How much does it cost to cage dive in Guadalupe?
Great white shark diving at Isla Guadalupe is July through early December when the BIGGEST sharks are at the island. Pricing is $3895 per person for epic shark diving adventures and includes onboard accommodations, meals, alcoholic beverages, multiple dive days with lots of cage time, Mexico’s $225 government permit fee is not included. No dive experience is required.
What shark divers are saying about the MV Horizon
There are very few experiences that give new meaning and a new perspective on life. I remember when I was about 10 years old, I saw Jaws for the first time and fell in love with Great White sharks. Ironically, the movie did not portray sharks in the most positive light. However, I instantly became intrigued by these animals. At that point, I knew I wanted to see them up close. Fast forward 29 years later, I decided it was time to stop putting it off. Pulled the trigger and booked. With two kids at home and traveling across the country from Pennsylvania, it was difficult to leave that behind for a week, but amidst work-life balance and the pandemic, it’s important we all get that break. This was the break I needed and there is no other way to describe this trip other than “life-changing.” I had seven hours to kill in San Diego before the Horizon Charter boat left the dock.
So, as you can imagine, it was seven hours of anticipation to begin our journey. Once aboard the boat, the crew greeted us instantaneously. Jay was as friendly as ever and the first thing he had us do was try on our wet suits for size. Being the dummy that I am, I tried changing in the small bathroom. Don’t do that. Throw on some swim trunks and use the larger bathroom or the cabin designated to you (Lalo took me right to my bunk) to try on the suit. After that, it was just mingling with my new crew mates until the voyage started in which the crew asked for passports and vaccine cards/negative COVID test results. During that time, I made friends right away! Now to the trip out to the island. As stated in the Horizon Charters checklist, be sure to pack some seasickness medications. I thought I could brave it without any meds. Bad choice. I wound up taking some meds after it started to get real bumpy. If you are prepared for this in advance, it shouldn’t be a problem for you. Regardless, all crew are there for you if you happen to get sick and provide you with the necessary food and drink to help settle your upset stomach.
Guadalupe cage diving voyage
The trip out to the island was beautiful. We got to see both the sun rise and the sunset. Be sure to be on the lookout for dolphins and whales. While we didn’t see any on the trip out, we did see some on the way back. Upon arrival, the view of Guadalupe was breathtaking. Nestled on the water where an extinct volcano once stood tall and about 300 yards from the rocky coast, it was THE perfect spot. Water visibility was exceptional. Now, it was time to suit up. Lalo was our dive instructor and taught us everything we needed to know about breathing underwater. They mentioned that it is sometimes difficult for some people to get used to it, but the trick is to really just not breathe through your nose. Let the mouthpiece do all the work. We were the first group to enter the water. After about 10 minutes, I saw my first great white shark. It was sheer magnificence. Massive, but beautiful creatures that seemed to just float through the water with ease. And their eyes. Their eyes were majestic. And when one came close to the cage, you could actually see that their eyes are actually blue, not the soulless black you’ve been led to believe. I dove for a total of 11 hours during the trip.
The great thing is you can get an extra dive or two in during the trip, as Horizon offers an open dive for anyone interested that usually takes place in the morning before the first group or late afternoon after the last group. I took advantage of one of the early morning open dives and it turned out to be one of the best dive experiences, as we saw sharks galore. Perhaps the coolest experience were two very curious sharks that kept circling the boat and coming within a foot of the cage, making for some great footage! They appeared to be playing. It was amazing. Perhaps one of the more underrated features of the trip were the sheer amount of stars you could see in the sky at night. Working on East coast time, I was up at 3:30 or 4am every morning, and let me tell you, you could see every star and constellation. I even saw a handful of shooting stars! If you can get up early enough, I highly advise just looking up.
Last, and certainly not least, I cannot say enough about the crew. They handheld us first-time divers through everything from start to finish. Any questions we had were answered immediately. They provided an amazing smorgasbord of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks in between. They had beer and wine on board, but to be honest, I had very little desire to drink any alcohol, as I wanted the full experience without any intoxication whatsoever. The crew was open to chit chat about anything. From talking about shark features, to identifying which sharks we saw, to talking about our home lives, interests and hobbies, the crew never declined a conversation. HUGE shout out to captains Spencer and Cary, dive instructor Lalo, deckhands John and Jay, and galley crew Shea (our personal chef!) and Johnny.
As a side note, I highly recommend bringing an underwater camera for this adventure. That being said. Be sure to leave the camera above for at least 2-3 dives. I repeat. Leave the camera above. While it’s nice to get some cool footage, nothing compares to seeing these beautiful creatures up close and personal with the naked eye. When I didn’t have my camera on me, it was a surreal experience just taking it all in and making eye contact with the Great White.
Overall, this was an absolutely incredible experience from start to finish. I would 1000% do this again. The crew made it that much better and the people that join you for the dives are there for the same reason you are – to fulfill a bucket list dream. Book it now!