The Scuba Divers guide to

Finding the perfect Liveaboard in the Galapagos Islands

Map of Ecuador

Best time to go

Diving in Galapagos is great all year round. The conditions are calmer in the warm season from December to May with water temperatures of 23-25°C/75-80°F


How divers rate us:

The Galapagos Islands are a large volcanic archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean. Classed as part of Ecuador, it takes around 1.5 hours by plane to reach this stunning collection of islands. Galapagos is considered as one of the best places on earth to see wildlife, both on land as well as under the surface of the ocean. Roughly 1000km off the coast of Ecuador, these islands are pretty remote, with isolated terrain, which protects its endemic species of plants and animals. Charles Darwin visited these incredible islands in 1835, where his observations inspired his theory of evolution.

We'll help you find the perfect Liveaboard trip, that suits your needs:

It's difficult to choose wich liveaboard that will suit your needs and how to find the best price on that boat.

So we've gathered the best boats and made it possible to compare prices across all the different booking platforms. This way, you'll get the best boat for your needs at the best price.

Start by sorting the boats after your budget, and find a liveaboard that fits your budget and your needs:

Sort the liveaboards based on your needs

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Archipel 2 :

Average price is US$ 424 per day

Our recommendations:

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Year built:2017
Max divers16
InternetNo
NitroxNo
Rental equip.No
Camera stationNo
Min. logged divesNo minimum
AirconYes

The cabins are lavish and carry a modern aesthetic function to them. Each cabin is fully equipped with their own air conditioning with en-suite bathrooms and hot water. The cabins offer stunning views of the ocean, reading lights and ample wardrobe space for your belongings.  After a rigorous diving schedule guest can relax on the sun deck while feeling the soft breeze caressing their skin.  The food on-board is excellent and is normally served in a buffet style and if you have certain food restriction you must give prior notice so that it can be attended too.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Reina Silvia :

Average price is US$ 504 per day

Our recommendations:

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Year built:N/A
Max divers12
InternetNo
NitroxNo
Rental equip.No
Camera stationNo
Min. logged divesNo minimum
AirconYes

Customized to carry up to 16 passengers on an adventure of a lifetime in comfort and safety, the Reina Silvia is one of the finest vessels of its size. It offers amazing small ship expeditions, giving each guest a unique possibility to get to the know the Galapagos Islands in one- or two-week cruises. Flora and fauna that can’t be found in other parts of the world, as well as close encounters with some of the wildlife, will be a daily encounter. It has six well-appointed staterooms. A covered lounge and bar with circular seating, cushioned sofa area or an indoor library are always available. Pair all that with experienced naturalist guides’ presentations, and an experience of a lifetime will be immersing.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Beagle :

Average price is US$ 382 per day

Our recommendations:

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Year built:N/A
Max divers12
InternetNo
NitroxNo
Rental equip.No
Camera stationNo
Min. logged divesNo minimum
AirconYes

Being the only vessel with permission to snorkel in Fernandina, Punta Espinoza, the Beagle is all about creating the trip of the lifetime while at the same time preservation of the environment being a top priority. Masks, fins, and snorkels are available onboard, as well as four double kayaks. There are two seven-night expeditions available, offering diverse wildlife encounters and unusual, diverse flora and fauna. Guests are hosted in seven beautifully designed double cabins. A saloon with a small library of Galapagos literature and a selection of games is always available. A blend of Ecuadorian and continental cuisine is served on the deck or in the saloon.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Endemic :

Average price is US$ 847 per day

Our recommendations:

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Year built:2018
Max divers18
InternetYes ($)
NitroxNo
Rental equip.No
Camera stationNo
Min. logged divesNo minimum
AirconYes

Being one of the youngest and most attractive yachts, the Endemic offers 3 to 7 nights itineraries around the Galapagos Islands. While exploring the archipelago, guests are able to snorkel with sea lions, play with penguins and tortoises, or enjoy a gourmet dinner and mesmerizing sunsets. With room for 16 passengers, 8 spacious cabins give luxurious comfort and elegance. Cutting edge interior spaces, many social areas, and panoramic views are just a few jewels this luxury trip can offer. And just to make it perfect, spacious seating areas, sun chairs, jacuzzi, bar, and delicious meals will make the overall trip one to remember.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Sea Star :

