My Huatulco Vacation had the unique opportunity to interview two of the region's most experienced dive masters. Below you will find their feedback on Huatulco's best diving opportunities, their favorite dive sites, as well as stories about their most unique moments in Huatulco's waters.

When asked why they both decided to set up shop in Huatulco, both divers agreed on the fact that this area offers more marine life than almost anywhere else they've scuba dived in the world. Although the Pacific doesn't offer the visibility of the Caribbean, it offers a much more lively sea with an abundance of rays, turtles and eels. Both dive masters spoke of the energy of the ocean with passion and excitement for the gift it offers its divers.

The perk of the Huatulco diving scene is the fact that you don't have pressure to leave at the crack of dawn to get a chance at calm waters and good diving conditions. One of the reasons for this is that there are so many great dive spots that are easy to access from the marina base. You can depart at 9:30am and expect a full and great day on the water – most days of the year.

According to our dive masters your diving experience may include everything from, underwater canyons and cliffs to volcanic rocks, and coral plates.

Our dive masters have taken the time to break down Huatulco's dive sites one-by-one, including:

  • An in-depth breakdown of what you can expect from the dive
  • What type of diver the site is best-suited for
  • An overall rating of the dive experience

La Montosa

Soaring with the Eagle Rays at La Montosa

Average Dive Master Rating - 9/10

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Tapesco

Exploring Unique Rock Formations at Tapesco

Average Dive Master Rating - 7/10

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La Blanca

Sneaking Up On A Southern Pacific Stingray

Average Dive Master Rating - 8/10

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El Violin

Exploring The Coral At El Violin Huatulco

Average Dive Master Rating - 9/10

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Maguey

Spotting Sea Horses While Diving Maguey Bay

Average Dive Master Rating - 8.5/10

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Entrega

Exploring The Coral Reef Of Entrega

Average Dive Master Rating - 4.5/10

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Cacaluta

The Majestic Sea Turtles of Cacaluta

Average Dive Master Rating - 9.5/10

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Tiger Cliff

Large Grouper Spotted at Tiger Cliff

Average Dive Master Rating - 7.5/10

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Chachacual

Huge Manta Ray Found While Diving Chachacual

Average Dive Master Rating - 7.5/10

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Jicaraal Reef

Exploring The Protected Coral Of Jicaraal Reef

Average Dive Master Rating - 5/10

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Riscalillo Reef

Sandy Bottom Stingray at Riscalillo Reef Huatulco

Average Dive Master Rating - 7/10

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Isla San Agustin

Attending School at Isla San Agustin Huatulco

Average Dive Master Rating - 9/10

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DIVE LOCATION DETAILS

La Montosa

Overall Rating: 10/10

This dive site is great for a variety of skill levels. Beginners will enjoy the site thanks to the fact that it is well protected from currents. Beginners can also access volcanic rocks without having to go in holes. Experienced divers can enjoy greater depth and experience playing with the surge – going to and from the holes. The views are amazing and it's rare to see other divers here.

Dive Master Experiences

"One time i saw 70 Eagle Rays at once and I've have the opportunity to see nurse and whit-tip sharks here."

"This was the first dive site I had gone through holes using surge – it was a really amazing and strange feeling"

Tapesco

Overall Rating: 10/10

This dive site requires advanced open water diver skill level. It is located further out from shore than most other dive sites in the area and offers greater depths. You can't see the rock formations from the surface – the attraction of this site is the depth.

Dive Master Experiences

"The rock formations found at Tapesco are always interesting to explore. I have seen Hammerhead Sharks here a few times."

La Blanca

Overall Rating: 8/10

This site offers a great spot for beginners because it's protected and has a sandy bottom at about 35 – 40 feet down. There is a dead-ended open canyon where divers can enter and literally be surrounded by a variety of fish. Experienced Divers can venture deeper to 60 -120 feet in very deep coral canyons where they can practice surge diving. There are incredible rock formations at this site. The Southern Pacific Sting Rays have been spotted here (8ft long plus their tail) and at greater depths you can find fantastic Lobster.

Dive Master Experiences

"I saw a Leatherback Turtle here, which is the largest marine turtle. It measures 2.5 meters long!"

"Being surround by Eagle Rays…it was incredible"

El Violin

Overall Rating: 9/10

This is really two sites in one. The first area of the site is: "the cove" which is well suited to beginner divers. It's called the cove because of the rock and coral formations that sprawl out from the beach area. During the winter months, you can typically find a "carpet of rays" at this site. Here you will have a chance to see brown and yellow sting rays and southern pacific rays, butterfly rays, manta rays and electric rays. As long as you respect the rays, they won't come after you.

The second area of the site is: "the rock" which is better suited for advanced divers. Here divers really need to know how to navigate the underwater area. There are two small caves with holes where you'll need flashlights. There is lots of coral and lots of sharks. You will likely see turtles, nurse sharks, lobsters, etc.

Dive Master Experiences

"I had a chance to play with a giant manta here – it was amazing!"

"Spending half an hour playing with 10 butterfly rays!"

