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Best Diving Destinations in Santa Cruz Island
About Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz is the second-largest island in the archipelago, famous for its volcanic features. Diving in Santa Cruz Island is available for divers of all levels of experience and offers a variety of dive sites and a diverse marine life, such as reef fish, sea lions, rays, schools of snappers, barracudas, eels, turtles, marine iguanas, and sharks, including whitetip reef sharks. Land-based diving is possible, though relatively short boat rides are required for access to some of the best sites. In the south, there is Estrada Point/Academy Bay, and Guy Fawkes Rocks, and the Camaño Islet dive site off shore. In the east is Plaza Island (has a colony of sea lions) and Gordon Rocks. In the north is Black Turtle Cove (a spot where divers can’t land), and North Seymour island, Mosquera Islet, and Daphne Island (a drift dive along the wall) off shore. Off the shore of the west coast is Eden Island and the Pinzón Islands (a great location to see red-lipped batfish, seahorses, and horn sharks, with the Dumb Islet, Onan Islet, and Sin Nombre Rock dive sites). Academy Bay and Camaño Islet are great spots for beginners, with the opportunity to see grouper, batfish, moray and garden eels, seahorses, sea lions, etc. North Seymour is one of the most photogenic islands, where the sea shelves drop from 4 to 25m/1-82ft with the chance to see turtles, barberfish, seahorses, toadfish, eagle rays, the endemic Galápagos garden eels by the hundreds, white-tip reef sharks, and hammerheads. Gordon Rocks is one of the best dive sites in the archipelago, recommended for advanced divers. The main attractions are sea lions, hammerhead and Galápagos sharks, rays, schools of king angelfish, a crater, and several walls (depth range of 7-40m/22-130ft).
When to go to Santa Cruz Island
Diving in Santa Cruz Island is available all year round. June through November is the cold season (average water temperature is usually 18C/64F) and December through May is the warm season (average water temperature is 23C/73F). Around the island, currents range from light to strong, with visibility from 5-30m/16-98ft.