Galapagos Islands is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a protected marine park located off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, it is one of the most exciting destinations in the world for both divers and non-divers. These islands were used by Charles Darwin during his research visit back in 1835 as prime examples for the theory of evolution through natural selection. For divers, Galapagos is also a well known top diving destination for dacades.
While diving around the Galapagos Islands, don't forget keep looking around you, surprises can come any time, you may encounter large pelagic such as whale sharks, hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, sea lions, dolphins, clouds of tuna and jacks, manta rays, devil rays...etc. And sometimes, if you are lucky enought, Orcas will also make an appearance.
There are two seasons in the Galapagos Islands, however, they fade into each other so there is no strict dividing line but they can be generally characterized as :
Wet Season : December - June
This period also known as "The Warm Diving Season", these months are characterised by warmer overall conditions: air temperatures go up a few degrees and water temperatures also get from 22°C to 27°C around the islands. Despite the warmth – visibility during these months is also usually the best Galapagos has to offer.
Dive guides in Galapagos told us that during the wet season, there’s a marked increase in hammerhead action. You can expect to see a lot of things: hammerheads (Individuals, small schools, large schools, and even the possibility of running into a solid wall of hammers), all types of rays : schools of mobula rays, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, cow-nosed rays, marble rays and of course the giant mantas (in large group of 200 plus).
Dry Season : June - November
This period also known as "Cold Diving Season", with less rainfalls and cooler temperatures both above and below the sea. Water temperatures usually around 18°C to 24°C.
During these months, there is a strong chance of multiple whale shark encounters, as the Galapagos Islands are located at the confluence of three great oceanic currents: the cold South Equatorial Current (source is the Humboldt Current), the warm Panama Current, and the cold, deep Cromwell Current. Every June, the tradewinds freshen and the South Equatorial Current lowers land and water temperatures, providing a perfect environment for whale sharks. Due to the large amount of plankton and big stuff action, Many people has emphasised this period is the best time to visit Galapagos.
However, the colder water temperatures and choppier seas, especially on the journey across the islands of Darwin and Wolf, might make it a little uncomfortable for divers of a certain disposition.
Liveaboard Diving in Galapagos Islands
All of our dive liveaboard trips will visit the famous Wolf and Darwin, which are both relatively small rocky pinnacles where almost anything can come out from the blue. Divers will have the opportunity to dive with playful Sea Lions, experience the thrilling diving in Darwin and Wolf with the Hammerhead Sharks, Whale Sharks, clouds of Tuna and much much more!
Please Note : Galapagos is an advanced diving destination due to its strong currents, varying visibility and cold water. Divers must be comfortable in these conditions, as well as have very good buoyancy and be able to do negative (sometimes rapid) back-roll entries/descents from small boats.
Recommended requirements are : 50 -100 open water dives, experience in currents, ability in removing gear in water and ability in getting into small boats in choppy seas.
All divers should have Nitrox certification. Divers without Nitrox certification will not be able to complete all dives on the 3 days spent at Wolf and Darwin islands due to depths and time lengths of dives and recreational non-decompression limits. Or you will risk to miss a few dives.