Diving

Fact Sheet about diving in the Galapagos Archipelago

The most important facts like a list of dive operators (dive centers) and liveaboard operators, dive safety (addresses of the hyperbaric chambers), dive conditions, climate, hotels and how to get to the Galapagos on one page and ready to print.


How to get to the Galápagos Archipelago, Ecuador

Starfish about the Galápagos islands:

Galapagos main page - west - north and northeast - center - southeast / Maps of dive sites in the Galapagos with close-up view of the islands (print version - in color) - Photos taken in the Galapagos

Organizing the Diving

Either you stay on one of the inhabited islands and make day trips with one of the dive centers operating there, or you make a 7 to 10 day-trip on a dive-liveaboard. Galapagos offers not such a large selection of dive boats and liveaboard operators anymore, because the conditions posed by the National Park Authorities have become more severe. Take a close look at the prices and even more important at the itinerary - where do the boats start and how long do they take to the first dive site (St. Cruz and Baltra are closer to most dive areas than for example San Christobal). How many dives a day do they offer, how fast are they (very important if you want to reach islands like Wolf or Darwin). Dive tours on the Galapagos are always on a tight schedule, where and when you dive is planned and specially on liveaboards not much choice is left. We did one dive on one of our trips where we knew there was going to be very bad visibility - we had dived there with another dive operator just the day before - but it was on the itinerary, so we had to dive there...

I recommend you make at least one or two land trips since you are on the Galapagos. A third possibility is to take a ship that is used to make land trips and arrange for one or two dives a day. However I think, this is only for people who like to dive occasionally, since these trips are aimed towards how to visit the best land sites and not the best dive sites!

Night dives were possible until a short time ago - on our last trip (2006) we were informed, that they are not allowed anymore.

Bali (Indonesia)

Galápagos (Ecuador)

   

There are many international flights directly to Guayaquil or Quito on the mainland. From there you can take a local flight with Tame or Aerogal to the Galapagos (Airfare is about $340 to $390)

Baltra (close to Santa Cruz) - daily
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island) - 3 days per week
Isabela with the small propeller Emetebe planes from San Cristobal or Baltra (for 6 people).

Boats: Ingala travels between the Santa Cruz and Isabela twice a month. Most yachts and ships depart from Baltra, but a few use San Cristobal.

Entrance fee to the park is normally $100 (see list for fees)

   

small map of Southeast Asia with Bali marked

Click here for larger maps


Galapagos Links

Galápagos information:

Galapagos UNESCO World Heritage Site
www.darwinfoundation.org (Darwin research station)
www.galapagosonline.com (Galapagos natural history)
Natural history of the Galapagos (R.H. Rothman)
www.igtoa.org (International Galápagos Tour Operators Association)
Charles Darwin Foundation / www.galapagostour.org (Galapagos chamber of tourism)
www.galapagos.to (human and cartographic history of the Galapagos Islands)
Galapagos Conservation Trust
www.galapagos-islands.net
www.galapagospark.org (Galapagos National Park)
Wikipedia about Ecuador

Diving the Galápagos islands:

Dive sites and map
good description dive sites
short description of the main dive sites
Dive sites around Puerto Ayora

Maps of the Galápagos islands:

Zubi's maps of dive sites in the Galapagos with close-up view of the islands (print version - in color)
www.junglephotos.com
Seafloor of the Galapagos
Ocean Currents
tectonic plates
Satelite images

Ecuador Links:

Lonely planet about Ecuador
Wikipedia about Ecuador
Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador
Ecuador.com
Ecuador.us
the best of Ecuador


Dive operators in the Galapagos Archipelago

Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora: Galápagos Sub-Aqua / Nauti Diving / Scuba Iguana / Dive Center Silberstein
San Cristobal: Wreck Bay Diving Center (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno) - no website
Island hopping: Galapagos Island Hopping Dive Trips dive trip and staying in hotels on St. Cruz, Isabela, Floreana, San Christobal) starting November 2009

From Santa Cruz you dive at the following places: Academy Bay (Punta Estrada, Punta Nuñez, El Bajo Solmar and Coamaño islet), Gordon Rocks, North Seymour, Mosquera, Daphne islets, Bartolome, Cousins, Santa Fe, Floreana (Enderby, Champion islet, Devil´s Crown).
You start either from Puerto Ayora or from the harbour south of Baltra. Dive sites on Floreana and Santiago take longer time to reach, so check out speed of your boat!


Liveaboard operators based in the Galapagos Archipelago

Prices: Low Season May, June, September, October / High Season January to April, July and Aug, November and December. Cheaper liveaboards tend to be slower and might not go to the northern islands of Wolf and Darwin.

