Galapagos Dive Sites

10 of the best!

Diving in the Galapagos: It’s Like Nowhere Else

The Galapagos Islands, one of the most unique and internationally acclaimed diving destinations on the planet, are an extraordinary archipelago of volcanic islands. Positioned at the heart of a significant crossroads for ocean currents, they are the perfect backdrop for the exceptional array of marine life that Galapagos diving has to offer.

Imagine the exhilaration as you’re encircled by majestic whale sharks while schools of hammerhead sharks effortlessly glide above you. Add to this mesmerizing spectacle, a lively ensemble of playful sea lions, dapper penguins, and marine iguanas that animate the surrounding seascape.

Venturing into these waters can be a challenge as the currents can be strong and the water, quite chilly at times. However, these are all integral elements that contribute to the unparalleled thrill and allure of diving here.

It’s clear why this location boasts some of the best dive sites in the Galapagos. Each dive provides an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience that is truly a testament to the awe-inspiring wonders of the Galapagos Islands.

If you have any questions about the dive sites outlined below, please reach out to us— we’d love to hear from you.

Our Galapagos Dive Sites

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 known for strong currents and is, therefore, best suited to advanced divers. Please ask for advice on booking if you have experience of fewer than 30 dives.

Gordon Rocks is an extinct volcanic crater with a sandy bottom of 32 meters at its core and a wall drop around the outside of about 65 meters.

The site has three exposed rocks that surround the crater and three pinnacles found under the surface at the northern edge of the crater, found between six to eight meters underwater. There is one larger pinnacle of approximately 21 meters below the surface in the center of the crater.

The strong currents found at Gordon Rocks make it an excellent home for schools of hammerhead sharks, some of the most iconic animals found in the Galapagos. Schools of up to 50 sharks (or more if you are lucky) can be found circling the rocks through the current, giving divers ample repeated views of these extraordinary creatures. White and blacktip reef sharks also frequent the area, as well as green sea turtles, sea lions, stingrays, 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. The area is known for its drift diving.

The North Seymour topography consists of gradual steps descending from the island shoreline, declining 8 meters to a beautiful rock reef, before reaching the sandy bottom at 16–18 meters. Our Seymour tours provide the opportunity to swim with many white and blacktip reef sharks, as well as being a favorite resting place for large numbers of green sea turtles. Though Seymour does not as famous for hammerhead sharks as other sites, it is still possible to see small schools at both Seymour sites, swimming along 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 well-camouflaged octopi. A personal favorite, of ours, however, are the schools of spotted eagle rays that glide through the channel just above the sand, occasionally joined by devil and manta rays.


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 inexperienced diver, with currents generally moderate to minimal.

The site also features drift diving. 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 its fringing rock reef is similar to Seymour until you reach the largesandy-bottomed platform and rock drop of around 21 meters. Here you can relax underwater and wait for the schools of magnificent eagle rays, hammerhead sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and the occasional, elusive, Galapagos shark. Manta rays are a special treat anywhere and sightings at Mosquera are certainly a possibility. On 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.


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 the Galapagos has to offer.

The 3 dive sites at Floreana offer a most interesting topography, with rocky outcrops, small caves, and a sandy bottom providing an excellent hiding place for many marine animals. The large school ofblack-striped Salema fish is an amazing sight, taking you to another world as they envelop you in their thousands. Whilst the red-lipped batfish with its leg-like fins and cherry red lips has made more than a few jaws drop.

White and blacktip reef sharks, green sea turtles, stingrays, eagle rays, and hammerhead sharks are also among those who frequent the Floreana dive sites. Floreana is 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 inexperienced and seasoned diver alike. The site features drift diving.

Bartolome and Cousinsoffer 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 favorite haunts of whitetip reef sharks, green sea turtles, large moray eels, and 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.


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 beginner/ intermediate diver.

Beagle Rocks, named after the ship that carried Charles Darwin to the Galapagos Islands, consists of 3 rocks, the remains of a tuff cone, located off the northwest coast of Santa Cruz Island, 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.

This underwater cliff face is covered with black coral, sea fans, and a huge variety of colorful reef fish. Santa Cruz shark tours are understandably very popular, and at this dive there’s a good chance you will see Hammerheads and Galapagos sharks off the wall, deep in the blue; rays, green sea turtles, and sea lions are common closer to the wal itselfl. Manta rays are also a special treat during the hot season.


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 northwest corner of Isla Santa Cruz. It is not a frequented dive site but is the home of 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, colorful fish to be spotted hiding along the wall, with the red-lipped batfish inhabiting the sandy bottom. It is possible to see the whitetip reef sharks, large schools of black-striped Salema fish, and rays also at this site; its most popular locals residents, though, 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 provides a diverse diving experience. 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, making conditions murky, but the rays come so close that it is not a problem. Juvenile Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef sharks and eagle rays are also common.

Diving Santa Fe with academy Bay Diving

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 the Galapagos Islands, but its simplicity does not take anything away from its beauty. Sea lions, turtles, whitetip reef sharks, rays, and large schools of fish are abundant. The cave dive at 16 meters makes this a fascinating site for both beginners and experienced divers alike.

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