Although many travelers are familiar with the natural history cruises in the Galapagos, they may not be aware that these cruises are also paired with some of the best snorkeling/ scuba diving around. One third of the in-shore marine creatures in the Galapagos are found nowhere else on the earth! Teeming with brightly colored coral, fish, and plant life, the Galapagos waters have recently been named a World Heritage Site. Travelers snorkel with sea turtles or somersault with the sea lions as they admire this hidden beauty.
For travelers who want a deeper look at this magical world, scuba diving options are also available. Fortunate divers may encounter rays, hammerhead sharks, dolphins, reef sharks, or even the rare Galapagos shark.
Diving in the Galapagos can be challenging due to its currents and surge, varying water temperatures, limited visibility, and diving from dinghies. It is only recommended for intermediate or advanced divers who have logged a minimum of 20 previous dives. The Galapagos is not a good place for beginner divers and therefore, dive courses are not offered in the islands.
The waters of the Galapagos Islands are a unique mixture of warm and cold water, ranging between 65 and 85 degress, with thermoclines ~ 65 degrees. A 5-7mm wet suit with hood and gloves or a dry suit with light underwear is recommended year round.
For experienced divers, there are three primary options for diving in the Galapagos: occasional dives during naturalist cruises, day trips based out of island hotels, and liveaboard dive only options.
Day Dive Trips
Day or multi-day diving tours can be arranged from hotels on the main island of Santa Cruz. The advantage of these options is that travelers can pick and choose the dive spots that interest them most. For families or groups with only a few divers, non-divers can plan adventures on the island while others are diving. These options work best as an addition to a naturalist Galapagos cruise so that travelers also have the opportunity to visit famous land sites.
We can arrange these day diving tours and accommodations on Santa Cruz as an extension to any of our Galapagos yacht packages.
Live Aboard Dive Only Tours
A few yachts offer dive only itineraries in the Galapagos on selected departure dates throughout the year. These "live aboard" options provide few, if any, opportunities for land visits. The itineraries nearly always include the famous dive spots of Wolf and Darwin where divers are most likely to encounter sharks. Because they don't offer land visits, these dive options are not well suited to families or other groups in which only a few travelers are divers. These cruises can be combined with a naturalist cruise so that travelers also have the opportunity to visit famous land sites if desired.
The Sky Dancer offers live aboard dive only cruises on every departure throughout the year.
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