The quality of the diving around Malpelo is matched only by the difficulty of getting there, and the difficulty of the diving itself. The island can only be visited as part of a live-aboard dive cruise. Travel time is 30 to 36 hours each way from Buenaventura, and there is no decompression chamber on the island. There are strong currents that pull you up, down and sideways – you may well surface kilometers from where you entered the water.

The best time to see the sharks is January to March, when colder weather drives them to the surface to feed.


Visitors are not permitted on the island so must sleep aboard the vessels on which they arrive.


All package live-aboard diving trips to Malpelo include meals.