Galapagos is a diving destination on any avid diver’s bucket list as dive sites clustered around the islands offer great diving experiences and close encounters with schools of pelagic and of course hammerheads on almost every dive. The M/Y Galapagos Sky operates a 7 night itinerary from San Christobal visiting a number of sites on the way to Darwin and Wolf located to the north of the national park.
Isla Lobos- Check out dive
New divers are welcome aboard but your Ultimate Diving team strongly recommends this route to divers who have experienced strong currents in the past and have completed their advanced qualification.
Below is the planned itinerary aboard the M/Y Galapagos Sky as authorised by the national park on patent (permit) issued to the operator. This itinerary is subject to change based on conditions, season & park regulations.
Sunday (Embarkation day):
When you arrive at the airport at San Cristobal on Sunday the crew will meet you, collect your luggage and transfer you to the boat. Then, you will cruise to the area of Los Lobos for your check-out dive. This will be your first underwater introduction to Galapagos sea lions and fur seals! Watch them zoom in and out and dance playfully for you!
Cousins Rocks - up to 2 dives, with possible Panga ride and snorkel
North Seymour land tour
Cousins Rocks - The diving here is an itinerary favorite and is done along a beautiful wall allowing for great viewing opportunities of corals, frog fish, sea horses, scorpion fish and octopus. It is also a great dive for large schools of barracuda and also hammerhead shark sightings. Sea lions will be your companions on the safety stops.
This dive is then followed by a land visit to North Seymour where you can enjoy sightings and encounters with surfing sea lions, marine iguanas, blue footed booby birds as well as many other bird species.
Cuidad de las Mantas (near Cabo Marshall) - 1 dive
Cabo Marshall - 1 dive
Punta Vicente Roca - 1 dive and Panga ride, additional activity if time allows
At Cape (Cabo) Marshall, on the north eastern side of Isabela Island, you will do 2 dives in the morning and encounter rocky volcanic cliffs dropping down to the ocean’s surface and then sloping into the blue. This is your best opportunity to see manta rays and mobula rays, occasional hammerhead sharks, turtles, and white tip sharks. You also see huge schools of the endemic salemas and feeding sea lions. Also keep an eye out for chevron barracuda, snappers, yellow fin tuna, rainbow runners and wahoo.
This day you also visit Punta Vincente Roca for 1 dive. This is the coldest yet rapidly increasing favorite dive with steep, deep vertical wall covered in soft coral, sponges, and endemic black coral. There are regular sightings of mola mola (oceanic sun fish,) sea horses, bullhead sharks, red lipped bat fish, various shrimp and many other marine invertebrates. The after dive panga ride offers great photo opportunities of penguins, flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, sea lions, blue footed & nazca booby birds, magnificent frigates and noddy terns. The diving here is chilly (particularly below the thermocline - but not to be missed!).
By definition, the entire Galapagos Archipelago is geographically remote. But after this day of your liveaboard cruise finds you heading toward the most isolated, northernmost part of the Galapagos Islands - the uninhabited, untouched, twin cathedrals of world class diving - Wolf and Darwin Islands.
Darwin - 4 dives
Wolf - 4 dives plus night dive
Diving Wolf and Darwin
You’ll spend the next two days diving (up to four dives per day plus one night dive) the legendary islands of Wolf & darwin.
Most experienced divers will agree, Wolf and Darwin are amongst THE best diving sites in the world! Whale sharks are common here from mid-May through November. At the Darwin Arch, you will see hammerhead sharks either individually, in small groups or large schools. Bottlenose dolphins are also very common.
Once you see Wolf and Darwin - you’ll immediately understand why there are no shore excursions on this part of the cruise - there is no way up the vertical cliffs!
Considered by many experienced divers as the very best dive site in the world, the Arch at Darwin island (actually several dive sites depending on where you enter, currents, etc) honors its reputation. It is warmer by a few degrees than the central islands. In one single dive you can find schooling hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, large pods of dolphins, thick schools of skipjack and yellow fin tuna, big eye jacks, mobula rays, and silky sharks. From June to November it is not uncommon to encounter whale sharks in numbers of up to 8 different individuals in one single dive.
One of those magical islands with several dive sites to choose from. If you want to see sharks, you are at the right spot. This is a place for schooling hammerhead sharks, large aggregations of Galapagos sharks and occasionally whale sharks. Seeing dolphins, large schools of tuna, spotted eagle rays, barracudas, sea lions and sea turtles is common. The bottom is littered with hundreds of moray eels, many of them free swimming. Being several degrees warmer than the central islands, you can look for many representatives of the Indo-Pacific underwater fauna. On a night dive here you will also enjoy spotting and watching the red lipped bat fish walk along the bottom of the sea!
Roca Redondo - 2 dives
Punta Vicente Roca - 2 dives
Roca Redondo is a well-known site for large schools of hammerheads and swift moving currents. This can be a pelagic wonderland with the currents and nutrient filled waters being a big draw for many encounters with high octane species. In the afternoon you return to Punta Vicente Roca for more Mola Mola and unique critter encounters.
Northeast tip of Isla Pinzon - 1 dive
Isla Pinzon has been described as providing opportunities for encounters with a variety of species of sharks, sea lions, mantas, eagle rays and moray eels. Many species of fishincluding yellow tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, moorish idols, steel pompanos, snappers, grunts, creole fish and barracuda.
This dive is then followed by a transit journey to Puerto Ayora and then a land visit to the Highlands of Santa Cruz to see the Galapagos Tortoises in their natural environment. A visit to the Lava Tube is also included during the time ashore. Land tours continue in Puerto Ayora to the Charles Darwin Research Center.
land tour and day of departure
Arrive San Cristobal-(land excursion) visit the Interpretation Center where an interesting human history of Galapagos is presented, town walk (last chance for shopping). Late morning departure.