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Best Diving Destinations in Galapagos Islands
About Galapagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. There are 6 main islands, 12 smaller islands, 42 islets, and countless small rocks formations. About 97% of its area is protected by the Galápagos National Park, and only four islands are inhabited. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the new seven wonders of the world. For divers of all skill levels, the Galápagos Islands feature many rocks, reefs, and wall dive sites where sea lions, penguins, seals, marine iguanas, barracudas, seahorses, morays, grouper, octopi, hammerhead sharks, Galápagos sharks, whale sharks, turtles, rays, etc. are all commonly seen. The Wolf and Darwin Islands in the northwestern part of the archipelago have some of the most exciting dive sites in the Galápagos and in the world. Strong currents are the ruling feature of these singular dive sites, where a diver can watch giant schools of every kind of fish, including hundreds of hammerheads and Galápagos sharks, whale sharks (between June to October), rays, mantas, moray eels, etc. Other popular diving places with lots of dive sites are Isabela Island (sites worth visiting are Cape Marshall, Roca Redonda, and Tortuga Island; on the west coast some rare fish are in abundance due to the cold water, such as Galápagos rock bass, gold-rimmed surgeonfish, and harlequin wrasses), San Cristóbal Island (two of the best sites are Isla Lobos for beginners and Kicker Rock for intermediate divers, offering an interesting wall dive), Santa Cruz Island (its Gordon Rocks site for advanced divers is one of the best sites in the archipelago; off the north shore rich in diversity of species are North Seymour island, Mosquera Islet, and Daphne Island), Floreana Island with its beautiful coral colonies (sites worth visiting are Devil's Crown, one of the best snorkeling sites, Champion Islet, and Enderby Islet), Santiago Island (Bartolomé Islet and Cousin's Rock Islet are off the east coast, and Cousin’s Rock is a is a well-known wall dive for experienced divers).
When to go to Galapagos Islands
During the dry season (December through June), the sea is calm with a gentle breeze, with an average water temperature of 20-26C/68-78F. During the wet season (July through November), the sea is choppy, with strong surges and brisk breezes but no storms, and the water temperature is 18-23C/64-73F. Average visibility is 10m/32ft, but it can reach 25-30m/100ft. Currents vary from light and moderate to strong.