Diving in the Galapagos

"At the turn of October-November 2017, we were two expectant gangs who left Scandinavia and flew to Ecuador and on to Galapagos. For the vast majority of us, diving in the Galapagos was a dream trip a long time ago. We had all hoped to one day experience these mythical islands. After a long journey and then two nights in Ecuador's capital Quito, we finally arrived in the Galapagos and the island of San Cristobal.

The island is located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos archipelago. In order to experience the wildlife on land, many of us chose to arrive in San Cristobal a few days before our liveaboard Galapagos Masters would go. It was really successful. To immediately experience the animal life with lots of sea lions, marine iguanas, beautiful red crabs and various fearless birds felt almost like a fairy tale.

Once out on our boat, we did an adaptation dive where many were surprised by the coldness of the water. We had 16 degrees in the water!! After that we immediately set off to the north. The goal was to see and dive at the legendary Darwin Arch dive site. On the way there we did a fantastic shore excursion on the small island of North Seymour. There we would look at the beautifully yellow-orange Druze-headed iguana. Also on frigatebirds and various other seabirds. We also did dives at the northern part of the island of Baltra, where some were lucky enough to see manta rays and lumpfish.

Diving at Darwin

Up at Darwin Island, we really got to experience world-class diving. We had plenty of hammerhead and galapagos sharks around us. Most of the group also got to see really big, pregnant female whale sharks. Periodically the current here was very strong. This meant that we had to climb along rock walls covered in sharp barnacles. There you could easily damage both fingers and clothing. Once up in the rubber boat, however, you quickly forget about bleeding fingertips when humpback whales, pilot whales and dolphins pass by on the surface. After these fantastic days at Darwin, we continued down to Wolf. Here, too, we had plenty of hammerhead sharks and galapagos sharks.

The next day it was time to dive at the largest island; Isabella. On the northwest side of the island is Punta Vicente Roca. Here, many experienced lumpfish, while others were unlucky to come here when there was very limited visibility. Visibility so poor as to be almost un-divable, Punta Vicente Roca was also the place to experience the Galapagos' own endemic bullhead shark. These small, cute, nocturnal sharks were having a little nap here and were between boulders and rocks.

Those who did not have the opportunity to experience lumpfish at Isabela instead experienced a fantastic dive at Douglas Cape on the island of Fernandina. Here everyone got to experience marine iguanas grazing on algae underwater. These are incredibly fascinating animals, and they are completely fearless. So fearless that you can shove the camera right up in their face without them caring in the slightest.

Fantastic diving last dive

The last dive site at Cousin Rock has been experienced on previous trips as mediocre, as a dive on the way back, to be able to get in the water somewhere on the long way down to San Cristobal. But, oh, what a misjudgment. Here one group had one of their absolute best dives. We saw lumpfish, large white-spotted eagle rays in schools, golden eagle rays, mantas, stingrays, hammerhead sharks and white tip reef sharks. All the fish came very close to us so what an absolutely superb end to the trip!

Summary

In conclusion, we probably pretty much agreed that the wildlife in the Galapagos was just as amazing as we had all imagined. So even if you are a die-hard diver and perhaps mainly think of a diving trip, an unusually large part of the treasure is the wildlife you find on the shore and on land. The diving is superb, but cold, demanding and unpredictable. Often with very strong current. The Galapagos definitely does not offer tropical, relaxed diving in warm, crystal clear water. Despite the fact that the archipelago is actually in the middle of the equator.

I myself have now done three similar routes with the same one live board during the same time of year. All three trips have offered absolutely incredible, unique nature experiences. The wildlife has also been completely different on the three trips. Animals I haven't glimpsed on one trip have sometimes been there in abundance on the next. That's why I definitely want to go back again, because the Galapagos has a lot to offer, with a huge variety of wildlife.”

- Anders Salesjö, marine biologist, underwater photographer and Scuba Travel ambassador

When you want to book your diving trip to the Galapagos or elsewhere contact Scuba Travel directly here.