Exploring the Underwater World of the Galapagos, learn about the best diving locations
The Galapagos Islands were first distinguished by the scientific world for their outstanding biodiversity and geology, but more recently they have become a hotspot for divers from all over the world. Although it is not the easiest place to access on the planet, this enormous marine reserve is essentially free of commercial fishing, and its stunning beauty thrives in complete isolation, providing the perfect home to a vast array of life ranging from whale sharks to penguins. Indeed, highly experienced divers have described the Galapagos as the pinnacle of their careers. Below we have included a list of just some of the best diving locations in the Galapagos Archipelago for both beginner and experienced divers.
Located on the northern coast of Santa Cruz, this dive takes swimmers along caverns, platforms and slopes full of stunning marine life such as juvenile Galapagos sharks, sea turtles and even the occasional manta ray. Thanks to the smooth current, this dive is accessible for both beginners and experienced divers. A stunningly beautiful site.
The enormous schools of hammerhead sharks that inhabit these waters are one of the primary aspects that made Galapagos diving locations world-renowned. The site is actually the remains of an old volcanic crater, and divers are able to descend 32 meters into the crater. Currents here can be strong, but visibility is spectacular and divers can observe a variety of life such as sea lions, barracuda, sea turtles, hieroglyphic hawkfish, king angelfish, wrasse, white-tipped reef sharks and much more. Located to the north of the Plaza Islands, this dive site is one of variety and spectacular color.
This site is excellent for beginners thanks to the shallow (10-15 meters) and extremely clear waters. Groupers, seahorses, batfish, reef fish, turtles and sea lions are often observed in these waters, as well as the occasional eel or marine iguana.
This site, just off Bartholomew Island, holds a unique array of marine species, including the rare Galapagos penguin. Divers are able to swim amongst beautiful shoals of fish and rays, which is further enhanced by the outstanding lava formations where various marine creatures have made their home. Currents tend to be moderate, so it is a good idea to have a bit of experience.
The Galapagos Islands are not typically known for their coral, but this is one of the few sites boasting a beautiful combination of coral and an impressive array of tropical fish. This well-known site is located off the eastern coast of Santiago Island.
North Seymour Island / Mosquera Islet
Located in the center of Galapagos at a very close distance from the airport island Baltra, and very close to each other, these sites are among the most popular dive sites for hotel-based programmes. Check-dives at calm shallow waters, and then immersions on the wall facing upwellings from Mosquera, can yield to spectacular views: Hammerheads, Galapagos sharks and manta rays. On the southern walls of Seymour, you may dive with frolicking fur seals, Galapagos sea lions, or just stay put next to a “valley” of garden eels. Mosquera drop is generally within 27 meters, while Seymour may be a bit more shallow to end your day´s plan.