Diving with Darwin: The Galapagos Islands


Charles Darwin was an old man by the time the concept of diving became a hot issue for explorers of the world, and even then, it was nothing compared to the simple access to technology that we have today. While he didn’t have the tools given to even a casual explorer today, Darwin did incredible things and paved the way for us to have a look at the magnificent creatures he was the first to document.

With more native flora and fauna than almost anywhere else in the parched, rocky islands of the Galapagos, it’s no wonder that for over a century more and more people have been interested in traveling there for both research and holiday. Not quite the remote unknown that was once occupied by very few, now the Galapagos Islands host cruises, land tours, hiking expeditions, bike tours, scuba outings, and even horseback riding. Small restaurants and places to sleep comfortably are around, if minimal, but even the thought of electricity would be a stretch for the man who made the area known to the world. After all, not even England had public electricity during his timeline.

But now, even average folks like us have boats, diving tanks, and simple things like stereo systems for listening to music. Needless to say, our Galapagos experience is quite different from his. Let’s see where Deepblu Users go.

For Beginners

A shark encounter awaits. Photo: Galapagos Planet Ocean

For those who are less experienced, but looking to get an authentic and adventurous look at the marine life of the Galapagos Islands, Galapagos Planet Ocean offers a great discovery dive that will take you right into the action and let you see worlds you’ve never before explored. This calm dive is perfect for families, as children ten or older can join.

Kicker Rock

A sea lion swims by Kicker Rock. Photo: Deepblu user Ran Mariuma

Kicker Rock is a more advanced dive, but for those fit for the test, the views of the reef and descending the wall are definitely worth the trip. This site is also good for snorkeling, but watch out for bull sea lions, which can be quite aggressive. Once under the surface, get ready for some big encounters. This area is home to whitetip sharks, rays, pelagic fish, reef fish, and sea turtles, in addition to a lot of other passers-by.

Cabo Douglas

Diving in Cabo Douglas. Photo by Deepblu user 朱老师

Cabo Douglas has a bright, brilliant reef with great visibility and a wide variety of experiences to be had. While small rays and sharks are all over the place, this is a great spot to go diving with penguins. The Galapagos Penguins, as the name suggests, are only found here in the Galapagos Islands, and Cabo Douglas is one of their favorite hideouts. Come for the fascination, leave with the bragging rights.

Darwin Island

A sea turtle swims near Darwin Island. Photo: Deepblu user KENYANG

Named for the man himself, who dedicated so much to the study and preservation of the island, Darwin Island is home to Galapagos sharks, hawksbill turtles, eagle rays, jacks, snappers, groupers, and a wide array of other life. No matter where you hop in on this small patch of land, you’re bound to weave through magnificent life. At the right time of year, you might even find yourself swimming with orcas. No matter what you may find, make sure to keep in mind the keen curiosity of the man who opened our eyes to this special region.

  • Todd Allen Williams, Senior Editor

For more on the Galapagos Islands, check out Planet Deepblu.