Are There Sharks in The Galapagos Islands? (What Kinds of Sharks?)

Hammerhead shark and are There Sharks in The Galapagos Islands - What Kinds of Sharks

The question may ask is are there sharks in the Galapagos Islands? If there are sharks, what kind of sharks are the in The Galapagos Islands? If you are looking to visit The Galapagos Islands and you intend to scuba dive or snorkel, you may be wondering what kind of sharks you’re going to encounter.

The Galapagos Islands are home to many kinds of shark, with the mostly likely sharks seen by scuba divers as scalloped hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, bullhead sharks and whale sharks. But there is an outside chance to spot a tiger shark too.

The following article includes at least one video of each of the sharks encountered in The Galapagos Islands, as per the following list of sharks:

  1. Scalloped hammerhead sharks.
  2. Galapagos sharks.
  3. Whitetip reef sharks.
  4. Whale sharks.
  5. Tiger sharks.
  6. Bullhead sharks.
  7. Blacktip sharks.

You may also want to read about whether there are great white sharks in the Galapagos islands too

The best way to dive the Galapagos Islands, and especially Darwin Island and Wolf Rock, is by a scuba diving liveaboard. You can check the latest and best deals on Galapagos Islands liveaboards using Liveaboard.com below, which opens in a new window:

Liveaboard.com search Galapagos scroll

1. Scalloped hammerhead sharks in The Galapagos Islands

One of the main draws to scuba dive the Galapagos Islands is the large schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna Lewini). The best place to see the large schooling scalloped hammerheads in The Galapagos Islands is at Darwin and Wolf Islands. As a bonus, in the following video of hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos Islands the divers spot a whale shark too.

Darwin and Wolf Island diving is only possible from one of the Galapagos dive liveaboards.

Hammerhead Sharks’ Complex Mating Rituals | BBC Earth
Hammerhead shark have complex and beautiful courtship rituals.

2. Galapagos sharks in The Galapagos Islands

The following video includes more than just the Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus Galapagensis), as it also includes scalloped hammerhead sharks too, which looks very much like a grey reef shark.

Galapagos 2021 – The Best Scuba Diving In The World
This is a video from a dive trip to the Galapagos Islands aboard the Aggressor III. We took a weeklong trip diving to many different dive sites throughout the Galapagos Islands. We saw a wonderful variety of marine wildlife, including hammerhead sharks, spotted eagle rays, marine iguanas, bottlenose dolphins, Galapagos penguins, and mola mola.

3. Whitetip reef sharks in the Galapagos Islands

Whitetip reef sharks (Triaenodon Obesus) can be found in the Galapagos Islands, which are often found resting under ledges on the bottom during the day. One of the best time to experience whitetip sharks and their feeding behaviour is on a night dive.

White-tipped Shark Galapagos
An incredible week of diving from the ship Humboldt Explorer
Whitetip shark of Galapagos Islands by Marcos Vargas
Amazing diving with sharks whitetip reef (Triaenodon obesus) in the Galapagos Islands, Gordon Rocks to 20 meters deep.

4. Whale sharks in the Galapagos Islands

Whale sharks (Rhincodon Typus) are found in The Galapagos Islands and often seen at Wolf and Darwin Islands, which can only be dived on a liveaboard dive boat.

Galapagos Whale Shark Project
The Galapagos Whale Shark Project, supported by Galapagos Conservation Trust, aims to increase our knowledge about the world’s largest fish including what their migratory patterns are, and whether the majority of individuals seen in Galapagos are actually pregnant females

The following video puts the size of a whale shark into perspective, as you see a scuba diver putting a satellite tag on a Galapagos whale Sharks!

Putting a satellite tag on Galapagos Whale Sharks!

One more whale shark encounter video in The Galapagos Islands.

Incredible whale shark encounter in the Galapagos Islands
Whale sharks inspire awe and wonder like few other animals. They are magnificent and gentle creatures, reaching a length of 17m (54 feet) and weighing as much as 45,000kg (100,000lbs). To witness one in the wild is an experience that cannot be fully described.

5. Tiger sharks in the Galapagos Islands

One kind of shark that is not always seen in the Galapagos Islands is the tiger shark. Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo Cuvier) are found in the Galapagos Islands, as shown by the tagging project by Ocearch in the following video in the Galapagos Islands.

Expedition Galápagos: Tiger Sharks
The main objective of Expedition Galapagos was to SPOT tag tiger sharks which are the top predator in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. On the final day of the expedition a member of the Ecuadorian Navy who had been doing routine work in the Itabaca Channel approached the OCEARCH team. He told the team there were several large tiger sharks in the channel. The Navy gave OCEARCH permission to work in the Itabaca Chanel. OCEARCH along with the collaborating institutions were able to tag 4 tiger sharks. These are the first tiger sharks SPOT tagged and released in the Galapagos Islands.

Another video with a tiger shark in the Galapagos Islands. The following video begins just before you see the tiger shark, but watch carefully because if you blink you will miss it.

Diving Galapagos – from the Nortada with whale sharks, tiger shark, dolphin, rays and sea lions.
I recently took a trip to the Galapagos with my sister-in-law, father-in-law, and a family friend. We were blessed to be able to dive on the main group of islands as well as the more remote Wolf and Darwin islands. Join us as we explore an ocean teeming with life of all sorts.

6. Bullhead sharks in the Galapagos Islands

The bullhead shark (genus Heterodontus) is a small spotted shark that lives in the Galapagos Islands and is a bottom dwelling shark, which is similar looking to an epaulette shark.

Galapagos Bullhead shark research video

Blacktip sharks in The Galapagos Islands

Blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus Limbatus) are found in the Galapagos Islands.

Blacktip Shark at Gordon Rocks, Galapagos
05.07.2018, Blacktip shark at Gordon Rocks, Galapagos. Filmed by Alvaro Sevillas, Eagleray Tours.

I hope you enjoyed this article about are there sharks in the Galapagos Islands- what kinds of sharks

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkelling. Please use the comments section below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof go-pro’s!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkelling or scuba diving (or specifically about are there sharks in the Galapagos Islands- what kinds of sharks), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about scuba and scuba diving safety tips (and on snorkelling too) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.

Have fun and be safe!

Are There Sharks in The Galapagos Islands? (What Kinds of Sharks?)

Article written by Russell Bowyer who has been a scuba diver since diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 1989. After his first dive he trained as a BSAC diver in the UK. He attained his Diver Leader certification with BSAC. He then went on to become a scuba diving instructor, teaching others how to dive and was voted as Diving Officer and Treasurer for the Saffron Walden BSAC club too. Russell has dived all over the world, including the UK, on liveaboards in the Red Sea, the Caribbean, South Africa and the USA. Russell is experienced in all dive types, including drift diving, deep dives that involved decompression stops and recreational dives too.

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