Pufferfish and friends

Hello human-fish hybrids! Here we are again for some exciting marine life in Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa with Dive Zihua. Our celebrity today is the famous pufferfish and porcupine fish.

Diving with Dive Zihua gives you 100% chance to see one of those special creatures. I am not kidding you, they are everywhere around us from the shallows to the deep. You may know them by puffers, balloonfish, blowfish, blowies, bubblefish, globefish and many more.

Photo by Dive Zihua

Let ’s clarify a few things

Pufferfish or porcupine fish?

The term pufferfish is used quite often to design generally, fish that are able to puff themselves. There are some specifications that needs to be made and not all fish that can turn into a giant ball is a puffer.

One common mistake is the confusion between 2 families; Tetraodontidae and Diodontidae.

Pufferfish are part of the Tetraodontidae. They are characterised by thin hidden spines that only show when they puff. The Diodontidae have large external spines and are called most commonly porcupine fish. They are closely related but are not the same. Both are in the same order Tetraodontiformes with the boxfish which we will talk about in another post.

This fish is about to blow!

How do they do it?

It is quite simple really. The pufferfish have a very elastic stomach and they fill it out with water (or air when outside the water). This is how they obtain their balloon shape. All fish that can puff up do it the same way.

Why do they do it?

They do it as a defence mechanism. Pufferfish and friends are quite good at manoeuvring their body. The coalition of their pectoral, dorsal, lateral and caudal fins gives them good control for foraging food consisting of algae and small invertebrates and do sharp turns, unfortunately, they are relatively slow and non powerful swimmers. It is perfect for their feeding habits but on the down side it makes them easy targets for predators. When they puff they confuse the predator that was expecting a smaller and slimmer fish.

Porcupine fish have their large spines pointing outward when they puff making them even scarier to predators than puffers.

Puffing up is not the only defence mechanism. Before using this technique, they will try to use their ability to do sudden evasive burst which, affiliated with their good eyesight makes it their most common defence technique.

Their last natural defence is the fact that they are poisonous. Puffers and porcupine fish are full of tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin that can be lethal. Some species do not have it like the northern puffer but most of them do. Remember a certain episode of The Simpsons named One fish, Two fish, Blowfish, Blue fish? Homer orders the Fugu in a sushi restaurant and has 24 hours to live because of its poison. The episode was base on that fact and also because pufferfish are a delicacy in some parts of Asia.

Pufferfish and porcupine fish diving with Dive Zihua

There are many kinds of puffers and porcupine fish in the Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa region. Here are the ones we see in our beautiful part of the pacific coast of Mexico.

Guineafowl Puffer – Arothron meleagris – Dark to Gold

Photo by Divebuddies4life for Dive Zihua

A fan favorite, the Guineafowl Puffer is very common in the area. It has different colors depending on their life stage. The first stage is the Black stage which they display a dark blue to black colors with white spots all over the body.

Guineafowl puffer Black phase
Photo by Dive Zihua

The next step is a mottled phase with patches of yellow of the previous stage colors.

Guineafowl puffer motled phase
Photo by Dive Zihua

The final phase is the Golden phase. They show a bright yellow with white belly color and may have black spots on the body.

Guineafowl puffer Golden phase
Photo by Dive Zihua

During our dives, the black phase is very common. The golden phase as well but not as much as the other one. We have also encountered the mix phase with both colors. I quite enjoy this phase because it looks like the fish dropped some yellow paint on themselves. They normally are not afraid of divers and have a taste for cameras. They will parade in front of your lens for some adorable pictures.

Guineafowl Puffer being curious in front of the camera
Photo from Dive Zihua

Stripebelly Puffer –Arothron hispidus– A puffy giant

Stripebelly puffer
Photo by Dive Zihua

They are impressive with their size reaching up to 50cm/12inch. The color varies from grey to yellowish with a white belly with stripes. They have big round eyes. From all the puffers present around here, they really show a blowy oval shape. During our dives, they are quite common and like to lay on the bottom. We rarely see them in groups.

