Join Photo Pro

Mike Gerken

to the 

Socorro Islands

(Revilligigedo Archipalego)

Nov 5-Nov 13, 2024

on the luxury live-aboard 

Solmar V

Packages start at
 tax included

Add on 4 days in La Paz or

Cabo Pulmo

Ask for Details





"After my jaw dropping trip to Socorro in June of 2019, I scheduled a group trip for March 2021. However, that trip was cancelled due to, you know what. I'm excited to report that Socorro is back on the schedule. Please join me Nov 5-13, 2024 for a 9 day big animal encounter on board the luxury live-aboard Solmar V. This happens to be the time of the year where whale sharks are encountered along with the usual suspects of giant mantas, friendly dolphins, pelagics and 1/2 dozen other shark species. Simply put, the diving is epic. Allow me to guide you step by step thru the journey offering you professional photo/video instruction along the way. 

Why should you stress over the details? I've got it all covered. Having a good time above and below the water is my secondary objective. The first is of course our safety. The Solmar V has been taking passengers to dive the Sea of Cortez and Socorro as long as any liveaboard in operation and many of the crew have been with them nearly as long. That says a lot! As a captain I can vouch they are top notch. In addition I have an add-on's scheduled as well. The first being the sea lions of Los Islotes and the marlin/bait balls of San Carlos. Click on the links for details. 

Continue to read below for more details on Socorro with photos and a video. Write [email protected] with questions and to make your reservations." 


-Mike Gerken

Socorro Island diving has become one of the most popular live aboard diving experiences in the world, Socorro is part of the Revillagigedo archipelago. This group of islands is located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, approximately 250 nautical miles south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, at the tip of the Baja peninsula. It takes roughy 24 hours to get to these islands from Cabo but the juice is worth the squeeze.

Socorro islands have been compared to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador or Cocos Island in Costa Rica because of the big animal encounters they provide, such as giant mantas, humpback whales, playful dolphins, tuna, pelagics and 7 shark species. All of this action yields some of the best animal diving on earth! On occasion orcas, false killer whales, bait balls and plenty of other surprises can be seen. 

The Revillagigedo Archipelago consist of 4 islands – San Benedicto Island, Socorro Island, Roca Partida and Clarion. They are wild, remote and unpredictable with top notch big animal encounters that will leave an indelible mark in your log book. The volcanic pinnacles that act as fish magnets make for stunning backdrops. The shear level of biomass is impressive and the photo subjects cooperative and abundant. 

The Marine Life

The famed dive site known as El Boiler is home to a pod of dolphins that actively seek out the attention and even physical contact with divers. They are known to be the friendliest dolphins in the world. The shark species to be seen are Galapagos, silky, hammerhead, white tip, tiger and whale sharks. Manta rays are regularly seen with numbers exceeding 6 at a time. Big eye, blue and giant trevaly are everywhere as well as numerous other jack species and giant yellowfin tuna. Moray eels openly cruise the reef along with abundant tropicals. 

The Vessel/Accommodation

No one in Mexico has been diving Socorro as long as the Solmar V liveaboard. For more then 20 years this vessel and its professional team have received accolades in the world wide diving community for delivering outstanding professional service and safety. The interior of the Solmar V is outfitted in brass, rich mahogany, granite table tops and is completely carpeted. It is a gracious, comfortable and a beautiful boat; the perfect setting for the gourmet meals served on board.  Solmar V ComfortPart of the salon and dining area.

Photo Services

I will be offering professional photo and video services for the duration of the entire trip. Whether we are hanging around the large camera table or in the salon relaxing, I can offer tips and techniques on how to obtain great shots. Private critiques can be arranged between dives and workshops will be scheduled for evenings or whenever time allows. Let me use my more than 20 years of photography experience to help you bring home some stunning images. In addition, each evening I will be presenting on a myriad of topics from Truk Lagoon to North Carolina and beyond. Chillax on the comfy sofas with a glass of wine and enjoy the show. 


1-Standard Room Double Occupancy 

•One single on top and one on bottom or a one couple in bottom bunk.

Price: $5875.00 tax included


2-Superior Room Double Occupancy AccommodationThe Superior Room

•Same as above but more spacious

Price: $6100.00 tax included


3-Single Room

•Private room with one single bed

Price: $6325.00 tax included

Getting There:

Flights to Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) from the US is easy and affordable with direct flights from most major west coast airports as well as Houston, Chicago And New York. Contact Mike for travel assistance. 

