In recent years, Guadeloupe Island, located off the west coast of Baja California in Mexico, has become one of the world’s most sought-after scuba diving locations. The high level of popularity is due to the extremely clear water, the usually calm water conditions, and the plethora of marine life you will see daily. This article will provide an introduction to scuba diving off Guadalupe Island, as well as the essential facts you need to know.
Guadalupe Island – Overview and Basic Facts
Guadalupe Island is a small volcanic island located roughly 150 miles off of the west coast of Baja, Mexico. This is a remote island located in the Pacific Ocean that features some of the largest seal populations in the world. The seals attract great white sharks, as well as other such predators.
For this reason, Guadalupe Island has become a hot spot for shark cage diving. In terms of cage diving with great white sharks, Guadalupe Island, or Isla Guadalupe, as it is locally known, has become more popular than both South Africa and Australia, with truly unimaginable numbers of shark sightings.
Now, it’s important to note that you are not allowed to scuba dive or snorkel outside of a shark cage because there are so many sharks that people are at high risk of being attacked and eaten if they’re not inside a cage.
On that same note, no dive spots surround Guadalupe Island. Instead, all diving is done out of shark cages that are lowered in specific locations determined by the weather and conditions of the day and the recent pattern of great white shark sightings.
Scuba Diving in Guadalupe Island – The Marine Life
In terms of the marine life, you can expect to see when scuba diving at Guadalupe Island, great white shark cage diving is the number one attraction in this area. It is not uncommon for scuba divers to see six or even eight great white sharks in a single dive, which is more than you will see anywhere else in the world.
You will also see various seals, including elephant seals, Guadalupe fur seals, and sea lions, both on land and in the water. These are the animals that attract the sharks in the first place. You will also see a wide variety of marine fish. However, the top attraction is the great white sharks.
Guadalupe Island Scuba Diving Conditions
Something else that attracts people to scuba diving off Guadalupe Island is that conditions tend to be very fair for most of the year. Generally speaking, you can expect the water currents to be very mild, which means that you don’t have to put much effort into swimming.
Moreover, in terms of visibility, expect the range to be up to 150 feet, which, in terms of scuba diving, is quite far. The high visibility in the water surrounding Guadalupe Island is another main attraction.
When it comes to the water temperature, expected it to be anywhere between 70° and 75° Fahrenheit, which is relatively warm, another attraction for people who don’t want to scuba dive in cold water.
Best Time to See Sharks Around Guadalupe Island
The ocean around Guadalupe Island is calmest between August and October, which is when the island is accessible to scuba divers via liveaboard, with trips being offered through to late November. August and September have the best conditions, with October usually seeing a fair bit of rain.
For seeing sharks, there are three so-called seasons. Between August and mid-September, you will find lots of young male sharks interacting with the females. From late September through October, you will see larger male sharks, and from October through to late November, you will see the biggest sharks.
How to Get to and Dive in Guadalupe
Guadalupe is a very small and uninhabited island; you will not be staying there in a resort. To get to Guadalupe Island for scuba diving, you must take a liveaboard trip that starts either from San Diego, California or from Ensenada, Baja, California.
You should be able to find round trips that last for around five days, generally with three days of diving. In addition, you will find a wide variety of liveaboard Guadalupe trips to choose from, including low- and higher-end packages.
Now you have the basics of scuba diving around Guadalupe Island. If you want to go cage diving with great white sharks, this is the place to be!