Average price is US$ 796 per day

Our recommendations:

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Year built:2011
Max divers16
InternetNo
NitroxNo
Rental equip.No
Camera stationNo
Min. logged divesNo minimum
AirconYes

The Galapagos Sea Star Journey yacht vacations offer avid travelers and nature-lovers the opportunity to have several, incredibly close encounters with the unique and iconic wildlife that makes up the Enchanted Islands. With three itineraries so guests can choose from and get the most out of their time in the Galapagos, no guest will stay indifferent. Sea Star Journey is a modern and contemporary designed yacht ready to host 16 guests at any time. Exciting activities range from snorkeling with sea lions to nature walks and hikes on the best Galapagos sites.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Tip Top 3 :

Average price is US$ 611 per day

Our recommendations:

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Year built:2008
Max divers20
InternetNo
NitroxNo
Rental equip.Yes ($)
Camera stationNo
Min. logged divesNo minimum
AirconYes

Being part of the three-vessel Tip Top fleet, the Tip Top III offers the highest level of security and comfort one yacht can offer. The itineraries start and finish in Baltra with domestic flights from Quito or Guayaquil included. Guests can explore the Galapagos Islands and its amazing diversity in trips that range from 3 to 14 nights. Explore the islands’ volcanic origin, snorkel with penguins, sea lions, and eagle rays or observe iguanas, and blue-footed boobies. With 10 cabins in total, and many facilities onboard, the Tip Top III 8 crew members are ready to give any guest the trip of their lifetime.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Nemo 2 :

Average price is US$ 374 per day

Our recommendations:

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Year built:N/A
Max divers14
InternetNo
NitroxNo
Rental equip.No
Camera stationNo
Min. logged divesNo minimum
AirconNo

What could be more beautiful than taking a cruise around the astonishing Galapagos Islands located on the coastline of Ecuador. The places became popular due to the research conducted by the renowned naturalist Charles Darwin. The first-class multi-hulled Nemo II offers luxurious trips in the archipelago. It gives you an opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled amazing dive cruise holiday along with 5-star services. Nemo and its sister boats are amongst the most prominent liveaboards in the industry that have been sailing for decades. You can book a 8-day cruise to the exotic dive sites with plenty of land excursions included.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the MY Coral 1 and 2 :

Average price is US$ 441 per day

Our recommendations:

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Year built:2016
Max divers24
InternetYes ($)
NitroxNo
Rental equip.No
Camera stationNo
Min. logged divesNo minimum
AirconYes

The sailing sisters Coral I & Coral II are a perfect combo of elegant beauty and lavish style. The construction took place in Germany and Holland. Both the liveaboards have surpassed all the standards that are expected from a high caliber cruise ship. They offer ultimate trips to the Galapagos and the surrounding islands. The charming sisters usually travel together and are suitable for those who seek privacy along with comfort. Coral I & II are the ideal choice for the families who want to charter a vessel for a short trip of 4-5 days. The spacious cabins, large decks and plenty of communal space compliment well with the services offered by the stylish liveaboard.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the EcoGalaxy :

Average price is US$ 548 per day

Our recommendations:

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Year built:2014
Max divers16
InternetNo
NitroxNo
Rental equip.No
Camera stationNo
Min. logged divesNo minimum
AirconYes

Get ready to sail in the exotic islands with the EcoGalaxy catamaran and relish in the first-class cruise with great facilities and breathtaking views of the archipelago. The flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands are not only unique but also astounding. You may get an opportunity to see a variety of sharks, sea horses, marine iguanas, dolphins, fur seals, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies and much more. This stylish multi-hulled vessel is built exclusively to provide an ultimate cruise experience to the most macro diverse site in the world. The top-notch crew of EcoGalaxy is well-trained to meet and handle any situation.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the MC Nemo 3 :

Average price is US$ 448 per day

Our recommendations:

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Year built:1985
Max divers16
InternetNo
NitroxNo
Rental equip.No
Camera stationNo
Min. logged divesNo minimum
AirconYes

The stylish MC Nemo III is a multi-hulled catamaran. The two equally designed parallel hulls make it a stable liveaboard because of the wide beam. The 2 powerful engines of 200 HP allow the yacht to cruise with stability at a speed of 9 knots per hour. The alluring motor yacht offers 8-days luxurious cruises to some of the world’s most beautiful and preserved places. It assures to provide a fun-filled adventurous trip at the fullest, with the top-notch crew, safe and supervised dives, onboard entertainment, comfortable stay and delicious food. What else you need to have a perfect dive cruise vacation?

