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Sea lion and scuba diver

North Central Galapagos Islands Dive Expedition

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Nortada
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Enjoy an awesome 8-day cruise exploring the highlights of the North Central islands of the Galapagos. Indulge yourself in this unique experience aboard the Nortada, a small ship cruise equipped with all the diving supplies needed for an extraordinary diving experience. Start your days exploring the amazing wildlife at Cousin Rock for close encounters with white-tip reef sharks, Mola mola, sea horses, and several types of reef fish. Visit Wolf Island for a diving exploration of the eroded underwater caverns and tunnels. Explore the beauty of Manta Ray City, an amazing location with wonderful handmade souvenirs, the best way to remember your magical experience.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz | Embark
Day 2 : Punta Carrión, Santa Cruz | Baltra Island | Cousin Rock
Day 3 : Wolf Island
Day 4 : Darwin Island
Day 5 : Wolf Island
Day 6 : Cape Douglas | Punta Vicente Roca
Day 7 : Cape Marshall | Puerto Coca | Manta Ray City
Day 8 : Puerto Ayora | Disembark

Highlights

  • Discover the most popular dive sites in the central Galapagos Islands
  • Dive through incredible underwater caverns and tunnels
  • Observe the eroded surfaces covered by soft corals and gorgonians
  • Explore Wolf Island, known as “The Mecca of Sharks”

Ship

Nortada

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Sea lion and scuba diver Snorkel the crystal, warm waters of the Galapagos archipelago Swimming sea turtle White tipped shark Land iguana looking out over water

Day 1 Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Meet at Passenger Pier in Puerto Ayora to go to the highlands of Santa Cruz and see the giant tortoises. If flying in on the day of arrival, a transfer to the pier can be arranged for an additional fee. Diver registration and equipment selection (if needed) are done at the dive center. Transfer to the boat and board to meet the crew. Lunch on board and check dive at Academy Bay.

After the check dive there is time for ATM visits, souvenir shopping, and sightseeing of the local town. A welcome cocktail and dinner is served on board. Depart at midnight for Punta Carrión.

Day 2 Punta Carrión, Santa Cruz | Baltra Island | Cousin Rock

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Usually starting at 6 am, enjoy a morning dive at Punta Carrión or the northeastern portion of Baltra Island. Your first dive is followed by breakfast while Nortada refuels in Baltra. After refueling, start a two-hour navigation to Cousin Rock for one or two dives. The number of dives depends on the day’s schedule. Punta Carrión and Baltra NE are considered “warm-up” dives where dive procedures and equipment are tested and enforced or adapted. Depending on the conditions, encounters with white-tip reef sharks, Mola mola, sea horses, and several types of reef fish are possible.
 
Visit Cousin Rock, one of the most popular dive sites in the central islands. The islet is formed by volcanic tuff. Cousins and other dive sites in the area are characterized for their eroded surfaces covered by soft corals and gorgonians. Highlights include nudibranchs, frogfish, seahorses, sea lions, eagle rays, and schooling fish. 

Day 3 Wolf Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy up to 4 dives during the day at Punta Shark Bay, El Derrumbe, Islote La Ventana y La Banana.

Wolf Island is located at the northwest of the Archipelago, and is known as “The Mecca of Sharks”. Divers are usually able to swim alongside several species of sharks, dolphins, turtles, eagle rays, and colorful schools of fishes. Wolf also offers an opportunity to explore the eroded underwater caverns and tunnels. Although 40 meters deep, the Anchorage is a great place to watch the Galapagos red-lipped batfish and a popular site for night diving. Meals are scheduled around diving, usually with one dive before breakfast and one dive after lunch. The better part of the night is spent in the anchorage and transit to Darwin starts in the early AM of the next day.

Day 4 Darwin Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Darwin Island is located at the northwest of the Archipelago. Up to 4 dives are done today at this location. The island is considered as one of the best places to dive in the world. Divers are usually able to see several species of sharks, dolphins, turtles, eagle rays, and colorful schools of fishes. Schooling hammerhead sharks and whale sharks are the highlights of dives at Darwin’s Arch. Transit back to Wolf and enjoy dinner on board.

Day 5 Wolf Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail back to Punta Shark Bay, El Derrumbe, Islote La Ventana y La Banana, for a stunning day with 4 diving experiences. After an exciting afternoon, navigate to Cape Douglas, about 100 nautical miles from Wolf Island. 

Day 6 Cape Douglas | Punta Vicente Roca

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy one or two dives in Cape Douglas followed by a short transit of about 90 minutes to Punta Vicente Roca, where you can dive one or two more times. Isabela and Fernandina dive sites are where flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, marine iguanas, and several other endemic species can be seen consistently. The highlight in Cape Douglas are the marine iguanas feeding underwater, red-lipped batfish, horn sharks, Mola mola, and different types of baleen whales. These species are usually sighted during this day.

Day 7 Cape Marshall | Puerto Coca | Manta Ray City

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start your day cruising to Cape Marshall, with volcanic walls sparsely covered with black coral bushes, located in the northeast coast of Isabela. During January to May, divers usually enjoy encounters with giant mantas, schools of fish, including the endemic black-striped salema, white-tip reef sharks, Galapagos sharks, and some hammerheads. Take part in four diving experiences for a perfect close-up of your Galapagos journey.

Day 8 Puerto Ayora | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After an early breakfast check out from Nortada and land for a visit to the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Charles Darwin Research Station. The breeding center land visit provides an opportunity to learn about the breeding programs for giant tortoises and land iguanas. If required, a transfer to the airport with a visit to the tortoises in the wild can be arranged for an additional fee.

Nortada

Per person starting at
$4,595
Select a Date
Twin Cabin
Four lower deck, fully air-conditioned cabins with two single lower berths, private heads, lockers and drawers. Additional guests can be accommodated in the four full-size upper berths available in every one of the four cabins.

Notes

Rates Include:
  • 12lt / 80 cft AL air cylinder, weights and weightbelts
  • All dives and land visits where allowed
  • Accommodation (twin cabin occupancy)
  • All meals and snacks served on board
  • Water, Coffee, Tea, Juices
  • Naturalist Dive Guide(s)
  • Tender & transportation to / from dive sites
  • Selected safety equipment
Rates Exclude:
  • Airfare to Galapagos (contact us for rates information)
  • National Park entry fee (100,00 USD)*
  • Migratory control card (20,00 USD)*
  • Transfers IN/OUT (one way, 40,00 USD)*
  • Drinks for sale
  • Tips and Gratuities
*For reference only, subject to change

Optional Expenses:
  • Optional Expenses (weekly): Nitrox upgrade: $150; Nitrox user course: $210; 100cf/15lt cylinders upgrade: $100; Specialty cylinder rental *** $100; Full Kit Rental (incl. computer): $275; Dive light rental: $50; Point and shoot photo rental: $175; BCD rental: $75; Regulator rental: $75; Computer rental: $75; Wetsuit, hood and booties rental: $75; Mask, snorkel & fins rental: $50; Rebreather support fees under request.

Child Discount

Under request

Children under 12 receive a discount of $135 off adult flight rates, and discounted Galapagos Entrance Fee of $50

Included

  • Accommodations on board Nortada based on double occupancy
  • Meals while in the Galapagos
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide
  • Shore Excursions
  • Swimming and Snorkeling
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Mask, snorkel & fins rental $50
  • Wetsuit, hood and booties rental $75
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $595
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $540

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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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