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Dive Review of Scuba Iguana in
Galapagos Islands/Santa Cruz Island

Scuba Iguana: "A day of diving in Galapagos - well worth the effort", Jan, 2017,

by Daniel Spitzer MD, NY, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 9505 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I spent a week with the wife on an eco-touring live-aboard, and we snorkeled almost every day, but diving was not available off that boat. Wasn't going to travel all the way to the Galapagos and not dive, so with a bit of effort (mine, the Dive Op end was easy!) made it to the main office of Scuba Iguana on Santa Cruz Island for a day boat dive.
For both diving and snorkeling: Lots of beautiful tropicals, many unfamiliar to me. Sharks and various rays in abundance. Sea Lions!! Turtles! Huge crystals of Basalt descending vertically into the ocean depths, signs of the volcanic origin of the islands! Visibility was limited - the fertile upwelling cold waters which are responsible for the profusion of life here do limit vis. Water was chilly - wore a 5 mm while diving and my own 3 mm shorty when snorkeling, and the upwelling of cold water and mixing and currents were readily felt as the cold water mixed with the warm (er) surface water. I usually dive bare and with very little weight, so wearing a 5 mm was a change.
After filling out the paperwork at the shop, I watched with interest as the usual assortment of divers showed up. A few who had never been on a dive or taken any kind of course before. A few relatively new, and some very experienced divers. And then a man wheeled himself into the shop in a wheelchair - a paraplegic man in his ?40s who had never taken any sort of dive or training before. The staff of the shop was awaiting him, and they were absolutely amazing. Fit him with a wetsuit, carried him from the dock onto and off the boat, up and down the boat's ladder into the water, carried him to the small head on the boat, and somehow attended to his every need. He had an amazing experience, was beaming after each dive, and stated emphatically that diving was the high point of his entire months-long trip through South America. And the other divers on the boat were just as thrilled for him!
It's a long day for two dives - for sure. The government assigns dive sites on a rotating basis, to prevent undue adverse pressure on any one site. So it's a significant drive from the office to the boat, a sometimes significant ride in the boat to the dive site assigned for the day, and a long reverse trip. However, the dive staff was first rate and caring, and they deserves accolades for their special efforts. The diving itself is not to be missed; if you can't pull off a dedicated Galapagos live-aboard, by all means try day dives, and by all means do so with the wonderful guys at Scuba Iguana.
Websites Scuba Iguana   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Widely in the northern hemisphere
Closest Airport Baltra, Ecuador (Galapagos) Getting There via Quito or Guayaquil Ecuador

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 72-74°F / 22-23°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stuck together as a loose group - shallower was better anyway. Interesting thermoclines and eddies of warmer and colder water.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 2 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Ellen Marie Smith in MN, US at Apr 12, 2022 23:02 EST  
Thank you for writing about diving from land in the Galapagos. I was wondering if it would be worth doing after getting off the dive boat -- it sounds like you had a great experience!
By report author: Daniel Spitzer MD in NY, US at Apr 13, 2022 06:59 EST  
Yes- if it is permitted? Dont know. See comments about rotation of dive sites.
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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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