Stripebelly puffer olive brown color
Photo by Dive Zihua

Longnose Puffer – Spheroides lobatus– King of sandy patches

Longnose puffer
Photo by Dive Zihua

The longnose puffer has a beautiful elongated diamond shape with a flat belly. The body is brown to olive green with small white spots and covered by small denticles. If you look at the body closely you will also see some bright blue or green dots all over it. They prefer sandy or weedy areas and rely on camouflage to hide from predators. During our dives, you can easily see them in all sizes with the young ones being so adorable. They are not scared of divers and easy to observe. At Caletta de Chon a dive site, you can see them everywhere but they might trick you by only letting their eyes out of the sand.

Longnose puffer at Caletta de Chon
Photo by Dive Zihua

Spotted Sharpnose Puffer-Canthigaster punctatissima–  Itsy bitsy tiny puffer

Spotted sharpnose puffer

The smallest puffer in our list, the spotted sharpnose puffer like his name mentions has a pointy snout, can reach up to 9cm/3.5 inch and is covered by white spots. They need some hiding spaces so are more common in coral reefs and rocky reefs. During our dives, you just need to pay attention and there are some good chances you will see one. They are small and like to hide but when they show, they are the cutest thing!

Porcupine fish

Spotted Porcupine fish – Diodon hystrix – The biggest

Spotted porcupine fish
Photo by Dive Zihua

Has different shades of brown, olive and grey colors with dark spots all over the body and of course is covered with long spines that will only erect if the fish puff. They can grow up to 60 cm/2 ft. The eyes are big and mostly black. During our dives, they are always present. I haven’t done a dive here without seeing one. On some dive sites, if we go down a buoy line, they normally are waiting for us very steady in the water column looking at us with there big curious eyes. It makes our descent quite special.

Spotted porcupine fish
Photo by Dive Zihua

Balloonfish – Diodon holocanthus– To many to count

Balloonfish at Fandango wreck
Photo by Dive Zihua

Probably the most common in the area, the Balloonfish is difficult not to notice. Like the spotted porcupine fish, the body goes in different shades of brown to olive green, covered in spines with scattering of small brown spots. The eyes are honey brown. They can reach around 35cm/14 inch.

During our dives these guys always make me laugh. First of all they are camera junkies. They will swim away when they see you but the moment you show them your camera they turn around and strike a pose! One other thing is the way they stuck themselves between rocks to not be carried by the current. They always appear trapped and look at you in a funny way like they don’t want you to give any judgement. A golden mine for balloonfish is our small wreck in the bay called Fandango. There are so many around, it is pretty impressive.

A great place to see balloonfish is in a section of the Zacatoso reef dive site I call “Pufferland“. The name comes from that special place on the reef where dozens of balloonfish mostly, other puffers and porcupine fish swim out of their holes to welcome you to Pufferland. I think it is my favourite section of the reef, I love their curiosity!

Divers arriving at Pufferland Zacatoso reef
Photo by Dive Zihua

Hope you enjoyed our little post about Pufferfish and Porcupine fish. We are very excited to take you visit them underwater. Join us for our next dive or snorkel trip they are waiting for you. https://divezihuatanejo.com/activities/diving/


Time to jump in the water!

Maude Jetté – Owner, Scuba intructor and Marine Biologist at Dive Zihua

To learn more about Pufferfish and Porcupine fish click on the links



Become an Open Water Scuba Diver

Hey you!

Have you ever wonder what’s down there at 10m/32f, 20m/65f, 30m/98f. Have you ever wonder what breathing underwater feel like? If you are curious about what is going on under the surface you probably already considered taking a open water scuba diving course.  The things you will be able to see down there will blow your mind away! With this post, Dive Zihua will try to show you what an incredible adventure you will start by choosing to get certified. You can also show this to a friend you wish would become your new dive buddy!

What is Scuba diving?

