10 Day Galapagos Liveaboard
Upper Cabins: $9600
Lower Cabins: $9450
Galapagos National Park Fee $100 when you land at the airport in San Cristobal.
This trip is EPIC. This trip is beyond all your expectations. The Galapagos is the most exciting, challenging, and definitely the most rewarding diving in the world. We'll spend 4 days at Wolf & Darwin where we can see all the big pelagics and then we'll dive with the marine iguanas, sea lions, and penguins. We'll search out the Mola Mola and dive with a parade of eagle rays. We'll pass by an active volcano and we'll set foot on Santa Cruz and the Darwin Research Center. It bears repeating, this trip is EPIC.
Undoubtedly some of the most spectacular pelagic diving on the planet, the Galapagos Islands are one of those rare places where you can dive through hundreds of hammerhead sharks to find a whale shark cruising along. Add silky sharks, sea turtles, giant morays and schooling fish in their thousands into the mix… and that’s just the first dive at Darwin!
This is but a mere taste of why divers consistently proclaim Galapagos to have the healthiest marine life in the Pacific. Situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, nearly 1,400 km due west from the coast of Ecuador, the archipelago’s unique flora and fauna is mainly due to the isolated location. The various racing ocean currents around the islands bring with them nutrients and the world famous marine life.
Above water, this isolated group of volcanic islands has a striking range of landscapes which are home to an unparalleled number of endemic species. Brought to prominence by Charles Darwin in his renowned book ‘On the Origin of Species’ following his 1835 visit on board HMS Beagle, the islands were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
Couple the incredible diving in the Galapagos Islands with a tour of the Capital City of Ecuador, Quito. This sky-high city (elevation 9,350 ft) sits in a pristine valley in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. The city is full of charm and interesting sights to keep you occupied for at least a couple of days. Venture outside the city for volcanos, waterfalls, and hot springs in the mountains around Quito.
Keep in Mind: These itineraries involve some long distance travel and, while we attempt to ensure the number of dives we have scheduled is fulfilled, bad weather can hinder the boat’s ability to reach a specified dive site in good time.
Number of scheduled dives: • 10 nights: up to 27
To allow our guests to explore the Galapagos to its fullest, we organize two island tours as part of the itinerary:
• North Seymour Island where we watch iguanas, blue-footed boobies and other bird and land life.
• Highlands of Santa Cruz – Charles Darwin Station to visit the giant land tortoise
Your Cruise Director will schedule 3 or 4 dives per day except on the days when land tours are offered when there will only be 2 dives scheduled in the morning.
The following is an example of the day-to-day itinerary.
Day 1: Embarkation between 14:00 and 14:30 followed by introductions, boat and safety briefings and lunch. There will usually be a shallow check dive scheduled in the afternoon.
Day 2: • Light Breakfast followed by a briefing & Dive 1 • Full Breakfast, relaxation period, briefing & Dive 2 • Lunch • Afternoon land tour of North Seymour Island • DinnerDays 3-9 (10 nights)
• Light Breakfast followed by a briefing & Dive 1 • Full Breakfast, relaxation period, briefing & Dive 2 • Lunch, relaxation period, briefing & Dive 3 • Snack relaxation period, briefing & Dive 4, where possible • Dinner Day 7 (7 nights) / Day 10 (10 nights): • Light Breakfast followed by a briefing & Dive 1 • Full Breakfast, relaxation period, briefing & Dive 2 • Lunch • Afternoon land tour to Charles Darwin Station and Puerto Ayora Town • Dinner Disembarkation Day: After breakfast and disembarkation no later than 08.30 we will organise a visit to the Interpretation Center in San Cristobal before transfer to the airport, or your hotel.
The following is a description of the dive sites that we may visit during your liveaboard.
San Cristóbal Island After boarding at San Cristóbal, all diving guests on board Galapagos Master will carry out a check out dive. Carried out in a sheltered bay in an excellent shallow spot, at a max depth of 9m (30ft), this will allow you to check your dive gear but also become acquainted with some of the local marine life.
Santa Cruz Island Punta Carrion This boulder strewn reef provides a superb introduction to some of the larger pelagics we expect to see in the Galapagos, including white tip reef sharks but also the occasional hammerhead and Galapagos shark. Sea lions are ever-present and there is the opportunity for some macro critter spotting with sightings of neon nudibranchs. The wall has an average depth of 15m (50ft) and mild- medium current is to be expected.
North Seymour Situated off the northern tip of Baltra Island, this site provides a stunning drift with sightings of white tip reef sharks, turtles, eagle rays and moray eels. Average depth 18m (60ft) medium current is to be expected.
