Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) Liveaboards

No one is indifferent to the Galápagos Islands. Declared a national park in Ecuador and the second-largest marine reserve in the world, the Galápagos are considered to be one of the best diving destinations in the world, offering a once-in-a-lifetime diving experience. Sea lions, penguins, manta rays, mola mola, a variety of sharks and many more endemic species await those who seek to explore something special

Reviews about Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) Liveaboards

Humboldt Explorer Liveaboard Explorer LiveaboardExplorer Ventures Liveaboard Diving Fleet, 5 reviews


1. No boat briefing upon arrival. Did not instruct all emergency exits in case of emergencies.
2. Several people got pushed down by the down current yet nothing is mentioned in the dive briefing. Dive guides should've at least warned guests of possible down/up currents.
3. MANY people were OUT OF THE AIR in MULTIPLE incidents when doing the safety stop. Guides did not emphasize on the importance of surfacing with 50 bar after the first incident. Some people think it's okay to come up w NO air.
4. Many did not have 100 dives. To be specific, we had one OW who did not have 15 dives when we departed. I know COVID time is hard but this looks extremely unsafe to me. Thank GOD he's a good diver.
5. MANY gear malfunctions in the rentals. Mostly on gauges, which is one of the most important pieces of the entire equipment. oh, did I mention self-inflating bcd?
6.My cabin has a broken door which was extremely hard to open from inside. AC is very very LOUD, which I could not sleep with it being ON. Bathroom had a very unpleasant smell throughout the week, worse than public bathroom in Asia.
7. Most food is pre-frozen or canned. This might due the limited resource in Ecuador but could definitely improve.
8. Not sure if this is the standard services in Ecuador. If so, they're doing alright. I got what I wanted to see there but that's just Galapagos.
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Humboldt Explorer Liveaboard Explorer LiveaboardExplorer Ventures Liveaboard Diving Fleet, 5 reviews

Great time on Humboldt!

We really enjoyed our liveaboard in the Galapagos aboard Humboldt Explorer. Even in the 'off-season' in March, we were able to see hammerheads and other marine life in most of our dives. The conditions varied, from strong current to little current. The Humboldt Explorer crew is great. They were very helpful before and after each dive, making sure you felt comfortable. They also have GPS, dive alert, and surface marker for every diver in case you get separated from the group.

As a vegetarian, my only negative experience was the food. They tried to use a lot of fake meat options that were bland and didn't do a good job of providing different cuisines/tastes, so it all started to grow old / feel the same toward the end of the week.

Other than that, the two dives guides, Alex and Xavier were great. Very knowledgeable of the dive sites and found ways for us to get the most of our experience. This was truly the trip of a lifetime!
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Galapagos Master Liveaboard Master LiveaboardBlue O Two & Worldwide Dive and Sail, 63 reviews

Wonderful trip aboard the Galapagos Master

We had a wonderful trip aboard the Galapagos Master. The staff on board made the trip special by their hard work, team work and the enjoyment they showed working together.
The dive masters were incredibly knowledgeable, professional and fun to be with both in and out of the water.

Questions and Answers

Why go diving on liveaboard on the Galápagos Islands?

The Unique Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean 900 km/560 mi from the coast of Ecuador. Due to the unique and abundant natural beauty, the marine territory within 70,000 sq. km/43,496 sq. mi around the Galápagos has been declared a marine reserve. It is the second-largest marine reserve in the world, and more than 95% of the islands are the National Park of Ecuador, with 18 larger islands and 3 smaller ones.

The Galápagos Islands are one of the most famous spots for safari diving in the world. Liveaboard diving trips in the Galápagos feature enormous whale sharks, mola mola fish, endangered sea cucumbers, friendly sea lions, equatorial penguins, a huge diversity of rays (including manta rays, stingrays, eagle rays, and others), whitetip sharks, and reef sharks. Diving with hammerheads is also one of the features that turn diver's attention to this destination

Galápagos Dive Sites 

The marine life in the islands is strictly protected, and all commercial fishing is prohibited in the marine reserve, which results in immense numbers of fish, sharks, whales, tortoises, and sea lions that you can see during your trip. The Galápagos safari boats visit more than 70 diving sites, some of the most famous of which are Darwin, Wolf, Cabo Marshall, and Cabo Douglas. 

If you check dive site maps and the itineraries of the Galápagos liveaboards, you will see that they are often similar because the most fascinating places are included in the routes of almost every boat, with some variations depending on the season. So when planning your Galapagos diving cruise, we advise that you don’t focus so much on the available routes, and focus more on the season you prefer and the liveaboard on which you want to sail. 

Galápagos Liveaboard Trips 

There is no better way to see all the beauty of the Galápagos Islands than going on a diving safari. There is a range of Galapagos Liveaboards that offer diving and accommodation of a different budget. The list includes Tiburon ExplorerGalapagos AquaGalapagos SkyGalapagos Aggressor IIIGalapagos Master, etc.

The tours here have a standard length of either 7 nights (8 days) or 10 nights (11 days), and shorter tours are more popular. During liveaboard tours on the Galápagos Islands you will be able to make 19 to 26 dives if you choose a 7-night tour, and approximately 30 dives with the extended trips.

How to choose an itinerary and when to go

Generally there are two main seasons in the Galápagos Islands: the hot, wet season and the cold, dry season. You can choose whichever you want, depending on your preferences for wildlife and water temperatures.

The hot, wet season in the Galápagos lasts from late December to May. This is called the manta ray season (you can see our selection of best offers above), because during these months it is much more likely to see these amazing creatures, along with huge schools of hammerhead sharks and many more penguins. If you prefer wet suits and warm water, then choose the wet season, because the water temperature is usually between 24-30°C/75-86°F. This season also has the best visibility, up to 30 m/100 ft from January to March.

The cold, dry season lasts from June to November. The visibility remains good (10-20 m/30-65 ft), but the water can get as cold as 15°C/59°F, so we advise using at least 7-mm wetsuits or dry suits during this season. During the dry season, you can also expect stronger currents, which make the ocean choppy and bring surges. If you prefer calmer weather or are often seasick, make sure that you only come during the wet season. The dry season has colder water and weather, but the great thing about it is the enormous numbers of whale sharks and sea lions (find your dates with our selection of boats above). If you have been dreaming to see the biggest fish in the ocean, you should definitely choose the dry season, but try to avoid September, because it is the coldest month of the year.

Galápagos liveaboards: read before you go

When traveling to the Galápagos for safari diving, you will be able to either fly or sail to the islands, and flying is more common. To get into the islands, you will have to pay $20 USD fee to acquire a mandatory Tourist Control Card (also known as a Transit Control Card). Another mandatory payment is a $100 fee to get into the Galápagos National Park (or $50 for a child under 12 years of age). Make sure to have general insurance and diver’s insurance for your trip, because most liveaboards require this as a condition of going on board. Most boats require a very important payment, which is $35 for a hyperbaric chamber.

All boats in the Galápagos Islands require every guest to have a mandatory personal underwater computer. Other recommended equipment includes flashlights for night dives and a basic set of personal equipment. During the cold, dry season, we strongly recommend that you take 5-7 mm wetsuits with hoods and gloves or even using dry suits for a more convenient underwater experience.

The general requirements are as follows. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of your trip. Citizens of the US, Canada, and European countries do not need a visa unless you plan to stay in the Galápagos Islands for more than 90 days. You are allowed to bring 400 cigarettes, 500 g of tobacco, or 25 cigars, as well as 3 liters of alcohol without incurring customs duties. 

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