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Ecuador and Galapagos Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos is a unique, world-class diving location, yet it remains relatively unknown among diving aficionados. And precisely because this underwater world has yet to be "discovered," it is still private, pristine, and relatively unexplored. Nevertheless, a few tour companies specializing in diving have been operating in the Galapagos for over a decade.

Unlike many other extraordinary dive sites, however, it is not the coral reefs that are the main attraction, but rather the unique mixture of marine animals (one in four species are endemic to the islands), and their fearlessness of intruders into their watery world. In the Galapagos it is possible to dive in the company of sea turtles, manta rays, penguins, sea lions, dolphins, and numerous species of shark, including hammerheads and whale sharks. There are also hundreds of species of tropical reef fish, many of which are particular to this fantastic underwater sanctuary.

The islands feature about 30 dive sites, a combination of which can be accessed on one to two week charters. All charters are pre-approved by the Ecuadorian National Park Service. Two to three dives per day are normally offered, in addition to land excursions. Dive operators offer professional, bilingual naturalist guides who specialize in Galapagos flora and fauna as well as scuba diving (all guides are certified dive masters). They also provide state-of-the art-equipment and dive boats that meet international safety standards.

A wide range of diving opportunities are available. These include introductory courses for beginners, 8 to 15 day dive tours for experienced divers, and dive trips combined with on shore visits led by naturalist guides. The best time of the year for diving is November to April, when the seas are comparatively calm and the water temperature is warm.

*This information was kindly submitted by www.ecuadorexplorer.com where it was originally published in their Scuba Diving in Ecuador and the Galapagos page.

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