ContentsWHY YOU’LL LOVE ITMAP OF THE AREAWHEN TO GODESTINATION 1: COCOS ISLAND, COSTA RICAQUICK STATSLIVEABOARD BOATS IN COCOS ISLAND, COSTA RICADESTINATION 2: SOCORRO, MEXICOQUICK STATSLIVEABOARD BOATS IN SOCORRO, MEXICODESTINATION 3: MALPELO ISLAND, COLOMBIAQUICK STATSDESTINATION 4: GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADORQUICK STATSLIVEABOARD BOATS IN GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR DESTINATION 5: GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICOQUICK STATSLIVEABOARD BOATS IN GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICODESTINATION 6: HAWAII, USAQUICK STATSLIVEABOARD BOATS IN HAWAII, USA Diving in the North Pacific conjures images of schooling sharks, dolphins and manta rays. This is the home of some of the world’s best pelagic diving. Many of the dive sites are the product of millions of years of volcanic activity. Hundreds of miles from the mainland, most of them are only accessible by liveaboard. Stark volcanic landscapes and deep blue water at Guadalupe Island and Socorro are home to prowling great white sharks and humpback whales. Cocos Island and Malpelo Island are hammerhead shark territory, while Hawaii and the Galápagos Islands add some color with coral reefs and a vibrant assortment of tropical fish. If you’ve ever wanted to dive with pelagics, then a North Pacific liveaboard trip is your dream holiday. For more of our liveaboard recommendations, check out these popular articles: Caribbean | Bahamas | Belize | Cuba | Turks & Caicos North Pacific | Galapagos | Guadalupe | Socorro | Cocos South Pacific | Australia | Palau | Fiji | French Polynesia | PNG | Solomon Islands South East Asia | Raja Ampat | Komodo | Similan | Tubbataha | Burma Red Sea & Middle East | Egypt | Sudan | Oman | Djibouti Indian Ocean | Maldives | Seychelles cloud-downloadCLICK HERE to Download our FREE Beginner's Guide to Scuba Diving.CLICK HERE to Download our FREE Beginner's Guide to Diving. Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/montgomerygilchristPhoto by istockphoto.com/portfolio/sieniava WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT PELAGICS: Cocos Island is famous for its hammerheads, Socorro for its manta rays, Malpelo and Guadalupe for their sharks and the Galápagos and Hawaii for all sorts of pelagics. DIVERSITY OF MARINE LIFE: Charles Darwin marvelled at the biodiversity found in this area, where coral reefs, drop-offs and converging oceanic currents foster a rich variety of marine life. VOLCANIC LANDSCAPES: The sites all have volcanic origins; at Socorro, Hawaii and the Galápagos Islands you can still witness ongoing volcanic activity. WARM WATERS AND GOOD VISIBILITY: Apart from the currents, diving at these sites is a breeze, with warm, crystalline waters that offer an average of 100ft (30m) of visibility. MAP OF THE AREA WHEN TO GO APRIL TO NOVEMBER: This is generally the best season for diving in Malpelo and also in Hawaii, where waters are calmer and warmer and the visibility is at its best. May onwards is the best time for pelagics at Cocos Island, although it will be rainy and windy through July. Socorro’s waters are rough and too warm for pelagics. The Galápagos will be cold, attracting penguins and mola mola. August to October – also hurricane season – offers the only window for liveaboard diving at Guadalupe; October can be rainy. DECEMBER TO MARCH: This is the diving season at Socorro and the Galápagos, with calm waters, sunny skies and lots of pelagics. Malpelo at this time is usually cold, with strong currents. Cocos Island is dry and the waters are calm with good visibility, but there are no pelagics. Guadalupe is closed, and conditions in Hawaii are not optimal but do offer the chance to see humpbacks. Cocos Island, Hawaii, Malpelo and the Galápagos can be dived year-round. Guadalupe does not operate any liveaboard trips between November and July, and most liveaboard operators also stay away from Socorro Island in June and July. DESTINATION 1: COCOS ISLAND, COSTA RICA Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/hoatzinexp Cocos Island is an extremely remote site located 342 miles (550km) off the coast of Costa Rica. The island is famous for its schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks that come to the cleaning stations. A national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the minuscule island is only inhabited by park rangers and can only be accessed with a Cocos Island liveaboard. Divers who choose to brave the 36-hour crossing from the Costa Rican mainland won’t be disappointed. Spectacular underwater scenery includes coral reefs as well as a seamount with boulders, pinnacles and