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The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands, which you will learn, is one of my favorite places to visit. These islands are an archipelago situated about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. This harsh, unforgiving land has been formed by volcanoes, is constantly moving, and varies greatly. What do I mean by that? Well, each island hosts an array of different species, some found nowhere else in the world. Fernandina is the most recent addition and, on its Southeastern edges lie its oldest island, Espanola. The best way to see these islands, for a diver, is via liveaboard. But these can be too pricey for some and may take more time than you have to spend. Keep in mind, a liveaboard is the only way to make to it Dawin and Wolfe (the two most remote islands with the highest abundance of (underwater) life. Coming from the states via plane we always fly from JFK to Guayaquil (you can also fly in Quito for similar prices first), then from Guayaquil into Santa Cruz. I will spare you all the information about how each island formed, what differences each islands has, etc. You can read a full travel report I wrote here for more information on how I get to these islands and what I do day to day.

One of the most amazing places to stay on Isla Santa Cruz is at the beautiful, bayside, Hotel Solymar. Here the life of the islands comes together with guests and the experience is unreal.

Now, one cannot go to the Galapagos, as a diver, and not visit some amazing dive sites. For all of my Galapagos diving I choose to dive with Albatros Tours, Dive Resort Galapagos. This website is actually now designed and manager by me. I have grown quite close with the owners and wish nothing but success for him and his talented team.

Now to the sites ...

Two of my favorite sites are Isla Floreana and Rocas Gordon. I will start in reverse favoritism order and talk a little bit about Isla Floreana. I love this location for two main reason. The first reason is that the visibility is typically much better than surrounding sites. This is a good location to have a relaxing drift dive with some amazing sea lion play. There is much less of a current at this site and you can always count on the sea lions coming to check you out and give your fins a tug.

Above water the scenery is epic and this is an overall great location to have some lunch and snorkel time between dives.

As you can tell I am a huge fan of sea lions. They are super fun in the water, inquisitive, playful, and overall make any dive amazing. No matter how many times you dive with them when they show up the dive is complete! This location also has octopus, tropical fish, sharks, etc.

Next is my favorite day trip dive of the Galapagos ... Gordon Rocks AKA Rocas Gordon

This site consists of several rock formations out of the water (visible from above) as well as some submerged formations. This location is known for having schools of hammerheads, mola mola, reef sharks, Galapagos sharks, fur seals, sea lions, etc. The currents are coming together at different angles giving it the nickname "the washing machine". There has been days where I have been diving here and we were instructed to drop down immediately and grab hold and wait for the tour to begin. This is a challenging dive with all the rewards. Not recommended for new divers but definitely obtainable depending on the conditions. Down deep you will experience thermocline so a thicker wetsuit is suggested.

I created a short video of these two sites that a friend of mine and I went one last year which gives a good look into what the dives can expect:

The End

#Galapagos #Islands #SCUBA #diving #nature #animals #adventure

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