Most people have heard of the giant tortoises on the Galapagos Islands and the wonderful fauna and flora discovered by Darwin. But not everyone knows about the underwater world in the Galapagos Islands. This is why it’s important to ask the question; can you scuba dive in the Galapagos Islands?
You can scuba dive the Galapagos Islands all year round. But most scuba divers prefer to dive between January and May as the air and sea temperatures are warmer. At this time there are more hammerheads at Wolf and Darwin Islands. But you are more likely to see whale sharks between July and November.
The things you didn’t know about scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands
- The best scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands is by a Galapagos scuba diving liveaboard.
- Galapagos is best known as an advanced diver destination. This is due to ocean currents and underwater surges, deep dives, low visibility* and colder water diving.
- The Galapagos Islands are known as a top shark diving destination – referred to as the sharkiest place in the world.
- Sharks can be seen on nearly every dive, which includes hammerheads, Galapagos sharks and whale sharks. Although whale sharks are more likely to be seen between July and November.
- Famous for hundreds of schooling scalloped hammerhead sharks. Best place is Wolf and Darwin Islands for hammerheads, whale sharks and Galapagos sharks.*
- Experience giant manta rays and the occasional tiger shark.
- On Isabela Island divers can enjoy diving with penguins and Galapagos sea lions
- You can also enjoy diving with sea turtles and marine iguanas.
- There are also whales and dolphins to enjoy whilst scuba diving the Galapagos Islands. This is best experienced between June and October in the channel between the islands of Isabela and Fernandina. The whales include orcas, blue whales, humpback whales, sperm whales and minke whales.
- In the month of August you are far better to dive in a drysuit as the water temperature can fall to as low as 18°C (65°F). Even in July and September the sea temperature can be as low as 21-22° (70-71°F), which is verging on drysuit temperature diving for me.
* The water visibility is mostly excellent in the Galapagos Islands.
** The only way to scuba dive Wolf and Darwin Islands is from a Galapagos scuba diving liveaboard.
Galapagos scuba diving liveaboard
Galapagos diving difficulty
Galapagos diving difficulty is affected by:
- Strong currents making many of the dives drift dives.
- Underwater surges, which would be challenging to beginner divers.
- Deeper dives to over 30 metres (98 feet).
- Colder water diving 22°C (72°F) between June and December, ideally suited for drysuits. But at time the sea temperature can be as low as 18°C (65°F).
The above points mean that diving in the Galapagos Islands is more suited to advanced scuba divers only.
I hope you enjoyed this page about can you scuba dive in the Galapagos Islands
If you have more questions either about snorkelling or scuba diving (or specifically about can you scuba dive in the Galapagos Islands), please comment below with your questions.
Please share your experiences, plus dive sites, resorts and liveaboards you recommend. Share the time of year of your trip together with what you saw, the visibility, currents and dive operator, as this will help others who read this page.
There will also be many more pages and 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!