The Galapagos Islands are located
approximately 600 miles off the Pacific coast of Ecuador and make up an
archipelago of 13 main islands, 17 islets and 47 reefs. These islands
are the tips of huge submerged volcanoes that emerged off the ocean
floor several million years ago and together comprise an underwater
platform. Due to the
fusion of at least 7 currents including the cold Humboldt current from
Antarctica and the warm El Nino current from Panama, it is not unusual
to see fur seals and penguins swimming alongside reef fish and marine
iguanas - indeed, a quarter of marine life found here exists nowhere
else in the world., making it a unique Dive Site.
famous by Charles Darwin's voyage of the Beagle in 1835 and his
subsequent publication on the Origin of Species in 1859, the islands
remain a living laboratory of evolution, where many rare species can be
seen. In an effort to protect and preserve them, the Galapagos were
declared a National Park in 1959 and subsequently a Marine Reserve in
1985. More recently in 2016 the
Ecuadorian government created a marine sanctuary of 15,000 square miles
around the islands of Wolf and Darwin to conserve the ecosystem and all
the marine life that depend on it, such as the many sharks that
This means that up to 32% of
seas around Galapagos will now be protected from fishing.
The biodiversity of the Galapagos
is spectacular and the main attractions are the likelihood of seeing
large pelagics and hundreds of schooling hammerheads that block out the
sun due to their vast numbers which can be seen all year round.
On a single dive you are likely to see more than one species of
shark including white tips, Galapagos and silky sharks not to mention
the spectacular whale shark. The profusion of marine life includes
mantas, turtles, penguins,
many species of rays, dolphins, morays, marine iguanas and the
ever inquisitive sea lions that swim up to your mask to check you out on
almost every dive.
Macro lovers will also not be disappointed with possible viewings
of blennies, sea horses and the ever curious red-lipped
Diving is good all year round and
can be divided roughly into two seasons:
The warmest months
from December to May
when waters are between 21-26
degrees C and the colder months from June to November when waters
between 17-24 degrees C when the seas can be choppier although this is
when whale sharks tend to appear.
As Galapagos lies on the equator,
air temperatures hover between 20-31 degrees C (68 degrees - 88
degrees F) with a constant slight breeze. The islands are spread out
over a vast area and each island has its own micro climate with sea
temperatures generally being warmest in the north around Wolf and Darwin
and coldest in the west around Isabela.
5-7 mm wetsuit or semi dry suit with hooded vest and gloves is
recommended consisting of layers to cater for changes in temperature.
Diving in Galapagos can be
divided into 3 zones: the central islands
where the waters are warmer and calmer
as the area is protected from the harsher currents by Isabela
Island. The western islands which are open to the Pacific and influenced
more by the equatorial currents and therefore contain very diversified
The northern and most remote islands of Wolf and Darwin which
often have strong currents and surges but can provide some of the most
with many whale sharks and schooling hammerheads.
There are 3 diving options
available depending on your skill and level of experience.
Liveaboard cruises for experienced dive enthusiasts lasting from 7-10
days which is the only way to dive the iconic islands of Wolf and Darwin
where you can see schooling hammerheads, whale sharks (May-November),
manta rays, sea lions and a variety of rays. A minimum of 50-100 dives
is recommended with experience in cold waters. Please see below for
various liveaboards available.
Occasional diving is
offered on some of the naturalist cruise boats at an additional charge.
This may be up to 2-6 dives in one week depending on weather conditions.
Some dives may be instead of shore visits and divers require at
least 20 dives experience. This is more convenient if a diver is with a
non diver and has less experience and does not have time to stay on the
islands for shore based diving, although most naturalist cruises will
offer plenty of snorkelling where you can see almost as much as diving
on the islands although no naturalist cruises go to Wolf and Darwin as
there are no landing sites there only diving sites.
Shore based diving can be provided from 1-7 days
as a package at one of the Dive PADI centres on the islands where
there is a good choice of accommodation catering for everyone's needs.
