On the equator some 950 Kilometres west of the Ecuadorian coast sit an isolated group of actively volcanic islands. The Galapagos Islands were, literally, put on the map in 1835 with the visit of Charles Darwin aboard HMS Beagle. Now a National Park of Ecuador, and UNESCO World Heritage site, the distinctive flora and fauna includes species found nowhere else on earth.
With 20 Galapagos Islands and many more islets, rocks and reefs, a dedicated Galapagos Islands liveaboard is essential to truly experience the best diving the Galapagos Islands have to offer. Despite its location on the equator a collision of oceanic currents produces a diverse mix of marine mammal & fish life and attracts large pelagic species, including a huge number of sharks and Rays.
Diving the Galapagos Islands may be enough of an experience in itself. However a holiday here offers an ideal opportunity to extend your stay to take in the sites and adventures available on the Ecuadorian mainland. Extend your stay to take in cultural Ecuador, the Amazon or get active with some White Water rafting or Sea Kayaking. Alternatively our Andes and Islands tour neatly provides the opportunity for a taste of the diversity this wonderful country has to offer.
"Everything was very smooth and easy. The standard of the crew and guides was exceptional.
I met Alejandro at the pier before getting on board and he was extremely informative and welcoming!
Galapagos Master, July 2015"
Planet Suggested Tour Itineraries In Ecuador Galapagos
Cold & warm water species that normally might live in ocean sectors a thousand miles apart, thrive here side by side. The amazing diversity of species in the Galapagos Islands, both on land and water, will leave you breathless every day of your journey in this sacred island group. Of course, no hunting or fishing by tourists are allowed in these sacred islands. Galapagos diving is strictly a "look & don't touch" deal. In the water around the Galapagos islands, you'll be entertained by species such as schooling hammerheads, penguins, sea lions, sharks of several intriguing varieties, eagle rays & manta rays, great sea turtles & the occasional whale or whale shark.
The Galapagos Islands have become the cross roads for 7 major ocean currents, which often contribute to making this a challenging diving spot, nevertheless incredibly interesting. Especially with each island owning its own, unique mini eco system, there really is and endless amount of things to learn about these fascinating islands. All those years ago, the volcanic eruptions not only made a home for humans and wild life, but in replacement to coral, rocks are homes for many small colourful fish are found amongst the holes in the lava formations. Within the variety of large marine life are 12 species of shark and a whopping 16 species of whale! Including the Humpback Whales, and also the sperm and blue. All along with groups of dolphins which are also regularly seen in their vast numbers, sometimes reaching 100 dolphins in one sight, jumping around dive boats. The only species of penguin that lives in the northern hemisphere and breeds in the tropics can be found in the Galapagos Islands by following the cold Humboldt Current. With the highest number of penguins in one spot recorded on Isabela.
Diving Seasons In The Galapagos Islands
Some of the highlights of the Galapagos Islands calendar:
January + February: Large numbers of Pacific Green Turtles begin mating, and the eggs hatch in April.
July: Whales and Dolphins are regularly seen off the coast of Isabella, and Whale Sharks are seen near the Darwin and Wolf Islands in the northern part of the Galapagos.
November: There is still the chance of seeing Whale Sharks in the north. Sea Lion pups are now old enough to be playful with divers, and the mothers are also now relaxed about their young. The Pacific Green mating season also begins in November which carries on until February.
Temperatures in the warm, and in turn ‘wet season’ linger around 30°C with sunny days interrupted by short but heavy cloudbursts of rain. The warm season in the Galapagos Islands is between December and May, and the sea is a warm, 20°C to 25°C, and relatively calm.
The cooler season of June until December is drier and the air temperature hovers around a comfortable 22 °C.
To see the biggest marine life the winter is the best time to visit as the cooler waters attract the biggest marine life, mainly Hammer Heads, Silky Sharks, and White Tips, all in their masses
The diving in the Galapagos Islands can be challenging with currents and surges occurring on every dive, combined with thermoclines
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