Scuba Diving in Galapagos Islands

Sea Horse, Isabela, Galapagos Islands

Sea Horse, Isabela, Galapagos Islands

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:

Scuba diving with inexperienced divers and a useless divemaster in the Galapagos Islands

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

Hammerhead Sharks, Gordon Rocks, Galapagos Islands

Hammerhead Sharks,
Gordon Rocks, Galapagos Islands

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.

Jonny Jenkins

Jonny Jenkins

My name is Jonny, my friends call me Stef. I'm Canadian born, but don't find my identity based upon some borders that man drew hundreds of years ago. I have begun to make my way through the world, travelling and living in many different countries and cultures. I believe whole heartedly in staying longer and going deeper to get the best understanding possible of many different perspectives of life. In order to do so, you have to speak the language. I am no polyglot, but have started to put more emphasis on learning languages in the last few years. I have learned Spanish, relearned French, and started in on Portuguese, German, Indonesian and Malagasy. When it comes to the third world, I am willing to help where they (and not I) decide they need it... in the first world, I am hoping to inspire and motivate people to live more engaging lives.

6 Replies to “Scuba Diving in Galapagos Islands”

  1. I’m heading to Ecuador in a few weeks and if I do head to the Galapagos, I will be definitely be looking to dive, so I’m happy I read this. I’ll definitely put in some research into whoever I dive with (I mean I would anyway), but I understand. I travel solo and have had a few less than ideal situations with buddies that I don’t know. Hopefully it’ll all go right if I do make it there. Love the photos… It would be so wonderful to dive with hammerheads!

    1. Anastasia, it’s pretty difficult diving and can be pretty expensive, but as long as you do your research and are a fairly seasoned diver than it should be no trouble at all… I’m sure it’ll all go great and you’ll have awesome tales of hammerheads to tell upon your surfacing. 🙂

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  3. Gurpal says:

    AH!, I remember my first time diving in the Galapagus Islands. Let’s just say check your equipment and also your dive shop to see if they’re legit :D… Thanks for the air man!

    1. Jonny Jenkins says:

      Hahaha… Thought you’d find this… Anytime buddy…

      The actual story is here, It’d be great if you added your perspective 🙂

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