|Travel Ecuador : Activities : Diving|
Ecuador has fascinating under water life, and scuba diving off the shores of this country is an excellent experience.
Where to scuba dive
Ecuador has a number of interesting dive spots, primarily in, but not limited to the Galapagos Islands. Heading under water here will give you the opportunity to view a large variety of different colored fish, but also larger species, such as the Galapagos shark, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and rays. One such dive spot where you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these creatures is Kicker Rock/Leon Dormido which is close to San Cristobal island. Another dive spot in this area is Isla Lobos. The dive spots in this region can be accessed by booking a trip with operators in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
Other very popular dive sites in the Galapagos Islands, include Devil’s Crown, Champion, Enderby and Academy Bay. There are also important dive sites at North Seymour, Gordon Rocks and Daphne Minor. Diving in the Galapagos can be challenging due to the water conditions, so diving here can be best left to experienced divers. For those who want to see the under water life of the Galapagos, but are not confident divers, snorkeling is a good option.
There are also a number of interesting dive sites located off Ecuador’s Pacific coastline. Some really good dive sites are found near to Puerto Lopez, on the southern coast, in particular around Isla de la Plata and the Machalilla National Park. It is also possible to take PADI diving courses here to learn how to scuba dive.
Scuba diving can be a hazardous pastime if not carried out in the presence of experienced divemasters. To avoid risk where possible, you should take care to ensure that your operator is appropriately qualified to take you diving. Ask specifically about the qualifications of your guides when you pay. Bargains may not be what they appear to be—you need to make sure that safety corners are not being cut, or you could be putting yourself in danger. Remember that you get what you pay for.
When planning a diving trip with a qualified tour operator, make sure that you will be provided with all of the necessary equipment for a safe dive. You may want to insist on checking the quality of the equipment before you head out onto the open water. If in doubt, don’t dive. In addition, you should find out where the closest decompression chamber is, in case of emergency.
Galapagos Islands diving rules
You may read that it is possible to dive from your Galapagos cruise boat, and while some boats will allow you to do this, it is actually illegal unless it is a designated dive boat. Only a few boats are designated as such. If you want to dive in the Galapagos islands, you will need to find one of the cruises that is allowed to provide diving, or you can take day trips from spots such as Puerto Ayora.