Galapagos Expedition Description
The Galapagos have earned a mighty reputation as one of the ultimate liveaboard diving destinations and not without reason. This low-lying volcanic chain was not only Darwin's inspiration. It is home to diving the like of which you cannot find elsewhere on the planet. The marine life is completely unique with sharks, rays, sea lions, iguanas, penguins. Watch tuna, salema, snapper, rainbow runners and sail fins dart around the reef... if you can tear your eyes off the ocean's larger inhabitants. This is every diver's wish list come true before your eyes. Set your sights on some of the best liveaboard diving you will ever encounter and sail into the intoxicating world of diving in the Galapagos.
There are three distinctive types of underwater environment in the Galapagos Islands. It's almost as if you were in three different dive destinations. The Southern and Central Islands are washed by the Humboldt current from the South, so pretty cold water (23-24) but reasonably clear and blue. Stunning dives such as Cousins and Cape Marshall, with eagle rays, mobulas and huge mantas, as well as endless large schools of brightly coloured surgeon fish and snappers, and of course the ever present playfull sea lions. The western side of Isabella is washed by the cold upwelling of the Cromwell current. Here the water is quite chilly (18-22 C) and green, but also some fainting sites such as Roca Redunda and Punta Vicente Roca. Sea lions playing in the fumaroles (thermal vents), red lipped batfish, yellow sea horses are all seen at Cabo Douglas. You never know what is passing though. Orca, mola mola and whalesharks are all seen passing through!
But the really big action is in the North at Darwin and Wolf. Here the water can be 26-27 degrees as these islands are washed by the warmer Panama current. Before you even get in the water it's thrilling to be diving under the iconic Darwin Arch. Rocky and unwelcoming above the water line, beneath awaits a truly inspiring scene. 3 full days are spent on these two reefs, getting to grips with every nook and cranny. Hammerheads are the first and foremost attraction, schooling in vast numbers around the submerged pinnacles of Wolf and Darwin. Galapagos sharks are common too, slinky and svelte nipping in and out of the reef life. White tips hide in the reef from the larger predators. If you like your fish even bigger, whalesharks are often seen in the blue, munching on plankton along with manta, mobula and eagle rays. Look out for a Tiger Shark that can be seen in the shallows!
The itineraries are subject to minor changes at short notice by the Marine Park Authorities, however a substantial part of every trip is spent at Wolf and Darwin and some dives in the other areas. The current permission dives Isla Lobos, Cousins Rock, Bartolome, Cabo Douglas, Punta Vicente Roca, Pinzon Wolf and Darwin.
Every diver should certainly experience the Galapagos for themselves but the diving is not suited to novice divers. Wolf and Darwin are the furthest point on the itinerary and divers need to be comfortable in currents and zodiac diving. Thermoclines are common but these are what draw the overwhelming numbers of big fish closer. Dive guides are experts in their fields - not only do they know how to make sure you have a safe and awesome dive trip, but they are also hugely knowledgeable about the marine life and eager to share! Please check with your travel consultant about the required safety equipment.
The Galapagos is a once in a lifetime trip and the best diving can only be accessed from liveaboards on either 7 or 10 night liveaboard options. This is the only way to travel and dive in comfort, visiting all the hot spots and highlights of this remarkable corner of the globe. Sail the oceans blue and prepare to be left breathless.
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