Going Diving in The Galapagos must be on the bucket list of almost every diver out there. It is not easy diving, so you should be an experienced diver before you come. Curious what happens when a bunch of inexperienced divers jump into difficult conditions with a crap divemaster? Check this link:
You have two choices for diving the Galapagos:
1) Live aboard dive cruise
If you have the money and the time, than a live aboard is certainly the way to do The Galapagos. You’ll head up to Darwin and Wolf islands which are so far away from the main Galapagos Islands that there’s no other way to do them. You’re might be able to find one last minute for $5000 but you are most likely looking at $8000.
This is the diving that fills your dreams. You are almost guaranteed to see Whalesharks, huge schools of Hammerheads and everything else that you think of with the name Galapagos. For the money you are paying, I certainly suggest coming with a good diving camera.
2) Day diving from Santa Cruz, Isabela, San Cristobal
If you are unable to fork out that cash, but still want to check out the diving while you’re on the Galapagos than there’re sites around Santa Cruz, Isabela, and san Cristobal. The water is colder than you would think, 21-23 degrees, but that’s what makes the islands unique. You will probably manage to see some hammerheads, some turtles, and maybe the playful sea lion or two. Conditions are known to be a little difficult, so expect minor swells and not great visibility. Most dive shops require that you have at least 20 dives before you go, and there’s a reason. You will typically pay about $150 for two tanks… enjoy it and try to conserve your air… in the colder conditions you’ll consume it quicker.
If you don’t have 20 dives, but still want to dive… well ya, there’s a way… you have to find a shadier dive shop. I can’t suggest this, after my personal experience, but it is possible. You will have to take care of yourself, so be prepared for that, and try to remember what your instructors taught you for keeping safe.
Final Note On Safety
The Galapagos has an initiative to hire instructors and divemasters that are Galapagan (not Ecuadorian, Galapagan) in order to provide jobs to their people and allow the locals to benefit from their resources and whatnot. While this is a great initiative for providing work for the locals it has a downside in the fact that there are very few Galapagan divemasters and instructors. Thus, those who are there don’t have to be very good, they are basically guaranteed job security. Keep this in mind, and be prudent.