Get the Most from Galapagos Island Diving Vacations
Going on a Galapagos Island diving adventure? Make sure you know the best times and places to go on your travels. For many, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There’s no second chance to do it up right.
The Best Places to Dive
The Galapagos Islands are roughly 500 miles off the coast of Ecuador. They’re located in the Pacific Ocean near the Equator and are protected as part of Galapagos National Park. Fewer than 30,000 people inhabit the 14 major islands.
Most of the minor islands are uninhabitable – many unreachable because of rough terrain – but still home to a wide variety of impressive species on both land and in the water. The waters around the smaller islands of Wolf and Darwin are particularly rich with shark species, Mantas, rays and dolphins. However, all the Galapagos Islands are home to species never seen before, which offer important clues to evolution and the history of life on Earth.
Two Main Diving Seasons
One of the awe-inspiring species regularly found in the Galapagos during half of the year is the whale shark. Averaging 35 feet in length and 40,000 pounds, the species is one of the largest fish in the sea. Whale shark season runs from June to November. It’s common for divers to see many specimens at one time and to see them during more than one dive. Thankfully, due to their eating habits, people aren’t at risk. Whale sharks are considered filter feeders and stick to extremely small morsels, such as plankton and tiny schools of fish.
The other diving season in the Galapagos Islands is Manta season. Running from December to May, divers have the opportunity to see an overwhelming variety of Manta and rays. Gigantic schools of smaller rays, numbering into the hundreds, regularly swim through the area on their way to choice feeding grounds.
Warmer ocean water temperatures and calmer surface waves also make the Manta season a favorable time to visit the Galapagos Islands for diving opportunities. At this time of year, divers can enjoy the depths without the use of a diving suit. Going au natural is a special feature that can’t be experienced in many places. The Galapagos’ close proximity to the Equator makes this possible only at the warmest times of year.