Galapagos Dive Sites

10 of the best!

Nowhere Else

Nowhere else on earth will you find a more unique group of volcanic islands and an internationally acclaimed dive destination. Located at a major intersection of several ocean currents, the Galapagos Islands are home to an amazing array of marine life. Imagine Whale Sharks circling around you and schools of Hammerhead Sharks overhead along with Sea Lions, Penguins and Marine Iguanas. The water can be cool and the current challenging, but it’s all part of the experience.

Gordon Rocks

Suitable for advanced divers

Travel Time: 45 min – 1 hour from Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: Though Gordon Rocks can be a calm and easy dive at times, it is famous for it´s currents that carry the hammerhead sharks. Therefore, it is best suited to advanced divers. Please ask for advice on booking if you have less than 30 dives experience.

Gordon Rocks is an extinct volcanic crater with a sandy bottom at 32 meters, and a wall drop off around the outside of around 65 meters . It has 3 exposed rocks that surround the crater and 3 pinnacles ranging from 5- 6 meters under the surface along the northern edge of the crater with one larger pinnacle approximately 21 meters below the surface in the center.

The strong currents that frequent Gordon Rocks make it the most accessible home to schools of the famous hammerhead sharks. Schools of up to 50 sharks (or more if you are lucky) can be found circling the rocks through the current giving repeated views of the amazing creatures. White and black tip reef sharks also frequent the area as well as green sea turtles, sea lions, sting rays, Eagle rays, large schools of barracuda and snapper and the occasional majestic manta ray or Mola Mola.

North Seymour

Suitable for all divers

Travel Time: Approx 1 hour car and boat travel from Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: Seymour is a good place for beginners and experienced divers alike. Though the currents can be moderate to strong on occasion, it is on the whole suitable for people with limited experience. Drift dive.

The North Seymour topography consists of gradual steps off the island shoreline declining 8 meters to a beautiful rock reef, before reaching the sandy bottom at 16 – 18 meters. Diving at Seymour provides the opportunity to swim with many white and black tip reef sharks, as well as being a favourite resting place for large numbers of green sea turtles. Though Seymour does not have the notoriety for hammer head sharks, it is still possible to see small schools at both Seymour sites, swimming through the channel and around the point through the current. Large schools of barracuda, snapper and other reef fish are also in abundance, and the rock reef is an excellent place to search for the well camouflaged octopi. A personal favourite however, are the schools of spotted eagle rays that glide through the channel along the sand, occasionally joined by devil and manta rays.

Mosquera

Suitable for all divers

Travel Time: Approx 1 hour car and boat travel from Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: As with Seymour, Mosquera is suitable for the in-experienced diver, with currents generally moderate to minimal. Drift dive.

Mosquera is a sand and rock islet in the channel between Seymour and Baltra islands, and is a popular gathering place for sea lions. Diving at Mosquera and the fringing rock reef is similar to Seymour until you reach the large sandy bottomed platform and rock drop off around 21 meters. Here you can relax under water and wait for the schools of magnificent eagle rays, hammerhead sharks, black tip reef sharks, and the occasional elusive Galapagos shark. Manta rays are a special treat anywhere and sightings at Mosquera are a certain possibility.

In the sandy bottomed platform you will be amazed by the Galapagos garden eels, thousands of them, as far as the eye can see, craning out of their tunnels to take in all the currents have to offer.

Floreana

Suitable for all divers

Travel Time: 1.5 – 2 hours depending on sea conditions, from Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: Floreana has very little current making it an excellent site for beginners, and a great place for the experienced diver to relax and take in all that Galapagos has to offer.

The 3 dive sites at Floreana offer the most interesting topography with rocky outcrops, small caves and sandy bottom being an excellent hiding place for many marine animals. The large school of black striped salema fish is an amazing sight and takes you to another world as they envelop you in their thousands. Whilst the red lipped batfish with it’s leg looking fins and cherry red lips has made more than a few jaws drop.

