The Galapagos Islands located in the ecuadorian Pacific, are a must and a dream destination for nature enthusiasts and experienced divers looking for a world-diving highlight featuring pelagic and big fish. This archipelago lying at the equator is of volcanic origin located 906 km / 563 miles west of the Ecuadorian coast and consists of 18 main islands, 3 smaller islands and 107 rocks and islets. The highest point of the Galapagos Islands is the Volcano Wolf with an altitude of 1,707 meters, the capital of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal.
The local flora and fauna of the Galapagos islands has evolved independently of the continent for millions of years. The islands provide a habitat for a variety of endemic and fascinating life forms, the most famous being certainly the marine iguanas, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies and sea lions.
Due to lack of natural enemies most animals are tame and show no fear towards humans. The English explorer and biologist Robert Charles Darwin based his groundbreaking evolution theory on his animal observations during his expedition on the HMS Beagle.
DIVING LIVEABOARDS OPERATION GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Who sets the focus on diving should definitely choose a liveaboard vessel. Only with diving boats you can reach the exposed northern islands Wolf and Darwin. Here are the best diving spots around the Galapagos islands; large schools of hammerhead sharks, giant whale sharks and more pelagic life, certainly World Top diving spots.
Diving with sea lions, sunfish and batfish around Isabela and grazing marine iguanas in Cape Dougles are other highlights on a Galapagos diving expedition. When choosing a dive boat you should pay special attention to the route and number of dives in the best diving spots.
Liveaboard operators leave either from Baltra or San Cristobal and start/finish on the following days:
Aggressor III (Thursdays)
From San Cristobal
Galapagos Master (Monday)
Galapagos Sky (Sunday)
Humboldt explorer (Monday)
DIVING AT THE GALAPAGOS ISLAND ARCHIPELAGO
Diving in Galapagos is challenging in most places and there is a minimum required and strongly recommended to participate. You should be at least Advanced Diver with 60 dives and drift dive experience. The diving in the waters of Galapagos offers year-round visibility of 16 to 98 feet (5-30 meters), depending on weather conditions and currents. Throughout the year pelagics can be observed, the Galapagos islands are a permanent diving – all year round diving destination
July to December cold and dry season brings cold water with the Humboldt current, stronger winds and therefore more waves to the Galapagos islands. Air temperatures around 24 degrees Celsius (75 degree F), the water temperature of 17 to 23 degrees Celsius (62 to 73 degree F), the lowest temperatures in Isabela and the highest to Darwin and Wolf.
This season has become the main season in Galapagos because of the whale sharks, some are really giant, gathering around Darwin and Wolf. This still does not make it the better season to dive in Galapagos, these are more likely to the result of a marketing strategy. There are advantages and disadvantages of each season and highly dependent of the divers personal preferences.
January to June warm and wet season offers calmer sea conditions, better visibility and up to 6 degrees Celsius warmer water temperatures around the Galapagos waters. The air temperature ranges from 29 to 35 degrees Celsius (84 to 95 degree F) and water temperatures of 18 to 27 degrees Celsius (64 to 80 degree F), with the lowest temperatures to Isabela and the warmest water in Darwin and Wolf. Good conditions for snorkeling.
Many animals such as land birds, albatrosses, land and marine iguanas and sea turtles are mating and breeding season. At this time, there are better chances to see schooling hammerhead sharks especially around Darwin and Wolf on the northern side of the archipelago. Also all kinds of rays like giant manta rays in Cabo Marshal, eagle rays, cow nose rays, mobulas, golden rays and silky sharks are usually observed in greater numbers. Who wants to dive with giant manta rays needs to choose this season!
Dive equipment We recommend a 7mm wetsuit or semi-drysuit even during the warmer season Also bring a hood and gloves to protect the hands from sharp rocks and barnacles. Dive alerts, Surface marker buoys and dive computers are mandatory equipment required by the park authorities. The boat operators offer standart Dive alerts, it should be checked before arrival in Galapagos whether one's Jacket is compatible, if necessary bring a dive alert that fits your BCD. Snorkels are not recommended as they give more surface to the strong currents and may cause water to leak into the mask.
Dive Insurance is mandatory to dive in the Galapagos Islands and we also recommend a cancellation insurance. Underseaventures is partner of DIVEASSURE, and offers interesting Dive and Travel insurance combinations. The LIVEABOARD RIDER insurance is created specifically for diving boat expeditions and includes cancelations and lost diving days.
DIVING VIDEO GALAPAGOS ISLANDS