Home Diving in Huatulco
Diving in Huatulco
The Bays of Huatulco consist of nine beautiful bays located on the Pacific Coast of the state of Oaxaca, covering an area of approximately 30 km (18 miles). Nestled along the shore are 36 creamy sand beaches fringed by the green/blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. In and around the nine bays there are over a hundred dive sites waiting to be explored, of which 40 sites are marked by buoys. Most can only be reached by boat, however there are some places where you can go off the beach.
One can imagine that this area offers a wide variety of beautiful dive and snorkel sites with an even wider variety of flora and fauna. In the shallower parts you can find coral plates with an abundance of fish and other aquatic creatures, ideal for snorkeling as well as diving. A little bit deeper you will encounter "morros", huge rocks resting on the sandy bottom, and sea beds of volcanic rock full of "nooks and crannies" waiting to be explored. For the more experienced diver we have walls and drop-offs that go to the very limit of recreational diving. We can safely say that the underwater world of the Bays of Huatulco has enough quality dive sites for two safe and enjoyable dives daily for a month without visiting the same sites or being bored! For descriptions of some of the sites, click on the button below.
Some of the bays have little islands, or big rocks if you prefer, which are particularly interesting to dive. Typically the different sides offer very distinct underwater landscapes. On the inside (the side facing the coast) it´s usually a bit shallower with coral and lots of smaller colorfull fish, on the sides you´ll find a rocky/sandy bottom at medium depths and on the outside you´ll encounter spectacular rock formations, drop-offs, bigger fish and more often than not, big schools of fish. Since the outside is in general deeper, you should have a bit of experience before diving those sites.
What can you see?
Due to the amount of plankton in this side of the Pacific and its relative warm water, you will find an incredible diversity of life such as: hard and soft corals, a range of mollusks and nudibranches, sea urchins, starfish, octopi, lobsters, shrimps, crabs, sea horses, a wide variety of species of rays and sea turtles, moray eels and Snake Eels, and fish in a thousand forms, sizes and vibrant colors. Here are some examples: Parrotfish, Red Snapper, Yellowtail Snapper, Filefish, Porcupinefish, Pufferfish, Needlefish, Breem, Hamlet, Damselfish, Rainbow Wrasse, Cowfish, Stonefish, Scorpionfish, Amber Jack, Silver Jack, Surgeonfish, Sergeant Major, Spotted Drum, Trumpetfish, Cornetfish, Hogfish, Seabass, grouper, barracuda, goby, Goatfish, Butterflyfish, Rock Hind, Spadefish, Angelfish, etc., etc.
For photos of the aquatic life in Huatulco go to our Photo Gallery
For videos of the aquatic life in Huatulco go to our Video Gallery
COME DIVING WITH US!
The attraction here in Huatulco are the seven out nine excisting species of sea turtles, the amount of varios species of rays (Eagle Rays are very common here, for example) and the occasional presence of "big fish" and mammals like Nurse Sharks, White Tips, Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Bottlenose Dolphins, Pacific Spotted Dolphins, Spinners and Commerson Dolphins, Orcas, Humpback Whales and Pilot Whales. We even saw a "lost" seal here once, which normally don´t come this far south. The Humpback Whales you can see migrating by the thousands, going south in December and January and back north around March.
The water temperature in the months May through to November is normally at least 28ºC at depth and up to 32ºC (82ºF to 90ºF) on the surface. In other words, nice and warm! Some people don´t even use a suit but I personally use a 1.5mm or 3mm shorty. The end of November it starts cooling off and January to March is generally the coldest with temperatures between 22ºC and 25ºC (72ºF to 77ºF) in our normal dive depths up to 20m/60ft. In the wintertime there´s often a thermocline around that depth and below that it can get quite a bit colder although it never goes far below the 20ºC (68ºF). You may even get suprised every once in a while by the thermocline or colder currents occuring shallower and in certain places as shallow as 7m/20ft. I normally use a 3mm fullsuit in the winter and very rarely my 5mm fullsuit, so far I´ve never been cold in that. Lots of people still dive in a 3mm shorty during the cooler time of the year.
Visibility can be from 3m to 33m (10ft to 110ft). I´m afraid that´s no joke, you can never tell here what the visibility will be any given day. Obviously those numbers are extremes, we rarely get only 3m/10ft and it´s not that common either to have 33m/110ft of visibility. It really tends to go up and down every few days, having good viz for a few days, it´ll slowly get less and then get better again all depending on water movement, the weather, plancton blooms, etc. Sometimes it stays stable for a while and we have had months when the water was clear the whole time. All in all I would say on "average", if you can call it that, we have between 10m and 20m of visibility (30ft to 66ft). Outside of the hurricane season, which runs from June until the beginning of October, it is generally more stable and the visibility varies less.
For the diving conditions of last week, see our Weekly Weather Report
"Best Season" for Diving
A hard question to answer, it all depends on your preferences, as you can dive in Huatulco all year round, but I´ll give you my personal opinion. My best answer would be the middle of October to the middle of December. That´s when the hurricane season is over, the ocean is calm and still nice and warm. Besides that, the high season has not started yet and the weather is nice, not too hot and humid. Divewise April and May and maybe June would be nice as well. The water has warmed up again and the hurricane season hasn´t started yet, but it´s very humid in Huatulco and April is normally very busy. In general the winter months are calm but the water a bit cooler and in the summer months the water is warm, but the ocean is often a bit rougher. Easier to say is when you may want to avoid coming to Huatulco, for diving or otherwise: September is definitely the month with the worst conditions, it´s the peak of the hurricane season and half the time we can´t even go out diving because of rough seas and torrential rain.
© 2000 - 2010 by Hurricane Divers S.A. de C.V.
All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced, copied, stored, altered, transmitted or otherwise used without written permission from Hurricane Divers.
Any page may be printed to use as a personal information source.
Printer Friendly Version of this Page