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pen ink well goldA note from Dom  ...  Glorious Galapagos 

People often ask me, "What's so special about Galapagos?"    Well, for me, it's the ultimate Wildlife Park on the planet.   Even before you hit the water, your senses are bombarded by the animals on land - the sea lions, the fregate birds, the blue-footed boobies, the iguanas.  Then you dive in and find yourself surrounded by masses of jack fish, playful sea lions, curious dolphins, exquisite rays.               read more ...

It's been nearly 30 years since I first visited the Galapagos - in its still very pristine state.   Many trips later, I am happy to be able to report that even on my latest visit, I found that in spite of the inevitable changes that time brings, these islands are still amongst the 3 or 4 premier diving destinations in the world.

In fact, my most-sensational-ever diving experience took place here when I found myself gazing directly into the curious eye of a giant Whale Shark, a mere arms-length away from me, and I felt her daring me to join her in a descent, delving the deep.   I went as far as a sensible diver could go and left her, with great regret, as she continued to glide ever-deeper into the mystical depths.   Those shared moments were exhilarating beyond words ....

You'll find that each region of the park offers something different, so on your liveaboard, you'll cruise from island to island to sample the magic of remarkably different underwater worlds.

The list of reasons is far too long to enumerate here, but I'm an email away if you're ready to hear more and I will respond to your request with any additional details that you wish.    Cheers, Dom

Galapagos ...... Mantas & Mola-Molas ... Whale Sharks & Hammers Galore

Galapagos Blue Footed Booby on Rock in Sun

Galapagos diving  ... the essentials

  • a staggering, overwhelming number of large predators - the sheer mass of animals is beyond belief
  • a vast variety of shark species - Galapagos sharks, silky & black tips, hammerheads, whale sharks & more
  • manta rays, mobula rays, eagle rays, marbled rays
  • prankish & comical sea lions and sun-loving fur seals
  • lively, engaging dolphins and the endangered & adorable Galapagos penguins
  • gigantic schools of fish - tuna, jack, snapper & barrcuda
  • colorful reef fish, huge eels and some critters, too
  • endemic species such as the red-lipped bat fish & Galapagos horn-sharks
  • blue-footed boobies, red-footed boobies, giant tortoises, brown pelicans, frigate birds & flightless cormorants

Darwin's mystical islands are still one of the most miraculous places on the planet

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Dive into a vortex of currents & creatures

Sitting directly on the equator, these islands happen to be at the vortex of multiple ocean currents which bring varying temperatures and which "swoosh" together waters from varying directions which are densely laced with nutrients - nutrients which support life forms of vastly varying shapes and sizes, from tiny sea horses to the largest fish in the ocean, the magnificent Whale Shark.

There are few divers, in our experience, for whom Galapagos is not amongst their most deeply desired dive destinations ... and Darwin and Wolf Islands are two of the most sought-after experiences of world class diving.

Diving anywhere in the Galapagos National Park is superb .... but the islands of Darwin and Wolf are just simply unsurpassable.

Darwin & Wolf  .... apex diving  ... for experienced divers

The diversity of the pelagics is extreme at these islands, but the immensity of the schools of fish and rays and sharks is certainly what generates that pervading sense of pulsating energy in the water.

And, of course, the island's waters attract whale sharks from July to November when the presence of the Humboldt Current is the strongest.  

It's all so invigorating that it's hard to pull yourself out of the water at the end of a dive.

Let's be clear about the challenges, though.  The currents  ... and the rough water .... the upwellings and thermaclines .. all require real diving skill. 

Galapagos is a destination for advanced divers.  If you're not at that level quite yet ... get out there and dive, dive, dive ... keeping this destination as your goal for the future!   It's well worth striving for ....

Nature can be capricious

Can we also add that the phenomena we're talking about here are what occur under "normal" conditions?    As can happen anywhere in the world, conditions may at times be "unusual" and your experience may be less (or more) than you were anticipating.

We trust that whether you see 1 whale shark or 30 .... whether you meet a group of 5 scalloped hammerheads or 5000 .... you'll count the experience as one of the finest of your life!


