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Why Should You Dive The Galapagos?

Diving in the Galapagos Islands is a unique and unforgettable experience. From the first spark of a decision to dive what is arguably the world’s most famous dive destination, the well-known catalyst for Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. To careful research and planning, ensuring you have enough experience, and finally arranging the travel and liveaboard.  The trip can be quite a journey. If you are not yet decided, here are some reasons why you should consider diving in the Galapagos:

An Abundance of Marine Life

Located at the confluence of several major ocean currents, which creates a nutrient-rich environment supporting diverse marine species. The Galapagos Islands are home to a remarkable abundance of aquatic life. Here are some examples of the marine life you can expect to encounter while diving in the Galapagos:

Sharks: The Galapagos is known for its abundance of sharks, including schools of hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef, and occasionally tiger and whale sharks.Whale shark Galapagos | Infinite Blue Dive Travel These apex predators are an iconic and thrilling sight for many divers.

Rays: The islands are home to numerous species of rays, including manta rays, eagle rays, and the Galapagos bat ray. These graceful creatures can often be seen gliding over the sandy sea floor.

Sea turtles: The archipelago is a crucial site for several species of nesting sea turtles, including green turtles and hawksbill turtles. These gentle giants can be seen feeding on the abundant sea grasses and algae in the surrounding waters.

Fish: Home to over 400 species, including colourful reef fish, giant groupers, and the endemic Galapagos damselfish. These fish display dazzling colour and movement as they dart in and out of the coral formations.

Diving in the Galapagos offers an unparalleled opportunity to encounter a stunning variety of marine life in its natural habitat.

Endemic Species

The Galapagos Islands are known for their unique and endemic species on land and in the sea. Here are some examples of the unique marine species you might encounter while diving in the Galapagos:

Marine Iguanas: Marine iguanas are a unique species found only in the Galapagos. These iguanas have adapted to life in the sea and can often be seen swimming in the shallow waters around the islands or feeding on algae on the rocky shores.

Galapagos Penguins: The only species of penguin found north of the equator is the Galapagos penguin. These small and colourful birds can often be seen darting through the water for fish.

Flightless Cormorants: Flightless cormorants are another unique bird species found only in the Galapagos. As their name suggests, these birds cannot fly but are skilled swimmers and divers.

Galapagos Sharks: The Galapagos shark is a species only found in the waters around the Galapagos Islands. These sharks can grow up to 3.7 meters (12 feet) in length and are a common sight for divers.

Galapagos Sea Lions: Galapagos sea lions are a unique and playful species found in abundance around the islands. These social animals often approach divers and snorkelers, providing a memorable and interactive experience.

In addition to these species, the Galapagos Islands are home to numerous other unique and endemic marine species, including the Galapagos green turtle, the Galapagos fur seal, and various species of rays and fish. Diving in the Galapagos provides a rare opportunity to encounter them in their natural habitat and appreciate the incredible biodiversity of this remarkable region.

Challenging Dives

Diving in the Galapagos can be challenging, and different liveaboard operators impose differing numbers of required dives to dive with them. However, these are usually higher than needed for most other dive destinations. The restrictions are due to several factors, including strong currents, cold water temperatures, and sometimes choppy surface conditions. Here are some of the challenges that divers may encounter while diving in the Galapagos:

Strong Currents: The Galapagos Islands are located at the convergence of several ocean currents, which can create powerful and unpredictable currents in some areas. Diving in strong currents requires excellent swimming skills and the ability to navigate in changing underwater environments.

Cold Water: The water temperature in the Galapagos can vary from 15-25°C (59-77°F), which can feel chilly for some divers, especially those not used to cold water diving. Wearing a thick wetsuit, hood, and gloves is essential to stay warm and comfortable during the dive.

Depth: Many of the best dive sites in the Galapagos are deep, with some sites reaching depths of over 30 meters (100 feet). Diving at these depths requires experience and proper training.

Surface Conditions: The surface conditions in the Galapagos can be unpredictable, with rough seas and strong winds making for choppy surface conditions. These conditions can make getting in and out of the water more challenging and may require strong swimming skills to maintain comfort.

Despite these challenges, the rewards of diving in the Galapagos are well worth the effort, as these conditions nurture unique marine life and create stunning underwater landscapes. The sense of adventure that comes with diving in thrilling conditions makes the Galapagos a must-visit destination for divers seeking a truly unforgettable experience.


Under threat from a range of human activities in the past, the Galapagos Islands are known for their unique and fragile ecosystems. However, significant efforts have been made to protect and conserve the islands’ natural resources in recent years. By diving in the Galapagos, you contribute to conservation efforts and help to preserve this unique natural environment. Here are some of the vital conservation efforts that are currently in place in the Galapagos:

National Park and Marine Reserve: In 1959, the Galapagos Islands were declared a national park, and in 1998, the surrounding waters were designated a marine reserve. These protected areas help to regulate human activities and limit the impact of tourism on the islands.

Conservation of Endemic Species: The Galapagos National Park and otherGalapagos National Park logo organizations are working to protect and conserve the unique and endemic species of the islands. This includes efforts to control the introduction of invasive species, monitor populations, and promote sustainable tourism practices.

Sustainable Tourism: There are regulations that limit the number of island visitors and tourism’s environmental impact. Tour operators must follow strict guidelines and rules, including a code of conduct for divers and snorkelers.

Waste Management: The Galapagos National Park is working to implement more effective waste management practices on the islands, including reducing plastic waste and promoting recycling.

Research and Education: Organizations such as the Charles Darwin Foundation are working to promote research and education on the islands, including efforts to understand and monitor climate change’s impacts on the Galapagos’ unique ecosystems.

These conservation efforts have helped to protect and conserve the unique natural resources of the Galapagos Islands and ensure that they remain a valuable and sustainable destination for visitors from around the world.

The marine environment in the Galapagos is incredibly diverse, with various habitats supporting different species of marine life. The waters around the islands are rich in nutrients and support a thriving ecosystem unlike anywhere else. This unique environment is a key reason why the Galapagos is an essential destination for scuba divers, scientists, naturalists, and tourists. Although diving the most famous of dive destinations can be challenging, it is well worth the effort, and you will be planning your return before you depart. Let us help you with more information to make your dive travel easier.


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