Tips for your Galapagos Dive Trip

Temperature & Diving conditions

Galapagos Shark Diving - Two Whals Sharks with Diver

The weather in the Galapagos has water temperatures ranging from 16 - 22˚C / 60-70˚F June through November. Water temperatures are at the higher end of the scale in both Darwin and Wolf. Air temperatures will be around 18˚C / 65˚ F during the dry season June-November, with nearly constant sea breezes. Currents can range from 1 to 5 knots at the sites we visit, and visibility is generally between 10 and 25 meter / 30 and 80 feet. Most divers are comfortable with a 7 mm wetsuit June through November with a hooded vest and gloves. Gloves and hood are strongly recommended. Your dives will be done from the pangas with an easy backward roll into the water. After you dive, your tank will be lifted back into the panga and you will board via its stern ladders. Note that both air and water temperatures vary from year to year and seasonal changes fluctuate. These parameters are for guidance only.

What to bring?

  • Valid internationally recognized dive license equivalent to Advanced Diver (PADI) or an Open Water dive license + a Deep Diver specialty course with more than 50 logged dives
  • All relevant forms completed with the required information (medical, application etc.) - should be provided at least one month prior to sailing date!
  • Dive / travel insurance that covers Hyperbaric and Evacuation treatment
  • Nitrox certificate (for those wishing to dive Nitrox)
  • Your own dive equipmentrental equipment is available (please indicate need on application)
  • Liability Release (to be completed aboard)
Galapagos Shark Diving - Dive equipment

The vessel provides tanks, weights and weight belts for your use. We strongly recommend to bring your own dive equipment.

If you would like to rent the dive equipment in the Galapagos we can organise this for you. Please indicate on your application form what equipment you will require.

Otherwise, the following items are the diver’s responsibility:

• Certification card

• Diving log book

• Mask *

• Snorkel *

• Fins *

• Booties *

• Buoyancy Control Device (required) *

• Regulator w/alternate air source, submersible pressure and depth gauges (required)*

Galapagos Shark Diving - Dive equipment

• Dive computer *

• Wetsuit – 3 mm to 7 mm *

Additional suggested:

• Hooded vest

• Gloves*

• Dive light*

• Repair kit w/ spare parts

• Safety flag (will be provided by the ship)

• DiveAlert air horn for regulator (will be provided by the ship)

* Items Available for rent


Most of our guests bring their own complete set of dive gear. This is the ideal situation, however, due to weight limits or additional travel plans some of our guests choose to rent gear. We strongly recommend that you bring your own mask, gloves, booties, fins, hood or hooded vest and computer. A personal wetsuit is also a good idea if you have space. Diving in Galapagos can be challenging and it is important that you are comfortable.



  • Soft luggage for easy storage
  • Very casual attire/clothing
  • All linens and soaps are supplied
  • Hairdryers are not available on board
  • Note luggage weight restrictions on your flight to Galapagos or Ecuador
Galapagos Shark Diving - Packing tips for dive liveaboard
Galapagos Shark Diving - Packing tips for dive liveaboard

Packing for a live-aboard trip is much easier than packing for a land-based vacation.


The climate doesn’t require much more than shorts, T-shirts and swimsuits though at sea the winds can be cold and jackets are often necessary.

Soft luggage is recommended as it takes up very little space when empty.
Sunscreen, sunglasses, a visor, raincoat, lightweight sweater or jacket, long-sleeved shirt, backpack, tevas/sandals and a hat are recommended.

Please remember that the Galapagos Islands straddle the Equator and the sun can be very strong at times.

In case of rough weather or if you have a tendency towards seasickness, come prepared with motion sickness medications or Transderm patches from your doctor.

All linens (including sheets, comforters, bath towels, hand towels, dive towels) are provided on board.

Arrival / Departure

  • Passport required
  • Transfers within Galapagos are included in your package for same-day arrivals / departure (transfer from and to the airport in Baltra)
  • Tourist Card and Galapagos National Park fee requires cash
  • Note your own flight schedules
Galapagos Shark Diving - Tips for your dive safari Galapagos Islands

Passports with a minimum of 6 months remaining before the expiration date are required for all arriving foreign nationals. If in doubt about visas, contact the Ecuadorian Consulate for specific requirements from your country.


For passengers arriving to Baltra the same day as sailing they must be on a flight that arrives no later than 10:30 (local time) and on the day the trip ends on a flight leaving no earlier than 13:00.


Passengers will be picked up and dropped off at the airport. The vessel takes no responsibility for additional services provided by third parties prior to or after the trip.


In case you arrive earlier you can stay in Puerto Ayora. From the airport 2 shuttles are leaving: one to Baltra port and one to the canal Itabaca/town Puerto Ayora. You will take the shuttle to the canal Itabaca. You will cross the canal with the ferry (only 1 ferry). And from there you have a bus or many taxis taking you to the town of Puerto Ayora. Most passengers arriving on the plane with you will go to Puerto Ayora (90% of the people).


