When Is the Best Time
In general, Galapagos is a world-class destination at any time of the year. For divers, the best time is from June until November, when also Whale Sharks can be spotted. For snorkelers, warmer ocean temps from January to April may suit better. The sea is calmer, but rain can occurs in the afternoon.
Climate/Weather Galapagos for Diving
Rainy Season - Snorkel Season
December through May is the wet season. While often sunny and warm, you can expect afternoon showers. The sea is calm with a good visibility and the sea temperature is between 21°C and 26°C / 70°F and 79°F. It's the best time for snorkeling.
Dry Season - Diving Season
The Humboldt current brings cold water to the islands from June to November. The sea is nutrient rich which attracts a huge variety of fish, therefore sharks, seabirds like the albatross, and penguins as well. It's mostly cloudy with a higher surf. During August and September, the sea is very rough. The sea temperature varies between 18°C and 24°C / 64°F until 75°CF. From September to November the Galapagos Islands are an outstanding place to enjoy marine-life. You are able to find schools of hammerhead at Darwin & Wolf Island. Hammerhead sharks occur throughout the year at Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock). It is easy to get to Leon Dormido by guided boat tour from San Cristobal.
Check out our detailed Galapagos Guide to experience the islands underwater and also the rich biodiversity on land.
Where and Tips
Galapagos is the most outstanding destination for diving, snorkeling as well as birding, and wildlife watching . It became a Marine Reserve in 1998. The spoken languages are English and Spanish. Communication is very easy on the islands and locals will assist you where ever needed.
There are more than ten excellent dive sites around Santa Cruz. One of the best dive spots is Gordon’s Rock (Link Google Maps) Located northeast of Santa Cruz, northeast of the Plaza Islands. For experienced divers due to strong currents; often called the washing machine. It’s famous for hammerhead, sunfish, and giangt sea turtles sightings; depth 7m-40m.
Another famous spot for hammerhead sharks and mantas is Leon Dormido (Kicker RocK). It takes about an hour to get here by boat from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island (Link Google Maps).
Updated by When to be Where
Reviewed by Leif
We had the luck to see every kind of life in the ocean; whale sharks, manta ray, hammerheads, whitetips & even sunfishes (3 at one dive). More pictures can be found here: Link Galapagos Pictures