Dive and Explore the Galápagos on a Budget!

Why we love it

Finally! There’s a way to explore and dive the Galapagos without breaking the bank! You’ll be based in Puerto Ayora and have opportunities to mingle with other travelers against the backdrop of the Galapagos’ most populous city of 12,000 inhabitants. With just two dives per day, you’ll have time to discover iconic landscapes and wildlife in the footsteps of Charles Darwin himself. This trip comes in two options: 7 nights stay on Santa Cruz island, or spend 13 nights on three different islands.

Conservation

The dive shop we work with has developed programs with the Charles Darwin Research Station to reward hardworking local volunteers with Open Water courses and marine education. They run their operation with minimal environmental impact (eliminating plastic use and using advanced toilet treatment) as well as participate in costal and marine cleanups several times per year.

Who is it for?

Perfect for a mix of divers and non-divers because there are plenty of things to see and do above-water while the divers are busy making bubbles.

Prices and Dates

Program

  • On the 7 nights trip, your base will be Santa Cruz Island for the whole trip and you’ll do up to 12 dives

  • On the 13 nights trip, you’ll stay on three different islands: Santa Cruz (9 nights), Isabela (2 nights) and San Cristobal (2 nights). You’ll do up to 16 dives

  • Non-divers will have specific land tours every day while the divers are diving. Examples of on-land tours are:

    • Bartolome Bay
    • Sullivan Bay
    • North Seymour
    • Bacchas Beach
    • Plazas
    • Punta Carrion
    • Isabela
    • Tintoreras
    • Floreana
    • snorkel tours at Santa Fe, Hidden Beach, Pinzon and La Fe
  • Daily program for scuba-divers:

DAY 1: Sunday

  • Transfer to your hotel from Seymour Airport, and Highland Tour Visit of El Chato, Lava tunnels and Los Gemelos

DAY 2: Monday

  • Two dives at Floreana in the morning, including a check-dive

  • Free time to visit Tortuga Bay

DAY 3: Tuesday

  • Two dives at Santa Fe in the morning

  • Free time to visit Charles Darwin Station

DAY 4: Wednesday

  • Two dives at North Seymour canal & Mosquera South
  • Free time to relax

DAY 5: Thursday

  • Two dives at Gordon Rocks
  • Free time to relax, or visit Las Grietas

DAY 6: Friday

  • Two dives at Beagle & Daphne
  • Free time to relax

DAY 7: Saturday

  • Two dives at North Seymour Point & Mosquera North, or Day Tour to North Seymour, Bartolome, Plazas or Santa Fe

DAY 8: Sunday

  • Transfer to Seymour Airport and back home!

OR:

  • Continue your trip by taking the ferry to Isabela Island

  • Tour of Las Tintoreras (with an option of kayaking)

DAY 9: Monday

  • Volcano tour of the Sierra Negra with free time to visit Flamingo Lagoon

DAY 10: Tuesday

  • Ferry at 6am to Santa Cruz, and Ferry at 2pm to San Cristobal

  • These can be substituted with a 45-minute flight on a small plane with additional cost

DAY 11: Wednesday

  • Two dives and free time to visit La Loberia

DAY 12: Thursday

  • Two dives in the morning

  • In the afternoon, take the 3pm ferry to Santa Cruz

DAY 13: Friday

  • Free day. It’s possible to schedule another tour with additional cost

DAY 14: Saturday

  • Transfer to Seymour airport

What’s included?

  • 7 or 13 nights in a ‘Tourist’ Category hotel on a shared basis, with breakfast
  • up to 12 dives in the 7-night program, or 16 dives in the 13-night program
  • Days when you dive will start at 7am and return at 3pm. They include:
    • 2 dives with expert dive-guides
    • diving equipment
    • snacks, lunch, water
    • photos and videos of the dives
    • towels
  • all tours specified in itinerary
  • return airport transfers from Seymour Airport

What’s not included?

  • Additional fees, payable locally: US$100 Galapagos National Park Tax, payable on arrival at the airport, and a US$20 Tourist Control Card
  • Drinks and meals not specified above
  • Nitrox fills (USD$16 per tank)
  • Tips (tipping encouraged!)

Dive briefing!

Marine life

  • Galapagos Marine Reserve, established in 1998, is the second-largest marine preserve in the world
  • The Marine Reserve has been added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001 (an expansion from the Galapagos National Park which was recognized in 1978)
  • Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galapagos are a “melting pot” of marine species: the extraordinary diversity of marine life is unmatched anywhere else in the world
  • Nearly 20% of marine life in Galapagos is endemic, found nowhere else on earth, such as the world’s only marine iguana and the most northern-living penguin
  • Due to the island topography, pelagic species such as tuna, manta ray, and hammerhead shark can be seen extremely close to the shoreline
  • The diversity of underwater terrain is exceptional and cannot be found anywhere else in the world

Dive conditions

  • Season: December through May is the warm season; expect daily rain showers and cloudier skies, but enjoy spotting more manta rays than usual. June to November is when the Humboldt current comes up from the south, bringing with it plankton and making this the best time for to sight whale sharks. Expect cooler temperatures with occasional showers.
  • Currents: can be strong
  • Visibility: 10 to 20 meters
  • Water Temperature: 70-80°F (or 21-27°C) between December and May, and 60-75°F (16-24°C) between June and November
  • Depth: both shallow and deep dives

Dive sites

  • Some of the sites you’ll dive on are:

    • Floreana
    • Santa Fe
    • North Seymour canal
    • North Seymour Point
    • Mosquera North
    • Mosquera South
    • Gordon Rocks
    • Beagle
    • Daphne
  • Some of the on-land excursions are:

    • The Highland
    • Los Gemelos
    • Tortoise Reserve
    • Lava Tunnels
    • Tortuga Bay
    • Charles Darwin Station
    • Las Grietas
  • NOTE: Darwin’s Arch and Wolf Island are two incredibly famous dive sites, but are only accessible by liveaboard because they’re so far away. See our liveaboard trip to the Galapagos

(7 nights starting from USD$6795)

The Team

  • Operation created in 2006
  • Dive guides speak English and Spanish
  • Courses from Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Divemaster with additional cost
  • Maximum divers per guide: 6

Safety information

  • Equipment needed: a 7mm long wetsuit, a dive computer, an SMB, dive gloves, a reef hook, and the usual diving equipment
  • Insurance: Both dive insurance and travel insurance are mandatory. We recommend Dive Assure that has plans to cover both - ask us for a quote
  • Hyperbaric Chamber: nearest chamber is at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island

Visa, Flights & more!

Visa

  • You must have a valid passport to enter Ecuador, and a return ticket
  • Most citizens do not require a visa to stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days
  • Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the period you intend to stay
  • Always check the current visa policy that applies for your country

How to get there?

  • You need to first fly to Ecuador, either to Quito, at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), or to Guayaquil (GYE) airport
  • Most international flights will anyway arrive into Quito after the domestic connection to the Galapagos, making an overnight stay a necessity
  • The next day, take a flight to Seymour Airport (GPS), on Baltra Island, your gateway to the town of Puerto Ayora

More…

  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, mosquito repellent and long clothes (dengue is present in the Galapagos), rash-guard, warm sweater, and a light weight rain jacket
  • December to May has an average day time air temperature of 23°C with daily rain showers and cloudy skies
  • June to November is drier, but with cooler temperatures - average of 21°C - with local rain showers generally confined to the highlands of the larger islands. Evening temperatures can drop to just 15°C so bring warm clothes


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