Maguey

Overall Rating: 9/10

Maguey Bay offers three different dive options. Beginners can enjoy a sandy area where they can view seahorses. The maximum height these seahorses will reach is 25 cm and they usually travel in pairs – as they are monogamous with their mate for life. Interestingly, the males care for the babies while the female seahorses hunt for food.

For more experienced open water certified divers, there are options of either open water 60 ft depth dive where you will find zigzagging rocks and canyons to explore. Or, The Point, where you divers with deep diving specialty can reach depths of 130 ft. and see Red Snapper and Amberjacks in their natural habitats.

Dive Master Experiences

"Watching the seahorses!"

Entrega

Overall Rating: 4/10

Both of our dive masters agree that this is a very overpopulated area that is filled with a lot of boat traffic and a noisy shoreline. The area itself offers a coral plateau that is well protected off Santa Cruz Bay but is VERY crowded with snorkellers. The deepest area measures 9 metres. Unfortunately the coral has been badly damaged over time from the over-populated swimming area.

Cacaluta

Overall Rating: 10/10

Cacaluta is one of the most breathtaking spots one can find in Huatulco – both from the land and sea. As one of the protected ecological zones in Huatulco, this is the absolute epitome of a tropical oceanic paradise! There are 4 dive sites in Cacaluta:

  1. The inner side of the island (between the island and shore) - The maximum dive depth is 40 feet where you'll find a coral plate. This is a great beginner dive site and an opportunity to see living coral. This site is frequented by sea turtles and sea horses
  2. La Jeringa – This is a deeper site where you can expect to reach depths of 50-70 feet. It is recommended for more experienced divers but is well protected. This area offers a typical Pacific bottom with lots of fish-watching. This is a demanding dive because of the depth but quite easy in regards to navigation.
  3. La Grieta – This site is located on the outside of the Island and is appropriate for Open Water Certified Divers (with some experience). Divers are only able to dive this site in good conditions or if they are very experienced. Average depth reaches 60-70 feet with the max depth reaching 130 feet. You will find rock formations, lots of sea life including: eagle rays, lobsters, mantas, sharks and moray eels. This is a fantastic dive site!
  4. Susie's Cove – This offers a totally different dive experience. This is a shallow area with live coral and interesting rock formations. Experienced divers only in this area due to challenging currents. Eagle Rays are commonly spotted at this dive site.

Dive Master Experiences

"This is the best spot for diving in Huatulco - every dive is a unique experience!"

Tiger Cliff

Overall Rating: 8/10

This site offers large rocks with channels between them large enough for the big Grouper and Divers to swim through. Often Snappers will be found between the rocks. There is a cove that reaches to the shoreline that is great for snorkellers.

Dive Master Experiences

"The best diving experience shared by our dive masters was swimming with a school of small manta rays and having the opportunity to swim alongside a giant manta with a group of divers."

Chachacual

Overall Rating: 8/10

Chachacual offers two dive sites:

  • Site 1 – La Punta: Great area with rock formations - this is the highlight of this site
  • Site 2 – Dos Hermanas: This spot offers the opportunity to dive between canyons
     

The overall attraction of Chachacual is the wide variety of mantas, turtles and Pacific marine life found around this area.

Jicaraal Reef

Overall Rating: 5/10

This area is small, close to the beach and best for snorkellers. You can dive here but it is quite shallow. The coral is in a protected and sheltered area – which makes for good conditions.

Riscalillo Reef

Overall Rating: 7/10

Riscalillo Reef is a well protected site and enjoyable for all divers. It is shallow with a sandy bottom and is known for its sting ray shows!

Isla San Agustin

Overall Rating: 9/10

This is the last of the Bays of Huatulco and a site that takes about 40-60 minutes to reach by boat (depending on conditions). The dive site itself is located on the outside of the island, La Rajada. There is a lot more life here than at many of the other dive sites because it is used less frequently and is further from the majority of Huatulco's water traffic.

There are good rocks at this dive site that offer the opportunity to dive between the cracks. Divers can descend down the middle and go between the rock crevasses.

Dive Master Experiences

"Being surrounded by a pod of dolphins while diving!"

Diving Tips and Resources

Water & weather conditions can change quickly in Huatulco. In high winds the marinas close down and dive boats are unable to take people out. For this reason, it is recommended that divers try and book their dive for the earlier part of their stay in case of delayed outings.

It is a good idea to dive leave time between your last dive and the flight home – for that reason same day dives on or close to departure day are not recommended.

Get up to seven days of marine weather forecasts as well as marine weather data and charts - all centered on your chosen latitude and longitude.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warns of dangerous weather, charts seas and skies, guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and conducts research to improve understanding and stewardship of the environment.

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When in town you can tune into the Harbor Master Report to get up to the minute detailed information about conditions for the various dive spots in Huatulco.

Additional Resources

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When you come to Huatulco to dive, you need to take days off in between multiple dives. Check out this list of 101+ things to keep you entertained on your down days. From dining ideas to tours that get you out and about, there is something on this list for everyone!

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