What's Included:

•Professional Guide & Photo Service by Mike Gerken

•16% Mexican IVA Tax

•$200.00 Fuel Surcharge (incorporated Jan 2023)

•$150.00 Nitrox

•5 1/2 days of diving; 4 dives per day (48 hr RT total crossing time)

•8 Nights Accommodation

•All meals, snacks, soft drinks and alcohol 
White TipsWhite tip reef sharks are seen by the dozen.

•$15.00 Chamber Fee 

What's Not Included

•Transfer will vary depending on demand and passengers per taxi but range from $35-$100 per person

•Divers Alert Network (DAN) dive accident insurance or equivalent. This is MANDATORY!

•Trip insurance - Strongly Advised - Cancellation Policy is strict

•Land based accommodation pre- and post-departure (if required) 

•Steel High Capacity Tank 15l Rental $150.00


•Dive Rental Gear (if required)

•Dive Instruction (if required)


•Arrive in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico no later than Nov 5, 2023. It is strongly suggested to arrive in Cabo at least one day prior to departure and spend the night in the Bahia Hotel. If you are Shark ActionSilky sharks are common and curious delayed and miss the departure time, the Solmar V is not coming back for you. Sign up for one of Mike's add-on trips to sea lions of La Paz or San Carlos for bait ball action. 

•Embark the Solmar V between 1-2PM on Nov 5, 2023 where snacks and beverages await you. Unpack and get settled in for the crossing. 

•Solmar V departs Cabo San Lucas on Nov 5, 4pm sharp!

•Arrive at the Socorro (Revilligigedo Islands) on the afternoon of Nov 6, 2023.

•Diving commences right away. 1-2 dives will be possible on day one.

•Depart Socorro Islands on Nov 11 sometime in the afternoon after the last dive. 

•Arrive at Cabo San Lucas on Nov 12 in the late afternoon. Spend the last night on board; dinner is included.

•Disembark the Solmar V on Nov 13, 0800. 


You must have an Advanced Open Water certification or equivalent.
Be prepared  to fin against stiff currents on steep walls with changing environmental conditions. We will be diving from inflatable dive skiffs DiningWonderful Culinary Spreads known as pangas. Any physical issues that may prevent you from getting on and off the boat safely must be brought to my attention beforehand.

Getting There

•Airlines that service Cabo San Lucas are United, Delta, Alaska, American, Aeromexico, Sun Wing, Spirit, Air Transat, West Jet and Air Canada. Contact me with any and all help with your bookings. The flights are abundant and inexpensive for international standards. 

•Your dive package can be customized with earlier or later departure and arrival dates. Add on packages are available.


•A $1200.00 USD deposit pp required with $300.00 non-refundable. 

•Full payment will be required within 120 days of departure date or be subject to lose your reservation and forfeit deposit. 

Cancellation policy (strictly enforced):

  1. Solmar VAs seen from above More than 9 months prior to charter date:  Refundable less $300.
  2. 9 months to 181 days prior to charter date:  10% of the charter fee.
  3. 180 days to 91 days prior to charter date:  30% of charter fee.
  4. 90 days to 61 days prior to charter date:  50% of charter fee
  5. Less than 60 days prior to charter date:  No refund for entire amount. 

Dive Insurance:  Every passenger MUST carry diving accident insurance such as Divers Alert Network (DAN). No Dive Insurance is included in this package.

Trip Insurance: We strongly recommend every passenger purchase comprehensive accident, medical, baggage and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. The insurance will protect the passenger from financial disappointment in the event of an unforeseen circumstances. No trip insurance is included in this package. 



An amazing montage of video from Socorro.

Photo Gallery

Manta at "The Boiler"

photo by Mike Gerken

Oodles of white tip reef sharks

photo by Mike Gerken


Dolphins that let you touch them!

Photo by Mike Gerken


Sharks and tons of marine life right under the boat! This wasn't even the dive site.

photo by Mike Gerken

More friendly dolphin action. 

photo by Mike Gerken

Manta rays that love being tickled by divers bubbles beneath them.

photo by Mike Gerken

Stunning walls and volcanic formations as backdrops for manta ray photography. 

photo by Mike Gerken

These mantas are easily approachable making for amazing photo opportunities. 

photo by Mike Gerken

Touching is allowed and the dolphins encourage it!!!