To do dive trips, the liveaboards need a special permit (cupos de tur navegable y buceo), I heard, starting October 09 there will be a total of 14 permits. This is, I hope the correct actual list (August 2009):

Liveaboard Dive Boats operating in 2010
Galapagos Aggressor I and II Motor Yacht
Sky Dancer (Peter Hughes)
Deep Blue Motor Yacht (Information on Galapagosdive.com and Galapagosislands.com)

Only 2009
Estrella Del Mar (Information on Galapagoscruise.com - will not be operating in 2010, but will be replaced by the Humboldt Explorer)
M/S Alta does dive tours during high season 2009, only Naturalist tours in 2010 (Information on Galapagosdive.com)

Also check out....
Galapagos Island Hopping Dive Trips dive trip and staying in hotels on St. Cruz, Isabela, Floreana, San Christobal) starting November 2009


Other yachts (no diving permit):

Ahmará Catamaran / Motor Sailor / 8 persons / 10 knots
Archipel Motor Catamaran / 18 persons
Beluga
Motor Yacht
Cachalote
Motor Sailor / 10 persons / 7 knots
Fragata
(before San José) Motor Yacht / 16 persons
Golondrina I Motor Yacht / 10 persons / 8 knots
Lobo de Mar / 12 knot
Nemo Catamaran / 12 persons / 8 knots
New Daphne / 16 persons / 10 knot
Sea Man Diving Motor Yacht / 16 persons


Hotels in the Galapagos Archipelago

Large list of hotels and resort on the Galapagos (Galapagos chamber of tourism) / Hotel guide Galapagos


Dive conditions and climate in the Galapagos Archipelago

Any time is a good time to visit Galapagos Archipelago. Look at the Galapagos nature calendar for more information about life on land.

Climate:
The Galapagos are desert islands, although they lie on the equator, so generally it doesn't rain very much. On some islands it only rains on the side reached by trade winds (for example St. Cruz)
January to March: rainy period and warm season
April to June: can be rainy, the cold season starts
July to November, December: dry period and cool season, overcast and misty with a foglike rain called garúa. Southeastern tradewinds and the cold Humbold current reach the Galapagos

Water temperatures:
The water is really cold, so wear a 5 to 7 mm wetsuit, hood and gloves. The northern islands are warmer (up to 26º C), central and southern islands colder (21º to 25º C), west of Isabela very cold (16° to 23°C). There are often Thermoclines between 10 to 30 meters depth. During an El Niño phenomenon the water temperatures can rise from 25° to 30°. See sea-surface temperatures from January to December
May to December: cold season
December/ January to May: warm season and sometimes murky water.

Conditions:
Visibility in the Galápagos is between 5 and 25 meters, mostly 12 to 18 meters. Visibility tends to drop during the rainy months of February to April. It can be windy and choppy in July to October. Major currents see map.

Tides:
Tides at Baltra / Tides at San Cristobal

Animal life:
In the warm season (from December to May - some say mostly October and November), the chance to see whale sharks is is very high (in the northern islands), and you can also occasionally observe them in the central islands. In the cold season (May to December) the chance to see whale sharks is about 50 percent, and you see more rays like mantas, mobula, and eagle rays, since they get together in schools to mate. Hammerheads can be found throughout the Galapagos Archipelago year-round. The large schools of fish, sea turtles, sea lions, iguanas and penguins are also found during the whole year.

Weather averages in the Galapagos Archipelago

weather now in the Galapagos

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Best time to travel
Temperatures
29
30
30
30
29
27
26
25
25
26
26
26
Daily hours of sunshine
6
8
7
8
8
8
7
6
5
5
5
6
Rainy days

7

5

3

6

3

0

0

0

2

2

1

2

Precipitation (mm)

38

155

124

106

28

4

12

7

5

7

6

16

Water temperatures (C)
25
26
27
26
25
24
23
22
22
22
23
24

Prices: Low Season May, June, September, October / High Season January to April, July and Aug, November and December


Dive safety

Phone DAN (Divers Alert Network) Latin America Hotline +1-919-684-9111 accepts collect calls / health information for Ecuador / Zubis Dive safety pages (about decompression sickness how to dive safely)

Hyperbaric chambers (or recompression chamber) in the Galapagos:

Puerto Ayora: Protesub (Sub-aquatic), 18 de febrero and R. Lara Street, Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands - Phone: (593) 5-526-911, (593)99-855-911, (593)99-283-990, (593)99-283-994 / UHF Radio on channel 26 / doctor Gabriel Idrovo / E-mail

Guayaquil: The Ecuadorian Navy operates a recompression chamber at the San Eduardo Naval Base in Guayaquil


More Information about scuba diving

Information

Photos taken in the Galapagos
Galápagos islands
: center Galápagos, north Galápagos, southeast Galápagos, west Galápagos
Fact sheet of the Galapagos Archipelago
Galapagos photos
Map of dive areas in the Galápagos islands (also in color)
Marine animals of the Galápagos / Endemic fishes in the Galápagos

Description of dive sites

Asia: Burma / Thailand
Indonesia: Bali (east, north, south) / Nusa Tenggara (Lombok, Komodo, Flores, Alor) / Sulawesi (Bunaken, Manado, Bangka, Tukangbesi islands, Makassar and Selayar, Lembeh strait, Siau and Sangihe islands and Palu, Banggai islands and Togian islands) / Kalimantan
Malaysia: East coast (Perhentians, Redang) / Overview Borneo / Sabah and Sarawak / Lankayan / Mabul and Sipadan
Philippines: Visayas (Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Siquijor) / Sangat and Palawan (Tubbataha Reef)

Fact sheets

Bali - Borneo and Kalimantan - Burma and Thailand - Galapagos - Malaysia(east coast) - Manado, Lembeh and Siau islands - Nusa Tenggara (Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, Flores, Alor) - Palawan (Sangat, Tubbataha) - Sulawesi - Sulawesi central - Visayas (Bohol, Cebu, Negros, Siquijor)

Tauchplätze

Indonesien allgemein - Bali - Bali Nord - Bali Ost - Bali Süd - Bunaken - Bangka - Manado- Lembeh

Informations-Seiten

Bali - Bunaken, Manado, Lembeh, Siau


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