The Galapagos Islands, a naturalist’s dream vacation spot, are discovered over 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) off the west coast of Ecuador. Regardless of quick access by aircraft, the Galapagos are a wild wonderland, filled with endemic species each above and under the water. Marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, sea lions and Galapagos sharks together with education hammerheads, whale sharks, manta rays and mola mola are the delight of scuba divers.
Dive sites in the Galapagos are typically volcanic in nature with a couple of corals scattered right here and there. Channels across the islands boast heavy currents which work like pelagic highways. As a result of one of the best dive websites within the Galapagos are distant (as is the case of Wolf and Darwin Islands) or unfold out, becoming a member of a liveaboard is the best way to fully experience the archipelago.
The perfect time to dive within the Galapagos is any month of the yr. There are two distinct seasons. Every boasts a unique set of marine life. The nice and cozy season, from December to Might, is greatest for education hammerheads and most different sharks. These months additionally function simpler circumstances and higher visibility. However, the chilly season, from July to December, is greatest for whale sharks, penguins and mola mola. Simply be ready for temperatures that drop to 60-65°F (16-18°C).
Whether or not you're planning a liveaboard diving adventure in the Galapagos or plan to take day journeys to one of the best dive websites of the central islands, these 10 dive websites must be in your must-dive listing.
1. Darwin’s Arch
On the far outer reaches of the archipelago, Darwin Island and its well-known dive website, Darwin’s Arch, are the spotlight of any liveaboard tour within the Galapagos. Manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, eagle rays and the occasional whale shark wow divers with their presence. The actual showstopper are the large variety of sharks introduced in by the robust present. You’re possible see faculties of hammerheads, silky sharks, blacktip sharks and Galapagos sharks. All of this at a mean depth of simply 30 ft (9 meters)!
- Really helpful Degree: Intermediate to Superior
- Featured Creatures: Hammerheads, Galapagos Sharks, Silky Sharks, Blacktip Sharks and Whale Sharks
2. Shark Level
Sister to Darwin Island, Wolf Island can also be solely accessible by liveaboard. There are fairly a number of world-class dive websites at this distant location, however one stands out as the preferred. Shark Level is the place divers go to satisfy their goals of diving alongside huge whale sharks. These sleek creatures collect within the space from Might to November. It’s additionally attainable to see giant teams of hammerhead sharks and endemic Galapagos sharks at this Wolf Island dive website. Due to restricted visibility, robust present and occasional harsh surges, Shark Level is often restricted to skilled divers solely.
- Advisable Degree: Superior
- Featured Creatures: Whale Sharks
three. Gordon Rocks
Among the best dive websites within the central islands, Gordon Rocks is the eroded crater of a submerged cone on the northeast aspect of Santa Cruz Island. Whereas any variety of massive marine animals might be discovered within the space, most individuals dive Gordon Rocks for one factor: hammerheads. Robust currents convey dozens of those predators into a comparatively confined space, making this a great place to get up close and personal with the sharks. Regionally, Gordon Rocks can also be known as the washer as a consequence of its currents and construction, so watch out when diving within the space.
- Beneficial Degree: Intermediate to Superior
- Featured Creatures: Hammerhead Sharks
four. Camaño Islet
Located off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, Camaño Islet is a superb choice for freshmen who additionally need to benefit from the underwater wonders of the Galapagos. There’s groupers, batfish, sea lions and seahorses to be seen. Fortunate divers may even spot Galapagos marine iguana looking for meals beneath the floor. The dive profile at Camaño Islet sometimes maxes out at 33-50 ft (10-15 meters) with nice visibility, making it a pleasant and straightforward dive.
- Advisable Degree: Newbie
- Featured Creatures: Seahorses, Sea Lions, Batfish and Grouper
5. Punta Vicente Roca
Punta Vicente Roca is a sloping wall with a number of small caves off of Isabela Island. This website reaches a max depth of 88 ft (27 meters) with higher circumstances discovered within the chilly water under 40 ft (12 meters). Whereas the wall is roofed in invertebrates starting from frogfish to seahorses, the actual attraction are the sunfish. Mola mola are sometimes seen alongside the surface of the wall the place these big fish come to be cleaned. In your security cease, look out for diving penguins and playful sea lions. Each minute is an journey at Punta Vicente Roca.
