Dive Travel: Ecuador
This week, we're going to review the Galápagos Islands which are located in the Pacific Ocean 600 miles west of Ecuador and situated on the Equator. The Galápagos archipelago is comprised of 19 main islands and several small islands, which are now a protected National Park of Ecuador.
Divers can enjoy the healthy and abundant marine life including schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks, white-tip Galápagos Islands reef sharks and Galápagos sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, turtles, sea lions, seals, penguins, schools of tuna, jack and snapper. Whale sharks, humpback whales, and pods of dolphin are frequently sighted. Moray eels come completely out of their holes and swim freely. Divers can snorkel with penguins (the only ones that live outside the Antarctic) and marine iguanas. Diving around the Galápagos Islands is a little more challenging due to its currents, ruggedness, and cool temperatures. Most dives are drifts along the cliff faces of off-shore rocks. The opportunity to see the extraordinary marine life makes it all worthwhile.
The average temperature is 70-80 degrees during the prime diving months (December, January, May, and June). You can expect the average underwater visibility of 50-75'. Strong currents can cause visibility to vary from a few feet to 100+ feet, sometimes on the same dive which makes the dives very unique.
Live-aboard vessels are the only option for visiting these volcanic islands since there are no hotels on the islands. All travelers must fly into Ecuador at least one day prior to their liveaboard departure. On the following day, travelers fly to their embarkation point in the Galápagos Islands for their live-aboard boat’s departure.