Ecuador: Scuba Diving off the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands has long been respected among naturalists and tourists alike — for its diverse offerings of flora and fauna. But what lies off the coast – that of a unique, world-class diving location — still remains relatively unknown among diving fans. Having said that, the fact the diving off the Galapagos remains for the most part undiscovered, may be exactly why this location is an underwater wonderland waiting for you to explore it. It is still private, pristine, and for the most part unexplored. But don’t let stop you from grabbing a snorkel and mask and going under. Full immersion with a tank will make the experience ever more rewarding.
There are quite a few diving sites that boast of being “extraordinary” but the Galapagos goes a step further than just offering colorful reefs and azure water. The big G’s unique variety of marine life (most of which are unique to the islands) coupled with the “stand-off-ishness” of the sea life makes diving or snorkeling off the Galapagos truly rewarding. This is one of the few locations where it is possible to dive in the company of sea turtles, manta rays, penguins, sea lions and dolphins. There are also hundreds of species of tropical reef fish, many of which are particular to this fantastic underwater sanctuary.
The Galapagos Islands feature about 30 dive sites, a combination of which can be accessed on one to two week charters. All charters are pre-approved by the Ecuadorian National Park Service. Two to three dives per day are normally offered, in addition to land excursions. Dive operators offer professional, bilingual naturalist guides who specialize in Galapagos flora and fauna as well as scuba diving (all guides are certified dive masters).
Check out the travel and tour links for tour agencies that can hook you up with professional dive and charter shops.
Visitors will notice a wide range of diving opportunities that are available. These include introductory courses for beginners, 8 to 15 day dive tours for experienced divers, and dive trips combined with on shore visits led by naturalist guides. The best time of the year for diving may November to April, when the seas are comparatively calm, but don’t discount the summer months either. No matter when you want to dive, you’ll find an exciting environment waiting for you as well as professional guides to help you on your way.