Let me start with this simple question. The dictionary will tell you that scuba diving is actually the sport or pastime to swim underwater using scuba gear. If we dig a little deeper; scuba is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus which is the equipment that allows you to breathe underwater. It is totally independent from surface supply which allows you long time immersion and greater freedom underwater.

Open water diver course

The OWD course is where everything starts in your journey as a scuba diver. This course is made for beginners with little or no experience with scuba diving. Open water stands for the fact that this course allows you to practice scuba diving in an open environment where you have direct access to the surface. It is built to learn the basics of scuba in a fun and exciting way.

When you decide to do the course this is what you should expect to be doing.


I am sorry but yes! It is a course so you do need to do your little homework. For this, there is 2 options. You can get the manual or the PADI elearning. The PADI elearning is an interactive online version of the book that allows you to study before going to your dive destination and even includes the exam. The manual will take a few hours to reed and contains quizzes and knowledge reviews you need to complete. At the end you will need to pass an exam at the dive shop.

Confined water sessions

Depending where you decide to do your course, you will start in a pool or in what we call confined water. Confined water means a pool-like environment that allows you to practice your new skills safely almost like in a pool but in a natural surroundings. The confined water part of the course can be done in a few short sessions or with only one. With Dive Zihua we normally do one session where we practice all the skills at once.

We start by showing you the dive gear, how it works and how to assemble it. Then the fun starts! We get in the water and we go down!  At first it is all about getting comfortable breathing underwater. Then you will have to practice some skills you will need to perform again in the open water part of the course. The instructor will demonstrate first then it is your turn. You will learn to take water out of your mask, buoyancy control and what to do in an emergency for example. Take your time no stress, no rush you are here to learn and to do well. Every diver had to start where you are and some skills can be more tricky for some and it is absolutely normal. After the underwater part you will do some skills at the surface and then learn how to disassemble the equipment.

Open water sessions

The open water sessions are all about exploring and getting use to scuba diving. To complete your course you need to do 4 open water dives split in 2 days. During those dives, you will perform the skills you’ve learned with the only difference that this time the instructor won’t demonstrate before, unless you need some help of course. Because we want you to have fun, the skills are spread during the 4 dives so you can also have the best time enjoying the underwater world.

Scuba diving is amazing and will bring you lots in your life. It is a fun way to meet new people, challenge yourself and explore new places. Remember that earth is 71% water so the playground just got a little bigger!

I still remember my first open water dive 16 years ago and I am sure you will remember yours as well. I got hook on my first dive and still enjoy it maybe even more today!

If you have any questions about the open water course or any courses we would be happy to help you. Send us an email or call us we are happy to help. Pass by the shop we love visitors!

[email protected]

755 102-3738

See you soon!


Owner, Instructor and Marine biologist at Dive Zihua

Mi aMoray!

Hey there! It’s been a while but I am back with some new marine life to present you.

This time I would like to share my love for the moray eels. As a diver you probably already have seen many of these special animals and if you are like me, you are never sure if you can say that a moray eel is pretty. They look at you with their round eyes and big open mouth. They look angry all the time. Still, I believe them to be very unique and so much fun to observe.  Here in the Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa region of Mexico we have different kind of moray eels and would like to show you the species I have encountered so far diving with Dive Zihua. 

Photo from Dive Zihua

First, what is a moray eel?

Photo from Dive Zihua

Photo from Dive Zihua

Yes they are fish. Moray eels is a type of eel which belongs to the order Anguilliformes. The term eel describes ray-finned elongated fish. Eels can be found worldwide. Moray eels are almost exclusively marine with a few exceptions in brackish waters and a few found in freshwater.

Their mean face comes from the fact that they constantly open and close their mouths in order to create a flow of water in their gills. Their mouth is full of teeth so it creates the illusion of a mean creature.

The skin is scaleless and covered in mucus that can be toxic for some species. They are carnivorous preying on small fish, octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and crustaceans. Moray eels have a second set of jaws located way in the back of the mouth called pharyngeal jaws. They push it into the oral cavity to catch their food and carry it into the throat. Moray eels are apex predators with only few known fishes feeding on them like groupers, barracudas and sea snakes.

