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Diving with a sea turtle

Dive Cruise

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Aqua
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Diving in the Galapagos is Awesome!
Highlights
  • Visit Santiago Island, known for its unique spear-like pinnacle
  • Observe large schools of hammerhead sharks & Galapagos sharks
  • Discover one of the most famed diving sites is “Darwin’s Arch”
  • Admire Cape Douglas' marine life, above and under the water
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra | Embark | Baltra North East

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive at the Baltra airport, where a guide will be waiting to welcome you to the islands. Once all group members arrive, head to the dock and embark the yacht and are welcomed by the crew. Lunch will be served, then the adventure begins!

In the afternoon visit North East Baltra, this is the perfect spot to start your adventure with moderate currents. This dive site is more for the adventurous divers out there, looking to see fascinating lava and rock formations as well as an incredible number of marine species. At the depth of around 20 m (60 ft), we might see white-tip reef sharks, pelagic fish, reef fish, rays, and turtles. Galapagos Penguins are the only penguin to exist north of the equator. Sea lions will be your companions upon entry and on the safety stops. Occasionally even the first hammerhead sharks can be spotted swimming nearby. After this first dive, your chef awaits with an amazing breakfast.

Day 2: Cape Marshall | City of de Mantas

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cape Marshall is located on the northeastern coast of Isabela island, just a bit south of the equatorial line and the base of Wolf volcano. This area offers drift diving and also an almost vertical wall of volcanic rock that falls all the way to the bottom of the sea. This is a great location for spotting hammerhead, white-tipped, and Galapagos sharks. Occasionally, whale sharks can also be seen. There are huge schools of black-striped salema and large schools of barracudas. You can also see black coral growing along the volcanic wall.

Afterwards, visit the main attraction of Cape Marshall is a spot where it is so frequent to see giant mantas that it was named “Ciudad de las Mantas” (the City of the Mantas, in Spanish). They come to feed on the plankton-rich waters, which is why visibility can be low. After returning aboard the Aqua, the navigation to Darwin will begin, since the distance to be covered is quite considerable.

Day 3: Darwin Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend today exploring the remote Darwin Island. Here, you have the opportunity to go on two dives that will allow you to experience the amazing ocean life unique to this area. Two Dives in the morning and also two dives in the afternoon around Darwin Islands.

El Darwin’s Arch
One of the eye-catching landmarks of the Galapagos Islands, only a few can truly admire the sculpture of Darwin’s Arch themselves. The monumental portal is not even the real highlight, of which treasure is hidden beneath the breakers that splash against the shallow reef platform. Long-cherished dreams often come true at this world-class underwater theatre. It is an outstanding hotspot for schools of scalloped hammerhead and, particularly, whale sharks.

Darwin’s Theatre
Two forked ridges point from the reef foundation of Darwin’s Arch to the Northeast and to the Southeast. Beneath the splashing waves, curved shelves bend around the northern branch, which is illustratively called “Darwin’s Theatre”. It features a genuine grandstand with panoramic hangouts at about 18 m/60 ft, right above the edge of the deep drop-off wall. The exposed, barnacle-covered rocks are the perfect seats to enjoy the upcoming aquatic show, but as soon as one of the expected celebrities makes its grand entrance, every diver hurries into the blue to keep up for a while.

El Arenal (Darwin)
Sharks, turtles, and jacks visit cleaning stations all around Darwin’s Arch, to be freed from parasites. They maintain an incredible symbiotic relationship with the resident barber shes and king angelfishes. The busiest area is usually the sandy slope right in front of the portal, known as “El Arenal”. If the surge is not too strong, it is possible to be dropped off in these shallows, amidst dancing clouds of creole fish, to come face-to-face with individual and small groups of scalloped hammerhead sharks, as well as resting Pacific green turtles and rare hawksbill turtles in between hundreds of garden eels stretching up and plenty of colorful starfish.

 

Day 4: Darwin Island | Wolf Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the day having two dives along with Darwin Islands and in the afternoon, move to Wolf Islands for two dives. The regular options include the following:

Shark Bay
Shark Bay, located on the exposed east coast of Wolf, is shallower than most sites around, yet for many the most memorable. Besides being another spot where sharks galore, local cleaning stations reveal fascinating symbiotic relationships. Critically endangered hawksbill and Pacific green turtles visit busy king angelfishes. Cleaner shes also groom spotted eagle rays and even hammerhead sharks. In these shallows, individual male hammerheads tend to approach motionless divers closer than schooling females in open water do. Their reluctant character is quite opposite to the curious Galapagos sea lions, that immediately look for company and love to interact!

