Deep Water Diving in the Galapagos

Those who live by the maxim ‘there’s always a bigger fish’ have clearly never experienced deep water diving in the Galapagos. Proudly topping the bucket list of almost every diver, this Ecuadorian archipelago needs little introduction. Aside from schooling hammerheads, tropical penguins and freediving lizards, the Galapagos attracts a large number of whale sharks. But not just any whale sharks, these are huge, hulking, beautifully spotted behemoths, with many of them being pregnant females. After exploring the deep water diving in the Galapagos, you may need to revise that ‘bigger fish’ idiom slightly: there’s usually a bigger fish...

Darwin's Arch

Since its unfortunate collapse due to natural erosion in 2021, some dive operators are now referring to Darwin's Arch as The Pillars of Evolution. While it may have lost some of its topside charm, it's still as spectacular as ever below the waves. Only reachable by liveaboard, Darwin Island and neighbouring Wolf Island are found at the northernmost reaches of the Galapagos Archipelago.

These two islands sit in the path of the warming Panama Current, much to the delight of the whale sharks who prefer temperatures above 22 ºC. While the surface might bring whale sharks, deep water diving brings the possibility of another famous fish. By venturing a little deeper, you can also scan the blue for the one of the most iconic shots in the Galapagos: the unmistakeable silhouettes of schooling hammerheads.

Wolf Island

Alongside Darwin Island, Wolf Island is among the world's best sites for hammerhead shark encounters. Galapagos sharks, pods of curious bottlenose dolphins and playful sea lions are also on hand to help convince you that this is the best deep water diving in the Galapagos. Much like Darwin Island, venturing into the depths provides the greatest opportunity to see hammerheads en masse. As you gradually ascend during the dive, you might even find yourself encountering a lone hammerhead cruising for a snack closer to the rocks.

Gordon Rocks

As humble holiday brags go, diving inside the caldera of a volcano alongside sharks and manta rays is hard to beat, which is exactly Gordon Rocks entails. The site bottoms out at 32 metres and is up there with the best deep water diving in the Galapagos. As you cruise around the circular site, you will be joined by hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef sharks and devil rays. If luck is on your side, you may also spot the bizarre silhouette of a mola mola in the blue.

Strong currents mean this dive can be tricky, but the caldera is surrounded by rocks to latch on to while watching a conveyor belt of big fish cruising past. Inevitably, time will be spent above water. Luckily, Gordon Rocks is located close to Santa Cruz Island, the second-largest island in the Galapagos Archipelago, where you can explore the Galapagos Tortoise Reserve and spot marine iguanas basking on the rocks in between dives.

Our team of dive travel specialists know the Galapagos like the back of their hand and can arrange the best liveaboards in the area. With guaranteed Wolf and Darwin dives on every trip, we can help you put together your dream itinerary to discover the superb deep water diving in the Galapagos as well as the delights of mainland Ecuador.

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Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our 'Deep Water Diving in the Galapagos' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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Call us on 1-800-652-1972