Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Explorer Ventures/Estrella del Mar in
Galapagos Islands

Explorer Ventures/Estrella del Mar, Aug, 2008,

by Jeff Daniels, MI, United States ( 2 reports). Report 4390.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Great diving for large animals. Many small reef fish but hard to focus on them with the large guys around. Nothing like swimming with a whale shark in the open ocean.
Occasional strong currents. Bring good gloves. Buoyancy control important. Water warmer than expected. Excellent divemasters.
Estrella del Mar small for 16 divers. Supposed to be replaced with larger, newer Eco-Explorer on 2009. Make sure to buy travel insurance.
Night dives and shore excursions no longer allowed. But with panga rides, the only thing we didn't see was the penguins.
We dove Wolf and Darwin as well as central islands. Recommended. Make sure to check the permit for your outfitter.
Expensive, especially when all fees are counted. $110 to go to Islands. $100 for large tanks. $150 for Nitrox. $30 for chamber fee. $150 fuel surcharge. Departure fee $40. Then there is the tips. We gave $200 pp for the week. I think most gave about that.
Get your guide to have Aerogal/Tame waive excess baggage fee otherwise you are in for more sizable fees.
Ecuador lovely country. Mountains, lowlands, jungle, Amazon, coast, cities, volcanoes, whitewater all within a few hours. Great birding. Friendly people. Mediocre food. US dollar is official currency. Change is scarce. You can't have enough small ($1, $5) bills.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Great Lakes, Florida, Australia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 73-79°F / 23-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 20-50 Ft/ 6-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Start to surface at 700 psi.
Nitrox depth limits.
60 minutes.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Separate table, rinse tank and storage for cameras.
Was this report helpful to you?
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 159 dive reviews of Galapagos Islands and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest Dive & Adventure Travel
specializes in everything Galapagos. Let us plan your trip so see schooling hammerheads in the birthplace of evolution.

Want to assemble your own collection of Galapagos Islands reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

Undercurrent Home

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2024 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.08 seconds