Scuba Diving in the Galapagos Islands
With some of the best views of endemic wildlife species in their natural habitat, the tiny Galapagos Islands are a joy to visit for any nature lover and ecotourist. Fast becoming known as one of the hottest scuba diving spots in the world today, the Galapagos Islands are also often referred to as being among the most remote diving locations on the planet. Just straddling the equator, these pristine islands lie 1000 km west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, and form part of a national park and marine reserve.
An adventurerís dream, exploring the ocean out here is a true delight, as you come face to face with a plethora of marine life that you never knew existed, or had just seen in pictures. Exotic and mysterious, the underwater world of the Galapagos is a fascinating sight to behold. Here you can literally swim with Hammerhead sharks, a variety of rays, playful sea lions and dolphins, and a host of other bright and colorful fish that inhabit this part of the world.
Turtles, penguins, moray eels, marine iguanas, and even whales can be spotted on a regular dive down under. And with great underwater visibility, the waters off the Galapagos Coast are ideal for scuba divers, whether you are a novice or an expert. However, it is important to note here that one should not fly for at least 12 hours after a scuba dive.
One of the main reasons for the marine life here being so unique and such a rare mix, is because of the convergence of the cold waters of Antarctica with the warm currents of the Pacific Ocean. According to researchers, 17% of the fish found off the Galapagos, as well as 30% of the coral reefs here are endemic, along with over 35% of marine invertebrates.
When diving here one has two options, you can either opt for an arranged dive or you can dive by yourself. But diving alone means that you can miss out on spotting many of the endemic marine life found here. There are two diving seasons in the Galapagos, the hot season from December to April and the dry season from May to November. The best time to scuba dive here is in the mornings when both the weather and water temperature are perfect.
Some of the best places to scuba dive in the Galapagos are around Santa Fe, Seymour Norte, Floreana, Champion, Gordon Rocks, Academy Bay, Punta Estrada, Caamano Islet, Punta Nunez Cliffs, El Bajo Solmar, Cousins Rock, Bartolome, Mosquera Islet and Daphne Islet.