Galapagos archipelago consists in 48 islands (19 islands and 29 islets), annexed officially in Ecuador in 1832, becomes national park in 1959, then indexed in the Unesco heritage in 1978
Only 4 islands are inhabited: Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Floreana and Isabela. Living zones on 48 islands were restricted, to protect at the most the flora and fauna.
The volcanic origin of islands offers a various submarine landscapes essentially consisted of slope reef, wall and boulders. Sea currents are relatively strong and the dives are generally drift. The visibility is often average (5-20 meters) and depends largely on the quality of the plankton.
We can dive all year long. During the hot and rainy season, from December till May, the air temperature goes from 23 to 30 ° C, the water temperature may reach 27°C and the sea is relatively calm with a good visibility.
During the cold and dry season, from June till November, the air temperature goes from 19 to 26 ° C, the water temperature can come down until 21 ° C, the sea is more rough with less visibility. It is however during this season that the divers have more chance to see a large amont of pelagic
Galapagos remains one of the best destinations to dive with several species of sharks (Galapagos, silky, hammerhead, whale shark, grey sharks, white tip), but also turtles, tunas, dolphins, eagle, manta and stingray, multiple schools of fishes… Sea lions and endemic sea lions are also seen, as well as the marine iguanas.
Darwin & Wolf
These breathtaking dive sites are located in the North of the archipelago.
At Darwin, dive conditions can be rough with waves, and changeable currents. The cold current of Humboldt has not much effect so far in the North, so that the water is hotter of some degrees. (From December till April, 24 ° C – 27 ° C and from May till November: 22 ° C – 25 ° C). It is a dreamed dive site for the experimented divers: angelfishes, schools of mackerels, tunas, moray eels, parrotfish, but also the hammerhead sharks, Galápagos sharks, silky sharks, dolphins, manta rays … From June till October, we can observe whale sharks and sometimes tiger sharks and whales. Sometimes, tiger sharks, killer whales and spearfish are coming around.
Sites: El Arco, El Arenal
At Wolf, dive sites are inhabited by school of hammerhead and Galapagos sharks, eagle rays, dolphins, school of tunas, barracudas, turtles and sea lions.
Sites: El Derrumbe, La Ventana, La Banana, Shark Point
Isabela island offers numerous dive sites. Water temperature vary from 20°-24° C and may drop to 15°C if archipelago experiment El Niño. This cold water attracts more fish species than other galapagos islands.
Sites: Elizabeth Bay, TagusCove, Roca Blanca, Garcia Point, Alfaro Point, Vicente Roca Point, CuatroHermanos Rock, Union Rock, Roca Redonda, La Viuda, Tortuga Island, West Tortuga Island, Cowley Island, ShimpthCove, Cape Rosa, Cape Marshall
Radia peninsula is a popular dive site visited by sea lions that live on the beach. Also you might encounter eagle ray, white tip and Galapagos stars and turtles.
Sites: West Cove, North Point
Sites: Cousins Rock, James Bay, BucaneerCove, Albany Islet, Don Ferdi Rock, Bainbridge Rock, Beagle Rock
Santa Cruz island
Sites: Gordon Rocks, Academy Bay, Point, Black Turtle Cove
Santa Fe island
Sites: La Botella
San Cristobal island
Sites: Tijeretas Hill, Kicker Rock, LobosIsla, Punta Pitt, Five FingersIslet, Whale Rock, East Rock
Sites: Northern Channel