It’s a Moray!

Finding moray eels when we scuba dive here with Dive Zihua is a very fun game of hide and seek.  The question is are you a good moray spotter!

Jewel moray eel – Muraena lentiginosa – Morena Pinta

Photo from Dive Zihua

Photo from Dive Zihua

The jewel moray eel is considered a small specie with a maximum length of 61 cm/2 ft and can be find at depths up to 27 m/90 ft. The body can be in various shades of light brown with white spots for adults and yellowish spots for juveniles. They possess a large pair of tubular nostrils above the mouth. During our dives, we meet the jewel moray very often. I saw them multiple times swimming between rock to get to another hiding place. When they are exposed, they will retreat fast into a hole but when only the head is exposed you can easily observe them for some time.


Zebra Moray eel – Gymnomuraena zebra – Morena Cebra

Photo from Dive Zihua

Photo from Dive Zihua

What a cutie this one!  I have a little soft spot for their appearance I must say. The body is dark brown and white striped like a zebra, where their name comes from and can be as long as 60 cm/2 ft. The nose is short. They like coastal shallow water and coral reefs and won’t go deeper than 40 m/130 ft. Cool fact, they can release up to 10 000 eggs during reproduction. During our dives in Zacatoso reef, where I have seen the most of them and Caleta del Chon, it is not uncommon to see them in pairs at the same hiding place during mating season. The zebra eel is very peaceful and shy and will hide if a diver gets to close.

Panamic Moray eel – Gymnothorax castaneus –Morena Verde Panámica

Photo from Dive Zihua

Photo from Dive Zihua


This is a big specie of moray that can reach 1.5 m/5 ft long. The body is large compared to the two previous species I just mentioned. The colour can vary but is mostly dark green with a brown head and forebody with occasional fine white yellow spots. They are also known as chestnut moray eel. This type of moray is common here is Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa and it is quite enjoyable to see because of its size. During our dives, they are normally good with the presence of divers. Funny thing is, just the other day, I saw two of them fight for a same hole between rocks. One of them won and saw the other retreat to find another place to stay. Better luck next time!

Finespotted Moray eel – Gymnothorax dovii – Morena Pintita







This moray looks a lot like the panamic moray. It is actually difficult when we dive to tell what specie we saw. The finespotted moray is not very common and I had the chance to see it only a few times. The body is dark olive green to black with white fine spots covering much of the body. They can grow as long as 1.5 m/5 ft and can be found in shallow or deep waters up to 36 m/120 f. During our dives, they tend to be good with the presence of divers if you have the chance to meet one!

Argus Moray – Muraena argus – Morena Argos

Photo from Dive Zihua

Photo from Dive Zihua








When the water gets colder in Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa around april, the Argus moray eel shows up. It prefers to live in the deep between 18 m/60 ft to 60 m/200 ft but I have seen them in shallower sites in the Zihuatanejo bay. Their golden eyes with a black pupil gives them a little meaner look than others. The body is different shades of brown with a darker back and distinctive white blotches. They have a set of tubular nostrils above the mouth. An observation I made during our dives, is that even if morays eels tend to only show their heads or forebodies out of their hiding spots, I have only witness the Argus moray completely out in the open. They were observing us, the scuba divers, very closely giving us a very big open mouth warning if we got to close. When the water gets warm in the summer, they probably retreat to colder deeper regions and hopefully will come see us again next spring.

Starry Moray – Echidna nebulosa – Morena Estrellada

The starry moray eel or snowflake moray actually looks like a beautiful small snake. The body is white with reticulated black pattern with two rows of brown-black bars with gold spots that doesn’t meet in the middle of the body. They reach up to 60 cm/2 ft and go as deep as 30 m/100 ft. The head is small with a short nose. This is a very pretty specie of moray. During our dives, they normally do not let scuba divers get very close and will disappear in a second if you invade their space. Be quick to spot them or you might miss your chance!



