The Americas South

Whether it’s due to climate, geography, economics or a combination of all three, the most famous diving on the western coast of the Americas is found in the Northern Hemisphere, between the equator and Mexico. This encompasses both mainland waters and offshore islands, and both established and emerging destinations.

Straddling the equator, and 600 miles west of the coast of Ecuador, lie what are, scientifically-speaking, probably the most famous islands in the world. Imprinted in our brains by the work of Charles Darwin, the Galapagos Islands have always been a magnet for biological study and tourism topside. But, in recent years, the wonders of the underwater Galapagos have come into their own with live-aboard divers.

The variety of islands that make up this chain each offer their own attractions. Highlights include schooling Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks, marine turtles, sea lions and Fur Seals, but the animals that most effectively say “Galapagos” are the marine iguanas.

Panama is only now making a reputation for itself among divers, and that means the action is packed with adventure. Among the multitude of offshore islands, you’ll find splendid beaches, backed by orchid-rich jungles. Offshore the larger islands, such as Bocas del Toro and Cobia, you’ll experience lots of fish action, including sharks, plus marine turtles, too.

Bordering Panama to the north is Costa Rica, and the same excellent, unspoiled diving continues here. The most famous diving off Costa Rica is found at live-aboard-accessed Cocos Island. Here the currents bring in a host of pelagics, including schools of Scalloped Hammerheads, Manta Rays and Whale Sharks.


Our next stop northward is at the famed Islas Revillagigedos, off the tip of Baja California. These remote islands are also known as “The Socorros,” after their best-known member, Socorro Island. Live-aboards are the only way to access these islands. Here divers will find Manta Ray encounters almost guaranteed, and encountering schools of Scalloped Hammerheads, tuna and huge jacks is common.

Just in from The Socorros, of course, at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, are the resort towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Off the coastline here, where the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez and the cooler Pacific mix, anything can happen. Shore-based dive boats and live-aboard vessels offer divers encounters with Hammerheads, Manta Rays, Whale Sharks and billfish, and the sudden appearance of sea lions will always get your heart pounding. In your nondiving hours, you can fish for big game or party the night away in the many happening cantinas.

Eastern Pacific
Big animal encounters in Galapagos, Panama, Costa Rica, Socorro Islands and the Sea of Cortez! Liveaboard and land-based packages, with or without discount airfares. Baja, Belize, & Bay Islands too. Personal service and best value.
Call 1-800-659-5800 or

M/V Sky Dancer

The newest vessel in the Dancer Fleet, M/V Sky Dancer, cruises the Galapagos Islands in search of sea lions, schooling hammerheads, turtles and the magnificent Mantas. Itineraries include visits to the remote islands of Wolf and Darwin. Service, safety, special amenities and great diving are the earmarks of all Peter Hughes Diving vacations. Nitrox and E-6 processing available.

Luxury Live-Aboard diving to the
Socorro Islands and Sea of Cortez.

Private bath, shower, color tv & a/c in every stateroom. Experience the best in pacific diving with giant mantas, hammerheads, whalesharks, dolphins & even humpack whales! Visit our web site at: or
call 800-344-3349
for seasons and specials.