drop-offs. The nutrient-rich waters attract all sorts of pelagics including turtles, blue marlins, several kinds of sharks and the enormous jumping Mobula rays. Due to strong currents, diving here is only for experts. QUICK STATS WHERE YOU GO FROM: Caldera Harbor Puntarenas, Costa Rica PRICE RANGE: $4,500 – $6,000 DIFFICULTY: Advanced LENGTH: 8 to 10 days WATER TEMPERATURE: 75 to 84° F (24 to 29° C) HIGHLIGHTS: Schooling hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, occasional visits from blue whales and bottlenose dolphins LIVEABOARD BOATS IN COCOS ISLAND, COSTA RICA Click here to see the best Cocos Island liveaboard boats compared >> OKEANOS AGGRESSOR I CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE SEA HUNTER CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE ARGO CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE DESTINATION 2: SOCORRO, MEXICO Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/eaglerayjoel Socorro is the largest island in the Revillagigedo Archipelago, which lies 250 miles (400km) from Cabo San Lucas. Known for its friendly manta rays, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best diving sites in the world for pelagic lovers. The area is uninhabited except by two small naval bases and the only way to reach it is with a Socorro liveaboard. It’s not just the giant manta rays that make Socorro special. The still-active volcanic seascape with its lava tubes, steep drop-offs and mind-boggling depths attracts turtles, 20 species of sharks and dolphins in the hundreds. It’s also one of few places where you can snorkel with the rare and threatened humpback whale. Currents can be unpredictable so Socorro Island is best dived by advanced divers only. QUICK STATS WHERE YOU GO FROM: San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas, Mexico PRICE RANGE: $3,000 – $4,000 DIFFICULTY: Advanced LENGTH: 8 to 10 days WATER TEMPERATURE: 70 to 79° F (21 to 26° C) HIGHLIGHTS: Friendly manta rays and dolphins that like to interact with divers LIVEABOARD BOATS IN SOCORRO, MEXICO Click here to see the best Socorro liveaboard boats compared >> ROCIO DEL MAR CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE QUINO EL GUARDIAN CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE NAUTILUS BELLE AMIE CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE DESTINATION 3: MALPELO ISLAND, COLOMBIA Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/montgomerygilchrist Malpelo Island is the Pacific Ocean’s best-kept secret, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that serves as a haven for threatened marine life of all kinds. Encouraged by the Colombian president’s recent pledge to double the protected area, conservationists are hopeful about the state of Malpelo. Only one group of divers a day is allowed at this diving oasis, so with a Malpelo liveaboard you can be assured of a truly unique experience. Stunning underwater tunnels, caves and walls at Malpelo descend to depths past 3000m. Strong currents that are great for drift diving bring in huge schools of hammerhead and silky sharks, barracudas, snappers and tuna. Get right up close to colossal Galápagos sharks and keep an eye out for the rare short-nosed ragged-toothed shark and the rosy-lipped batfish. This massive volcanic submarine ridge is deep-water diving at its finest. QUICK STATS WHERE YOU GO FROM: Buenaventura, Colombia PRICE RANGE: $4,500 – $5,500 DIFFICULTY: Advanced LENGTH: 11 to 14 days WATER TEMPERATURE: 61° to 75° F (16 to 24° C) HIGHLIGHTS: Impressive schools of hammerheads, free-swimming moray eels PLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST LIVEABOARD TRIPPLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST LIVEABOARD TRIPThis free ebook will walk you through everything you need to know about liveaboard vacations...from how to choose a boat, to what to pack and more.UNLOCK THIS GUIDELET US HELP YOUGET YOUR SCUBA FIXFor more email-based advice and inspiration, select additional areas of interest below. GET STARTED DIVINGLIVEABOARD DIVINGDIVE TRAVEL DEALSDIVE DESTINATIONSGEAR UP FOR SCUBA UPDATE PROFILESKIP FOR NOW DESTINATION 4: GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/sieniava The Galápagos Islands are the place that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, an isolated cluster of islands right on the Equator where three ocean currents come together to create the perfect conditions for marine life. Located 600 miles (1000 km) off the coast of Ecuador, this UNESCO site boasts almost 3000 marine species, of which nearly 20% are found nowhere else. A Galápagos liveaboard trip is an essential part of any serious diver’s list. The