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Galapagos Diving

Galapagos Liveaboard

If you are an adventurous diver and crucially you have experience diving in currents, then a liveaboard is the best option for you. For 8 days, the liveaboard yacht  become your home from home  and you  remain at sea for the duration of your tour, enabling you to access the best and most remote dive sites like Wolf and Darwin – accessible only from liveaboards. In order to join a liveaboard yacht in Galapagos, you require at least an Advanced Open Water certification.   
More information on our Galapagos Liveaboard Dive trips »

Galapagos Live aboard Diving Experiences - Find out more »

Island-based Galapagos Dive Trips - Find out more »

Island-based Day Trips

If you are a casual diver, who doesn’t dive every year or are an experienced diver who does not want a full 8 day dive trip, allowing you to experience the amazing underwater world of Galapagos, as well as the wildlife above the water, then island-based day trips combined with a cruise is the best option. In order to do this, either before or after your cruise, you stay in a hotel in one of the inhabited islands (we recommend Santa Cruz as the best base for day diving trips), you then make daily dive trips to nearby dive sites with our partners there.
More information on our Galapagos day diving trips »

When is the best time to dive in Galapagos?

This is probably the number 1 question we are asked, and in summary both seasons are equally as good but as a rough guide here is an outline of the differences:

  • June - November: The water is cooler, 16-24C 
    Whale shark sightings are greater.
  • December - May: The water is warmer, clearer 21-30C
    Larger schools of hammerhead sharks, manta rays and eagle rays.

How do I get to Galapagos?

In order to get to Galapagos, you need to fly into mainland Ecuador, either to Guayaquil on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador (which has the benefit of being at sea level)  or into Quito, Ecuador’s capital city nestled at 2800 meters in the Andes (this is the best option if you wish to explore some of mainland Ecuador too). As all the Galapagos flights leave in the morning you need at least an overnight in mainland Ecuador, and before joining a cruise we recommend 24 hours in case of delays with your international flights. Think Galapagos can organise all these logistics for you, including your flights out to Galapagos with our expert team of guides and handpicked hotels in mainland Ecuador.

How much experience do I need?

Whilst spectacular, Galapagos diving isn’t easy diving mainly due to the currents (see below) – many sites are for experienced divers only and we will need to ensure you have sufficient experience for your own safety.  Experience in diving in similar conditions with ocean currents is more important than purely the number of dives logged, and really depends on the sites you are visiting. Some shore-based diving tours are suitable for beginners and we will be able to help give advice on this.

Are there strong marine currents?

Yes, in some places, though it really depends on the dive site, and we can help answer this and our individual descriptions of the dive sites has more detail. There a seven major oceanic currents in Galapagos but in very general terms, the Galapagos Islands waters have the Humboldt Current's influence that brings cold waters especially during the mist rainy season (cool weather) from July to December. The warm season is during the months of January to June. The southeast trade winds become weaker and the water from the Panama Basin remains warm. During this season there is more of a tropical climate with some occasional rains. The intermittent "El Niño" current may cause a much greater flow of warm waters coming from the west, making the surface warmer and rainfall increase.

What are the sea conditions like?

These are generalisations and can change – but are useful as a general guide.  From July to December the sea is choppy, strong surge, brisk breezes but no storms. Sailing time is longer ( by 30 - 40 minutes aprox.) when comparing to sailing December to June. Anti-seasickness medication is recommended.  From December to June the sea is calm with gentle breeze; sailing is easier.

What are the air and sea temperatures like?

These are surface water temperatures and van vary depending on depth and dive site.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily High
ºC
(ºF)
29 (85) 29 (85) 31 (87) 31 (87) 27 (81) 26 (79) 25 (77) 24 (76) 24 (76) 25 (77) 26 (78) 26 (79)
Daily Low
ºC
(ºF)
22 (71.6) 24 (76) 24 (76) 24 (76) 22 (71.6) 21 (69.8) 20 (68) 19 (66.2) 19 (66.2) 20 (68) 21 (69.8) 22 (71.6)
Sea Temp
ºC
(ºF)
24 (75.2) 25 (77) 25 (77) 25 (77) 24 (75.2) 23 (73.4) 22 (71.6) 21 (69.8) 22 (71.6) 22 (71.6) 23 (73.4) 23 (73.4)
Rainfall mm
(inch)
68.6 (2.7) 91.4 (3.6) 94 (3.7) 71.1 (2.8) 33 (1.3) 22.9 (0.90) 15.2 (0.60) 5.1 (0.20) 5.1 (0.20) 5.1 (0.20) 7.6 (0.30) 30.5 (1.20)

What are the weather conditions like?

Located on the equator, the Galapagos Islands have a surprisingly cool, sub-tropical climate. The larger islands with volcanic peaks have a variety of climatic zones. The coastal areas are arid and covered with plants adapted to desert conditions.  The highland areas receive moisture almost all year round, which support lush vegetation. Temperatures are determined almost entirely by ocean currents, which are influenced by the trade winds. There are two seasons, both of which have some precipitation. The Galapagos get an average of ten inches of rain per year, so it is never considered "rainy". During the months of December to May, the cooling currents subside, temperatures rise and the climate is warm and sunny with occasional showers.  In June, the trend begins toward cooler temperatures with moderate breezes, which continue through November. This period is often referred to as the "garua" (pronounced gah-ru-ah) season, which means mist in Spanish.

Do I need my own diving equipment?

You need to bring your own computer and safety equipment – your yacht will provide you with specific information regarding this. For your own comfort you may wish to bring your own wetsuit although your yacht will have suits, as well as other equipment available for you to hire, we can help you organise this in advance if you wish.

What thickness wetsuit should I wear?

It is important that you are comfortable and water temperatures can be cool (please see our water temperatures indicated on the various visitor sites as they can vary from site to site and depending on the time of year).  Typically a 7mm thickness is recommended.

Are night dives Permitted?

No night dives are strictly forbidden in the Galapagos National Park.

How will we dive?

Most dives are not from the main vessel but will be from a tender (or panga). You will roll backwards into the water. After your dive you will be assisted back out of the water.

Decompression dives or technical diving?

Due to the remoteness of the Galapagos Islands, local diving regulations and insurance requirements do not allow decompression or technical dives.

Rebreather divers?

Re- breather diving is considered technical diving in Galapagos and is not allowed due to local diving regulations.

Can I dive on my own?

No. All the dives will be guided by an instructor/naturalist guide and due to Galapagos National Park regulations, you must dive with your guide at all times. They are highly knowledgeable about the islands and marine life, help ensure your safety and offer any advice.

Are then any depth limitations in the Galapagos Islands?

There is no set depth limit in the National Park, however, you must  dive at all times with a Galapagos National Park dive guide who will make sure that you enjoy only the very best diving experience.

What is required for me to dive in the Galapagos Islands?

You must have a proof of diving and travel insurance due to the nature of this trip.

Hand luggage – what should I pack?

You should pack any medications, regulator, mask and swimsuit in case of any unexpected luggage delay.

What is the luggage weight allowance?

The allowance on your international flight will vary depending on the airline. The allowance on your flight from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos is very strictly monitored. Each passenger is allowed one checked bag of 20kg (44 pounds approx) and one carry on bag up to 8kg (17 pounds approx). Charges will be made for any excess weight. It is recommended to take soft luggage as cabin space on your yacht is limited.

Where is the nearest recompression chamber?

The nearest recompression chamber is located in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island.

Galapagos Live aboard Diving Experiences - Find out more »

Island-based Galapagos Dive Trips - Find out more »

Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

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