Galapagos Liveaboards will make you fall in love with the islands that are located 900km from the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. The marine territory that is within 70000 sq. km around the islands has been declared a marine reserve because of its abundant and unique natural beauty. Greater than 95% of the islands is the national park of Ecuador and it is also the second-largest marine reserves in the world.
The islands are among the most famous spots for safari diving in the world and during your liveaboard diving trips in these islands you get to see huge whale sharks, shoals of hammerhead sharks, endangered sea cucumbers, equatorial penguins, friendly sea lions, mola mola fish, reef sharks, wide diversity of rays (such as manta rays, eagle rays, and some others), and other marine wildlife. The marine life in the islands is strictly protected and therefore commercial fishing is prohibited in the reserve which leads to the massive population of marine life you can see when you visit.
The Galapagos Islands weather is regulated by both the cold Humboldt current and the warm El Nino current. There are generally two main seasons in the islands, that is, the hot (wet season) and the cold (dry season). The wet season lasts from late December to May, there will be frequent shower during this time and it is also called the manta ray season because there is a high probability that you will see these amazing species and you also get to see a huge shoal of hammerhead sharks and many penguins during these months. The water temperature at this season is usually between 24-30oC and this season has the best visibility of up to 30m/100ft from January to March.
The dry season last from June to November, there are occasional showers with clear skies. The season has a uniform visibility of 10-20m/30-65ft, although the water can be as cold as 15oC, so using at least 7mm wetsuits or dry suits during this season is advisable. The current is higher during this season. You will get to see large numbers of whale sharks and sea lions during this season. You should also avoid going for diving in September as it is the coldest month of the year at the islands.
TOP VISITED DIVE SITES
- El Arenal, Darwin Island: the Darwin’s Arch is a unique stone arch which is above the water and this dive site slants off the arch. The site is blessed with marine life and also sharks like hammerhead, whale, blacktip sharks can also be found in the area.
- El Arco, Darwin Island: at this site divers come across shoals of hammerheads, spotted eagle rays, whale sharks, and silky sharks regularly. It is accessible by liveaboard only and the dive strategy is to stay at a position underwater while the pelagic life passes by.
- Roca Redonda, Isabela Island: it is off the north coast of Isabela and it is the tip of an underwater volcano that rises from the sea floor that shows as an island. You will encounter barracudas, Galapagos sharks, and shoals of hammerhead sharks. When you dive around the rocks and pinnacle there is a probability that you will be accompanied by sea lions in the shallows.
- Camario Islet, Santa Cruz Island: it is usually calm outside of Academy Bay and you get to see batfish, groupers, sea lions and sharks. You may also see marine iguanas under the waves as they search for food.
- Cape Douglas, Femandina Island: you get to watch penguins fly past in this area, you can also see fur seals, sea lions, and marine iguanas.
- Pitt Point, San Cristobal Island: at the northeast point of the island there are exposed rock and you are likely to encounter grunt, jacks, and snapper.
For more information about Galapagos Diving check our article “Dive Unique Galapagos Islands”.