It takes only a week in the Galapagos to make a year’s worth of astounding dive memories!
Being voted one of the top diving spots year after year isn’t a surprise. There are few places left in the world where an entire archipalego is virtually free of commercial fishing, leaving the waters left to those who want to swim and watch the action unfold in the deep, clean waters of the Pacific. The combination of ocean fishes, birds, mammals and reptiles sets Galapagos diving apart from other marine environments. Divers in San Cristobal share the waters with sea lions, marine iguanas, sea turtles, angel fish, large schools of amberjacks and many other species of fish including hammerhead sharks.
One should preferably be an experienced diver to dive in Galapagos. Currents, sea swells, surges, cool waters, upwellings, large animals – lots of large animals – and water entries make for greater difficulty.
The range of surface temperature of the sea is from 18ºC to 30ºC. September to November are the coldest months, and February to April the warmest. Thermoclines are present, between 10 to 30 meters depth ( 30 to 100 feet) and the temperature can drop from one to five degrees Celsius. A 6mm wetsuite is recommended, as well as a hood and gloves in the cold season.
You will probably dive in the Galapagos in medium to strong currents. Medium currents are considered to be between one and three knots (between 1 and 4 miles/hour or between 2 and 6 Km./hour), and strong currents are more than three knots (more than 4 miles/hour or 6 Km./hour). In the garua season (from July to December) the Humboldt current coming from the southeast is present; in the warm season ( from January to June) the Panamá current from the northeast presents itself.
Well, viz can’t get much better than in the Galapagos although conditions at the moment of immersion are always susceptible to change and are different at every dive site.. 100 feet or 30 meters is common, and you can expect a visibility from 40 to 60 feet or 12 to 18 meters in most of the places.
There is one chamber in Galapago, located in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. The hyperbaric chamber is operated by Protesub Diving, part of the SSS Recompression Chamber Network and a referral center of the Divers Alert Network (DAN). For more information on the chamber and SSS Recompression Chamber Network, click here.
- Isla Lobos
This dive site is located off the west coast of San Cristobal Island, an easy site great for beginners, the main attractions are the playful sea lions and rays. The depth of diving is 10-30 ft. and visibility is up to 40 feet. There is a slight current and the surge is negligible.
- Five Fingers
This dive site is also off the west coast of San Cristobal and offers the opportunity to encounter harlequin wrasse, feeding marine iguanas, schools of fish including skipjack, big-eye jacks, wahoo and tuna. The diving depth ranges 60-65 ft. and visibility is within 30-50 ft. There is a slight current and the surge is light to moderate.
- Kicker Rock
Off the west coast of San Cristobal, this site offers an interesting wall dive where divers can encounter pelagics, schools of fish and octopus among others. The diving depth ranges 30-130 ft. and visibility is within 30-50 ft. The current here is light to moderate and the surge is almost negligible.
- Whale Rock
Located off the north-west coast of San Cristobal this dive site´s main attractions are big schools of fish, sea turtles and rays. The depth for diving ranges 20-90 ft. and visibility is 30-50 ft. The currents are moderate and the surge depends on the swells.
- Punta Pitt
This dive site is located at the northern end of San Cristobal Island, the main attractions here are sea turtles, rays, schools of fish including jacks, sea stars, moray eels and occasional whale sharks. The dive depth ranges 20-75 ft. and visibility 30-50 ft. The current is moderate to strong and the surge depends on the swells.