Shore based diving
can be done on its own or as an addition to your naturalist
There are 3 islands that have PADI centres
and there are various levels of dive sites to choose from
depending on your level of experience, although none of the dives will
cover the islands of Wolf and Darwin due to their remote location and
the distances involved.
For option 1,
the various Galapagos Liveaboards available are:
Sky is a
100 ft motor boat with capacity for 16 passengers in 8 air
conditioned cabins with bath robes and a main saloon with
Ecuadorian and international cuisine is offered including
free beer and wine with evening meals.
There are ample diving platforms with fresh water showers and
hot towels provided after each dive.
On an 7 night cruise you will have 5.5 days diving with up to
4 dives daily including 3 days diving in Wolf and Darwin with a
naturalist dive instructor and dive master on hand.
Nitrox is provided free of charge and additional gear and
camera rental is available on board.
Cruises run all year round from Sunday to Sunday and start
from San Cristobal island. For flight and transfer details see
For further information on the itinerary please click here. Prices start from US$ 5,595 per person
sharing a deluxe cabin and there is a 65% single supplement (if not
wanting to share).
Special offers are subject to availability so please contact
us for the latest deals.
is a luxury
100 ft boat with capacity for 16 passengers in 8 twin cabins
which can also be converted to double bed cabins all with en suite
facilities and hot shower, and picture windows to make the most of
the Pacific ocean views.
There is an ample sunning area with jacuzzi where divers can
relax and hot towels are provided.
Rental gear and nitrox is extra.
The 7 night itinerary runs Monday to Monday from San
Cristobal and includes 4 days diving in Wolf and Darwin.
For further information on the itinerary please click here.
Prices start from US$4995 per person
+ US$150 for fuel surcharge and US$150 for nitrox.
There is a 80% single supplement if not wanting to share.
Please contact us for the latest availabilities and offers.
is a luxury 105 ft. livaboard with capacity for 16 passengers in 8
twin cabins of which 6 can be converted to doubles. All cabins have
air conditioning with en suite facilities and
bathrobes are provided. The lounge is spacious with generous
tv and there are ample shaded and open sun decks with comfortable
There are numerous camera set up stations with various
charging points and 2 outdoor showers conveniently situated on the
lower level. The Galapagos Master offers mainly 7 night cruises and
occasional 10 and 14 night cruises.
The 7 nights ones run from Monday to Monday from San
Cristobal and offer 3 days diving in Wolf and Darwin and offering up
to 20 dives in one week. The 10 and 14 night trips also depart from
San Cristobal although the days of departure vary and up to 30 dives
may be expected with 4 days diving in Wolf and Darwin on the 10
night cruise and up to 40 dives on the 14 night cruise.
For further information on the itinerary please click here.
Prices start from US$5,295 per person and nitrox is US$100
extra for 7 night cruise.
For the latest
availability and special offers,
please contact us for more information.
Galapagos Aggressor III
is a luxury 100 ft.
boat with capacity for 16 passengers with deluxe and master twin
rooms some of which can be converted to doubles.
All cabins have individual
climate control, TV monitors with media players and are
equipped with hair dryers. The sun deck is large and partially
covered with comfortable deck chairs, a jacuzzi and bar service.
The menu is a mixture of local and american cuisine and soft
drinks, beer and wine are complimentary.
The 7 night itineraries start and finish on Thursdays from
Baltra and 3 days are spent in Wolf and Darwin although the
itinerary may vary slightly according to season.
For more information on the itineraries, please click here.
Prices start from
US$5,995 per person and nitrox is US$100 extra.
There are good discounts for group booking and selected
departures, so please contact us for the latest updates.
is a top first class motor boat that will offer diving from July
2018 although the first few departures are already full! The
Majestic is a spacious and comfortable 118 ft. motor boat with
capacity for 16 passengers in 8 air conditioned
twin cabins which can be converted into doubles.
The main deck cabins have extensive picture windows making
the most of the ocean views.
