Diving the Galapagos

Everything from day trips to liveaboards and courses

When is the best time to go diving?

Two diving seasons

The best time to dive in the Galápagos islands is any month of the year! We can see the marine life here all year round, you just need to decide how warm you like your water!

The year is divided into two diving seasons in the Galápagos: wet and dry. Choosing when to dive really depends on what wildlife you want to see.

The warm season is from December to May due to the Panama current in the north picking up strength, with water temperatures around 22C – 27C. The visibility is on average a bit better because the Humboldt currents slacks off and there is not so much nutrient in the water. The days are hot and humid with clear blue skies and during Feb – April. We definitely recommend a hotel with AC as average temperatures are 30-35C each day and night with humidity around 80% – 85%. January to March usually bring heavy rains, but it’s normally only early morning or overnight, which makes the days very humid.

These months will give you a slightly higher possibility to see larger schools of hammerhead sharks, White tipped reef sharks and many marine turtles and schools of rays.

How warm do you like the water?

The clouds start to appear in June and it gets steadily cooler through July – November with average temperatures being 18 – 24. The Humboldt current becomes stronger and brings colder water and welcome nutrients for the marine and bird life, giving an average water temperature of 18C-20C, but we do get some days at 16C, so if you feel the cold bring your layers and your hoods! Dry suits are definitely the envy of divers using rental wetsuits during these days.

These months are the “high season” for the liveaboards as the nutrient rich waters attract the giant Whale Sharks to the waters around Wolf and Darwin islands. Though the water is cold, the marine life is still abundant around the central islands also, with Mola Mola sightings increasing around Gordon Rocks.

If you plan to do any walking on the island during this time I recommend a light weight rain jacket or poncho, as the misty rains “garua” are very frequent, especially in the highlands where the tortoise live.


A word of warning from some one who suffered before you! The sea breezes in the Galápagos create a wonderful climate, but don’t be fooled by the overcast skies.

In Ecuador you will pay painfully for deciding you don’t need your sunscreen, we are very close to the sun! Follow this advice: Always wear sun protection, including a hat to protect your upper head and face, as well as sunglasses and light, loose clothing. Use waterproof sunscreens with an SPF factor of at least 15, but if you easily burn more than 50, take a full bottle and remember to apply it everywhere, including in less obvious places, such as the top of your feet and ears.

Many a day has come to an end with bright red bodies after snorkel trips. or the most notorious of all… a trip to Tortuga Bay! We also suggest bringing a bottle of high-quality aloe vera gel and a lycra rash vest. These recommendations apply to the Ecuadorian mainland also. Being at altitude can contribute to terrible sunburn, so bring plenty of sunscreen.

Our Dive Sites

Let’s Go Diving

We offer several options for you to enjoy your diving in the Galapagos:

Galapagos Daily Dive Tours

Daily Dive Tours
See more by taking one or more of our daily dive tours.

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Galapagos Dive Packages

Dive Packages
See the amazing life of Galapagos below and above the water.

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Galapagos Liveaboards

Go there in comfort and style on 1 of 5 different liveaboards.

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Galapagos Dive Courses

PADI Dive Courses
Learn to dive, expand your experience or help others

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Galapagos Dive Sites

Dive Sites
Read about our internationally acclaimed dive sites.

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Our Boat

The boat is a 12 meter custom built dive speed boat with twin 250hp engines. It took it’s maiden voyage in May 2017, making it the fastest and most modern dive boat in the Galapagos area. The boat has a private pump toilet as well as comfortable cushioned seats and plenty of room to relax in the sun between dives.

Dive Safety

Everyone knows diving has the potential to become a dangerous past time, but if you follow the rules and stay within your limits we believe diving is the best sport out there!

Academy Bay Diving and it’s crew put your safety as out utmost concern, even higher than catching that glimpse of the Hammerhead sharks, which is why our company has a ZERO dive accident record.

In the unlikely and unfortunate event of a dive accident or passenger emergency, all of our crew members, Instructors, Dive masters, sailors and Captain have received dive first aid training & emergency oxygen administration training.

We also have the added benefit of having a qualified Emergency Nurse with Hyperbaric medicine training on staff.

Flying after diving

Flying after diving is a question we get asked at least once everyday. The recommendations from DAN Divers Alert Network, is to wait a minimum of 18 hours after doing a 2 tank dive session before flying. See their recommendations on their website.

Therefore, diving the day before you leave Galapagos with Academy Bay Diving is definitely possible as we leave early in the morning and finish our dives normally by 11.30 at the latest.

The flights that leave Galapagos start at 10am giving you at least 23 hours rest time.

Hyperbaric Chambers in the Galapagos Islands

There are 2 Hyperbaric Chambers on the island of Santa Cruz in Galapagos. One is a private chamber than can be used by anyone with or without dive insurance (at a cost of course), and the other is a DAN run chamber which treats only dive injuries of those divers with DAN insurance (can be purchased over the internet before treatment in some cases).

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