The Galápagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean 900 km/560 mi from the coast of Ecuador. Due to the unique and abundant natural beauty, the marine territory within 70,000 sq. km/43,496 sq. mi around the Galápagos has been declared a marine reserve. It is the second-largest marine reserve in the world, and more than 95% of the islands are the National Park of Ecuador.
The Galápagos Islands are one of the most famous spots for safari diving in the world. Liveaboard diving trips in the Galápagos feature enormous whale sharks, schools of hammerhead sharks, mola mola fish, endangered sea cucumbers, friendly sea lions, equatorial penguins, a huge diversity of rays (including manta rays, stingrays, eagle rays, and others), whitetip sharks, and reef sharks.
Galápagos Dive Sites
The marine life in the islands is strictly protected, and all commercial fishing is prohibited in the marine reserve, which results in immense numbers of fish, sharks, whales, tortoises, and sea lions that you can see during your trip. The Galápagos safari boats visit more than 70 diving sites, some of the most famous of which are Darwin, Wolf, Cabo Marshall, and Cabo Douglas.
When to dive
Generally there are two main seasons in the Galápagos Islands: the hot, wet season and the cold, dry season. The hot, wet season in the Galápagos lasts from late December to May. This is called the manta ray season (you can see our selection of best offers above), because during these months it is much more likely to see these amazing creatures, along with huge schools of hammerhead sharks and many more penguins. If you prefer wet suits and warm water, then choose the wet season, because the water temperature is usually between 24-30°C/75-86°F. This season also has the best visibility, up to 30 m/100 ft from January to March.
The cold, dry season lasts from June to November. The visibility remains good (10-20 m/30-65 ft), but the water can get as cold as 15°C/59°F, so we advise using at least 7-mm wetsuits or dry suits during this season. During the dry season, you can also expect stronger currents, which make the ocean choppy and bring surges. If you prefer calmer weather or are often seasick, make sure that you only come during the wet season. The dry season has colder water and weather, but the great thing about it is the enormous numbers of whale sharks and sea lions (find your dates with our selection of boats above). If you have been dreaming to see the biggest fish in the ocean, you should definitely choose the dry season, but try to avoid September, because it is the coldest month of the year.
Galápagos Liveaboard Trips
There is no better way to see all the beauty of the Galápagos Islands than going on a diving safari. Although shore dive sites are also great places, many of them do not allow overnight stays and cannot provide the diversity of views, corals, and animals common to Galápagos liveaboard diving.