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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer/Tesoro Hotel in
Mexico (Western)/Revillagigedos

Nautilus Explorer/Tesoro Hotel: "Mantas and sharks galore", May, 2019,

by Craig A Wood, PA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 52 reports with 48 Helpful votes). Report 11432 has 5 Helpful votes.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments From May 24 through June 1, 2019, I traveled on the Nautilus Explorer to the Revillagigedos.

RESERVATIONS: I made my reservations on the Explorer directly through the Nautilus website. It is very easy to check availability and to reserve your cabin. Flight reservations were made directly with American Airlines. Land transportation to Cabo San Lucas and back to the airport was with Terramar. They were recommended by Nautilus, reservations were made directly. I stayed at the Tesoro Hotel and did some diving with See Creatures prior to the liveaboard. I posted a separate, short review describing the hotel and dive operator. I reserved the hotel and diving directly.

TRAVEL: Air travel from Philadelphia to Los Cabos was quick and simple, a single stop in Phoenix. My scuba gear arrived with me in Mexico. Passage through immigration and customs was quick and efficient. I had modest camera gear in my carryon bag, there were no questions and I exited uneventfully. Transportation by Terramar from Los Cabos International Airport to Cabo San Lucas, and back at the end of the trip, was flawless. It is about a 45 minute ride from the airport to Cabo San Lucas, passing through San Jose del Cabo on the way.

BOAT AND CREW: The Explorer was built in Canada and was launched in 2000. It is said to be the first fully SOLAS certified dive ship. There are up to 25 passengers, our trip had 23. It was a reasonably diverse group, 9 from the US, 8 from the Philippines, 2 from Japan, and 1 each from Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. There are 9 cabins below deck, the remaining 4 cabins are on the upper deck, along with a hot tub, wet suit storage, and the bridge. The main deck includes the dive area, a nice salon, the galley and dining area. There is a modest sized sun deck on the uppermost level. I chose one of the two single cabins below deck, located most forward (see more below regarding exits). My room was very comfortable, best bed Iíve had on a liveaboard, good air conditioning, and an adequate shower. I took most of my showers on the dive deck. The Explorer has satellite Wi-Fi. For $100, I had adequate internet access most all of the time. It was easily good enough for email and web browsing.

The safety briefing was very complete. Alarms, emergency lighting and all exits were pointed out. The main exit from the lower level was toward the stern, up a wide stairway, onto the dive deck, outside of the salon. The emergency exit was next to my room, up a ladder, through a hatch, into the dining room. After the briefing, with permission, I tried out the emergency exit and found the climb and hatch to work well. Ahead of time, I decided to use the main exit, unless it was unavailable to me. There was a full practice evacuation drill with gathering of everyone at the muster station on the dive deck and donning of PFDs. Several guests had to redo their PFD, until they had it right. One day, during the trip, the crew held a timed fire drill, without guest participation, in which they put on full firefighting dress and deployed hoses and other gear. I was told they perform the drill on each trip. Charging was only allowed in the cabins when you were present. I did not fully appreciate all of the safety measures until several months later.

The dive deck was relatively spacious and well organized. There was a single tank at each station with under seat storage in a crate. The standard tanks were AL80s and were refilled in place. I did not see anyone diving a larger tank. Fills were good, averaging 3050 psi (2975-3150). Nitrox ran 31-2% all week, nearly all, 32%. There was a large, metal camera table with many built in electrical outlets. The RHIBs were boarded from the lower dive deck. There were two hot water showers on this lower deck.

The crew were all excellent, hardworking, considerate and communicative. We had four very good divemasters/guides. Victor and Pablo were from Mexico, Mirko was from Italy, and Jesse was from Switzerland. The four rotated daily between the three dive groups. Everyone has their own style, Victor was my personal favorite.

All meals were served buffet style in the dining room. The food was not the best Iíve had on a liveaboard, but was very good, with plenty of selections. There were snacks available at all times. Alcoholic beverages were an additional charge from the bar but the prices were reasonable and they often offered a special. They had the best beer selection of any liveaboard I have been on.

DIVING: Fantastic! Galapagos, Silvertip, Silky, Blacktip, Scalloped Hammerhead, and White-Tipped Reef Sharks. Mantas, mantas, mantas. Dolphins, Longtail Stingrays, Panamic Green Morays and many gorgeous fish, especially for a diver, like me, who spends most of his time in Florida and the Caribbean. These included large schools of jacks and trevally, a few tuna, Redtail Triggerfish, Moorish Idols, King Angels, Barberfish, Forceps Fish, Guineafowl Puffers, Spotfin Burrfish, Bicolor Parrotfish, Clarion Angelfish, BalloonfishÖmany others.

