typical liveaboards = most guest rooms are on the dive deck level, dining room is below deck, salon/TV room and stern covered outdoor seating 1 level up from the dive deck and partially covered sun deck on the top level. I will say that having rooms on dive deck level was really convenient. Food was fantastic and staff was even more fantastic....both the general crew as well as the DMs. Playful, very service oriented - great group. As an early riser I really appreciated the continental breakfast and coffee ready at 5:30AM each morning :-). Beds were comfortable....and LONG (I'm 6'5").

Diving = we did 19 dives for the week, ranging from 2 dives on the first and last days to 3-4/day on the middle days. We had 21 guests on the boat, so were split into 3 groups of 8-7-6. All diving was from pangas, with backroll entries and solid ladders for re-boarding, with the normal "take your gear off in the water at dive's end" process.

The diving was really very, very good - tons of mantas (VERY close/friendly and on pretty much every dive), hundred of sharks (tigers, Galapagos, silver tips, white tips, hammerheads), dolphins up close, large schools of jacks, a few big tuna, lots of octopus, small pacific reef fish (butterfly fish, surgeon fish), lots of lobster, lots of morays. We did encounter 1 large (100+) school of hammerheads. No whale sharks, although this was a little early for them. We did see one humpback on the surface as we were leaving SJC. I did not use my macro lens :-)

Water temps were mainly in the 76-79F range. Exposure protection for folks on the boat ranged from rash guard/shorts to 7mm :-). The DMs were all wearing 7mm. Having worn 7mm the year before in Galapagos, my buddy and I stuck with 7mm and were never hot on either trip. That said, unlike Galapagos, there are no cold currents on this trip, at least at this time of year. Also worth noting that we had cloudy weather most of the week....which often led to some people (not us) being cold on the 4th dive of the day, particularly on the post-dive panga rides. I wore 7mm full suit with no hood or gloves.

The diving was also deep - I registered 90-110 feet max depth on 11 of the 19 dives and 80+ on most of the others. Lots of time spent out in the blue looking for schools of hammers and mantas. Shallowest was 68 feet (only dive < 70 ft). Visibility ranged from murky to almost 100 feet during the week. It was pretty windy, although re-boarding the pangas and mother ship was not hard (gear is donned on mother ship). No night dives. Gloves not "permitted" but not really enforced. Currents ranged from none to very strong. Very surgy around Roca Partida, a small volcanic pinnacle by itself miles from anything. Bottom (at sites where we reached the bottom) is mainly rocky; similar to parts of the Galapagos, you sometimes had to hang on to watch the show down at 90-100 feet.

The steam back to SJC was about 30 hours, as our last diving location (Socorro) is 4+ hours south of San Benedicto.

We really enjoyed the whole experience - relatively easy to get to, the scene in SJC, fun crew, comfortable boat, great/plentiful food, great diving, incredible big animal experiences. Dora the boat owner also showed up when re docked at the end of the cruise...hugging and speaking with each guest, asking for feedback....quite a nice and very personal touch not experienced on most liveaboards. I would definitely recommend this trip and the Rocio Del Mar!!!

Here is my vide from the trip:

[zurich-diver.smugmug.com link]
Websites Rocio del Mar   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving New England, FL Keys, St. Lawrence River, Red Sea, Maldives, Italy, UK/English Channel, Turks & Caicos, St. Vincent, Roatan, Costa Rica, Belize, Hawaii, Bermuda, Raja Ampat, Lembeh, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Galapagos
Closest Airport Los Cabos Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy Seas surge, currents
Water Temp 76-79°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 50 minute dives, although given deep dives, not an issue
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available?

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales 1 or 2
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Crew was adept at handling cameras. Camera table in the middle of dive deck with upper dry level with plenty of charging outlets (US style plugs and voltage). That said, easier to use if you are tall like me
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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