Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
November 9-16, 2019
7-night Island-Based Dive Safari
Trips to the Galapagos Islands are arguably the most sought after dive experience available anywhere on Earth, and now a personal tour with an expert dive guide is available to you.
The Galápagos are a small group of islands 600 miles off the west coast of Ecuador. This volcanic archipelago is home to one of the most unique marine environments on Earth. Site of the confluence of 4 large ocean currents, the Galápagos features a unique cast of creatures like sea lions, manta rays and over 30 species of sharks. Endemic marine species, found only in the Galápagos, include the marine iguana and the Galápagos penguin; both highlights in a lifetime of diving. On land, points of interest include the giant tortoises, volcano craters, Darwin's finches, and a wildlife watcher's utopia.
Accessible only through Ecuador, this world-renowned national park and marine reserve offers a chance to dive the wild ocean and view nature in it's purest state. The park consists of more than 13 main islands and hundreds of smaller rocks and islets, and the 50,000 square miles surrounding them. Of the 4 inhabited islands, Santa Cruz lies almost directly in the center of the group, and thus provides the best base from which to explore. From Santa Cruz, countless daily safari sites, suitable for all levels of diver, are available including sea lion colonies, hammerhead and Mola mola cleaning stations, spectacular drift dives and the possibility of unexpected visitors like dolphins, orcas, manta rays and whale sharks.
EXPERT GUIDEs - ALEX LICHTBLAU & Galápagos National Park Rangers
Alex lived on Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos for a year and began his diving career there. He learned to dive in 2011 and spent the next year advancing up through Rescue diver and familiarizing himself with Galápagos dive sites and conditions. During that time he also worked for the Charles Darwin Foundation, and developed an intimate knowledge of the ecosystems and species of the famous islands.
During your trip, Alex will serve not only as one of your dive buddies in the water, but as your personal expert liaison to the islands and all of their diving & non-diving attractions. Alex is fluent in Spanish and his relationships guarantee you a genuine local experience like no one else can provide. Dive the best spots with Alex and your designated National Park Ranger divemasters, find the best value in accommodations, eat at local favorites and enjoy the most popular adventures.
Rely on Alex throughout your trip for all of your planning and booking needs, as well as for assistance during your time on Galápagos. Vacation like a local!
As the most central and most developed of the four inhabited Galapagos Islands, Santa Cruz makes for the best home base to make daily dive trips to the surrounding islands. Access sites for all levels of diver, including shallow sea lion nurseries and turtle grazing areas, as well as deeper pinnacles where you may find schooling hammerheads, manta rays and Mola mola cleaning stations.
Located in the heart of Puerto Ayora, Shark Bay Dive Center is family owned and operated. SBDC promotes safe and responsible dive practices while embracing the wild spirit of the Galápagos Islands. Dive from Shark Bay’s comfortable fast-boat, designed especially for Galapagos diving, equipped with the latest safety and communications technology and designated specifically for Inside Under divers. Join four days of two morning dives with the option to add on additional dives.
Enjoy a wide variety of dive sites, suitable for all levels of diver, and all accessible directly from Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz; they include Gordon Rocks, Cousins Rock, Bartolome, Seymour and more. Small, personal groups and professional, passionate guides ensure every diver will experience Galapagos diving as it should be…safe and awe-inspiring, no matter your experience level.
Nutritious locally-sourced snacks, lunch and drinks are included with each day of diving, as well as all rental equipment. Experience the best diving around the central islands of the Galapagos, with plenty of time out of water to explore some of the land-based attractions like Galapagos tortoise preserves, Charles Darwin Research Station tours, volcano hikes, mountain biking, surfing and much more.
Also located in the heart of Puerto Ayora, the capital and port town of Santa Cruz Island, Hotel Ninfa is your personal oasis in the middle of the enchanted islands. Relax in your private room, equipped with all the amenities (A/C, WIFI, hot water, television) and enjoy the hotel’s luxury pool, recreation room, bar and rooftop terrace when you’re not out adventuring. Hotel Ninfa represents the gold standard of Galapagos hospitality. You’ll start each day the right way with a full nutritious breakfast, included in your stay.
Find the dive shop, waterfront park, bars, restaurants and hiking/beach trails right outside your door. Access all of the attractions around Puerto Ayora within minutes. Venture the nature trail to Tortuga Bay, an incredible white sand beach perfect for a beach day or a surf lesson. Hike to the crystal clear water of Las Grietas, a 40’ deep natural swimming hole nuzzled in a crack of the lava field. Ride bicycles from the upper cloud forests down to the shore, explore a tortoise nursery or take a fishing charter. The possibilities are endless!
(based on standard double occupancy, ask about accommodation options)
Galápagos Island/Divemaster Alex Lichtblau
8 dives (4 days) - all rental gear, snacks, lunch included
7-night stay at Hotel Ninfa - breakfast included
Guided tours of Charles Darwin Research Station, Galapagos tortoise nursery, Galapagos National Park headquarters, Tortuga Bay beach, and Las Grietas swimming hole
All associated tax
Galápagos National Park entrance fee $100 (paid upon arrival)
Lunch on non-diving days, dinner, beverages
Dive crew gratuity
Additional dive - $90/tank
Unlimited Nitrox - $50/week
5% charge for PayPal and credit card payments
Dive insurance required / traveler’s insurance highly recommended
Of course there are plenty of things to do and see besides the diving in Galapagos. Join Alex on a tour of the Charles Darwin Research Station, Galapagos National Park headquarters, Galapagos giant tortoise nursery, Tortuga Bay beach and Las Grietas swimming hole. Other options include riding bikes from the highlands to the ocean, surfing, exploring volcanic craters and tunnels, and much more. Ask Alex and Inside Under to help plan the rest of your time on the most famous islands in the world.
Part of our mission at Inside Under is to support the communities that welcome us to explore their natural wonders. That’s why part of the proceeds of every trip go directly to a non-profit organization serving the host community. In the case of the Galapagos, we have chosen to support Ecology Project International Galapagos, an organization serving the youth of Galapagos through environmental education.
For any and all of the meals not included in the package, Alex will be visiting all of his favorite restaurants around Puerto Ayora, and you are welcome to join him or ask for advice if you’re looking for something different.
All the information you will need to get to Galapagos will be provided to make your travel experience as seamless as possible.
BOOKING AND PAYMENT INFORMATION
Have more questions? Ready to get in the water? Signing up or learning more about this trip is easy. Just hit the button above and then let me know your question or how many spots you would like to reserve, and I'll respond within 24 hours. In order to secure your spot, there is an initial non-refundable 50% deposit, and the remainder will be paid in two installments; the first being 50% of the balance, paid by July 31, 2019, and the second and final being the remainder, paid by September 31, 2019. Ask Alex about payment method options.