The boat is very tastefully decorated with ample seating
areas both in the lounge and also on the partially covered sun deck
which also boasts a jacuzzi. The dive deck is equipped with
recharging stations, camera tables and rinse tanks. The 7 night
itinerary starts and finishes on Saturdays from Baltra and offers 3
days diving in Wolf and Darwin.
For a sample itinerary please click here. Prices start from US$5,795 and nitrox is US$150 extra and
there is a fuel surcharge of US$150 to pay.
For the latest availability and offers please contact us.
is a first class boat which is 85 ft. long and has capacity for 8
passengers providing a much more intimate experience for individuals
but is also very handy for small group charters. Accommodation is in
4 lower deck air conditioned cabins with 2 lower berths and one
upper berth in each cabin with en suite facilities. There is an open
seating area and sun deck available and the dive platform has ample
benches, camera tables and outside showers. The 7 night itinerary is
from Friday to Friday and starts and finishes in Baltra. It includes
3 days in Wolf and Darwin -
for further details on the itinerary
please click here.
Specials start from US$4,190 per person
not including nitrox which is extra. Please contact us for
our latest availability.
M/Y Danubio Azul
is a tourist class boat which is 71 ft. long and has capacity for
10 passengers. There is 1 double cabin on the upper deck, 1 twin
cabin on the main deck and 3 bunk bed cabins on the lower deck.
All cabins have en suite facilities. Itineraries are 7 nights
from Tuesday to Tuesday from Baltra.
There are 4 days diving in Wolf and Darwin and
information on the itinerary, please click here. Prices start from
US$3,500 per person and nitrox is $120 extra.
Please check with us for the latest offers and
is an 88 ft. tourist class boat with capacity for 16 passengers in
8 double air conditioned cabins. All cabins have bunk beds with en
suite facilities. There are 4 cabins with picture windows on the
upper deck. 1 cabin with a picture window on the main deck and 3
cabins with portholes on the lower deck. Cruises are 7 nights from
Tuesday to Tuesday and start from Baltra and include 3 days diving
at Wolf and Darwin.
For further information on the itinerary please click here.
Prices start from US$4,309 per person for 7 nights and do not
include nitrox which is US$130 extra. Please contact us directly for
any special offers and the latest availability.
The above prices are in US
dollars and are per person based on 2 sharing a cabin. Single supplement
is charged for a guaranteed single cabin if not wanting to share and
this varies from boat to boat.
The above prices are
the boats only and include full board and all dives accompanied by a
dive master. Weights, weight belt and tanks are included although some
boats charge extra for nitrox. Some boats also include free beer and
Local transfers in Galapagos from the airport to the boat are
included. To give you an idea of the cost in £ sterling, please use the
approximate exchange rate
of 1.3 although this may fluctuate at the time of booking
depending on the prevailing exchange rate.
Not included in
International and Galapagos
Add ons in mainland Ecuador
including hotels, tours and transfers|
National Park Entrance fee of
US$100 per person|
Hyberbaric chamber fee of
US$35 per person|
|Ingala tax fee of US$20
Nitrox where not included|
Rental of full gear|
Alcoholic drinks and
beverages where not included|
Tips and additional items of
a personal nature.|
Diving is challenging but very
Due to strong cold currents and surges, for the liveaboards we
recommend at least intermediate or advance open water certification with
50-100 logged dives with preferably some experience in cold waters. All
divers will be
asked to fill out dive forms with their logged diving experience,
a dive waiver form and they will be assessed accordingly. All divers
will be advised to take out appropriate health and dive insurance
Galapagos diving is incredibly
varied and never dull.
In the colder months, apart from numerous whale sharks,
it is possible to also see hump back whales,
pilot whales and melon headed whales and in warmer months
a large variety of rays can be seen
including the marble ray, the cow ray, the eagle ray and the
not to mention the graceful
manta ray slowing gliding by. Add to this,
schools of colourful fish,
darting flightless cormorants, prehistoric marine iguanas,
playful penguins and the occasional mola mola and you have an
of dazzling theatrics.
