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Dive Review of Humboldt Explorer in
Galapagos Islands/Trip to Darwin's Arch

Humboldt Explorer: "Galapagos Islands - Bucket List Trip", Mar, 2018,

by Louie Tonry , TX, US ( 1 report with 2 Helpful votes). Report 10643 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments So, the basic information is that Galapagos diving isnít for everyone. There are strong currents. All the dives are drift dives. The water is brisk, and a 5-mil suit is necessary. Many people wore 7-mil suits. Gloves are a must. This is the only place Iíve every gone where you were instructed that you had to have gloves. The reason is that on many of the dives you needed to hold onto rocks to stay in place.

The wonder of this place is that there are TONS of sharks. The Hammerheads were present on every dive. There were also Silky and Galapagos sharks. There were also many, many fish, eels and nudibranchs. There were sea lions and a huge pod of Bottlenose dolphins. It was very impressive.

The dive operators did a really spectacular job in ensuring safe diving. When we got further out in the archipelago, we were provided with GPS transponders and air horns on our high-pressure hoses. No one got lost! The dives were done from a Zodiac using a back roll into the sea. Only 8 people went in each boat and of course the dive master. When we returned to the Zodiac, the boat operator took cameras, weight belts (pockets) and your BC. Then you could either do a slide over the side or climb the ladder. I always climbed the ladder.

The only comment I would make regarding the entry into the water is that it is important to not hyper-extend your back when entering the water. The idea was we all went in at the same time and would immediately drop to 30 feet to group together. My error was Iíd go over the side and immediately twist around to get into a head-down attitude to begin to descend. This move did end up causing me some back pain. If I had put my arms around my knees and rolled, I wouldnít have had the problem. Lesson learned.

The other amazing thing about this trip was one of our dive masters was also a naturalist. She was incredibly knowledgeable and took us on two island tours: one to see the Blue Footed Boobies and Frigate birds, the other to see the massive Galapagos tortoises. The interesting thing about the birds is since they have NO natural enemies, they have no fear of people. Photography was wonderful.

The only thing that I wasnít too happy about is the food on the boat was good, certainly not bad, but not excellent. Breakfast was pretty much the same each day. There wasnít a great selection for lunch and dinner.

Overall, this was a really great trip.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Great Barrier Reef, the ABC islands, and all over the Caribbean.
Closest Airport San Cristobal Getting There Fly from DFW to Quito Equator then on another flight to San Cristobal

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas surge, currents
Water Temp 65-75°F / 18-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20-40 Ft/ 6-12 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Enforced and needed. Rather strong currents so getting separated wasn't a good idea.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments When I went, the visibility wasn't the greatest for stills. Video photography was much better especially for the sharks. There were a great number of other opportunities for stills though where you could get closer to the objects so the visibility wasn't as critical. Macro work was really good though a bit trick with the current but there was lots to shoot.
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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.

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