There you go ocean lovers, here are the 6 species of moray eels I have encountered so far scuba diving in Zihuatanejo. They will be here waiting for you to come join us for a fun day of diving!

Let’s go dive!

Maude Jetté

Scuba diving instructor/owner at Dive Zihua and marine biologist

Cortez rainbow wrasse with Dive Zihua

Hi fish lovers!

I want to introduce you to some of the marine life present on the Pacific coast of Mexico and mostly here in Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa. My first pick, is the Cortez Rainbow wrasse (Thalassoma lucasanum). I choose this specie of wrasse because summer is all about colours and that specie shows plenty. We see this specie of fish very often during our dives and they are particularly beautiful to look at.

3 steps to get to the rainbow

The Cortez rainbow wrasse passes through 3 phases before getting his final rainbow colours.

Juvenile phase

The first one is the juvenile phase. We have different dive sites with beautiful shallow reefs and this is where you can see them in abundance and by that I mean they are everywhere surrounding you. They are also very curious and sometimes like to clean you like they do other fishes from their parasites and debris. During their juvenile phase, the rainbow wrasse is about 4 cm (1 ½ in) long. They are stripped horizontally with prominent black lines and yellow and pink-red.

Cortez rainbow wrasse juvenile phase

Juveniles swimming by dozens on top of a reef

Initial phase

In the initial phase they are a little bit bigger and the coloration changes. The upper body is darker colour with a bright yellow line in the middle and a pinkish belly. In the initial phase, the wrasses are sexually mature and will reproduce in large aggregations near reef tops where they spawn in large groups by rushing near the surface in a tight ball just before releasing white puffs of gametes.

Cortez rainbow wrasse initial phase

Terminal phase

The terminal phase shows a very different fish but still very colorful. The body is no longer stripped horizontally but insteads shows a beautiful blue or purple head with a yellow saddle patch behind the head. The rest of the body is purple-pink with a blue tail. They grow to approximately 13 cm (5 inch). You do not meet the Cortez rainbow wrasse at depth, they prefer to stay above 30m (98f) deep. Compare to the two previous phases the terminal phase is more of a solitary fish and will mate one on one with the female not in a group.

Terminal phase Cortez rainbow wrasse

All the phases are present in the picture. Juvenile, initial and terminal phase

Scuba diving with the Cortez rainbow wrasse

Here in Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa, the rainbow wrasse is pretty common especially the juvenile and initial phase. They make our snorkelling experience very amusing because we get to be very close and they are such a pretty fish. When we dive on shallow reefs, they swim around the top of the reef by big groups.

While scuba diving the adult rainbow wrasse catches your attention very easily with their beautiful colours. They are pretty shy and won’t let you get to close but if you keep your distance, you will be amazed by this very active fish. They are fast swimmers and they enjoy moving from rocks to rocks looking for food like invertebrates, crustaceans, worms and small fish. 


Of course there are plenty of fish in the see and I hope to be able to make you learn about them. I will try to show you a new specie every month. If you are curious about the fishes you can find here come scuba dive or snorkel with us and it will be my pleasure to tell you all I know about them.


Owner, Scuba Instructor and Marine biologist at Dive Zihua

PADI Women’s dive day 2018 Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

I am a girl, I am a scuba diver and I love it!

Ladies the ocean is calling and you should jump in!  Join us to participate to the PADI Women’s dive day on July 21, 2018 in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.  At the bottom of this post you will find information about our Dive Zihua event. To motivate you, I decided to do a little top 5 of the reasons why, you should scuba dive. 

1- Underwater. No worries, no problems!

Underwater, there is the sea, his tenants and you. All the other things stay at the surface. For the time you are submerge, life up there is on standby. You only focus on the excitement of seeing this different world. The colours, the movements, the sound of the reef and your breathing all comes together to create the best therapy of all! You are free of gravity, stress and responsibilities!

2- No super athlete needed

You do not need to be an Olympic champion to be a scuba diver. Even better, underwater, you do not feel the weight of your body. No pain in the joints, no sweating profusely and on top of it, it actually makes you fit and helps keep you in shape.

