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GALAPAGOS ISLANDS


In addition to the diving the magnificent underwater sites of the Galapagos Islands your days are filled with island exploration and discovery. See fur seals and sea lions playing on the sand, marine iguanas swimming to group gatherings, giant land turtles feeding, penguins diving from rocks, booby birds performing mating dances, flightless cormorants courting and scores of other species of flora & fauna catching your eye during surface intervals.

Most experienced divers will agree, Wolf and Darwin are the best diving sites in the world! Sightings of the whale shark is common here. There are no land visitor sites here, just serious diving. At the Northern Arch at Darwin, Hammerhead sharks are not uncommon, nor are bottlenose dolphins. The reef contains many warm water varieties of fish found nowhere else in the Islands and is the most consistent place to see Hammerheads.

Wolf Island - One of those magical islands, with several dive sites to choose from. If you want to see sharks, you are at the right spot. This is a place for schooling hammerhead sharks, large aggregations of Galapagos sharks, and occasionally whale sharks. Seeing dolphins, large schools of tuna, spotted eagle rays, barracudas, sea lions and sea turtles is common. The bottom is littered with hundreds of moray eels, many of them free swimming. Being several degrees warmer than the central islands, you can look for many representatives of the Indopacific underwater fauna.
Currents: Normally from southeast, but variable. It goes from moderate to very strong. Eddies and down drafts associated to some dive sites. The south side of the island feature strong surge that is potentially dangerous if divers don't surface out in deep waters. Trust your guide and do as he recommends.
Water temp: Dec - April: 76 - 82 / May -Nov: 74 -76 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: at around 65 ft, but highly variable

Darwin Island - Considered by many experienced divers as the very best dive site in the world, The Arch at Darwin island honors its reputation. It is warmer by a few degrees than the central islands. In one single dive you can find schooling hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, large pods of dolphins, thick schools of skipjack and yellow fin tuna, big eye jacks, mobula rays, and silky sharks. From June to November, we can almost guarantee whale sharks in numbers of up to 8 different individuals in one single dive. The presence of occasional tiger sharks, black and blue marlin and killer whales, ads on to this amazing diving experience. If you still have time to look for smaller stuff, youÕll find octopus, flounders, and an enormous variety and abundance of tropical fish. Darwin Island is the biggest jewel on the Galapagos Crown.
Currents: Normally from southeast, but variable. It goes from moderate to very strong. Current splits right in front of The Arch. Drifting south-southeast is potentially dangerous due to shallow reefs and the difficulty to cover that area for search. Trust your guide and do as he recommends.
Water temp: Dec - April: 76 - 82 / May - Nov: 72 - 78 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: at around 65 ft but variable.

Cousins Rock - To the North of Bartolome, Cousins is an interesting wall dive. Visibility is just fair most of the year. A dive site with a bit of everything for every taste. You can find white tipped reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, sea lions hunting, fur seals, and many sleeping sea turtles. A high light is a resident school of up to 30 spotted eagle rays. If you are interested in macro photography, look for sea horses, frogfish, lobster, arrow crabs, cup coral, blue crabs, long nose hawk fish, coral hawk fish, nudibranchs, etc. It is superb for night or day diving.
Currents: prevalently from northeast. It goes from moderate to strong. Occasionally very strong, coming from the north.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 65 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: variable from 65 to 90 ft

The Northern Channel - In the south side of Seymour Island and no deeper than 50 feet deep, the northern channel is superb. It features an enormous "field" of garden eels, stingrays, a school of spotted eagle rays, white tipped reef sharks, and thick schools of grunts, snappers & goatfish. When Dr. Silvia Earle described Galapagos as "the fishiest place in the world", she had probably dived this dive site.
Currents: from east. It goes from moderate to strong. When surfacing, water accelerates on top of the shallow part of the reef causing quick drifts. Make your safety stop holding to a rock.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: at about 45 ft.

North Plaza - In our normal itineraries, this dive site is the best way of ending your trip on board Sky Dancer. Its shallow waters are home for a rookery of playful young sea lions.
Currents: none, sometimes, water motion associated to tides.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: none

Gardner's Seamount - This place features the biggest biodiversity of the archipelago. During a dive here, you can see anything from the smallest barnacle blenny to whale sharks. Common inhabitants of this seamount are large schools of yellow and dog snappers, Mexican goatfish, moray eels, sting rays, spotted eagle rays, white tipped reef sharks, pacific burr fish, guinea fowl puffers, bulls eye puffers, box fishes, king angelfish, three banded butterfly fish, barber fish and 3 species of grunts. If you venture in to the sandy bottom you may find red lipped batfish.
Currents: normally from southeast. Variable, but mostly moderate.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: at around 45 ft.