Your Galapagos diving adventure  ....  unique on the planet

Galapagos Marine Iguana Underwater Diving the Central Islands ... for less experienced divers & families with young children
You'll begin and end your Galapagos diving cruise in the Central Islands, so this region will initiate you in the wonders of the archipelago .... and will be your final taste before you regretfully say "adieu" ... read more ...

You'll see the underwater volcanic slopes for the first time and will be introduced to high-spirited sea lions and ubiquitous turtles, fur seals and the weird and wonderful marine iguanas of the Galapagos .

The possibility always exists that you may catch sight of mobula rays, marble rays, white-tip sharks, Galapagos sharks, bottle-nosed dolphins, mola-mola & hammerheads.  Certainly there will be barracudas, jacks, yellow-fin tuna, snappers, groupers, salema, sting rays & eagle rays ... along with the always-entertaining Galapagos penguins.   Almost beyond the shadow of a doubt, you'll add to your check-list of creatures seen: Galapagos horn sharks, red lipped batfish & creole fish ...

Plus it's rare to exit the water without having seen scorpion fish, frogfish, seahorses, shrimps, slipper lobsters, king angel fish and pufferfish.

Above water there will be flightless cormorants, blue footed boobies, possibly red-footed boobies, frigate birds, and the magnificent, absolutely prehistoric-looking brown pelicans.

It staggers the imagination.   And, it's just the starter course.   The main course follows - at Darwin & Wolf.

Galapagos Hammerheads Steve RosenbergDiving Darwin & Wolf  ... for experienced divers seeking one of the ultimate thrills
You just have to be there to understand, you have to be surrounded by the swirling schools of fish, you have to feel the rush of hundreds of massive sharks swimming straight at you ... and you have to experience the whoosh of the current whisking you along ... before you can truly comprehend the enchantment ... read more ...

So, let's just take a brief look at what to expect.

In the world of diving, we would venture to say that only 2 other destinations hold the same intensity of "charge" as Darwin and Wolf in the Galapagos – and those would be Cocos & Malpelo Islands, the other two points in this formidable Pacific triangle of diving.

On your first dive at either Darwin or Wolf, roughly a 12-hour journey north of the Central Islands, you'll begin to understand what the fuss is all about.

First and foremost, in terms of impressions, are the gigantic throngs of hammerhead & scalloped hammerhead sharks – hundreds of individuals in each group.  Picture it.  Right there.  In your face.  Sharks and sharks and then more sharks ... with stunningly svelte, powerful bodies and simply inconceivable head structures!

Then you notice the manta rays & eagle rays & sea lions, the Galapagos sharks & whitetip sharks & silky sharks, the frolicking bottlenose dolphins ... sometimes pilot whales, melon-headed whales ... and if you're there from July through November, the frosting on the cake is the presence of the immense, graceful and captivating whale sharks.

Perhaps due to the sheer overwhelming numbers of sharks and rays in the water around you, you might be tempted to place all your concentration on the "big guys" of the oceans, but really, you won't want to miss the other delights on offer.

The extent of coral life, surprising to many divers, attracts an unexpected variety of reef fish which add a terrific splash of color to the endless and profound blue of the ocean experience. You get trumpet fish, hogfish, butter¬fly fish & angelfish, grunts, tangs, surgeonfish, snappers, scorpionfish & pufferfish. You find lobsters, countless turtles and a variety of moray eels ....

Then, of course, there are the ever-present dark, moving clouds of jacks, trevallies and barracuda creating the excitement of perpetual motion in the atmosphere.

When you surface, and while you're on the boat, enjoy the show put on by the bird life – the red-footed boobies & masked boobies, the frigates, the pelicans and the swallow-tailed gulls and keep an eye out for passing whales. Humpbacks, sperm whales and even orcas can be spotted during their migratory passages.

INFO symbol CopyFrequently Asked Questions  ... the practical info you need to know before you go

how to get there   ...   best time to go
weather   ...   water temperatures   ...   diving conditions
immigration & visas   ...   what to bring   ...   insurance   ...   more

Galapagos Know Before You Go

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