- Advisable Degree: Intermediate
- Featured Creatures: Mola Mola
6. North Seymour Ocean Aspect
There’s a lot to see at North Seymour, you may need to stick round for multiple dive. The gradual rocky slope that extends from Seymour Island’s northeastern shore supplies habitat yellowtail grunts, bluestriped snapper and salemas. You may also spot teams of eagle rays, marble rays, manta rays, stingrays, jacks, hammerheads and, on a great dive, marlins. Don’t overlook to level your digital camera up each as soon as in awhile. Due to the variety of fish discovered right here, you possibly can typically observe blue-footed boobies diving in and swimming right down to catch a meal.
- Beneficial Degree: Newbie
- Featured Creatures: Eagle Rays and Blue-Footed Boobies
7. Cousins Rock
Maybe the most effective intermediate dive within the Galapagos, Cousins Rock is situated off the northeast coast of Santiago Island. The dive website gives terraced steps that drop right down to a sandy backside at 130 ft (40 meters). The steps are coated in black corals, which make a superb habitat for the Pacific Seahorse. Beneath the overhangs created by the “steps,” white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles and moray eels hang around. Faculties of barracuda curiously watch the glint of the scuba tanks, and manta rays and hammerheads are sometimes noticed within the blue. General, Cousins Rock is likely one of the most constant dive websites within the Galapagos.
- Really helpful Degree: Intermediate
- Featured Creatures: Pacific Seahorse, White-Tipped Reef Sharks and Sea Turtles
eight. Roca Redonda
Well-known for its streams of pure fuel bubbles referred to as fumaroles, Roca Redonda is the perfect website within the Galapagos for experiencing the archipelago’s volcanic nature. After a difficult entry filled with heavy surge, divers pull themselves alongside the rocks to a sandy patch the place the recent bubbles are launched from the earth under. Colourful nudibranchs seemingly love the surroundings as properly. In your approach up, save a while for the Galapagos sharks. At Roca Redonda, you’ll doubtless be surrounded by a number of of those menacing-looking creatures throughout your security cease.
- Really helpful Degree: Superior
- Featured Creatures: Nudibranchs and Galapagos Sharks
9. Bartholomew Level
Combining superb rock formations with a few of the greatest marine species within the space, Bartholomew Level must be on any listing of one of the best dive websites within the Galapagos Islands. Bait balls are typically seen within the space. These appeal to Galapagos penguins (the one penguin discovered north of the Equator), sea lions, pelagic fish, white-tipped reef sharks and quite a lot of rays. If you’re not in the midst of a bait ball, you might also see sea turtles, quite a lot of reef fish, manta rays and curious hammerheads within the blue.
- Beneficial Degree: Intermediate to Superior
- Featured Creatures: Galapagos Penguins and White-Tipped Reef Sharks
10. Kicker Rock
Appropriate to each scuba divers and snorkelers, Kicker Rock off the coast of San Cristobal Island was named for its resemblance to a shoe. Diving down between the 2 rocks, you’ll see sea turtles, giant rays, wrasse, surgeonfish, angelfish, Galapagos sharks and even hammerheads in deeper waters. Marine iguanas additionally hunt within the space, so hold your eyes open for one diving previous. Most land-based operations mix snorkeling or diving at Kicker Rock with a go to to the playful sea lion colony at Lobos Island, creating an exquisite day of underwater adventures!
- Advisable Degree: Newbie
- Featured Creatures: Marine Iguanas and Sea Lions
With so many epic dive websites, we’re unsure how any diver can resist the temptation of the Galapagos. Have you ever been diving within the Galapagos? In that case, we’d love to listen to about your favourite dive websites.