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Galapagos and Ecuador | Galapagos Aggressors | Sky Dancer | Land Tours | Dive Sites | Prices
 
The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador
 


See the Specials page for details on our Galapagos charter in November

Where the cold Peruvian Current from the south meets the warm north-east Equatorial Current from the north, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, can be found the "Enchanted Isles" of the Galapagos. Stark volcanic scenery and a hot, dry and inhospitable climate have allowed for the development of some of the world's most bizarre and unique creatures; giant and lumbering tortoises that can reach 120 years in age, prehistoric and dinosaur-like marine iguanas that bask in the hot sun and Darwin's famous finches, each having developed independently from a common species according to their habitat. The Galapagos are also home to the most northerly species of penguin, and seals and sea lions can also be found sunning themselves on the black sandy beaches, or frolicking in the cool, clear waters. The iguanas munch away at the algae that grows in profusion on the rocky shore, while garishly coloured Sally Lightfoot crabs cling precariously to rocks as waves wash over their heads, only to scuttle to a new rock as the waters subside.

Beneath these relentless waves the Galapagos are totally unique; because two contrasting ocean currents meet at the islands, it is possible to find a broad range of marine environments in close proximity to one another. Therefore, penguins, seals and sea lions, usually creatures associated with cold or temperate areas, can be found near rich and diverse coral reefs. Nowhere else is it possible to dive with angelfish, moorish idols and butterfly fish one day, search for dozing turtles on rock ledges the next and observe and admire the grace and agility of penguins and seals as they chase schools of silvery bait fish the next.

The waters of the Galapagos are particularly rich in microscopic food, and in consequence support an enormous variety and quantity of fish life. Huge schools of fish such as snapper breed in the waters, and can be seen shimmering in the sunlight as they swoop and swirl when attacked by one of the many marine mammals that feed upon them. Another predator often seen in the Galapagos, especially along one of the deep drop-offs that surround many of the islands, is the hammerhead shark. Although usually seen in solitary, they can sometimes be observed in large schools, appearing out of the gloom, nosing into the current, their strange heads sweeping from side to side. At certain times of the year migrating whales pass the islands; sperm whales and killer whales predominate, but often leaping humpbacks put on a dramatic display for us diminutive humans. A minimum of 7 nights is required to see the Galapagos, but we would recommend 14 nights to appreciate the incredible diversity both on land and in the sea; exploring the islands with their strange rock formations and observing the flora and fauna are vital components of the overall experience.

We now exclusively use the services of the Galapagos Aggressor I & Galapagos Aggressor II, sister ships that offer the finest diving service in the Galapagos Islands. Each vessel is 90ft in length and is arranged over 4 levels. Below decks just 8 passengers are accommodated in 4 cabins, each with private en suite bathrooms, individual air-conditioning controls and even a Blaupunkt stereo system! On the main deck is the saloon, which boasts a comfy seating area with leather sofas and separate dining area. A bar provides for every thirst-quenching need! On the upper deck are 3 more cabins of the same standard as the 4 below. On the top deck is an open air sundeck for relaxation. A crew of 5 look after your "above water" requirements!

The dive deck has separate gear bins for each diver and camera benches for the dedicated underwater photographer; separate camera storage and 110v & 220v charging facilities are also available. Each diver has 2 tanks; the empty one is filled while you are either ashore or underwater! 3 inflatables cater for divers' needs while travelling to & from the dive site. A full complement of dive gear ius available for rent if you do not have your own. A crew of 4 look after your "below water" requirements!

Both vessels offer a "northern itinerary" up past North Syemour Island to Wolf & Darwin, an overnight sail from the main island group - these remote islands offer some of the most spectacular diving in the world, with regular sitings of hammerheads in their hundreds, mantas and huge schools of fish. On private charter one can, with sufficient notice, have an itinerary designed to suite your personal requirements.

On a typical day 3 or 4 dives are offered and and 1 or 2 land tours (except at Wolf & Darwin, as you are not allowed ashore here), the highly adventurous, we can offer substantial savings on "back-to-back" trips; as both vessels operate Thursday-to-Thursday it is possible to get 14 nights in the Galapagos Islands!

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