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Huatulco Scuba Diving: A Comprehensive Guide to Diving in Huatulco, Mexico

Huatulco, Mexico offers world class diving for beginners and advanced divers. Discover it for yourself today!

Diving At Its Best!

One of the most infamous aspects of Huatulco is the incredible beaches and coastline that hug its tropical shoreline. Huatulco's section of the Pacific offers a surfer's paradise and is home to dozens of species of rays, sea turtles and a gateway for the whales as they make their journey across the ocean each year.

Huatulco Diving Information by Category:

Because of the fact that Huatulco's tourism industry is still so young, there are only a couple of PADI Certified dive shops in the area that can take visitors into the underwater world that spans beyond the well traveled shoreline. One of those is Gravity Sport Divers (GSD), the only shop in town with a PADI certified boat - a 54' cabin cruiser yacht that takes its divers out in style!

The dive masters from GSD offered MHV the unique opportunity to interview them about the area including: their favorite dive sites, all of Huatulco's dive opps (with ratings), as well as their opinions on the most choice moments they've experienced in Huatulco's waters. Luca Tognazzi is originally from Italy but has taught and explored diving around the world. Natanael Mejia is originally from Mexico City but for the past 20 years has called Huatulco home and has become the most experienced diver in this area of the Pacific.

When asked why they both decided to set up shop in Huatulco, both divers agreed on the fact that Huatulco offers more marine life than almost anywhere else they've 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 Huautlco diving scene is the fact that you don't have pressure to leave at the crack of dawn in order 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. Both divers commented on the fact that one of the best dive sites is La Blanca, located closest to the base but a lot of divers feel like they need more because it is so close to home base.

So…what can you expect from your dive in Huatulco? Your diving experience may include: Underwater canyons, cliffs, and coral plates (comparable to those found in Hawaii), volcanic rocks, great depth and currents to play in, and surrounding ship wrecks.

Our diving gurus have taken the time to break down Huatulco's dive sites one-by-one, offering an in-depth breakdown of what you can expect from the dive, what type of diver the site is best-suited for, and an overall rating of the dive experience.

Busiest Dive Sites In Huatulco

/// La Montosa

  • Overall Rating: NM – 10/10 | LT – 8/10

  • Dive Depth: 10 – 90 Feet

  • Sea life typically found here: Almost always Eagle Rays.

  • Diver Level: Beginner to Advanced

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.

Natanael Mejia's Favourite Experience

"One time I saw 70 Eagle Rays at once and I've had the opportunity to see nurse and white-tip sharks here"

Luca Tognazzi's favourite experience

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


Soaring with the Eagle Rays at La Montosa


Exploring Unique Rock Formations at Tapesco

/// La Montosa

  • Overall Rating: Natanael – 10/10 | Luca – 8/10

  • Dive Depth: 45 – 120 Feet

  • Sea life typically found here: Mantas & Grouper.

  • Diver Level: Advanced - Experienced Divers Only

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's Favourite Experience

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

/// La Blanca / White Rock

  • Overall Rating: Natanael – 8/10 | Luca – 8/10

  • Dive Depth: 25 – 120 Feet

  • Sea life typically found here: Eagle Rays, Morray Eels, Turtles and more!.

  • Diver Level: Beginner to Advanced

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.

Natanael Mejia's Favourite Experience

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

Luca Tognazzi's favourite experience

"Being surround by Eagle Rays…it was incredible"


Sneaking Up On A Southern Pacific Stingray


Exploring The Coral At El Violin Huatulco

/// El Violin

  • Overall Rating: Natanael – 9/10 | Luca – 9/10

  • Dive Depth: 20 - 90 Feet

  • Sea life typically found here: Rays, rays and more rays!.

  • Diver Level: Beginner to Advanced

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.

Natanael Mejia's Favourite Experience

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

Luca Tognazzi's favourite experience

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

/// Maguey

  • Overall Rating: Natanael – 9/10 | Luca – 8/10

  • Dive Depth: 20 - 130 Feet

  • Sea life typically found here: Sea Horses!.

  • Diver Level: Beginner to Advanced

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's Favourite Experience

"Watching the seahorses!"


Spotting Sea Horses While Diving Maguey Bay


Exploring The Coral Reef Of Entrega

/// Entrega

  • Overall Rating: Natanael – 4/10 | Luca – 5/10

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: Natanael – 10/10 | Luca – 9/10

  • Dive Depth: 20 - 130 Feet

  • Sea life typically found here: A wide variety of sea life can be found here..

  • Diver Level: Beginner to Advanced

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! DIVE MASTER LUCA TOGNAZZI RATES THIS AS HIS #1 DIVE CHOICE OF THE 4 CACALUTA SITES

  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 NATANAEL MEJIA RATES THIS AS HIS #1 DIVE CHOICE OF THE 4 CACALUTA SITES


The Majestic Sea Turtles of Cacaluta

Dive Master's Favourite Experience

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


Large Grouper Spotted at Tiger Cliff

/// Tiger Cliff

  • Overall Rating: Natanael – 8/10 | Luca – 7.5/10

  • Dive Depth: 120 Feet

  • Sea life typically found here: Large Grouper (120 lbs+) and Mantas.

  • Diver Level: Advanced Open Water Divers with A Lot of Experience

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's Favourite Experience

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: Natanael – 8/10 | Luca – 7.5/10

  • Dive Depth: 60 Feet

  • Sea life typically found here: There is a wide variety of ocean life on display here.

  • Diver Level: Advanced - Certified Divers

Chachacual offers two dive sites:

  • Site 1La Punta: Great area with rock formations - this is the highlight of this site
  • Site 2Dos 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.


Huge Manta Ray Found While Diving Chachacual


Exploring The Protected Coral Of Jicaraal Reef

/// Jicaraal Reef

  • Overall Rating: Natanael – 5/10

  • Dive Depth: Unknown

  • Sea life typically found here: There is a wide variety of ocean life on display here.

  • Diver Level: Beginner

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: Natanael – 7/10 | Luca – 7/10

  • Dive Depth: Avg 40 Feet

  • Sea life typically found here: Sting Rays.

  • Diver Level: Beginner to Advanced

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!


Sandy Bottom Stingray at Riscalillo Reef Huatulco


Attending School at Isla San Agustin Huatulco

/// Isla San Agustin

  • Overall Rating: Natanael – 9/10 | Luca – 9/10

  • Dive Depth: 60-90 Feet

  • Sea life typically found here: There is a wide variety of sea life on display here.

  • Diver Level: Beginner to Advanced

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's Favourite Experience

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Gravity Sports Divers recommends limiting divers to 2 dives per day with one day off in the middle of a week-long stay


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.

NOAA – National Oceanic & Atmospheric Conditions

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.

Harbor Master Report – VHF Radio (available locally)

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.

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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!