The Galapagos islands owe their astounding biodiversity and rich marine life to the converging of 5 major ocean currents and the equatorial surface weather.
The HUMBOLDT current, named after the European explorer Alexander von Humboldt, sweeps north up the western coast of South America carrying cold, nutrient rich water from the Antarctica. Travelling along the coasts of Chile and Peru, it creates the worlds most productive marine ecosystem I the process. At the equator the Humboldt turns west and joins the South Equatorial current before heading straight towards the Galapagos.
The Panama current which flows down from Central America is not nearly as rich in nutrients as the Humboldt, but it does make for warm diving with better visibility during the months of December – May.
The wind driven north Equatorial Countercurrent that runs from west to east, cuts through the middle of the 2 west bound currents and directs south down the coast of Peru and Chile.
The final, and possibly most important is the Cromwell current (Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent), which flows about 300 feet down, from west to east along the equator. When it hits Galapagos there is un upwelling bringing more cool, nutrient rich waters.
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