Tips and Advice for liveaboard scuba diving holidays to the Galapagos

If you’re not pushed for time then a one day stop over in Guayaquil allows you to lose some of the jet lag before you reach the Galapagos

Take one or two warm tops such as a hoodie or sweatshirt as the evenings and after dives can be a bit breezy

What to wear underwater? Most of our group either had a 7mm or a two piece wetsuit. You could bring a dry suit but the faff of getting in/out of it up to 4 times per day and the threat of tearing a seal means that it probably isn’t worth it. We were there in July and the thick wetsuit option was fine. Several of the group had Bare 7mm Reactive wetsuits and these proved easy to put on and take off and lived up to their reputation as the worlds warmest wetsuit. A hood is useful and gloves are fine but can restrict you taking photos. 

Bring plenty of memory cards for your camera / GoPro. As well us hours of underwater shots you’ll also spend plenty of time looking at the land based animals.

Bring a high factor sun cream and hat – even though the clouds are often present and it is deceptively cool due to the sea breeze the sun is still strong and you can easily burn

Drink plenty of water for the same reasons as above.

Plugs are the US style flat 2 pin plugs

Currency – in Ecuador and Galapagos $US are accepted. Don’t forget you’ll need $20 when you leave Ecuador and $100 when you arrive at the airport in Galapagos

There are some long distances between some of the dive sites so if you get sea sick then bring plenty of prevention. 

If you suffer from gluten intolerance then it is worth bringing some pasta but many of the meals are still suitable so don’t worry if you forget.

Stay well within the recreational limits of your dive computer, the nearest dive chamber can be 24 hours away so a visit would signal the end of the whole boats holiday.

If you like a drink in the evenings then bring some duty free if you need something other than just beer. A few also found a nice Cuban cigar a nice way to celebrate sailing over the equator.

Luggage allowance – We flew with Avianca. On the London to Guayaquil leg you are allowed 2 x 23kg bags. From Ecuador to the Galapagos if you are over 32kg then you are required to pay $33 on each leg. If. You are planning on bringing lots of camera equipment and other toys then this is very reasonable. Some of the guys managed to pack everything They needed in their bags in 23kg – why carry stuff that you don’t need?

If you haven’t booked yet then quite often you need to do so a few years in advance as they get booked up early.

Bring a reef hook

Use Nitrox, particularly at Wolf and Darwins Arch. 

Bring thin gloves to enable you to manoeuvre on the rocks and yet still be able to take photos

If you do several dives on Darwin and Wolf then alternate between stills camera and GoPro, trying to manoeuvre between two cameras, adjust buoyancy and plant your reef hook is a tricky one.

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