Under the sea we are so tiny

3- Who run the world…girls!

Even if scuba divers are still majority men, you should know that girls are actually, most of the time, better at it then guys! Women tend to have a better buoyancy control and our air consumption is better. Scuba diving can bring you a lot of joy and so much more like pushing your limits (get out of that comfort zone). It makes you more confident, you meet new friends and you have amazing stories to tell. Scuba diving is accessible to everyone who desires to try it. It is not only for men anymore.

4-Life under the sea!

You might be familiar with this little song. 


Ariel, listen to me

The human world, it’s a mess

Life under the sea is better than anything they’ve got up there


Just look at the world around you

Right here on the ocean floor

Such wonderful things surround you

What more is you lookin’for?

Now you are singing right ha ha! Well the underwater world is full of surprises. From a majestic eagle ray crossing your path to finding a lobster in a hole under rocks, to hundreds of fishes cruising around or even spotting a sea turtle eating seaweed, this emerald world will blow your heart away!

5- Makes you want to travel

You become so eager to see new places and new sea life that once you are back from one trip you are ready to go dive to the next exotic place on your list. It keeps you motivated. On top of everything you can pride yourself with the fact that you saw places the majority of people has never seen or only on television. I believe it also makes you less inclined to buy things you do not need because you want to save your money to scuba dive as much as you can on your next trip.

PADI Women’s dive day

Here at Dive Zihua we are proud of women scuba divers and we are happy to participate in the PADI Women’s dive day on July 21, 2018. If you are in the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo region July 21, 2018, we would be happy to have you jump on board.

Click on the image to see it full size and learn about our event at Dive Zihua. We will accept reservation pass the date line.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of that special day that honours the women before us that fought to be allowed to go underwater and for the place of women in that adventure sport. Let’s have a fun girl day of diving!


For reservation, contact us by email [email protected] or book online on our website.

We can’t wait to meet you!


Owner Dive Zihua and marine biologist

Scuba diving with sea turtles at Dive Zihua

Hello ocean lovers!

Summer is at our doors which means here at Dive Zihua, it’s sea turtle time! Every dive is a possibility to encounter those beautiful animals. If you ever wanted to scuba dive with sea turtles it is a good time to do it.

Not long ago, on May 23rd, was the International world turtle day so I decided to make this post all about sea turtles and the species you can meet during your visit in Zihuatanejo. We are so lucky here in this little tropical paradise to have kilometers of sandy beaches where the mama turtles come back to the same place every year to lay their eggs.  

Turtle season

You have the chance to see turtles all year long in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo but the summer from June until October, is considered the high season to be able to witness those magnificent reptiles.

Scuba diving with sea turtles

Lately, we already noticed an increase of observations during our dives and at the surface when they come up for a puff of air or two. It is always fun as we are gearing up in the boat to get a little peek a boo from a turtle.  It gives us high hopes to meet them face to face underwater while we scuba dive. Some of our dives sites are good locations to see them like Morros de Potosi, Solitary rock and Sacramento for example.

Olive Ridley sea turtle coming for air close to Morros de Potosi

The coasts of Mexico are visited by 6 out of 7 species of sea turtles. When you scuba dive or snorkel with us at Dive Zihua, you have the chance to meet 4 species of sea turtles.

Sea turtle siting at Sacramento in front of Ixtapa

Know your sea turtles

Here are some tips to be able to identify the species from the region. 

Leatherback sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Tortuga laúd in Spanish is the biggest specie of sea turtles. They are easy to identify because of the unicity of its carapace. Unlike other sea turtles, the carapace is covered with skin and oily flesh, with five distinct ridges starting at the neck to the tail. It is mostly dark grey to black colour with white spots. One other thing that distinct them from the others is the presence of spines in their mouth to stop their prey from escaping.

