Scuba divers frequently have the Galapagos Islands on their bucket lists. It’s one of the most amazing places in the world to dive. You’re sure to see an incredible ecosystem flush with marine life, including tunas, and spotted eagle rays, along with various flora and fauna. It is also home to 28 different shark species such as whale sharks and blacktip sharks. 20% of the marine life there is exclusive to that region, meaning you will see it nowhere else in the world.
The Galapagos Archipelago are located in the Republic of Ecuador. It is one of the most remote dives you can pursue and is situated on the northwest coast of South America. Along with that comes the diverse geography: submerged volcanoes, lagoons, reefs, and more.
Diving in the Galapagos can be somewhat challenging. It is recommended for experienced divers due to the deeper waters and currents. It is not unusual for divers to cling to the rocks to escape the potential of being swept away by such strong currents.
Those who do make the trek are rewarded with a bounty of diving options, from reef dives to deep dives, and hammerhead shark dives.
When to dive in the Galapagos
You might wonder when the best time is to dive in the Galapagos. Diving is actually good year-round there, although you will find there are two different perspectives for the best diving season based on diving skill level.
December to May is best for calm waters and increased visibility. Sharks and manta rays are especially active at that time. This is the warm/wet season. Air temperatures average about 86 degrees Fahrenheit and water temperatures average 70-86 degrees Fahrenheit. This time of year is known as the Manta Season for Galapagos diving. Hammerhead schools are larger, and manta rays can be seen around Isabela Island.
Yet seasoned divers recommend June to November, which is the cool/dry season. Waters will be choppier and cooler, although fish life is more active and prolific (as a result of more nutrients in the water). Air temperatures at that time of year average 70 degrees Fahrenheit and water temperatures average 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the ideal time for whale shark sightings as it is the Whale Shark Season. Whale sharks can be found feeding on plankton around Wolf and Darwin Islands.
Either season would be worth the trip!
Diving necessities in the Galapagos
What will you need to dive in the Galapagos?
Wearing a 5mm or 7mm wetsuit is advised, especially when diving in the cooler season. Some travel excursions may be able to offer them if you do not want to travel with your own, but you’ll want to verify.
A DiveSkin can keep you warmer under your wetsuit, as well as make it easier to put the wetsuit on or remove it. If you’re diving in warmer waters, a DiveSkin can be worn on its own as superior sun protection. They are lightweight, simple to pack, and go easily from land to water and back again.
Don’t forget to protect your skin! This is especially important if you will be going on land-based excursions to see the variety of wildlife across the Galapagos Islands.
Gloves are helpful for the cold and currents if you’re going to dive during the cooler months.
Darwin and Wolf Islands have strong currents. A reef hook may come in handy to get a grip when you need it.
Are you ready to dive in the Galapagos?
Is this your year? Now is the time to decide when this bucket list item will come to life for you! Whether you dive in the cool season or the warm season, you’re sure to have an amazing experience with memories to last a lifetime.
Share your stories with us! Tell us how your Galapagos diving trip went in the comments below!