Good choice of diving sites. 2 full days in Darwin!
Cons: Nitrox very low, average 29.
Best time to go: December - May
Best time to go: June - November
Best time to go: June - December
Best time to go: June - December
This is probably the best value for money combination in Galapagos Islands. Be ready to handle up to 5 dives a day!
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
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.
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 Explorer, Galapagos Aqua, Galapagos Sky, Galapagos Aggressor III, Galapagos 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.
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.
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.