Learning to scuba-dive in the Galapagos: Points for beginners to consider
If you are thinking about doing your Open Water PADI Course in the Galapagos Islands there are a number of important points you may wish to consider:
Although the Open Water PADI course takes place in a shallow and calm pocket of sea water (much like a swimming pool), you are unlikely to see much in the way of marine life (compared to the main dive sites), which we think rather defeats the purpose of traveling all this way to dive here.
Chilly, choppy, strong currents
Even those who are freshly certified should be aware that the majority of dive sites in the Galapagos are best suited to more experienced divers, owing to the ocean’s chilly temperatures as well as their strong, and sometimes unpredictable, currents, especially in the cooler season of July to December (See When to Visit the Galapagos Islands). The sea can also get quite choppy in the cooler season, and divers should feel comfortable getting kitted up on swaying boats, as well as entering and exiting such waters.
The waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands also have high levels of salinity which can make buoyancy control more challenging.
Our Dive Safaris are typically group experiences, with divers of varying skill levels. While Galapagos Safari Camp guests have a private Divemaster, separation from the group (and Dive Guide) is only allowed in emergencies or for an early ascent.If you’re relatively inexperienced or haven’t dived recently, we strongly advise increasing your dive count at home or completing the PADI ReActivate Scuba Refresher Program before diving in the Galapagos. This preparation not only enhances your diving experience but also ensures the enjoyment of the entire group.
You may also consider adding the PADI Advanced Open Water Course to your Galapagos Dive Safari. It offers supervised diving by a certified PADI Instructor, broadening your diving capabilities.
Alternative Destinations for Open Water
If you are considering an Open Water PADI course, there are plenty of destinations that offer more favourable conditions for beginners, such as the Caribbean, where ocean currents and choppy waters are less of an issue, and water temperatures are warmer. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be more than ready to take your Advanced PADI course in the Galapagos.