FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - Diving In Socorro
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO?
November through June. For specific water conditions and marine life encounters, please go to the individual destination page by using the drop-down destination menu at the top of any page.
CAN I SEE VIDEO TRIP REPORTS?
To help our guests decide when to visit the amazing Socorro Islands, we started publishing video trip reports of all our Socorro Islands adventures since March 2011. These are short, accurate reports using only footage from that particular trip with divemaster narration and guest comments. These videos are an excellent resource to view first hand what previous guests have experienced during the time of year you are contemplating visiting us. We believe the entire season from November through June is excellent and these reports show you why. We have archived these reports by season for easy access on our Youtube channel at www.youtube.com/solmarv
HOW OUR TRIPS ARE USUALLY RUN?
Once our guests arrive on the boat they will be assigned their room and dive station. They will then remove their dive gear from their dive bags and put them in their assigned dive station. They will also unpack their dry clothes and toiletries in their rooms. Both their dive bag and luggage will be stored in our dry storage area throughout the remainder of the trip.
The boat will arrive at the first dive site around 4:00 PM on the next day, and our guests will have the opportunity to do 1 or 2 dives the first day at the Socorro Islands. Every day after that we schedule 4 dives per day. The only exception to that is when we dive Roca Partida because the diving at this location is deeper and, therefore, we limit the diving to 3 dives for safety considerations. We cannot give you a more specific diving schedule because the captain goes where diving conditions are best, but under normal conditions, each 9 to 11-day trip includes 5 to 7 1/2 days of diving and the opportunity to do about 20-22 to 27-29 dives. After the last full day of diving at the Socorro Islands and after the last dive of the day we start our return back to harbor. The boat returns to harbor around 8:00 PM or 9:00 PM and our guests will spend their last night on the boat in harbor.
After breakfast on the last date of the trip, our guests will disembark the boat by no later than 9:00 AM. If their flights depart in the morning or early afternoon, then our guests will go directly from the boat to the airport and our representative in Cabo San Lucas will help them procure transportation paid via cash then. If their flights depart in the mid to late afternoon then they can be transported to our host hotel, The Bahia Hotel & Beach House, at no additional charge. The Bahia Hotel & Beach House welcome our guests to relax and use their facilities free of charge, provided they purchase food and beverage during their time there. The concierge at the hotel will help to procure paid transportation from the hotel to the airport when the time arrives for their departure.
WHAT ARE THE RECOMMENDED MINIMUM DIVE REQUIREMENTS?
Socorro Islands Trips are recommended for divers with a minimum of 50 logged dives.
If guests with less than 50 logged dives would still like to join our Socorro Island Trips, there is always the option for a Private Dive Guide, pending availability (please inquire with our reservations & sales team). And as always, it is at the Captain and Crew’s discretion to reserve the right to refuse any guest to participate in certain dives that may be beyond the experience level required.
WHAT AIRLINES FLY THERE AND TO WHAT AIRPORT?
The international airport for our home port in Cabo San Lucas where our Socorro Islands trips depart from is San Jose del Cabo, Mexico (airport code SJD). This is the same airport used by all visitors to the Los Cabos area. It is about a 45 minute drive from the airport to Cabo San Lucas. Most major U.S. airlines fly directly into this airport. In general, the airlines to check out are Alaska, American, Aero Mexico, Delta, Continental, United and Southwest Airlines. There are other airlines and many direct flights from gateway cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta, Denver, Chicago and New York (out of Newark on Continental) so you can start from anywhere and get to us quite easily through these gateway cities. There are also convenient connections through San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, to name just a few.
*FOR THE COMFORT OF OUR EUROPEAN GUESTS, TUI AIRLINES JUST STARTED THE FIRST NON-STOP FLIGHT FROM FRANKFURT TO CABO.
WHAT TRAVEL DOCUMENTS DO I NEED FOR IMMIGRATION?
As of January 2016, all U.S. citizens require a valid passport for travel in and out of Mexico. You will be asked to fill out a tourist card upon entering the country and present this to the immigration officials in Mexico. For other nationalities, you should ask your airline or call the Mexican Consulate in your country. With so many recent changes to travel policies and requirements, these requirements are subject to change so check before you begin your travel plans. For our Guadalupe Trips you will arrive to San Diego, California and then escorted by our staff in an air conditioned coach to Ensenada, Mexico via Tijuana. Our staff will assist you with your tourist visa when crossing at the border in Tijuana but you must have a valid passport in your possession.
WHERE DO I GO WHEN I ARRIVE?