recently-expanded Galápagos Marine Reserve is one of the largest on the planet. The varied underwater landscape coupled with the ongoing seismic and volcanic activity makes the islands very interesting to evolutionary scientists. The sheer diversity of marine life will astound even the most experienced divers. Under the water, you’ll find mola mola, seahorses, mobula and manta rays, tuna, dolphins, whales and schooling hammerheads, but also sea lions, penguins, seals and the endemic diving iguanas. It’s a dive trip not to be missed. QUICK STATS WHERE YOU GO FROM: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno or Santa Cruz, Ecuador PRICE RANGE: $3,500 – $6,000 DIFFICULTY: Intermediate – advanced LENGTH: 7 to 8 days WATER TEMPERATURE: 70 to 82° F (21 to 28° C) HIGHLIGHTS: Biodiverse location where Charles Darwin came up with his theory of evolution LIVEABOARD BOATS IN GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR Click here to see the best Galapagos liveaboard boats compared >> MV GALAPAGOS SKY CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE GALAPAGOS AGGRESSOR III CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE ASTREA CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE DESTINATION 5: GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICO Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/whitepointer World-famous for its great white sharks, Guadalupe Island is a small island 150 miles (240km) from the Baja California peninsula. Diving here is slightly unorthodox, as for safety reasons it only takes place in cages. Your Guadalupe liveaboard operator will lower you into the water at strategic points so you can see these majestic creatures from up close. The island is actually the tip of an extinct volcano, the sides of which plunge steeply into the open water. The sharks are by far the main attraction, but the area also has colonies of fur and elephant seals, amberjacks and whales. Non-divers will be pleased to hear that they can join in the fun from surface-level cages that use air tubes instead of scuba equipment. If you’re a shark lover then Guadalupe Island is definitely for you! QUICK STATS WHERE YOU GO FROM: Ensenada, Mexico or San Diego, United States PRICE RANGE: $3,000 – $3,500 DIFFICULTY: Beginner LENGTH: 4 to 5 days WATER TEMPERATURE: 66 to 75° F (19 to 24° C) HIGHLIGHTS: Cage diving with great white sharks LIVEABOARD BOATS IN GUADALUPE ISLAND, MEXICO Click here to see the best Guadalupe liveaboard boats compared >> SOLMAR V CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE NAUTILUS UNDER SEA CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE NAUTILUS BELLE AMIE CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE DON'T MISS OUT...DIVE TRAVEL DEALS SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX!Never miss a great deal again. Get a weekly update of special offers and last minute deals on scuba diving liveaboard trips. DON'T MISS OUT...DIVE TRAVEL DEALS SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX!UNLOCK SAVINGS DESTINATION 6: HAWAII, USA Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/coobrien Hawaii is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, several thousand miles west of the US mainland. The expansive islands are a good place for beginner divers, with shallow dive sites, weak currents and excellent visibility. A Hawaii liveaboard can take you to dive sites that are otherwise inaccessible. Beautiful coral reefs and grottos at Hawaii are home to butterfly fish, frogfish and myriads of other colorful species. Meanwhile, the Kīlauea volcano sends lava gurgling into the ocean where pelagics such as whale sharks, sea turtles, humpback whales, turtles and spinner dolphins play in the open water. Divers interested in specialty diving are spoiled for choice – you can go wreck diving, night diving with manta rays, drift diving for macro life or cage diving with sharks. QUICK STATS WHERE YOU GO FROM: Kailua Kona, USA PRICE RANGE: $2,000 – $2,500 DIFFICULTY: Beginner LENGTH: 7 days WATER TEMPERATURE: 75 to 80° F (24 to 27° C) HIGHLIGHTS: Wide variety of marine life and seascape, good for building specialty diving skills LIVEABOARD BOATS IN HAWAII, USA KONA AGGRESSOR II CHECK OUT LATEST PRICE LIVEABOARD DIVINGTABLE OF CONTENTSLIVEABOARD DIVINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. LIVEABOARD GENERAL ADVICE 4. LIVEABOARDS BY PRICE 2. LIVEABOARDS BY LOCATION 5. LIVEABOARDS BY TYPE OF DIVING 3. LIVEABOARDS BY MONTH 6. LIVEABOARDS BY SPECIAL NEEDS 1. GENERAL ADVICE 2. LVs BY LOCATION 3. LVs BY MONTH 4. LVs BY PRICE 5. LVs BY TYPE OF DIVING 6. LVs BY SPECIAL NEEDS Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.