Scuba diving in Galapagos can be organized for those staying on land or booked as an additional activity after the on sea-based cruise itineraries. For those who want to dive multiple times a day, Galapagos liveaboard expeditions are designed exclusively for divers and led by highly experienced dive masters.
This is one of the oldest islands on the archipelago, formed 1.5 million years ago. Its uneven profile is the product of numerous volcanoes and parasitic cones. Floreana has three sites open to divers: Punta Cormorant, Enderby, and Champion. Each one presents an excellent selection wildlife and geological formations. Divers can witness the acrobatics of gregarious sea lions, visit seahorses in their black coral homes, and be enveloped in schools of black-striped salemas.
Location: South of Santa Cruz Island, 90 minutes away from our base.
Site Conditions: Divers should be alert due to quickly changing currents.
Activity: Most of the interesting activity takes place in the shallows where the current strikes the reefs. Other important species include Galapagos sharks, white-tip reef sharks, green turtles, sting rays, eagle rays, barracudas, and a variety of invertebrates.
Located a quick panga ride due north from Baltra, North Seymour is one of Galapagos’ most sought after diving sites. This small island’s volcanic origins made spectacular underwater formations, where lucky divers can spot hammerhead sharks and schools of stingrays. The sights above water are not to be missed as colonies of magnificent frigatebirds, swallow-tailed gulls, and blue-footed boobies abound on this small piece of land.
Location: North of Santa Cruz Island, 30 minutes from Itabaca Channel.
Site Conditions: For all levels of divers, although sometimes there can be strong currents. Platform reefs with a diversity of species.
Activity: Wildlife sightings are abundant in North Seymour. Expect sea lions, many kinds of sharks including Galapagos, white-tip reef and hammerhead, mobula rays (small mantas), turtles, reef fish, sting rays, eagle rays, Galapagos eels, barracudas and a variety of invertebrates.
This rocky islet, likely the product of volcanic uplift, is home to sea lion colonies and a variety of shorebirds. Below the surface, an 18-meter wall hosts a large black coral reef and the sandy bottom is a haven for garden eels and a myriad of pelagic fish.
Location: The dive site is located 25 minutes by panga from Itabaca Channel (north side of Santa Cruz Island).
Site Conditions: Mild currents make it an idea site for divers with different experience levels.
Activity: Hammerhead sharks, black tip reef sharks, white-tip reef sharks, sea lions, turtles, barracudas, reef fish, sting rays, eagle rays, mobula rays, Galapagos eels, and a variety of invertebrates.
This dive site, named for Darwin’s vessel, the HMS Beagle, consists of three large, steep rocks that are the only remains of a tuff cone. It is a reef dive along a 60-meter wall with many corals and sponges.
Location: Off the southern coast of Santiago Island. Approximately 90 minutes from Itabaca Channel (north side of Santa Cruz Island).
Site Conditions: Normally, there are no strong currents at this site however, surges can be variable and strong at times. This site is suitable for divers with all levels of experience.
Activity: Sea lions, Galapagos sharks, turtles, reef fish, sting rays, eagle rays, barracudas, a variety of invertebrates, manta rays and solitary hammerhead sharks.
This dive site is an eroded tuff cone that takes the shape of a big flat-topped exposed rock. Here you will explore a sloping wall, as well as a rocky and sandy bottom. While this is NOT a cave dive, we will have the opportunity to visit the mouth of a small cave home to whitetip reef sharks.
Location: Off the north coast of Santa Cruz, 30 minutes from Itabaca Channel.
Site Conditions: This site usually has moderate currents.
Activity: Whitetip reef sharks, a diversity of rays, Galápagos sharks, turtles, reef fish, barracuda, black coral walls, the ubiquitous sea lions, and a variety of invertebrates.
This is one of the youngest islands on the archipelago, and boasts breathtaking formations both above and below the surface of the water. Here you will find one of Galapagos’ most recognizable geologic formations: Pinnacle Rock. Divers will get the chance to explore a 50-meter underwater canyon in addition to the island’s 10-meter platform.
Location: East Santiago Island, within 90 minutes from the Itabaca Channel on Santa Cruz.
Site Conditions: Currents at this site are usually moderate.
Activity: Galapagos penguins, marine turtles, whitetip reef sharks, a myriad of reef fish, barracuda, marine iguanas, mobula rays, stingrays, and other pelagic species including numerous invertebrates and mollusks.
This is a triangular-shaped islet that is all that remains of an eroded crater. The dive takes place diving is on a shelving reef with many endemic black corals on the recess-ledged wall. Have your underwater camera ready for the acrobatics of the Galapagos sea lions that swim within an arms reach!
Location: Off the east coast of Santiago Island and close to Bartolome. This site is approximately a 90-minute panga ride from Itabaca Channel.
Site Conditions: Under normal conditions, there are no strong currents at this site.
Activity: Pacific seahorses, barracudas, sea lions, Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef sharks, sea turtles, reef fish, stingrays, spotted eagle rays, and a variety of invertebrates and mollusks.
(minimum experience to participate: 30 logged dives or the previous evaluation of our dive guides at another site)
Gordon Rocks is one of the best dive sites in the central islands. It is an eroded crater at the top of a submerged tuff cone, with its northern and southern rocks the only remnants of an ancient caldera. Locals call this site “the washing machine” due to the strong currents that take divers through pinnacles and channels.
Location: Near the east coast of Santa Cruz Island. There are two dive sites located 45 minutes from Itabaca Channel.
Site Conditions: This rock formation is a world renowned site for intermediate and advanced divers due to the strong currents and surges.
Activity: Hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef sharks, mobula rays, turtles, reef fish, sting rays, eagle rays, Galapagos eels, barracudas and a variety of invertebrates.
Situated at the confluence of several ocean currents, the Galapagos Islands support a staggering array of marine life, with many species found nowhere else on earth. Scuba diving in Galapagos offers mesmerizing encounters with manta rays, whale sharks, scalloped hammerheads and great schools of snapper, with fascinating drop-offs and a boulder-strewn sea floor to discover. Witness rainbow basslet, bloody frogfish, rock mover wrasse and Pacific seahorse, together with eagle rays, wahoo and yellowfish tuna.
Water temperatures range from 20 to 28°C/71 to 85°F and diving is conducted year-round. You must have certification to scuba dive in the Galapagos Islands and the presence of strong currents make it more suited to those with adequate experience.
El Arco at Darwin Island is considered one of the world’s top dive sites, with hammerheads, whale sharks and spotted eagle rays all seen here, together with Roca Redonda off the north coast of Isabela where Galapagos sharks, barracudas and sea horses are all found. Cape Douglas on Fernandina Island is a popular site for scuba diving in Galapagos, as you can dive with penguins, fur seals and sea lions, while marine iguanas can sometimes be seen diving for food in the calm waters of Santa Cruz’s Camaño Islet.