In the Galapagos there are dive sites for all levels of diving experience--beginners, intermediate and advanced.
- A few vessels offer courses for diving, or this can be arranged through hotel/day tour packages.
- However, in general, the diving in the Galapagos is for intermediate to advanced divers, and the best dives sites are usually the most difficult ones.
- Most dives are drifts along the cliff faces, off-shore rocks and pinnacles; additionally, strong currents, sea swells, surges, upwelling, large animals and difficult entry onto/exit from the dive boats (usually zodiacs) contribute to the reason why divers will feel more comfortable in the Galapagos if they are more experienced.
- Each vessel has its own set of regulations for determining experience level, which usually correspond to the following rough guide:Beginners - Newly certified divers or divers with fewer than 15 to 30 dives.
Intermediate - Between 15 or 30 dives and 99 dives logged with experience in cold water and with drift and wall diving. Advanced - 100 or more dives logged with experience in cold water and with drift and wall diving.
- However, these guidelines are general and a detailed description of dive experience may be required in order to confirm a dive itinerary.
- A diver with 10 dives in cold water and currents may feel more comfortable than a diver with 40 logged dives in warm water and little current. Also, a newly certified diver may feel more comfortable than a diver with 50 logged dives but who has not been diving for several years.
- Some vessels require a minimum of 25 dives before diving in the Galapagos.
- Some vessels allow divers as young as 12 years old.
Guides & Dive Masters.
Due to Galapagos National Park rules, a Naturalist Guide will be in the water with the divers during all dives--just as visitors must be accompanied by a Naturalist Guide on land. Sometimes this Naturalist Guide is also a dive master and sometimes there is a separate dive master who accompanies the group and is responsible for directing and controlling the group.