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Galapagos Scuba Diving

Santa Cruz diving trips

Most of the tourism action in the Galapagos moves around Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Here we find the main dive shops and outfitters in the archipelago.

Below is a list of scuba trips that use Puerto Ayora as their base camp, with multiple options for local hotels.

Islote Mosquera

This dive site is located between Baltra & North Seymour. The main attractions are a wall, schools of amberjack, rays and pelagics. The depth range of this location is between 6 - 27 mts. (20-90 ft.). The average visibility is between 12-15 mts. (40 - 50 ft). The currents are moderate to Strong and the surge is light to moderate.
North Seymour Channel

This dive site is located between Mosquera islet and North Seymour Island. The main attractions are Eagle rays, sea turtles and white-tipped reef sharks. The depth range of this dive site is between 5-20 mts. (15-65 ft.). The average visibility ranges from 9-21 mts(30-70 ft.). The currents are light to moderate and the surge can be strong in the shallows.

North Seymour

This dive site is located on the East Side of the Island. The main attractions found here are reef sharks, octopus, puffers and several pelagics. The depth of dives ranges from 5 - 27 mts. (15 - 90 ft.) while visibility fluctuates from 9 - 15 mts. (30 - 50 ft.). The currents can be moderate to strong and the surge is usually strong in the shallows.

Daphne Minor

Daphe Minor dive site is found just of the North west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The main attractions here are schools of fish, several invertebrates and an impressive drop-off at the top of a sloping wall. The diving depth ranges from 3 - 37 mts (10- 120 ft.) while visibility is 9 - 18 mts. (30 - 60 ft.). The currents are moderate to strong and surge can be moderate to heavy.

South Plaza Anchorage


Located just off the east coast of Santa Cruz Island, this is an easy dive ideal for begginers. The main attractions are the playfull sea lions from the South Plazas colony. The depth of the dives reaches a max. of 8 mts. (25 ft.) and visibility is from 2- 9 mts. (5 - 30 ft.). There is a slight current and surge is light.

North Plaza (Backside)

This site is also located east off Santa Cruz and offers the oportunity to see pelagics, garden eels, large schools of fish and sea lions. The depth range for dives is surface to 14 mts. (45 ft.) and visibility ranges from 12 - 15 mts. (40 - 50 ft.). Currents are slight and there is not much surge.

Gordon Rocks

On the north east side of Santa Cruz Island is one of the best dive sites in the archipelago, it is recommended for advanced divers only. The main attractions are sea lions, marine turtles, hammerhead sharks, rays, schools of king angelfish, a crater and several walls. Depth range for this dive is between 60 - 40+ mts. (20 - 130+ft.), visibility ranges 6 - 18 mts. (20 - 60 ft.). The currents can be unpredictable and strong specially in the shallows as well as the surge.

Punta Estrada

Just minutes from Puerto Ayora on the west side of Academy bay on Santa Cruz Island is this interesting dive site, the main attractions are the marine iguanas feeding on the green algae, diving pelicans and white-tipped reef sharks. This is a low depth dive ranging from the surface to 11 mts. (35 ft.) and visibility ranges 5 - 12 mts (15-40 ft.). Current is slight to moderate and the surf can be moderate to heavy.

Caamaño Islet


Also located on the west side of Academy bay on Santa Cruz Island, a great place to share time with the playful sea lions, you may also see marble rays and red-lipped batfish. Depth is at a max. of 15 mts. (50 ft.) and visibility ranges 6 - 15 mts. (20 - 50 ft.). There is a moderate SE current yet it is persistent and the surge is moderate.

Pinzon


This dive site is located off the west coast of Santa Cruz and the main attractions are seahorses, batfish and schools of fish. The depth of dives is 40+mts. (130+ ft.) and visibility ranges from 9 - 18 mts. (30 - 60 ft.). The currents are moderate to strong and the surge can be moderate in the shallows. 

Nameless Island (Isla sin nombre)

Also off the west coast of Santa Cruz is this fun site where it is possible to practice a drift dive along steep drop offs. It is a great place to find several sharks - silver tip, black tip and Galapagos sharks are frequent. Diving depth to 40+ mts. (130+ ft.) with a visibility ranging 12 - 15 mts. (40 - 50 ft.). There is a strong current comming from the SE and the surge is heavy in the shallows.

Guy Fawkes

Off the northwest coast of Santa Cruz, this is a wall dive with the opportunity to see corals, sponges and schools of fish. The depth range is to 24 mts. (80 ft.) and visibility is 15 - 20 mts. (50 - 70 ft.). There is a slight current and the surge is light.

