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/ Home / Ecuador & Galapagos Tours / Galapagos Dives Sites


Galapagos Dives Sites

Description

North Seymour Island

This dive will take you to approximately 50 feet alongside a short wall with lots of reef fish to be found here along with thermo-clines, Scalloped Hammerheads and yellowtail grunts. Ideal for a check-out dive.

Cousins Island

This Galapagos dive site is on the northwest side of Santiago Island; and this dive site includes diving on walls, slopes and ledges. Here you will see a wall full of Galapagos ‘endemic’ species, black coral with lots of life on it, sleeping green sea turtles and the biggest Sea Horse of the Pacific - more than 10 inches long. You are likely to encounter small schools of hammerhead Sharks, eagle rays and very often-pacific barracudas; and also playful sea lions together with fur seals.

Wolf Island

This Galapagos Islands dive site along with Darwin is one of the main attractions for divers, and are the two highlight of any Galapagos diving trip. It is an overnight 14-hour navigation to get to Wolf and Darwin Islands, considered the best diving in the Galapagos Islands, some say in the entire world. As you approach Wolf Island the boat will be surrounded by the large Pods of Dolphins that seem to be residents to the Island. Wolf is a very small island with high cliffs full of bird life: such as red footed boobies, great frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls, Nazca boobies & terns. The underwater topography is either boulder slopes or walls that offer the most outstanding number of tropical fish of the Galapagos waters. This island, along with Darwin, are magnets for scalloped hammerheads sharks which normally have a lot of parasites, and the fish from the slopes will swim to the hammerheads and remove and eat their parasites. Wolf and Darwin islands are cleaning stations feeding stations for all fish, big and small including amberjacks, whale sharks, trumpet and coronet fish, butterfly fish, tangs and marbled rays. Rocky cliffs reach below the surface of the water; the unusual currents that are found in these nutrient rich waters make the site as unpredictable as it is exciting. Fabulous diving!

Darwin Island

Darwin is even smaller than Wolf and a further 3 hours sailing time, but it is here that you find the beautiful arch formation, appropriately named ‘Darwin’s Arch’. From July-December you will have encounters with the biggest fish of the ocean, the Whale shark, almost guaranteed. The Whale Sharks here are huge and you will also see large schools of hammerhead sharks, galapagos sharks, silky sharks, manta rays, blue spotted jacks, rainbow runners, streamer hogfish, spotted morays, sea turtles, hawksbill turtles, bottle nose dolphins, sailfish etc etc.Almost all the main species of great whales inhabit or visit these waters and this also includes killer whales.

Roca Redonda

This Galapagos dive site is located off the north-western tip of Isabela Island, and is the tip of an active volcano that rises several thousand feet from the sea floor and emerges from the water as an island. Bubbles of hydrogen sulfide percolate through the sandy bottom as proof of the ongoing volcanic activity here. At an average depth of 60 feet, this diving site is sometimes considered a difficult diving experience because of strong currents and heavy surge. At this site you can observe sea lions, scalloped hammerheads, yellow tailed surgeon fish, Galapagos grunts, and even whale sharks. Other fish include red and dog snappers, amber jacks, pacific barracudas, tuna fish, groupers, scorpion fish, rays and several species of eels. This is one of the few sites where you will see cold-water fish swimming side by side with warm water fish.

Punta Vicente Roca

This Galapagos dive site is one of the best dive sites and at the right time of year this place has hundreds of sunfish. It is a wall dive that will take you in and out of a shallow cave with a large variety of invertebrates ranging from sponges to octopus, red lipped batfish, frogfish, sea horses and port jackson sharks. In the night time it is the sleeping place for lots of huge green turtles in the overhangs on the wall. You will also experience sea lions swimming around you and hunting by the light of your torch.

Punta Albemarle

Lying on the very northern tip of Isabela and Cape Marshall (Puerto Egas) on the eastern side of Isabela island. These are rocky volcanic cliffs that drop down to the ocean floor as an almost vertical wall. You might see large animals like manta rays, marbled rays, hammerhead sharks and marine turtles, but also chevron barracuda, snappers, yellow fin tuna, rainbow runners, wahoo and groupers. There are also lots of smaller fishe like creole fishes, parrot fish, scrawled filefishe, pacific boxfishe and tiger snake eels.

