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Diving Spots in The Galapagos Islands

The dive spots in the Galapagos National Park (GNP) are very diverse and entertaining. Each of them has its own highlights, speciality and dive difficulty. Before the GNP started regulating the visits of each dive base, diving frequency and saturation was unregulated. Conservatively, this is believed to be counter-productive for the preservation of this natural habitat. In 2011 the GNP began issuing dive itineraries in an effort to relieve diving saturation in any particular location.

This year our itinerary includes the follow dive spots.

- Click on your desired diving locations to releveal it's information.

Itinerary

  • Floreana
    Floreana Island (also known as "Charles" and "Santa Maria") is located directly south of Santa Cruz. Travel time is about 2 hours by boat from the main dock in Puerto Ayora. Floreana has an area of 173 square kilometers (~67 sq mi).

    Floreana is most famous for marine life like sea lions, tropical and exotic fish, barracudas, black coral, white tip sharks, black tip sharks, hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, moray eels, and eagle rays.

    There are two dive sites we visit at Floreana:
    • Champion
      A small island close to the main island, Champion is characterized by walls covered with coral, and a maximum depth of 20m (~66ft). Currents are mild and the dive is a drift dive. Here divers will see schools of barracudas, whitetip reef sharks, turtles, and schools of tropical fish.
    • Enderby
      This dive site is an ancient volcano. The wind and waves have eroded one side which allows divers to explore what used to be a crater. The rock formations are interesting to see and this area is full of schools of fish, rays, sea lions, sharks and cleaning stations for sharks and turtles. The maximum depth is 25m (~82ft). There can sometimes be strong currents.
    Dive Levels: Beginner / Intermediate / Professional
  • Daphne Minor
    Located directly north of Santa Cruz and directly west of Baltra, Daphne Minor is actually the smaller of two islands, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor (Islas Daphne, collectively). Volcanic in origin and the older of the two islands, Daphne Minor is fairly eroded. The Galapagos National Park service restricts access to these islands so actually setting foot on Daphne is not typical for tourists. Travel time to Daphne Minor is about 40 minutes by boat from Santa Cruz's northern dock at the Itabaca Channel.

    Daphne Minor is most famous for cave and wall diving and marine life like morays, whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, sting rays, sea lions, various invertebrates, hammerhead sharks, turtles, and black coral.

    The wall dive contains many beautiful and colorful surprises for divers as you explore around this rock in the middle of the sea. The maximum dive depth is 25m (~82ft), though the ground can be as deep as 60m (~197ft). Currents are typically mild but can be strong depending on the time of year.
    Dive Levels: Beginner / Intermediate / Professional
  • North Seymour
    North Seymour (named after English nobleman, Lord Hugh Seymour) is a small island located north of Baltra. Travel time to North Seymour is about 30 minutes by boat from Santa Cruz's northern dock at the Itabaca Channel. North Seymour has an area of 1.9 square kilometers (~0.7 sq mi).

    While diving at North Seymour, you will see a variety of marine life like hammerhead sharks, turtles, morays, manta rays, whitetip reef sharks, and snappers.

    There are many different dive sites for all levels of diving experience. With the greatest variety of marine species, this area is a favorite among locals and guests alike. Expect constant wildlife surprises. Here divers can explore a botanical underwater setting where garden eels peek out from the sandy bottom, bright and neon colored reef fish swim near the reefs, sardines shine against the sun light, and white tipped reef sharks rest among sea turtles. A beautiful setting.
    Dive Levels: Beginner / Intermediate / Professional
  • Cousin's Rock
    Cousin's Rock is a small islet located just north of Bartolome. Travel time is about 2 1/2 hours by boat from Santa Cruz's northern dock at the Itabaca Channel.

    Cousin's Rock is a well known wall dive. Wildlife like sea lions, whitetip reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, manta rays, sea horses, octopus, various tropical fish, and barracuda are typically seen during this dive.

    This wall dive is recommended only for experienced divers. Currents are typically strong due to the steep wall formation and nearby channel. This has been known to be one of the best places to dive in the Galapagos Islands.
    Dive Levels: Intermediate / Professional
  • Gordon Rocks
    Gordon Rocks is located just north of the Plazas, located on the east coast of Santa Cruz. Travel time to Gordon is about 40 minutes by boat from Santa Cruz's northern dock at the Itabaca Channel.

    What Gordon Rocks is famous for: Turtles, tropical fish, hammerhead and Galapagos sharks, blacktip and whitetip sharks, moray eels, spotted eagle rays, stingrays, and playful sea lions.

    This rock formation is famous among experienced divers around the globe. It is hailed as one of the best dive sites in the Galapagos. Gordon Rocks is actually an ancient volcano caldera. Currents may be strong here, so this is recommended for experienced intermediate and advanced divers only (no beginners here). The maximum depth is 30m (~98ft).

    Dive Levels: Intermediate / Professional

    Gordon Rocks requires a minimum experience of 30 logged dives.
  • Bartolome
    Bartolome is a small volcanic islet located just off the east coast of Santiago. Travel time is about 90 minutes by boat from Santa Cruz's northern dock at the Itabaca Channel. Bartolome's total land area is 1.2 square kilometers (~0.5 sq mi).

    Marine life around Bartolome consists mainly of stingrays, whitetip reef sharks, and various invertebrates. Most notable are the Galapagos penguins, the only species of penguin to live on the equator. This area is also the nesting and breeding grounds for green turtles.

    The currents here are mild to medium and visibility is good on most days. There is amazing scenery on both land and underwater, which makes this one of the most complete dive sites. Here you are able to take a boat ride near the rocks where the small but proud looking penguins rest standing, heads up.
    Dive Levels: Beginner / Intermediate
  • Mosquera
    Mosquera is a large sand bank located north to south on a shallow area between Baltra and Seymour. Travel time to Mosquera is about 30 minutes by boat from the northern dock of Santa Cruz at the Itabaca Channel.

    The long beach on the west side (West Beach) is populated by barking sea lions. It is even possible for them and their pups to join you when snorkeling in 3-5 meters (~10-16ft) of clear water in the break. You will also see many marine iguanas swimming back to the rocks.

    The eastern side of Mosquera (East Mosquera) forms a vertical wall with large boulders. Here you will see garden eels, whitetip sharks, Galapagos sharks, turtles, and large moray eels.

    The current comes from the east most of the time and can be quite strong in the channels north and south of Mosquera.
    Dive Levels: Intermediate / Professional
  • Plaza Islands
    Located on the east side of Santa Cruz, Plazas is mainly used as a resting spot as well as for check dives and dive courses. Plazas is actually two small islets divided by a small channel. The bottom is fine sand and silt. Currents can be strong near the channel.

    Here there are large colonies of sea lions that will actually come and dive and play with you. Beware of the male though! He doesn't like when the females get too close to divers. The south shore is where you will find butterflyfishes, damselfishes, wrasses, moorish idols as well as juvenile barracudas and sharks. The water around the north shore is calmer and is well-suited for exploring the interesting underwater rock formations.
    Dive Levels: Introductions / Beginner / Dive Courses
Floreana Daphne Minor North Seymour Cousin's Rock Gordon Rocks Bartolome Mosquera Plaza Islands
 
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