Enderby Island - A great dive site. If you stay above 50 ft, you can see thick schools of king angelfish; yellow tailed surgeonfish, puffers, grunts, snappers and groupers. It is also a good place for hammerheads and Galapagos sharks. At the end of the dive, on the wall, you can find sea horses clinging on to the branches of the black coral.
Currents: normally from south east. Variable, but mostly moderate.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermoclines: at around 45 ft

Champion Island - One of the nicest real drift wall dives in Galapagos. You can easily glide along side the island escorted by a group of friendly sea lions. You can also look around for sharks, rays and sea turtles. If you are interested in small creatures, look for sea horses, long nose hawk fish and coral hawk fish.
Currents: normally from south east. Variable, but mostly moderate.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: at around 45 ft

Devils Crown - A shallow dive site that features thick schools of all kinds of tropical fish. Groupers, snappers, grunts, Creole fish, rays, shrks, morays, jacks, sea lions and turtles mingle together in a chaotic frenzy of sea life. Hold on to a rock and enjoy the show.
Currents: normally from south east, variable from moderate to very strong.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: none

Roca Redonda - The word unpredictable was specifically created to describe this dive site. It is the peak of an enormous underwater mountain. It is famous for its Galapagos sharks, schooling hammerheads, and large schools of barracudas and underwater fumaroles. It is also famous for its overpowering down draft and surge, and its dramatic and sudden fog. It is not a place for beginners.
Currents: Variable in both direction and strength. Very strong surge. Unpredictable downcurrent.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: normally below 45 ft

Tagus Cove - Cold water dive (sometimes as low as 62 F.). It is excellent for sea turtles, and macro subjects such as red lipped batfish, and the endemic "camotillo" a species of fish restricted only to Galapagos waters. While making your safety stop, keep an eye out for penguins or flight less cormorants coming your way. On the deep sandy bottom you can find saw fish and devil rays.
Currents: none.
Water temp: Dec - April: 70 - 76 / May - Nov: 62 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: variable, but normally below 65 ft

North Seymour - A nightmare for underwater photographers...."what lens should I bring along...??" . . . because it's great for everything, from tiny nudibranchs to Mantas, including every different type of ray you can think of (spotted eagle rays, marble rays, golden eagle rays, stingrays). It is also great for "piles" of sleeping white tipped reef sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, etc. Good for all sorts of rays all year round and especially good for Mantas from December until April. Lots of white tipped reef sharks rest on the sandy spots. Good place for sea lions, sea turtles and hammerhead sharks. Several thick schools of grunts and snappers live associated to the reef.
Currents: prevalently from south. It goes from moderate to very strong.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermoclines: at 45 ft and sometimes also at 75 ft.

Isla Lobos - The best check out dive in the world. 20 ft of water, scores of friendly sea lions come to join the divers in their first dive in Galapagos. It is good for garden eels, some tropical fish and stingrays. Sea turtles and Eagle rays are found frequently. We have seen a couple of times marine iguanas grazing underwater.
Currents: none, sometimes, water motion associated to tides
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: none

Punta Vicente Roca - The best macro/ night dive site in Galapagos Islands, with a big variety of invertebrates ranging from sponges to octopus, plus red lipped batfish, frogfish, sea horses, port jackson sharks, etc. It can be cold (as low as 62 F). The list of invertebrates that is found on this wall dive is endless, from the simplest sponge to really beautiful flat worms. Also you can find sea horses, frogfish port jackson sharks, red lipped batfish, and the endemic "camotillo". At the beginning of the dive keep your eyes open for Òmola molaÓ or moon fish.
Currents: none
Water temp: Dec - April: 70 - 76 / May - Nov: 62 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: variable, but normally below 65 ft

Gordon's Rocks - An exciting dive. Manta rays, spotted eagle rays, Galapagos sharks and hammerheads are common sightings. Its unique underwater topography allows for ever changing conditions in terms of currents and surge. You can find sea turtles and seasonally, a large school of up to 50-cow nose or golden eagle rays. The best dive site in the Central Islands.
Currents: from south east. Variable from moderate to very strong. Due to the peculiar underwater topography, there is the presence of eddies & downcurrents. Surge can be magnified inside the caldera of this very eroded underwater crater.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: normally below 65 ft.

Cabo Marshall - A good dive site. Hammerheads and mantas are a common sight. Chevron barracuda, snappers, groupers, and occasionally, thick schools of the endemic brown stripped salema are part of the resident underwater fauna. The infrequent presence of oceanic white tipped sharks, blue & black marlin make this a dive with lots of potential surprises.
Currents: normally from the south east. Variable from moderate to very strong.
Water temp: Dec - April: 74 - 78 / May - Nov: 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Thermo-clines: normally below 45

SKY DANCER - THE VESSEL

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