All liveaboard itineraries also
include a few shore visits and each island is unique with its own
evolved species. Galapagos is famous for its topside wonders and
includes a large number of seabirds such as waved albatross, frigates, 3
types of boobies, petrels and pelicans not to mention
mockingbirds, herons and Darwin finches. The landscape is
dramatic and often lunar in appearance with sweeping fields of
solidified ropey lava and mysterious lava tunnels where marine iguanas
are often found sunning themselves on nearby rocks with brightly
coloured Sally light foot crabs edging slowly by.
You may also encounter giant tortoises, lava lizards and
brightly coloured land iguanas and your trip would not be
complete without a visit to the Charles Darwin Centre or the
Interpretation Centre which gives you an in depth historical background
to the islands and is included in most itineraries.
There are no direct flights to
the Galapagos and to get there you have to go via Ecuador.
Currently there are no direct flights to Ecuador from the UK.
Routes most commonly used are:
London (or regional airport)
to Quito or Guayaquil via Amsterdam with KLM |
London (or regional airport)
to Quito or Guayaquil via Madrid with Iberia|
London to Quito or Guayaquil
via Miami with American Airlines* |
London to Quito or Guayaquil
via Houston with Continental airlines*|
An ESTA form is required to enter
the USA, even if in transit. These are not expensive and can be obtained
online and last for 5 years
We recommend a 2 night stay in
Quito or Guayaquil before the cruise in case your flight or luggage is
delayed and you will have a 1 night stay after your cruise due to flight
If you do not intend to do any land visits in Ecuador then we
would recommend flying in and out of Guayaquil which is at sea level and
less tiring and also more direct for flying to Galapagos as most
flights from Quito
to Galapagos touch down at Guayaquil. Flight time from Quito to
Guayaquil is 40 minutes and from Guayaquil to the Galapagos islands 90
minutes. Ecuadorian time is -5 hours GMT and Galapagos time
is -6 hours GMT.
There are 2 airports on the Galapagos islands
San Cristobal - and the livaboard you have chosen will be waiting
at one of those airports to pick you up. We can book the international
flight for you or are happy for you to book it independently but for the
Galapagos flights we usually liaise
with the boat operator who books them on your behalf. On arrival
in Galapagos you will be met by the boat guide and transferred to the
boat which varies from 10-20 minutes. You can also stay on the islands
after your cruise and there are plenty of activities to choose from -
whether it's hiking, kayaking or simply relaxing on one of the pristine
there are 4 islands to choose from with a variety of small but
charming hotels to stay at. Additionally, if you decide to do some land
tours on mainland Ecuador, it would be advisable to fly to Quito where
most of the tours start from. You can also fly into Quito and fly out of
Guayaquil or vice versa giving you maximum flexibility. Ecuador is a
small country by Latin American standards but boasts some of the most
diverse scenery, flora and fauna and we offer 3-5 day Amazon trips, 4
day Andean steam railway trips,
day trips to nearby cloud forests, thermal springs and indigenous
markets and also why not take half a day to explore colonial Quito, a
UNESCO heritage site full of traditional churches, palaces, cobbled
streets or sample the delicious local cuisine.
We can organise everything for you and even combine Galapagos
with Machu Picchu or Lake Titicaca if you want to include them on the
Nothing is too much as we aim to provide you with a trip of a
lifetime and a truly memorable and unforgettable experience.
No vaccinations are required for
Galapagos but some vaccines and anti malarials are recommended for the
Amazon and some areas of mainland Ecuador. For the latest advice please
UK nationals receive a 90 day
tourist visa automatically on entering Ecuador and all nationals require
at least 6 months validity
from the return date of travel on their passport.
Baggage allowance for
international carriers will vary according to each carrier but for the
Galapagos it is 23 kilos and 10 kilos hand luggage.
Early booking is essential in order to avoid disappointment as
departures get very booked up, especially during the whale shark season
from May to November. We can hold cabins without a deposit giving you
time to think about it and then once you have decided to confirm we will
only take a small deposit with final payment being due 60-90 days prior
to departure (depending on the boat), giving you plenty of time to
think about any additional tours you may want to add on.
A great 10 day adventure in the Galapagos Islands