An Introduction To Diving in Remote and Wild Galapagos

Diving in Galapagos will be nothing short of a spectacular adventure

What you can expect to see when diving in Galapagos

Because the Galapagos Islands are influenced by deep currents and are a part of a marine reserve, you are guaranteed to see an abundance of marine life.


The animals that live here have not evolved with a sense of fear for humans, so when you are in the water with them, you are in their territory but they do not mind at all as long as you are respectful. In fact, you will find that most of the marine life in these waters is surprisingly friendly and curious.

You may be able to catch a glimpse of one of the unique marine iguanas that swim underwater, or spot some yellow-bellied sea snakes. Sea lions and dolphins (although rare) are playful while huge sea turtles glide by with ease.


There are 28 different shark species found in Galapagos such as:

  • Scalloped hammerhead sharks
  • Galapagos sharks
  • Blacktip sharks
  • White-tip reef sharks
  • The massive yet gentle Whale Sharks (depending on the season)


Rays are also a common sight here, especially eagle rays and if you are lucky you run into a Giant manta ray or even a school of Mobula rays.


Although Hammerhead sharks can be seen in all dive sites of Galapagos the best place to see the famous schools of hundreds of Hammers is at the remote Islands of Wolf and Darwin. These Islands can only be visited and dived from a liveaboard though and should only be dived by experienced and advanced divers.
On daily (land based) dive trips like our underwater photography trip the best place to see schooling hammerheads is at Gordon Rocks. Novice divers who feel comfortable in the water can experience a dive of a lifetime here.


More fish species of all shapes, colors, and sizes than you can imagine are abundant here. You will often find yourself surrounded by massive schools of fish, thanks to the hundreds of species that are drawn to the area by its various currents. Commonly seen species include:


  • Barracuda
  • Groupers
  • Water jacks
  • Snappers
  • Grunts
  • Yellowfin Tuna


Other species that are often seen in the area include:

  • The bloody frogfish
  • Red-lipped batfish (can only be seen in Galapagos)
  • Rainbow basslet
  • Galapagos clingfish
  • Rock mover wrasse

Galapagos – $4250 pp

December 2016

U/W Photography

Join us to remote and wild Galapagos in Ecuador for 12 days full of underwater photography with hammerheads, sea lions, reef sharks and two scheduled land tours.

More information

How to get to Galapagos?

To get to the Galapagos Islands, you will need to travel to Mainland Ecuador from where you can get a flight from either Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Island or San Cristobal on Galapagos. Flights to Galapagos need to be booked in advance which can be done online or with one of our partners.


There are daily flights from Guayaquil and Quito to Baltra and San Cristobal. Flights take approximately 30 min to 1,5 hours. Expect to pay  $500 USD per person for a round-way ticket from Ecuador mainland to Galapagos depending on the time of year you fly. While planning your visit and your flights, remember the 12 – 24 hour fly rule after diving.

When is the best time to dive in Galapagos?

Diving the Galapagos Islands can be done year round, but the water temperatures vary depending on the time of year, the dive site you choose and the depths you dive. Surface temperatures range from 18-30°C (64-86°F), with September through November being the coldest months and February through April offering the warmest temperatures.


In terms of when you should book your Galapagos dive trip, you can expect water temperatures to be around 17-20°C (62-68°F) between July through November. This is also the time of year where you have the best chances to encounter big Marine life.


January through May is the warmer, wetter season. You can expect water temperatures to be around 24 to 28°C, (75-82°F) This is generally the best time for novice divers to dive Galapagos as the water is warmer and there is hardly any current.


In general, visibility can range anywhere from 10 to 21 meters, or 30 to 70 feet. However, this visibility can be worse if the conditions are rougher than normal


Who should dive in Galapagos?

Typically, diving the Galapagos archipelago is more appropriate for advanced divers, those who feel more comfortable in deeper waters with varying currents and conditions. The Galapagos Islands offer drift dives, deep dives, reef dives, and, of course, the famous hammerhead shark dives.


Open Water divers and those looking to learn to dive in Galapagos are not totally overlooked and are more then welcome. There are many dive sites around the central islands that are perfectly suitable for beginners and training dives. Doing your open water diver course in Galapagos is awesome, and I cannot think of a more exciting destination to learn to dive.


However, do not expect to dive the more advanced dive sites where the largest pelagic animals can be found. You will still be able to dive with many shark species, turtles, sea lions and visit dive sites with abundant marine life. And with a bit of luck you do see a whale shark or Manta ray on one of these dive sites.


Key takeaways about diving in Galapagos

  • The Galapagos Islands are a remote Island group part of Ecuador and can be reached by plane from Quito or Guayaquil.
  • Scuba diving the Galapagos Islands can be done year round but most people prefer to travel between July through November because these are the months with the biggest chances for big marine life encounters.
  • Diving Galapagos is suitable for novice and experienced divers alike.
  • Galapagos is a true shark and big marine life dive destination and sharks can often be seen on every dive. The famous scenes of hundreds schooling hammerheads can be seen at the remote islands of Darwin and Wolf, which are only accessible by liveaboard and at Gordon Rocks which is perfectly accessible on a land based dive trip.


Would you like to go diving in Galapagos? Feel free to contact us. We have an underwater photography dive trip scheduled in December 2016 and we have multiple partners who offer dive packages + accommodation and scuba lessons too.

We are standing by to answer any questions you might have about diving in Galapagos. We will reply within 24 hours via e-mail.

Rutger Thole

Chief Amazement Officer

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Scheduled Underwater Photography Packages

Belize – $2300 pp

Galapagos – $4250 pp

Palau – $2900 p.p

Mozambique – $2420 p.p

We organize underwater photography dive trips and workshops for small groups hosted by a professional underwater photographer at top notch dive destinations around the world.

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