White and black tipped reef sharks, green sea turtles, sting rays, Eagle rays, and hammerhead sharks are also among those who frequent the Floreana dive sites. Floreana is also a special place to snorkel and dive with the baby sea lions, don’t be surprised if they take a liking to your fins!!

Bartolome and Cousins Rock

Suitable for all divers

Travel Time: Approx 2 hours car and boat travel from Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: These sites have little current and are great places for the in-experienced and seasoned diver alike. Drift dive.

Bartolome and Cousins offers terraced steps that descend to 30 meters before dropping down to a Sandy bottom at 40 meters. The steps are covered with soft black coral, and are an excellent place to find the Pacific Seahorse. The overhangs from some of the steps are favourite places of the white tipped reef sharks, green sea turtles and large moray eels, as well as octopi. Schools of barracuda and other reef fish can also be seen at these sites. Manta rays and hammerheads can often be seen off the steps in the blue.

Beagle

Suitable for all divers

Travel Time: Approx 2 hours car and boat travel form Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: This dive site has medium current and is suitable for the beginner/ intermediate diver.

Beagle Rocks, named after the ship that carried Charles Darwin to Galapagos, consists of 3 rocks, the remains of a tuff cone, located off the north west coast of Santa Cruz Island and south of Santiago Island. The dive begins on a 12 meter platform before reaching a drop off wall that descends to more than 60 meters.

The wall is covered with black coral, sea fans and a huge variety of colourful reef fish. Hammerheads and Galapagos sharks can often be spotted off the wall into the blue, whilst rays, green sea turtles and sea lions are more common close to the wall. Manta rays are also a special treat during the hot season.

Pinzon

Suitable for all divers

Travel Time: 1 – 1.5 hours boat travel form Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: It can be for beginners or experienced divers.

Pinzon is a small island located off the western coast of Santa Cruz, about 1 hour from Puerto Ayora. It is a great spot for beginners and experienced alike offering many playful sea ions, turtles and red lipped bat fish. The deep drop off wall is for divers with a bit more experience, and is a great spot to see sea horses, rays, different species of sharks and lobster.
In the warmer months Pinzon is a favorite site for the Manta Rays and pods of dolphins can regularly be seen.

Guy Fawkes

Suitable for all divers

Travel Time: 1.5 hours car and boat travel from Puerto ayora.

Dive Difficulty: This is an easy drift dive.

Guy Fawkes is an islet on the North West corner of Isla Santa Cruz. It is not a frequented dive site but is the home a very friendly sea lion colony. The dive is along the coral covered wall of the islet that leads down to a sandy bottom at about 20 meters.

There are many small colourful fish to been spotted hiding along the wall, with the Red lipped Bat Fish inhabiting the sandy bottom. It is possible to see the white tipped reef sharks, large schools of Black striped salema fish and rays also at this site, but it’s most popular locals are the sea lions who regularly join the dive performing acrobatics in front of anyone who will watch.

Daphne Minor

Suitable for all divers

Travel Time: 1 hour car and boat travel from Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: Easy to intermediate due to the wall. The dive isn’t deep, but you have to watch your depth.

Daphne is located off the northern coast of Santa Cruz and is very diverse. It is a wall dive with little current. The main attractions to this site are the frequent visits by Manta Rays. There is always plankton in the water, so the visibility is not fantastic, but they come so close it is not a problem. Juvenile Galapagos sharks, white tipped reef sharks and eagle rays are also common.

Sante Fe

Suitable for all divers

Travel Time: 40 minutes boat travel from Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: Easy shallow dive suitable for beginners.

Santa Fe is well known for being one of the easiest dives in Galapagos, but by no means boring. Sea lions are abundant, turtles, white tipped reef sharks, rays and large schools of fish. The cave dive at 16 meters makes this a very interesting site for both beginners and experienced divers alike.

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