Punta Espinoza

A good dive site located in the northeastern point of Fernandina Island; here the Bolivar channel comes between Isabela and Fernandina. Cape Douglas which lies further west is also a dive sites. The water here is cold all the time since Fernandina lies in the zone of a major upwelling from the Cromwell submarine current.

Roca Redonda

Located off the northwest tip of Isabela Island, and separated by an almost 30km stretch of very deep water. This is the tip of a submarine shield volcano that rises nearly 3000m from the sea floor and emerges from the water as an island. The island has high cliffs and a flat top and several lava flows can be observed on the island. In the shallow water there are several caves. The water temperature is very low here because of the cold Cromwell current. Diving can be difficult because of the strong currents, unpredictable down currents, eddies and the heavy surge. If conditions are not right, your dive master may advise against diving. This dive site is visited on the way up to Wolf and Darwin.

Tagus Cove

A large and deep bay on the western side of Isabela. There are lots of upwellings of cold water here, so the temperatures can get very low. Night dives are possible. You will see a lot of sponges and tunicates and non-reef building corals along with black coral bushes (Antipathes galapagensis) which hide animals like seahorses (Hippocampus igens) and the longnosed hawkfishes (Oxycirrhites typus). Frogfish are also said to be seen here. Stone scorpion fish (Scorpaena mystes pacific spotted scorpion fish / Fishbase) and player scorpion fish (Scorpaena histrio / Fishbase) have also been seen here. These are cryptic fish which lie unseen on the reef top waiting for small fish to pass by. Their spines are highly poisonous.

Mosquera

Located north of Baltra, there are two dive sites present, West Beach and East. The current usually comes from the east and can be quite strong in the channels north and south of Mosquera. There is a large colony of sea lions on the western sandbar. Check dives are done here quite frequently.

There are several dive sites around Santa Fe Island, the Lagoon, La Botella and the Caves (a cavern with a tunnel). You can see schools of reef fish, sting rays, garden eels, morays, turtles and sea lions also with some luck some large pelagic fish like hammerheads.

Corona del Diablo (Devil's Crown)

This is the eroded remains of a volcanic cone, a series of jagged rocks with a shallow center pool and a sandy slope with large boulders and numerous tunnels and caverns. This is well known and is also good for snorkeling. The coral cover is no longer any good due to the effects of El Nino, when most of them died. Sea lions join you as soon as you enter the water. You will find smaller fish like hawkfish, filefish and schooling fish like the king angelfish, creole fish and grunts. East of the crown around 20m is a colony of endemic garden eels. On the outside of the rocks where it is deeper there are larger fish like jacks, turtles and sometimes hammerhead and reef sharks.

Enderby Island and Champion Rock

Both are good wall dives. The walls are covered with black coral bushes and if you take a close look you are likely to find a pacific seahorse with its tail around a branch of coral or several species of hawkfish (Oxycirrhites typus, Cirrhitichthys oxyphalus, Cirrhitus rivulatus) hiding amongst them.

Kickers Rock

This is the most famous dive site and is a small islet that rises steeply to148m, with a massive split through the middle. From afar it looks like a sleeping lion, thus the Spanish name Leon Dormido. This is the remnant of a tuff cone. No seals can live here, but underwater there are huge schools of salemas and jacks, barracuda, rainbow runners and Galapagos sharks. On the rocks live nudibranchs, crustaceans and other invertebrates. The dive is quite shallow (20m).

Gordon Rocks Dive site

This Galapagos dive site is off the east coast of the Island of Santa Cruz and is considered to be one of the best diving sites of the central group of islands. The rocky conditions are made up of a volcanic crater that is about 300 feet across and you can dive on all sides of the crater, both inside and out. It is an excellent example of an eroded ‘tuff’ cone. At 90 feet you can find a colony of burrowing garden eels on the sandy bottom alongside hammerheads, stingrays, white-tipped sharks, sea lions, moray eels, horse conches, sea turtles, rays, large jacks, groupers, and snappers.

Hood Island-Gardner Bay

Gardner Bay is on the eastern shore and has a magnificent beach. This beach is frequented by a transient colony of Sea Lions, and is a major nesting site for marine Turtles. Around the small islets nearby, snorkelers will find lots of fish and sometimes turtles and sharks.