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The Galapagos archipelago sits astride the equator, 960 kilometres west of the Ecuadorian mainland. Having never been connected to another landmass, these volcanic islands have a unique biological identity.

Sealions, seals, dolphins, and whales are present throughout the archipelago due to a constant supply of nutrient rich water brought up from the depths of the Pacific Ocean by the Humboldt Current. 

Underwater highlights include encounters with manta and eagle rays, whale sharks and walls of hammmerhead sharks, marine iguanas, massive shoals of fish, Galapagos sharks, penguins and fur seals. The timing of your visit may depend on the marine life. Whilst hammerhead sharks are seen throughout the year, the manta season is typically Dec-May with a water temperature of 21-31C and the whale shark season from Jun-Nov with a water temperature of 16-24C.

As you may expect, the islands are home to a wealth of seabirds, and other species that include the unique finches which played such a prominent role in the development of Darwin’s seminal work, The Origin of Species. Among the many other birds you can expect to see include boobies, tropicbirds and frigatebirds.

On land, most of the flora and fauna has its distant origins in the equatorial South American mainland, yet over millions of years – through a process of isolation, evolution and adaptation – species endemic to the islands have formed. In addition, the absence of large predators means that wildlife on the Galapagos shows little or no fear of man, and it is possible to approach birds, mammals and reptiles openly and very closely – a photographers dream!

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: whale shark, Galapagos shark, scalloped hammerhead shark, giant oceanic manta ray, Galapagos penguin, fur seal

Dive trips

This dive location is featured in the following itineraries:

Galapagos Islands Dive Adventure

Discover the Galapagos on this seven night adventure. Based at comfortable lodges on Santa Cruz and Isabela. Diving highlights include rays, sharks and sea lions, before getting up close to giant tortoises on land.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,765 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Galapagos Liveaboard

The Galapagos Islands are a must for all experienced divers. Encounter silky, Galapagos, hammerhead and whale sharks from the comfort of a liveaboard, and come face to face with unique wildlife topside.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,745 pp
  • Trip type: Liveaboard trip
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge

Situated on the island of Santa Cruz, this eco-friendly lodge enjoys a unique position inside a red mangrove forest to offer the best view of Puerto Ayora’s bay. It offers a range of rooms and suites, all with scenic views of the ocean.

Red Mangrove Floreana Lodge

Located in Puerto Velasco Ibarra, on the island of Floreana, Red Mangrove offers fantastic opportunities for diving and snorkelling, and is the perfect location to observe sea lions in their natural environment.

Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge

This lodge sits on a three kilometre white sand beach in Puerto Villamil on the largest island in the Galapagos, Isabela. Enjoy active volcanoes, outstanding dive and snorkelling opportunities and close-up wildlife encounters.

Red Mangrove Santa Cruz Divers Lodge

Located on the peaceful island of Santa Cruz, this charming lodge was lovingly built from lava rock and recycled ceramics, and offers nine en suite rooms, with the choice of internal, garden or balcony view.

Suggested liveaboards are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Galapagos Aggressor III

Explore the magical world of the Galapagos Islands with the Aggressor Fleet onboard their premier liveaboard. Custom designed and built for divers, facilities on board are modern and spacious.

Galapagos Humboldt Explorer

This 30 metre vessel was designed as one of the fastest, most stable and most comfortable liveaboards sailing the Galapagos. Itineraries include Wolf and Darwin Islands, with up to four dives a day.

Galapagos Sky

This luxurious 30 metre liveaboard offers week long itineraries in the Galapagos. Diving highlights include sharks, rays and dolphins around the Wolf and Darwin Islands, as well as several land excursions.

Majestic Explorer

Specifically designed and built to circumnavigate the Galapagos Islands, this vessel features eight spacious cabins and offers exceptional diving experiences with up to 20 dives during the week long itinerary.