The Galapagos Islands - Frequently Asked Questions


Your live-aboard dive cruise on board M/V Galapagos Sky will take you to the very best dive sites in the Galapagos islands, and the diving is simply world class. Some FAQ’s:

Q. What is the “best time” to visit and dive the Galapagos Islands?

A. Our most popular question! The M/V Galapagos Sky offers live-aboard cruising all twelve months of the year – since 2001 – and visits the unbelievable islands of Wolf and Darwin on every trip. There are two “seasons” for Galapagos diving – WHALE SHARK SEASON (from June to November) and MANTA SEASON (December through May). Many of our guests are repeat visitors as BOTH seasons provide equally exciting encounters…  The diving in the Galapagos Islands is simply phenomenal.

Darwin Island, Galapagos Islands

The Arch at Darwin Island

Q. Do you visit Wolf and Darwin Islands?

A. Our second most popular question and, emphatically, “Yes – on every trip”. The Galapagos Sky visits what divers consistently consider to be the most “High Octane” dive sites in the Galapagos Archipelago if not the world (weather permitting). Galapagos Sky schedules up to four dives a day (and a night dive) out at the remote islands of Wolf and Darwin for the pleasure of the divers.  See our detailed itinerary for more info.

Q. Where are the Galapagos Islands?

A. The 15 main islands (and numerous smaller ones) which make up the Galapagos archipelago lie 605 miles west of mainland Ecuador, the islands’ home country. These islands straddle the Equator with Wolf and Darwin islands at the northern most tip. (map)

Galapagos Tortoise

The Galapagos Tortoise may live 125 years.

Q. Will we visit any of the islands for topside tours?

A. Yes. A trip to the Galapagos Islands would not be complete without seeing some of the unbelievable flora and fauna of this fabled archipelago. You cannot go ashore on Wolf and Darwin (they are uninhabited and have sheer cliffs rising right out of the sea) but we do feature 3 guided land tours on other islands (see our itinerary for details)

Q. How long has the Galapagos Sky been in operation?

A. The M/V Galapagos Sky luxury live-aboard was launched in June of 2001 by it’s current owner, Santiago Dunn. It has been in continuous diving operation in the Galapagos Islands for the last decade. The vessel receives frequent upgrades and routine maintenance to stay in peak operating condition.

Q. What is DivEncounters, Inc.?

A. DivEncounters, Inc. is the worldwide representative for the M/V Galapagos Sky located in Miami, FL, USA. It was formed  by Peter A. Hughes and Santiago Dunn, the owner of Galapagos Sky. Santiago is also the President of Ecoventura, a well respected Galapagos travel company since 1990.

Avianca Airlines

Avianca provides flights to the Galapagos Islands

Q. How long does it take to fly to the Galapagos Islands?

A. Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador is a 4 hour, 10 minutes flight. Flights to the Galapagos Islands from Guayaquil via Avianca (formerly Aerogal) are 1 hour and 40 minutes. International flight schedules do not allow most passengers to make the connection in one day – so most of our guests overnight in either Guayaquil or Quito, Ecuador on both ends of the trip. We are happy to make hotel arrangements for you.

Q. Are additional land tours available on mainland Ecuador?

A. Yes. For guests traveling through the capital city of Guayaquil, we recommend a one night stay at both ends of your live-aboard cruise. If you wish to stay in Ecuador for several days (or longer) we recommend that you stay (on one end of the trip) in the highlands city of Quito, Ecuador. It’s an amazing place filled with continuous vistas of the Andes mountains, a proud and friendly indigenous culture, world famous for its crafts, and has multiple opportunities for rain forest tours.

Giant Manta Rays

Manta Season

Q. What are the highlights of MANTA SEASON (December through May)?

A. Manta Season is the “warm season” in the Galapagos Islands. Air temps go up a few degrees from Whale Shark Season, but shifting oceanic currents bring warmer water to the Galapagos, particularly to the northernmost Wolf and Darwin Islands. Expect anything from 70 to 82 degree water during this season. The Hammerhead action is fantastic (as it is all year) but during the warm season we see a tremendous increase in manta and ray activity. It’s possible to see giant mantas, large (200 plus) schools of mobula rays, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, cow-nosed rays, and marble rays. In general, seas are calmer topside in the Manta Season (less wind) but the underwater currents (responsible in a large part for the diversity and abundance of Galapagos marine life) will be present! Expect a brief rain shower in the central islands – but typically Wolf and Darwin are dry and warm. (more info)

Galapagos Whale Shark Season

Whale Shark Season

Q. What are the highlights of WHALE SHARK SEASON (Mid May through November)

As the name suggests – Whale Sharks! Up to 35 feet in length, these giant fish (the largest in the sea) may be seen at any time of the year in Galapagos – but with startling regularity during these 7 months. Water temperature is 60 – 75 F, 15 -24 C, so we do advise 5 – 7mm wetsuits. During these months, the prevailing trade winds blow at 10 – 15 mph at different times during the day. Multiple whale shark encounters on multiple days are not uncommon. (more info)