Diving in the Galapagos Islands
Despite the unique conditions for diving, created by nature itself, the tourist infrastructure of the islands is poorly developed. There are no large coastal bases for diving, as well as specialized shops on the islands. So you should have all the necessary equipment, either to bring with you, or to warn the host company in advance about what exactly might be needed. Based on diving tours, tourists will have to be on ships.
The most favorable season for diving in the Galapagos is from December to May, and the cleanest water is in October-November. Visibility is on average 9-21 m, depths for immersion – 5-24 m.
Main dive sites
Roca Cousins (or Cousins Rocks) – reefs located just north of the islands of Santiago and Bartholomew. Beautiful underwater walls, near which boils marine life (giant stingrays, Galapagos sharks, eels, corals and mollusks). Visibility is excellent for almost the entire year.
Roca Gordon (or Gordon Rocks) – reefs to the east of Santa Cruz and Baltra, are considered almost the best place for diving on the central islands. Hammerhead and Galapagos sharks, fur seals and turtles will accompany the diver here during the entire dive.
Guy Fawkes Rocks is characterized by a calm, unobtrusive flow and medium-sized exotic fish.
Roca Redonda – just north of the equator and west of the northern tip of Isabela Island. It is full of sharks and groupers, huge schools of fish are circling.
Wolf and Darwin Islands (Wolf, Darwin) – the northern islands, which are located at a sufficient distance from the main part of the archipelago. Going to them on the ship takes as long as 12-14 hours, but is more than compensated for by unusual dives, even for the Galapagos. Hammerhead sharks gather here in huge flocks, reaching 100 individuals, striking in their size. It is very likely to meet, especially in November, with a whale shark. The appearance of huge (not less than 4 m) Galapagos sharks is also possible. When removing them, you need to be especially careful: they are not distinguished by good nature. And if you’re lucky, you can watch the graceful games of the largest mammals on the planet – the whales.
North Seymour (North Seymour and North Seymour Channel) – huge flocks of rainbow wrasses, also full of white-nosed reef sharks. An unpleasant feature of this place is that from time to time visibility can drop from 25 to 6 meters in five minutes. A huge colony of endemic garden eels lives in a channel with sandy soil at a depth of about 15 meters.
Isla Mosquera is the best place to explore the sea lions. Both on the shore and under water, the lions will be allowed to come close enough to themselves, but you should not lose your guard.
The island of Santa Maria – a lot of Galapagos sharks, moray eels, eels and turtles, also here you can meet sea lions and a flock of a dozen hammerhead sharks.
Espanyol (Hood) – sea lions, white-necked reef sharks and a huge number of stingrays.
Island diving is recommended only for experienced, qualified divers who know how to navigate perfectly and determine the speed of the current. Night dives are prohibited at all. The fact is that at the Galapagos Islands five warm and cold ocean currents converge at once, the influence of which varies depending on the season, and the diversion of flows can give the diver a “surprise” at almost any moment. A strong undercurrent “hits” the largest island of the Isabela archipelago and goes to the surface, bringing with it from the depths the cool and plankton-rich water, giving food to the diverse underwater world of the archipelago. The local waters attract even whales and whale sharks. In the bay of Urbina is one of the few coral reefs on the archipelago. On the Galapagos you can swim under water with cats. But at the same time be sure to remember that if the females are very friendly and curious, then the males are very aggressive.