We dived in three groups that stayed the same all week. All the divers from the Philippines dived together. The other two groups were divided up roughly by diving experience and any buddy preferences. The four guides rotated between the 3 groups on a daily basis, exposing you to all of the guides. The groups launched first, second, or third on a rotating basis also. The launches were about 10 minutes apart and often had slightly different drops and/or routes. It was relatively unusual to run into another group while diving.

Dives were from a back roll off the RHIB with a prompt descent. Some of the large cameras were handed down. We made our dives as a loose group and ascended together for boarding. One removed weights, BC and then, fins, before climbing the ladder. The water temperature varied from 72-74 degrees, mostly 73. I dived a full 7 mm wetsuit and a 5/3 mm hooded vest. I was very comfortable on all the dives. Some divers had less exposure protection and ended up very cold at times. Visibility was between about 40-100 feet, mostly something like 60-80 feet. My maximum depths were an average of 93 feet (67-108 feet) with average depth of 59 feet (46-68 feet). There was significant current and/or surge on some of the dives. Due to the route, there was some diving against the current at times. Dive times averaged 51 minutes (40-59 minutes). Surface intervals during daily repetitive dives averaged 2 hours (1:09-2:36).

The trip is advertised as 9 days, keep in mind that the first evening and second day as well as the evening of the 7th day and the 8th day are spent traveling the 240 miles between Cabo San Lucas and San Benedicto. You depart on the morning of the 9th day. We did 19 dives over 5 days:

Dive day 1: San Benedicto, 1 dive at Fondeadero and 3 dives at the Cañón

Dive day 2: Socorro, 3 dives at Cabo Pierce and 1 dive at the West Wall Boulder Field

Dive day 3: Socorro, Mexican Navy inspection, 1 dive at Old Manís Rock, 2 dives at Punta Tosca

Dive day 4: Roca Partida, 4 dives at Roca Partida

Dive day 5: San Benedicto, 4 dives at the Boiler

Though all of the dives were enjoyable, I had my favorites. The 3 dives at the Cañón had great shark action with Galapagos, Silvertip, Hammerhead, and White-Tipped Reef Sharks as well as several Giant Mantas. Roca Partida had huge schools of jacks and trevally, some tuna, many Galapagos Sharks, and large groups of White-Tipped Reef Sharks resting on ledges. The Boiler was manta heaven, more than you could count, often 2 or 3 doing acrobatics together. This is where we encountered most of the dolphins also.

So, this was one of my favorite dive trips, rivaling the fantastic trip I had to Galapagos. The boat, the crew, the diving, all superlative. I donít repeat many of my dive trips, Iím already scheming on how to get back to the Revillagigedos.

Websites Nautilus Explorer   Tesoro Hotel

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Bonaire, Curacao, Turks & Caicos, Roatan, Cozumel, Key Largo, SE Florida (Boynton Beach, Jupiter, West Palm...), Maui, Oahu, Cape Ann, San Diego, Costa Rica, Panama, Cocos Island, Red Sea, Galapagos, Revillagigedos
Closest Airport Los Cabos Getting There American Airlines Philadelphia to Phoenix to Los Cabos

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 72-74°F / 22-23°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Loosely dive with group, ascend together
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Nice large camera table with plenty of electrical outlets. Crew handled cameras carefully
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Report currently has 5 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Jim Keller in TX, US at Apr 29, 2021 11:14 EST  
My husband and I are going May 11 and canít wait. Although I do hope the water warms up a bit. Lol
By Jim Keller in TX, US at Apr 29, 2021 11:14 EST  
My husband and I are going May 11 and canít wait. Although I do hope the water warms up a bit. Lol
By Jim Keller in TX, US at Apr 29, 2021 11:14 EST  
My husband and I are going May 11 and canít wait. Although I do hope the water warms up a bit. Lol
By Jim Keller in TX, US at Apr 29, 2021 11:14 EST  
My husband and I are going May 11 and canít wait. Although I do hope the water warms up a bit. Lol
By Jim Keller in TX, US at Apr 29, 2021 11:14 EST  
My husband and I are going May 11 and canít wait. Although I do hope the water warms up a bit. Lol
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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