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Diving In Puerto Ayora - Diving Puerto Ayora - Ecuador

Puerto Ayora is by far the best of the three towns for divers. There are several dive shops to choose from, all of which go to the same sites. Perhaps because of its central location, the variety of sites is very good: you could stay a week in Puerto Ayora and not dive the same site twice.

Dive sites near Puerto Ayora:

North Seymour: There are five different immersion sites on North Seymour, a small island not far from Puerto Ayora, making it good for all levels of diving skill. Currents can be strong. Highlights include a garden eel colony and a chance of sharks including Galapagos Sharks and Hammerheads.

Distance by boat from Puerto Ayora: 1 ½ hours.

Floreana Island: There are nine sites off of Floreana, which is good because if the water is rough at one site, the divemasters will usually just go to another one. There are sea lions at some of the sites and it’s possible to watch them frolic underwater. It’s also one of the only places in the Islands with significant coral formations.

Distance from Puerto Ayora: 1:45

Bartolomé Island/Cousins Rock:

Bartolomé Island is usually combined with nearby Cousins Rock when organizing dives. Both dives are wall dives, best for intermediate to advanced divers. Highlights include the chance to see frogfish, sea horses and sharks.

Distance from Puerto Ayora: 2:00

Academy Bay

Often overlooked, Academy Bay – the wide bay that serves as home for Puerto Ayora – is a superlative dive site in itself. There are five sites scattered around the bay, none of which is more than 20 minutes away from town by boat. It’s good for beginners, and when people are staying for a few days, dive shops like to warm up here before heading to more difficult and remote sites. Good for rays, sea lions and perhaps a Galapagos Shark.

Distance from Puerto Ayora: n/a

Santa Fe Island

The waters off of perennial favorite Santa Fe are calm and clear but still full of marine life, making it a must-do for divers of all levels. There are four different sites here, and your divemaster will pick the one most likely to have lots of marine life. Look for rays, eels, turtles and sharks.

Distance from Puerto Ayora: 1:00

Gordon Rocks

Another must-do, Gordon Rocks is a submerged tuff cone that consistently draws rave reviews from diving magazines and websites. Two of the four dive sites there are good for beginners, but the other two can be very challenging. It’s a wall dive, and the wall goes very deep. Schools of Hammerhead Sharks are frequently seen, but other large marine life like rays and other shark species are common. Gordon Rocks is sometimes done in conjunction with North Seymour or Mosquera.

Distance from Puerto Ayora: 1:00


A good site for beginners, Mosquera Islet is home to a huge Garden Eel colony. The dove follows the reef which connects Mosquera to Baltra Island. There are other types of eel there, too, as well as sea turtles, a variety of rays including Manta Rays and a chance to see sharks. The currents can get strong sometimes.

Distance from Puerto Ayora: 1:30


There are three dive sites spread out in this smallest of islands including Daphne Major, Daphne Minor and El Bajo. One of the sites is perfect for mixed groups, as beginners will find it possible to do and experts will find lots of marine life to see. Dive shops often take “Discovery Divers” (uncertified divers doing one or two dives only under the close supervision of a divemaster) to Daphne. The other sites can get a little rough, so beginning level divers should consult with the divemaster to make sure they’re going to the right one!

Distance from Puerto Ayora: 1:00


Galápagos Island Visitor Sites, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador


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22 Sep 2010

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