Are you looking for more information about dive sites in Galapagos? In this article, we describe eight awesome dive sites that are found in Galapagos and which should not be missed.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the most popular and sought-after scuba dive destinations on the planet because these islands are unlike any others in the world.
The wildlife that inhabits the land and sea of Galapagos aren’t afraid of people. Divers delight in the fact that they can get up-close and personal with massive schools of sharks and even playful Sea Lions, Penguins and Marine Iguanas that swim here.
8 Awesome Dive Sites in Galapagos
Whether you’re planning a scuba trip to Galapagos on a Liveaboard that allows you to explore remote Galapagos dive sites, or you plan to take day trips to awesome dive sites instead, these 8 wonderful dive sites in Galapagos ( in a random order) should not be missed.
1. Tijeretas Hill
Tijeretas Hill is a Galapagos dive site off of San Cristobal Island. It offers great visibility, and it’s also a perfect dive site even for beginners. Be sure to bring your camera if you are into underwater photography because you will find many photo opportunities here.
This wall dive features green sea turtles, Galapagos garden eels, rays, and great schools of fish, including angelfish and grunts. The best part of this dive, though, is being able to swim with the playful Sea Lions, who are attracted by the bubbles you make.
2. Daphne Minor
Daphne is a dive site found on the north coast of Santa Cruz and is suitable for beginners and more experienced divers. This dive is wall dive with a smooth current. You will love exploring the caverns, walls, and slopes at this awesome Galapagos dive site, which features stunning marine life including Juvenile Galapagos sharks, white-tipped reef sharks, and eagle rays are also common. Keep an eye on the big blue as Manta Rays love to visit Daphne too.
3. Shark Point
Shark Point, a dive site off of Wolf Island, is extremely popular. Here, divers get to fulfill their wildest dreams of swimming alongside massive whale sharks. Other large marine species include dolphins, hammerhead sharks, and Galapagos sharks.
The only way to access this site, though, is by taking part in a Liveaboard expedition. Also, due to the strong currents, limited visibility, and harsh surges, this site is reserved only for experienced divers.
4. Whale Rock
An easy drift dive found off of the island of San Cristobal is Whale Rock. This site features huge schools of fish, with plenty of rays and sea turtles swimming along as well. Visibility is often great and typically ranges anywhere from 10-15 meters, or 33-49 feet, and temperatures are anywhere from 18-26 degrees Celsius, or 64-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Gordon Rocks
Here is where you will find the famous schools of hammerhead sharks that made diving Galapagos famous. Gordon Rocks is an volcanic crater with a maximum depth of 32 meters where you will find a sandy bottom.
Besides the hammerheads, you will find:
- White and black tip reef sharks,
- Green sea turtles
- Sea Lions
- Eagle rays
- Schools of barracuda and snapper
- Occasionally a majestic manta ray
Gordon rocks should only be dived though by more experienced divers due to the depth and potentially dangerous currents.
6. Camaño Islet
Camaño Islet, off Santa Cruz Island, is a great spot for beginners who want to see groupers, batfish, seahorses, sea lions, and more. This shallow dive offers great visibility, at 10-15 meters, or 33-49 feet. You may get lucky and see some eels and Galapagos marine iguanas which dive beneath the waves in search of their food.
7. North Seymour Island
Diving Seymour is famous for its many Black and White tip reef shark who share their space with countless Green sea turtles. On a good day, you will see schools of Spotted eagle rays migrating through the channel often chaperoned by Manta and Devil Rays. Also, Hammerheads have been seen here in smaller schools. Diving Seymour Island is suitable for beginners and more advanced divers.
8. Cape Marshall
Located on the island of Isabela, Cape Marshall features a wall of volcanic rock that goes down into the depths of the ocean. Sunfish a.k.a "Mola Mola", Hammerhead sharks, Manta rays, Marbled Rays, Mobula rays, and large schools of fish such as Black-striped salema can be found here.
Sea turtles and Sea Lions will have no problem swimming alongside you as you explore this epic Galapagos dive site. This site is for experienced and more advanced scuba divers only due to its strong currents.
Is diving in Galapagos on your bucketlist? Download the essential scuba divers guide to Galapagos full with valuable tips and information you need to plan an amazing dive trip.
9. Bartholomew Point
Bartholomew Point is a dive site off of Bartholomew Island. Not only will you encounter the usual marine species found throughout other dive sites in the Galapagos, such as Sea Turtles, Sea Lions, and plenty of different species of fish and rays.
The big attraction at this dive site are the Penguins swimming swiftly past you as they search for food and play in the waves. With a bit of luck, you will be able to see Manta rays and hammerheads in the blue.
White-tip reef sharks are also common here. Explore the lava formations, and see what creatures are hiding amidst the rock formations too. Moderate currents make this site appropriate for someone who has already logged quite a few dives in the past.
10. Tortuga Island
This Galapagos dive site, located off of Isabela Island, is great for intermediate level divers who aren’t afraid of following a deep drift wall down to the depths of 40 meters, or 131 feet.
Here, you will find a variety of native species, including Galapagos sharks, Galapagos sheep head, and Galapagos Groupers, as well as many Mantas, Stingrays, Sunfish, and more. You may even get the chance to see Hammerhead sharks and White-tipped reef sharks. But if you’re truly lucky, you may be diving at the right place at the right time to see a passing Orca.
11. Santa Fe Island
This Galapagos dive site is one that is appropriate for beginners, thanks to its calm and clear waters. At a depth of 16 meters, you can find a cave that makes this easy dive quite interesting. Expect to be accompanied by playful Sea Lions, Turtles, Eels, and even some White tip reef sharks
Galapagos has many awesome dive sites that are suitable for novice and advanced divers. On many dive sites, you will have the chance to dive with sharks like the white and black tip reef shark but also the elusive Hammerhead. Although the best dive sites to see the famous hammerheads are Shark Point at Wolf Island and Gordon Rocks. To snorkel or dive with the Galapagos penguin, you should visit Bartholomew Point.
To experience the best dive sites of Galapagos, it is advised to be at least advanced certified and have enough experience with deep dives and have a proper understanding how currents can affect a dive.
Would you like to scuba dive Galapagos or have you been already? Let us know in the comments below
Would you like to dive into the new Galapagos Marine Sanctuary? Contact us today, we have multiple partners on Galapagos who offer dive packages + accommodation.
Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.