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The Galapagos consists of 13 major islands and 7 islets just waiting to be explored. It is possible to dive from shore, however, a liveaboard is highly recommended in order to fully immerse yourself in all the Galapagos has to offer. PADI recommends 10 liveaboards at this location.

 

Top Liveaboard Dive Sites

 

Gordon Rocks

Gordon Rocks is one of those dive sites that can easily be classed as one of the best in the world. Known as the ‘washing machine’ to the local dive centers, this is not a dive for the faint-hearted. Located within a volcanic crater, this dive site is awe-inspiring before you have even descended. Home to some of the strongest currents in the area that blow between large pinnacles of rock. Sometimes, your dive guide will tell you to hold on to the rocky bottom if the currents are moving too quickly. However, don’t be put off by the currents, Gordon Rocks is known for having the most magnificent marine life found on the planet. Make sure you keep looking up to the surface, as there is nothing more exciting than seeing huge schools of hammerhead sharks circling above you.

 

Cousin’s Rock

Located off the Coast of Santiago Island is Cousin’s Rock, another incredible dive site for the advanced diver. The dive site consists of terraced steps that lead down to a sandy ocean floor, situated at approximately 40m below the surface. Covered in black corals, keep an eye out for seahorse clinging onto the steps. The marine life at this location is epic, you’ll see wildlife including turtles, white tip reef sharks, and moray eels and manta rays just to mention a few.

 

Kicker Rock

Kicker Rock is another fantastic dive site that should not be missed. This top dive site can be experienced by both divers and snorkelers, so if you’re traveling with a non-diver, this is the perfect location for you. Kicker Rock is located off the coast of San Cristobal and is aptly named as it looks like a shoe coming out of the water. When diving between the rocks you’ll see turtles, wrasse, surgeonfish, Galapagos sharks and even hammerheads. If you’re lucky, then you’ll see marine iguanas hunting for food. It really is an experience like none other.

Information to know about liveaboard diving in the Galapagos Islands

  • The northern islands of Galapagos around Darwin and Wolf Island are known to have the highest density of marine life than anywhere else in the world, with the Galapagos Islands as a whole having over 10 times more marine life than that of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Currents surrounding the islands can be extremely strong so this location is not recommended for newbie divers.
  • Diving around the Galapagos is available all year round.
  • There are two main seasons, the wet and the dry.
  • Wet season takes place between January through to June. At this time of year, the days are usually pretty sunny, however, that is interrupted by brief but forceful rains, which wash over the land.
  • Air temperatures stay around 30C/86F, whereas the water temperature ranges from 20C/68F-25C/77F. Around the months of January through to May, the weather calms and so does the ocean, providing the perfect environment for hammerhead sharks and manta rays.
  • Dry season, also known as ‘Garua’ to the locals, is from July through to December. There is a lot less rain however, at this time of year, the weather cools slightly to 22C/72F.
  • Water temperature ranges from 17C/63F-20/68F.
  • Visibility is a lot lower around the dry season due to high levels of nutrients in the water.
  • The dry season is known as the peak season for both tourists and divers as with its nutrient-rich waters, comes incredible marine life including the migratory whale sharks. If you’re hoping to see these gentle giants make sure to plan your trip around June through to November.
  • It is important to remember that no matter what time of year you plan to dive around the Galapagos, water temperature can vary greatly due to the intense currents.
  • Getting to the Galapagos Islands is fairly straightforward. You need to start by getting from your location to Ecuador and from there, flights go from either Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito or Jose Joaquin De Olmedo in Guayaquil. Flights from these locations fly to Santa Cruz, San Cristobal or Seymour.
  • The local language of the Galapagos Islands is Spanish however due to the popularity of the islands, almost everyone speaks English.
  • The currency used in Galapagos is the USD.

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