Revillagigedo Islands

REVILLAGIGEDO ISLANDS 🇲🇽 MEXICO PACIFIC

Revillagigedo Islands | SOCORRO ISLAND  🇲🇽 MEXICO PACIFIC

Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 235 nm SSW of the tip of the Baja California peninsula and 300 nm WSW  of Cape Corrientes off Mexico's Pacific Coast.  The islands are administered by Colima state, Mexico. Covering an area of 320 square miles  the archipelago consists of numerous volcanic islands.

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Revilaggio Chart

 

The largest, Socorro, which rises to an elevation of 3,707 feet (1,130 m), is 24 miles (39 km) long and 9 miles (14 km) wide. San Benedicto, 40 miles (64 km) north of Socorro, and Clarión, 250 miles (400 km) west of Socorro, are the two other large islands; small islands include Roca Partida, 60 miles (100 km) west of Socorro, and Roca Oneal, just off the northwestern coast of Socorro.

 

Revillagigedo Islands

In 1957 an outpost was established on long-uninhabited Socorro, and trees were planted for timber and fruit. The expedition found about 8,000 sheep on the island, the residue of a temporary Australian settlement of the mid-1800s. The Revillagigedo Islands are rich in sulfur, fish, and guano.

REVILLAGIGEDO ISLANDS 🇲🇽 MEXICO PACIFIC

In July 2016, the Revillagigedo Archipelago was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2017 they were declared to be a marine reserve and a national park of Mexico. Some of the volcanoes are active, with the last eruption of Volcán Bárcena in 1953, and Socorro in 1993. A small military airstrip exists on Socorro.
Revillagigedo Islands

No evidence of human habitation on any of the islands exists before their discovery by Spanish explorers. Hernando de Grijalva and his crew discovered an uninhabited island on 19 December 1533, and named it Santo Tomás (Socorro Island) and on 28 December they discovered Isla de los Inocentes (San Benedicto) which owed its name to having been found on the day of the Holy Innocents.

San benedicto island

In November 1542, Ruy López de Villalobos, while exploring new routes across the Pacific, rediscovered Inocentes and Santo Tomás and charted the latter as Anublada ("Cloudy"). Villalobos was the first to report sighting of Roca Partida Island giving it its present-day name. In 1608, Martín Yánez de Armida, in charge of another expedition, visited Anublada and changed its name to Socorro. In 1779 José Camacho was the first to report sighting of the island remaining, that he charted as Santa Rosa ("Saint Rose"). Santa Rosa was later renamed Clarion after the vessel commanded by Henry Gyzelaar at that time.

Humpback whales off the coast of Revillagigedo Islands near Mexico

They offer divers reliable encounters with giant manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, humpback whales, tuna, pelagic fish and many other shark species.
They offer divers reliable encounters with giant manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, humpback whales, tuna, pelagic fish and many other shark species.
The Revillagigedo Islands are home to many endemic plant and animal species, and are sometimes called Mexico's "little Hawaii". They are recognized as a distinct terrestrial ecoregion, part of the Neotropical realm. Socorro is the most diverse in flora, fauna, and topography. The Mexican Government established the islands as a Biosphere Reserve on June 4, 1994. Oceanographic Magazine stated in 2020 that, "Its remoteness, protection and peculiar oceanography makes it one of the most biodiverse and exciting marine destinations on earth."
The Revillagigedo Islands are home to many endemic plant and animal species, and are sometimes called Mexico's "little Hawaii". They are recognized as a distinct terrestrial ecoregion, part of the Neotropical realm. Socorro is the most diverse in flora, fauna, and topography. The Mexican Government established the islands as a Biosphere Reserve on June 4, 1994. Oceanographic Magazine stated in 2020 that, "Its remoteness, protection and peculiar oceanography makes it one of the most biodiverse and exciting marine destinations on earth."
Apart from the native birds, migrant shorebirds and others are often found on the islands. Bahia Azufre (Sulfur Bay) on Clarión seems to be a favorite stopover location, as it is one of the few longer stretches of beach in the islands; mostly, the shoreline is steep cliffs. The archipelago is also a part of wintering grounds for humpback whales in the North Pacific.

 

Apart from the native birds, migrant shorebirds and others are often found on the islands. Bahia Azufre (Sulfur Bay) on Clarión seems to be a favorite stopover location, as it is one of the few longer stretches of beach in the islands; mostly, the shoreline is steep cliffs. The archipelago is also a part of wintering grounds for humpback whales in the North Pacific.