Mosquera Located in between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this white sandy islet is not only home to a sea lion colony, but also supports a myriad of marine life; from manta rays and bonitos to Peruvian grunts and fields of garden eels. Occasionally, schools of hammerhead sharks may be seen here. Average depth 20m (70ft) with a typically mild current expected.
Wolf Island Named after the German geologist, Theodor Wolf, this extinct volcano reaches 253m (780ft) above sea level and lies some 160km (100 miles) northwest of Isabela Island. Land visits are not permitted however bird life, including red-footed boobies and vampire finch, may be spotted from the boat. For our dives here we choose from a selection of reefs and walls, most having typically medium to strong currents where the use of gloves is advised. Schooling pelagics are the main draw with sightings of hammerheads, white tips and Galapagos sharks at each site. During the season (April – November) whale sharks may also be seen here.
Divers should also be on the lookout for red-lipped batfish, barracudas, moray eels and dolphins.
El Durrumbe (the Landslide) - average depth is 20m (70ft).
La Ventana (the Window) – a shallow lagoon leading down to a pinnacle and then out along the reef wall - average depth 15m (50ft).
La Banana - Wall dive with an average depth of 9m (30ft) – can have strong currents.
Punta Shark Bay - Reef dive with an average depth of 20m (70ft), typically good visibility, however care must be taken in the shallow water where waves crash up against the reef.
Anchorage - The reef, with typically very mild current, provides a good spot for a sunset dive, average depth 18m (60ft).
Hat Island - another spot with milder current, this reef provides sightings of numerous colourful fish species, average depth 20m (70ft).
Pinaculos (The Pinnacle) - known for its strong currents and speedy drift along the reef at an average depth of 20m (70ft), the site is excellent for shark spotting and the many cracks & crevices in the wall provide extra interest.
Darwin Island This extinct volcano reaching 165m (490ft) above sea level was named in honour of naturalist Charles Darwin. It is amongst the smallest islands within the Galapagos Archipelago and like Wolf Island, land visits are not permitted.
Perhaps the most famed dive site is “Darwin’s Arch” which provides an amazing drift dive along the wall at an average depth of just 9m. Medium to strong currents are to be expected but bring large numbers of hammerheads, black tips, silky and Galapagos sharks with them. Schools of jacks are a common sight, along with turtles, angelfish and moray eels.
Occasional sightings of tiger sharks, manta rays and bottle nose dolphins make for a thrilling time spent here. Whale sharks may also be seen between April and November.
Fernandina Island Cape Douglas Situated on the northwest point of Fernandina Island, this wall dive, with an average depth of 20m (70ft), offers something truly spectacular and is now famed for the feeding marine iguanas that congregate here along with sea lions, fur seals and speedy penguins!
Isabela Island Punta Vicente Roca Alternatively known as “The Ice Box”, due to its chilling thermoclines, this point off the northwest coast of Isabela Island offers a wall drift dive, along which mola mola can be spotted. The occasional Port Jackson shark may also be seen as well as the endemic Camotillo (White spotted sand bass). Punta Vicente Roca is also a fantastic place to spot Pacific seahorses, frogfish, octopus, nudibranchs, flat worms and a variety of sponges. We stick to a maximum depth of 30m (100ft) with an average of 18m (60ft) while enjoying some milder currents!
Punta Albermale Drifting along this wall on the north of Isabela Island, we stay at an average depth of 25m (85ft) to see manta rays, hammerheads, turtles, schools of barracuda and tuna.
Roca Redonda This underwater volcano, with its bubbling streams of natural gas (fumaroles) plays home to schools hammerheads sharks and barracuda. Other commonly sighted marine life include Galapagos sharks which typically come close to divers during safety stops, as well as manta rays, silky sharks and some beautiful green/blue nudibranchs. With typically strong, changeable currents and some down currents, the diving here is challenging, though with an average depth of 18m (60ft).
Cabo Marshall The craggy volcanic walls are covered with black coral bushes and the sheer variety of marine life is astounding. Sightings of manta, mobula and cownose rays are to be expected during the warm season (November – May). Meanwhile, shark varieties include scalloped hammerhead, Galapagos and white tips. Schools of chevron barracuda and black striped salema are regular visitors along with yellowfin tuna and big eye jacks. And let’s not forget the sea lions and turtles!
Tagos Cove On the west side of Isabela Island, opposite Fernandina Island, this shallow reef is an excellent late afternoon dive, where we have the opportunity to find seahorses, frogfish and long nosed hawk fish.