If you have any questions just ask us.

Safety Standards

Galapagos Shark Diving - Divers at surface

 1. All divers must possess an Open Water Scuba Diver certification from an internationally recognized certification organization. Beyond that, divers should also hold either an Advanced Open Water Diver certification or complete a Deep Diver specialty course. Given that most dives in the Galapagos reach depths of 20 to 25 meters, certification for diving up to 30 meters is mandatory.

*On select extended trips, there may be an opportunity to complete your advanced course on board, subject to availability

2. All divers must be experienced divers (we recommend that you have more than 50 logged dives) and have logged at least one dive within the 6 months prior to boarding the vessel. At Darwin and Wolf, be prepared for moderate to strong underwater currents. Upon reaching the deepest point on a dive, we hold onto rocks, making it easier to observe passing hammerheads or await a whale shark, without exerting much physical effort. If we encounter currents that are stronger than usual, we'll likely engage in a drift dive, allowing the current to guide us while we enjoy the stunning underwater scenery.

3. All dives are guided by an instructor/naturalist guide.

4. All divers must carry a dive computer.

5. Decompression and solo diving is not allowed under any conditions. The maximum allowed depth is 30 meters / 100 feet.

6. Diving activities must cease when the consumption of alcohol begins.

7. The vessel will equip all divers with a DiveAlert system, a surface marker buoy, and a Nautilus Personal Locator GPS Beacon to maximize diving safety.

8. Please note that, due to a combination of staff and equipment logistics, insurance requirements and local diving regulations, neither rebreathers nor diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs) may not be used aboard.

9. Please note that flash photography on land is not permitted while taking photos of wildlife. Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the Galapagos National Park Directorate.

Icon Diving Accident Insurance


Due to the nature of this trip and the very remote nature of the destination, all divers are required to have dive accident insurance when diving in the Galapagos, and to note the policy number on their application form.

Buying the appropriate travel and/or dive insurance before your holiday starts will make your vacation less stressful and more enjoyable. 

Icon Trip Insurance

11. Additional: which insurance to consider:

  • Emergency medical costs in a foreign country
  • Diver-specific accident and recompression chamber coverage
  • Medical evacuation coverage
  • Dive and camera gear coverage

12. Minimum age restriction of 10 years!

The minimum certifiable age for divers is 10 for most scuba certification agencies; normally, the agencies restrict 10- and 11-year-olds to a maximum depth of 40 feet. The boat therefore allows children as young as 10 years to participate in our trips, with the following restrictions:

  • All children under the age of 15 must travel and dive with their parent or guardian, unless undergoing active training with an instructor. For this reason, a minimum age of 15 for divers is strongly suggested.
  • This itinerary offers no diving opportunities at depths less than 12 meters / 40 feet; diving opportunities for 10- and 11-year-olds are not available on this itinerary.
  • A parent/legal guardian will be required to sign the liability release on behalf of a child under the age of 18.


Galapagos Shark Diving - Meals dive safari Galapagos Islands

Please list on the application form any dietary needs you have.


Aboard the boat, lunch and evening meals usually consist of salad, potatoes, rice, chicken, beef, pork and fish. Breakfast is the usual fare of eggs, pancakes, toast and fresh fruit. If you have any dietary restrictions or requests, please indicate so on your application form.


Please note that specific brands of soft drinks, dressings and foods are often unavailable in the islands, and that it can be very difficult for us to find low-fat or soy products, fresh fruit, fish, and other items common elsewhere. While we will do our best to accommodate your requests, please be realistic and consider bringing some of your own foods if the lack thereof may constitute a health risk or seriously compromise your enjoyment of your holiday.

Currency & Onboard Charges

Galapagos Shark Diving - Tips for your dive safari Galapagos Islands

US dollars are widely accepted.


The US dollar is the official currency of Ecuador; therefore, it is not necessary to purchase currency before arriving. Most major credit cards are accepted widely when shopping ashore, however, additional fees are charged in Ecuador for the use of credit cards.

Galapagos Shark Diving - Tips for your dive safari Galapagos Islands

Though all meals, most beverages, transportation from and to the airport, and much more has been taken care of with your trip payment, there are additional items which you may charged to your onboard bill. These include retail items (shirts, scuba accessories, etc.), scuba instruction, rentals, nitrox, alcoholic beverages, and crew gratuities.


The bill may be paid at the end of the trip using cash or credit cards (Visa & Mastercard).


At this moment traveler’s checks and personal checks are not accepted on board, and we are unable to advance cash on credit card charges.


ATM machines are available in Quito, Guayaquil, Puerto Ayora and San Cristobal.


Crew gratuities are not included in your package and only can paid in cash.