Santa Fe


The Islands main dive site is located on the NE corner of Santa Fe Island, the main attractions are white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, marine turtles. There is also 2 more sites called La Punta (The point) and La Cueva (The Cave),  where you find several schools of fish, stone scorpionfish, marbel & sting rays and garden eels. The depth ranges 9 - 12 mts. (30 - 50 ft.) while visibility is 9 - 12 mts. (30 - 40 ft.). Currents are slight to moderate and surge depends on swells.

Rabida


The dive site is located on the north east corner off Rabida Island, the main attractions are sea lions, Galapagos penguins, black coral and white-tipped reef sharks. The diving depth ranges 9 - 18 mts. (30 - 60 ft.) and visibility is 12 - 15 mts. (40 - 50 ft.). The current usually comes in from the SE and varies. The surge can be light to moderate.

James Bay

Just off the north west coast of Santiago Island, the main attractions are sharks, puffers, scorpionfish and seahorses. Depth ranges 8 - 18 mts. (25 - 60ft.) and visibility 9 - 15 mts. (30 - 50 ft.). There is no current and no surge making it an easy yet interesting dive.

Albany Islet

Located off the NW point of Santiago Island this dive site gives the option to share time with playfull sea lions and if you take the current you can encounter pelagics, hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, eagle rays and manta rays. Depth of this dive ranges to 30+mts. (100+ft.) and visibility 12 - 21 mts. (40 - 70 ft.). There are currents comming both from the north and south and can be moderate to strong. The surge is light to moderate.

Beagle Rocks

Located just south off the coast of Santiago this site offers divers the opportunity to see schools of fish, rays, moray eels, sea turtles and coral. The dive depth ranges from 3 - 37 mts. (10 - 120 ft.) and the visibility 9 - 18 mts. (30 - 60 ft.). The currents are light to moderate and the surge is variable and can be strong.

Cousins Rock

This dive site is north of Bartolome just of the north east coast of Santiago Island. The main attractions are seahorses, frogfish, hawkfish, nudibranchs and pelagics. The dive depth range is 3 - 27 mts. (10 - 90 ft.) and the visibility ranges 9- 18 mts. (30 - 60 ft.). The current comes in from the SE and is moderate, the surge is moderate in the shallows.

The Platform

This dive site is located east of Santiago and just south of Cousins rock, is is an easy dive excellent for begginers yet seldom visited. The main attractions are a large shelf and a drop-off with opportunities to see pelagics, black coral, moray eels, slipper lobsters and small invertebrates. The depth range for this dive is 3 - 30 mts. (10 - 100 ft.) and the visibility 15 . 21 mts (50 - 70 ft.). The current is moderate and there usually is no surge.

Enderby

This site is located off the NE coast of Floreana Island. The main attractions include a variety of pelagics including scalloped hammerheads, schooling fish and a wall dive. The diving depth ranges 6 - 40 mts. (20 - 130 ft.) and visibility from 9 - 24 mts. (30 - 80 ft.). There is a moderate to heavy current and the surge can be variable in the shallows.

Champion

Just SW of Enderby off the NE coast of Floreana. The main attractions include a wall/drift dive, green sea turtles, playfull sea lions, black coral, barracuda and pelagics. The depth for this dive ranges 6-40 mts. (20-130 ft.) and visibility from 9-24 mts. (30-80 ft.). The current is moderate to heavy from the SE side and the surge is moderate.

Devil`s Crown


Off the NE coast of Floreana offers opportunities to encounter rays, schooling fish and octopus. The depth range varies from 6-24 mts. (20-80 ft.) and inside the crater 3 mts. (10 ft.); the visibility varies between 10-18 mts.  (30-60 ft.). The current is moderate yet there are times it can be heavy and the surge is moderate.

Santa Cruz dive shops and operators

Below we list the contact information of the main dive shops and tour operators offering land/hotel based dive trips using Santa Cruz as the main base. You can book your diving tours through the below companies:

Galapagos Sub Aqua C. Ltda -  Email: sub_aqua@ga.pro.ec , sub_aqua@accessinter.net

Nautidiving - Email: info@nautidiving.com

Scuba Iguana - Email: info@scubaiguana.com

Herpartour Cia. Ltda. - Website: www.scubadivingsafari.com

Galapagos Cruise - Website: Galapagos Scuba diving

Add your own comments about Galapagos (Santa Cruz) dive operators

If you have travelled to the Galapagos Islands and used any of the above hotel/land based Diving outfitters in Santa Cruz Island or other Galapagos dive operators we invite you to review the operator and give your rating.

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Main Offices Address: Av. Rumiñahui 221 y 1ra Transversal, San Rafael                                                                                          Quito - Ecuador