Galapagos Islands

A Guide to Galapagos’ Dive Sites

The Galapagos are famous not only for the unique wildlife on land, but also for the variety of life in its surrounding waters. The archipelago is considered to be one of the best dive sites in the world. The underwater volcanic landscape, clear water, and pristine temperatures attract plenty of marine life and there are scuba diving opportunities for both beginners and experts. This underwater paradise will surely make your trip an interesting and fun adventure. Learn about the animals you can swim with and the best dive sites in the Galapagos.

Wolf Island

This remote Island can only be accessed via liveaboard and should only be explored by experienced divers. Liveaboard basically means to live aboard a boat. This is done when visiting remote islands or sites with no livable space or accomodations.  Wolf Island is home to many dive sites, the most popular being Shark Point, the Pinnacle, and Landslide. Shark Point is great for spotting Whale Sharks, the iconic schools of Hammerheads, and large Galapagos Silky Sharks. Whale sharks are attracted to the area when the Humboldt Current is at its strongest from June to November, when the water temperature ranges from 16 to 24° celsius. The other season to go is December through May. Only experienced divers should make the trip due to low visibility, strong currents, and occasional surges.

Floreana Island

This diving site is one where you can spot species such as: sea lions, turtles, thousands of exotic tropical fish, as well as barracudas, black coral, sea horses, Whitetip and Galapagos sharks, moray eels, and an occasional hammerhead shark or eagle ray. Floreana is popular for the huge schools of fish that swim around. Divers can get swallowed by the harmless school and disappear. Aside from that you can swim with friendly Sea Lions. The calm waters make it suitable for divers of all experience levels.

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz is the main island in the archipelago and makes for a great dive spot for beginners. You will be able to see reef fish, sea lions, rays, schools of snappers, barracudas, eels, turtles, marine iguanas, and sharks, including whitetip reef sharks.The main attractions are the sea lions, hammerhead and Galápagos sharks, rays, and  schools of king angelfish. Diving in Santa Cruz Island is available all year round. June through November is the cold or dry season when water temperature is around 18°celsius (64° fahrenheit). The wet or warm season is from December to May and the water temperature is around 23°celsius (74° fahrenheit). To learn more about this Island, click here.

Isabela Island

This dive site consists of a fascinating geological formation: a vertical wall of volcanic rock where the ocean floor suddenly drops off.  The marine life around include: sunfishes, manta rays, mobula rays, marble rays, hammerhead sharks and large schools of black striped salema fish. These black striped fish are unique to the Galapagos and are truly fun to swim with. You can also find sea lions and sea turtles swimming alongside you. Strong currents make this a site for more experienced divers and it is only accessible via scuba diving cruises.

Bartolome Island

Pinnacle Rock in Bartolome island is an impressive lava structure that towers high above the water. This is  probably the most photographed volcanic formation on the archipelago. The area around the Rock formation is great for swimming and snorkeling side-by-side with  friendly sea lions, rays, reef fish, docile whitetip reef sharks, sea turtles, and galapagos penguins.

If you ever want to plan a scuba diving trip, make sure to keep this dive sites in mind: Wolf Island, Floreana Island, Santa cruz Island, Isabela island and Bartolome Island. The variety of sea life and unique volcanic landscape attracts divers from all over the world, for good reason. You can swim alongside huge whale sharks and schools of hammerhead sharks that aren’t spotted in many places around the world. It is great for beginners that want to swim with friendly sea lions and penguins, or experts that appreciate dive walls and underwater geography. If you need help planning your trip, Ikala Galapagos Hotel can facilitate excursions and diving trips to the many islands of the archipelago. Their high-quality suites and service also make for a great homebase. Happy diving!