When it comes to wildlife, no place on Earth compares to the Galapagos Islands. It must be the only place where you can swim with penguins, snorkel with sea lions and lumber along with giant tortoises. See cormorants dive into the water, dance with the waved albatross and ogle at the feet of the blue footed booby. Like Africa’s Big Five, the Galapagos Islands have their Big 15, which reflects the archipelago’s most unique and fascinating wildlife. Take a look at the Big 15 below and find out about the abundance of wildlife you can expect to see during a trip to Galapagos.
Diving in Galapagos
Diving in the Galapagos is done in one of two ways. You can choose a "livaboard" dive boat which is specifically equipped for diving. On these boats you will dive up to four times daily including night dives. These trips are usually for one week but can be booked for up to ten days. The boats often go out to the remote islands of Wolf and Darwin, both famous for their schools of Hammerhead Sharks, giant Manta Rays and Whale Sharks. The other way would be to base yourself on one of the islands and go on 'day trips' to various dive sites.
The marine animals, home to these Islands exhibit the same curiosity and amazing lack of fear characteristic of the terrestrial wildlife. You should frequently see white tip reef sharks, turtles, stingrays, Galapagos sharks, large schools of jacks and tuna, moray eel’s marbled rays and even the odd golden ray. The numbers of dive operators, boats and divers are strictly controlled within the Galapagos archipelago, so there is little chance of seeing another boat at the same site.
Diving in Galapagos is not for the inexperienced diver as it’s a remote and challenging destination. As a general rule you must have more than 50 logged dives and you must at least have an advanced certification. The currents are strong, visibility can be poor and thermaclines are frequent (not to mention the presence of large marine wildlife!). In the colder months a 7mm wet-suit is necessary along with more weights than most divers are used to, so for inexperienced divers buoyancy can be harder to control.
Water temperatures will vary from approx. 70-80°F during December-April and 65-75°F during May-November when seas can also be rough. However it is during this colder season that divers have experienced the most frequent whale shark sightings at Wolf and Darwin. No time is a bad time to dive Galapagos!
The Galapagos Islands are one of the world's top diving destinations. The Islands serve as the crossroads for the Equatorial Counter Current and the colder Humboldt Current, providing an area rich with nutrients, able to support numerous and varied species of marine life, where 17% of fish and 35% of marine invertebrates are endemic. Such is the unusual mix of species that penguins swim with tropical fish whilst iguanas feed underwater! You have to see it to believe it!!
Are you a keen diver, and want to experience the Galapagos Islands first hand?
Call us on 020 7622 1116 to hear about the ‘livaboard’ dive boats we offer and their various departures.