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Must-See Dive Sites

Diving in Darwin Island

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When to go to Darwin Island

Diving aroun Darwin Island is available year-round. The warmest period is January through June with water temperatures between 20-28C/68-82F. The cooler period, which is also the dryer time of the year, is from July through December, with water temperatures of 18-24C/64-75F. There are strong currents on the island (about 1-3 knots) and cool water, so diving is more suitable for experienced divers. The visibility can be between 3-30m/10-100ft.

Scuba diving in Darwin Island

Darwin Island is an eroded volcano located on a volcanic ridge. Darwin Island is the northernmost island in the Galápagos Archipelago and one of the smallest islands, with an area of just 1 square km/0.62 square mi, but it has some of the best diving in the Galápagos. Accessible only by liveaboard, Darwin Island is a literal underwater playground for whale sharks (from June to November), schools of hammerheads, Galápagos silky and blacktip sharks, green turtles, manta rays, eagle rays, huge pelagics, pods of dolphins, seals, marine iguanas, angelfish, surgeonfish, and countless numbers of schooling fish. Although it only has a few dive sites (El Arco, El Arenal, and ‘Darwin’s Arch’), these dives can be absolutely overwhelming. Darwin's Arch sits above the surface on a wide, flat plateau (rock platform), just off the southeast corner of Darwin Island, with depth ranging from 9-40m/30-130ft and visibility around 12-24m/40-80ft. Many visitors believe that it is one of the best dive sites in the world, mainly from June through November when the presence of the Humboldt Current is the strongest. Darwin’s Arch is home to large schools of fish, turtles, hammerheads, Galápagos sharks, and whale sharks. It is a good place for photographing large marine animals.