Upon reservation confirmation, we will send you a pre-trip information sheet. If you do not receive it, please ask us for it. This will describe arrival procedures. Basically, for the Socorro Islands arrivals into San Jose Del Cabo airport, once you clear Mexican immigration and collect your bags from the luggage carousel, you will proceed through customs. After clearing customs, if our office has arranged for your pre-paid transportation in advance, then just outside the terminal please look for a representative holding a sign which reads “Cabo Seasons”, our local transport company. Give that person your name and they will take it from there. If you are handling your own transportation into Cabo San Lucas, then look for the “Authorized Taxi” sign inside the terminal where you can purchase shuttle tickets to the hotel where you are staying. If you are arriving the same day the boat departs you MUST arrange pre-paid transportation through our office in advance. However, we strongly advise you arrive one day before departure. It is about a 45 minute ride into Cabo San Lucas. On the day of departure, we provide complimentary pick-up at The Bahia Hotel & Beach House, our Host Hotel. We ask that you be in the lobby at 1:00 pm for pick-up between 1 and 2 pm. Alternatively, you can make your own way to the Marina and will be met by a Pelagic Fleet Representative at 1:30 pm. The Solmar V departs port NO LATER than 4 PM, so please be sure to abide by the times above for a seamless and timely check-in experience for all passengers.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE STANDARD AND SUPERIOR ROOMS?
The main difference is location and a little size. Both categories have the same amenities including private head/shower, air conditioning and carpeting. The standard rooms are located in the bow of the boat and the superior rooms are in the middle. The mid-section of all boats has less motion than the bow section. If you are prone to motion sickness, a superior room is recommended. The superior rooms are also a little bigger but not greatly so.
WHAT ABOUT INSURANCE?
Dive Insurance is mandatory for all trips to Socorro Islands and you will be asked to show proof of Insurance prior to the trip. On Guadalupe Island trips, Dive Insurance is required to dive in the submersible cage. For all travelers, we strongly recommend Travel Insurance. For your convenience, several options are provided here for you:
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WHAT CLOTHES SHOULD I BRING?
On all live-aboard dive trips, packed clothing should be kept to a minimum as cabin space is usually limited. You will be in your swimsuit most of the trip and shorts and t-shirts are the common dress. We ask that you appear at all meals in dry clothes, as all meals are sit-down in the main salon. At Socorro, daytime temps will be in the 70’s or 80’s and we can have cooler evenings here so one pair of sweat pants, and a Polartec, sweatshirt or sweater is a good idea. Be sure to bring a hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen.
WHAT ABOUT SCUBA EQUIPMENT? WHAT DIVE GEAR WILL I NEED?
The price includes tanks (aluminum 80’s), weights and a weight belt. We now require but do not provide dive computers on our Socorro Islands trips. Additional equipment can be rented for the trip BEFORE you leave the dock. PLEASE advise us when making your Solmar V reservation that you will need to rent equipment. Equipment is rented directly from us at our dive store in the town of Cabo San Lucas at a special rate. National Park regulations do not permit dive knives or lights that are not attached to your camera. We have some extra equipment on board in case your equipment should fail but not a large inventory. This equipment is rented on a daily basis when needed. Underwater photography or video equipment is not available at this time and you should be completely self-contained when it comes to this equipment. Rule of thumb when packing is to pack light but keep in mind that “it is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”
WHAT KIND OF WETSUIT WILL I NEED?
The ocean temps at Socorro usually range from 78F-82F in November, 70F-74F in Feb/March and then 76F–80F in April to June. Depending on what time of year you join us for the Socorro trips, we’d recommend 5mm in the warmer months, and a 5/7mm or a 7mm in the cooler months. Some of our guests also pack a light vest and hood or a vest with an attached hood in case we run into thermoclines during the cooler months.
IF I COME IN EARLY OR STAY LATER WHAT ABOUT HOTELS?
Since we are not a travel agency, we cannot book general hotel rooms. As of 2018, our host hotel is The Bahia Hotel & Beach House, where we have pre-negotiated special discounted rates for our liveaboard guests. Please note that we will send the host hotel reservation link, together with your liveaboard reservation confirmation. Also, should you prefer to not book at our host hotel, be sure to book your hotel in Cabo San Lucas not San Jose del Cabo. The entire area is now called Los Cabos. Because Solmar V is docked in the marina in Cabo San Lucas, a hotel in Cabo San Lucas is preferred.
WHAT KIND OF MEALS AND BEVERAGES DO YOU SERVE ONBOARD?