The Landslide
The Landslide is the premium dive spot of Wolf Islet. Looming silhouettes of dozens, seasonally even hundreds of hammerhead sharks circle around or head against the currents, preferably when these currents are strong. Ending up the blue-water safety stop right into their middle might even give you an extra rush of adrenaline!

The Pinnacle and The Caves
This area has some of the best caves in the Galapagos and an exciting experience at The Pinnacle, and it’s located on the northern tip of the main island. It has four good underwater caves that penetrate into the wall of the islet and are easily accessible, although the current can get a bit strong from time to time, from south to north.

The dive ends in the northeastern corner of Wolf at a tall and massive underwater pinnacle, of which the top is barely below the surface of the water. The main current comes from the southeast, but there can also be other currents coming from different directions at varying depths, creating sort of a whirlpool effect.

 

Day 5: Wolf Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continue the diving experience in Wolf Islands. conditions may be suitable for night diving in one of the two available locations.
The regular options include the following:

The Secret Cave - Night dive
The Secret Cave has its origins in gas chambers that date back to the formation of the island that eroded and collapsed with the passing of time. It is a great alternative on the northern side of Wolf if the conditions allow you to dive here. Along the wall, sometimes with hammerheads, we nd the entrance into a cave that may reveal several nocturnal species, such as cardinal shes, spiny lobsters, shrimps, colourful sea urchins, hunting moray eels, as well as Pacific green turtles and sea lions.

Anchorage - Night dive
The Anchorage of Wolf is the only dive site located at its sheltered west coast. The cove and surrounding cliffs reveal outlines of the former main crater of this extinct volcanic islet. Leeward, water temperature is higher and the turbulent currents and treacherous swell of the surroundings are hardly felt anymore. Nevertheless, some sharks and reef sh may be spotted during the surface intervals back aboard, as well as blue-footed boobies.
 

Day 6: Vicente Roca Point | Cape Douglas

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Whilst having lunch cross the Bolivar Channel for the last time to Vicente Roca Point, just at the mouth of Isabela’s seahorse-shape. While entering a dark cave below a spectacular arch, roaring echoes of the waves will accompany you. Just around the corner the collapsed amphitheater of Volcan Ecuador offers another impressive view.

The calmer waters of the coves are well-protected against the ocean swell and are a fairly cold, but a great place for snorkeling amongst various species of shark, penguins, puffer fish and even seahorses!

Cape Douglas is sure to provide you with amazing opportunities to observe a large amount of marine life, above and under the water! As you prepare for your dive you can see Galapagos Penguins, Galapagos Flightless Cormorants, and Galapagos Marine Iguanas- animals only found exclusively on the Islands.

A sure sight is incredible marine iguanas swimming and feeding on the rocks under the surface. Some marine life you may see are Red-lipped Batfish, Horn Sharks, Mola Mola, and possibly Baleen Whales!

Day 7: Cousin’s Rock | Highlands, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The lone, symmetrical pyramid of Cousin’s Rock sticks just above the coastal waters of Santiago, approximately 5 km/3 mi north of Bartolomé Islet. This bare volcanic rock serves as a roosting place for blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, Galapagos fur seals, sea lions, and seasonally Galapagos penguins, which might be spotted during a dinghy ride around.

In the afternoon visit, the native scalesia forest of El Chato Tortoise Reserve is the best place to search for Galapagos giant tortoises in their most authentic setting! Despite the interesting breeding centres – where you are guaranteed to nd tortoises in their corrals – there is nothing better than to observe them in their wild environment. Though it can be quite moist and muddy, your visit may turn into an adventurous quest when they have silently left their favourite pond.

Day 8: Baltra | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crew members, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to the Seymour Ecological Airport, where we will take the shuttle back to the airport.

Photo Gallery

Diving with a sea turtle Diving in the Galapagos is Awesome! My new sea lion friends in the Galapagos! Scuba diving in the Galapagos. Sea lion and scuba diver

Map

Ship/Hotel

Aqua

Dates & Prices

Per person starting at
$3,295
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Upper Deck
3 upper deck cabins with a double lower bed and single upper bed (double or triple use)
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Lower Deck
5 lower deck cabins with single lower and a single upper bed
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Main Deck
1 main deck cabin with a double lower bed

Child Discount

20% discount for children under age of 12 at time of Galapagos cruise. Child discounts are conditional and may not apply on certain departures. Please contact us for more information.

Children under 12 may receive discounts on Galapagos flight fares and entrance fees. Contact us for details.
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Gear Rental: Snorkeling Gear
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide 
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Shore Excursions, Swimming and Snorkeling 
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Galapagos Park Entrance Fee: $100 per adult, $50 per child under 12
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675
  • Wetsuits are not included but are available for rent on board and paid in cash - $8/day per person.

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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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