Leatherback sea turtle

Inside of the mouth of a Leatherback sea turtle covered in spines

The smallest one you can find in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and the most common here, is the Olive Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) or tortuga golfina in Spanish. The carapace is heart shaped and olive green but sometimes appears darker because of algae growing on its back. They have 5 to 9 pairs of dorsal scutes with 2 pairs of prefrontal scales on the head. This specie is known for their mass-nesting events (arribadas) when hundreds of turtles come to shore at the same time to lay their eggs.

Olive Ridley sea turtle

Olive Ridley sea turtle mating, Morros de Potosi

Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). Normally, hawksbill turtles or tortuga de carey in Spanish are easy to recognise because they have a very colourful shell with margins that appears serrated at the rear like a saw. The beak is sharply pronounced and hooked because they feed almost exclusively on sponges. They have 2 pairs of prefrontal scales.

Hawksbill sea turtle at Manzanillo

Look at the beak and the 2 pairs of prefrontal scales on this Hawksbill sea turtle

Tortuga verde is the Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and is mostly herbivorous. The snout is very short and the beak is unhooked. They only have a single pair of prefrontal scales. The carapace has various colour patterns brown and green that changes in time with a yellow plastron. The name green sea turtles comes from the green fat beneath its carapace. 

Green sea turtle

The green sea turtle is the only specie in Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa with one pair of prefrontal scales.

Hope I was able to help you identify the next sea turtle that crosses your path. The best way is still to see them, get in the boat it’s time to go scuba diving! Either you are in Ixtapa or Zihuatanejo we would love to make your scuba diving experience unforgettable.

See you soon


Owner, scuba instructor and marine biologist at Dive Zihua

If you want to know more about sea turtles



Scuba diving in Zihuatanejo

Hello friends!

 I wanted in my first blog post to give you a summary, a first glimpse, of what scuba diving in Zihuatanejo can be like.

Zihuatanejo is a city on the Mexican Pacific Coast known as the Costa Grande. The town is located around a beautiful bay. It kept its traditional feel of a fisherman village compare to her sister, the resort city Ixtapa, located a mere 5km north. Here in Zihua, life has its own pace, the beaches are amazing, the people are friendly and welcoming and I haven’t even started talking about the food!  Lets not start talking about the food 🙂


But lets go back to our main subject: scuba diving. Scuba diving here is really exciting! The diversity of marine life is pretty incredible. From tiny to huge, we get a little bit of everything. The marine biologist in me is always amaze by the variety of species we can find. Seahorses, nudibranchs (sea slugs)pufferfish, coral, moray eels, whale sharks, sea turtles, eagle rays, stingrays, electric rays, octopus, sea urchins, sea stars, lobsters, and dolphins are simply a sample of everything there is to see!

 In season, from December to March, we get beautiful, enchanting, mermaids… I mean WHALES!! We may rarely see them while we dive, but have you ever scuba dove listening to a humpback whale undersea symphony? Well, here we have!

Argus Morey eel

Spotted Eagle rays

Humpback whale

Visibility and conditions

The diving conditions change throughout the year including visibility, water temperature and currents. April and May are normally the coldest months to dive. I must admit, this is no Caribbean. We are on the Pacific side and the conditions are different. Visibility is rarely 100% but can reach up to 30m (100ft). The best months for visibility are November to January with still very good conditions in February, March, July and October.

Deep Dive paradise

I don’t know about you, but personally, as a scuba diver I’ve always enjoyed deep dives. I just love to look up and see this immense wall of water above me. Here in Zihuatanejo, we have so many amazing deep dives sites to choose from. One of my favorite site is Solitary rock. It is an isolated giant pinnacle coming out of the sea just outside the bay going to 30m (100ft) deep. The marine life is very active around this rock and we always get a great show from enormous schools of fish, and it’s a pretty good place to spot sea turtles, eagle rays and whale sharks.

Solitary rock

Scuba diving in Zihuatanejo can be a very exciting experience. If you allow us, Dive Zihua would love to make you discover all its little secrets.

So now, what are you waiting for? Let’s go diving! 


Owner and Scuba Instructor Dive Zihua