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Galapagos on Aggressor, 26 July-2 August 2018

Galapagos on Aggressor, 26 July-2 August 2018

Equator Diving invites you to join a trip of a lifetime to dive the world famous Galapagos Islands. Our trip is purposefully timed for prime Whale and Whale Shark season. Galapagos has big stuff year round but July-September brings in the biggest of the big. Whale Sharks, Humpback, Pilot and Melon Headed Whales are amongst the visitors, and they will be sharing the seas with the Galapagos Islands year round residents – the schooling Hammerheads, Galapagos Sharks, Silky Sharks, Penguins, Marine Iguanas, Mola Mola, Sea Lions and the fascinating Red-Lipped Batfish. Our trip will take place on the luxurious Galapagos Aggressor III Liveaboard.

Day 1 – Boarding Galapagos Aggressor III and check dive at Baltra Island – 1 dive

Day 2 – Punta Carrion or Bartolome Punta – 2 dives – plus Bartolome Summit hike & Pinnacle Rock panga ride!
Punta Carrion is a 10-30 metre dive with Whitetip Reef Sharks, Stingrays, Eagle Rays and Marbled Rays, Scorpionfish, Turtles and Sea Lions. Bartolome Punta is a 5-30 metre dive with Groupers, Creole Fish, Whitetip Reef Sharks, Barracuda, Scorpionfish, Turtles, Guinea Pufferfish, Red-Lipped Batfish, and occasionally Hammerheads and Bottlenose Dolphins. Isla Bartolome, located off the east shore of Sullivan Bay, is a small but beautiful island most famous for its iconic Pinnacle Rock, arguably one of the most recognizable landmarks of the Galapagos. This incredible geological site is a staggering rock face, formed from an eroded lava formation from the eruption of an underwater volcano. Visitors can summit the island via a 600 metre (about 2,000 foot) trail and enjoy some of the most breathtaking views of Pinnacle Rock, Sullivan Bay, Isla San Salvador (or Santiago) and Isla Daphne.

Days 3-5 – Wolf Island & Darwin Island – 4 dives per day
Wolf Island, along with its sister Darwin Island, is considered one of the best diving destinations in the world. Wolf Island is located more than 100 kilometres to the northwest of the main Galapagos island chain. Here you’ll have it all – schools of hundreds of Hammerhead Sharks, Galapagos Sharks, Silky Sharks, Sea Lions, Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Turtles, Amberjacks, Trumpetfish, Hogfish, Butterflyfish, Moray Eels, Dolphins and, with some luck, Whale Sharks. Wolf Island is also prolific in corals and reef life, with more than 8 species of corals, and a great diversity of tropical fish. Some of Wolf Island’s incredible dive sites are Shark Bay, The Landslide, Elephant Rock, The Caves, La Banana and Islote La Ventana. Here you will see Scalloped Hammerhead activity year round. Wolf is also a great experience above water, for it is the home of literally hundreds of thousands of seabirds such as Red-Footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies (also known as Masked Boobies), Frigates, Pelicans and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. Considered by many the best place to dive in the world, Darwin Island (formerly known as Culpepper Island) marks the end of the archipelago to the North West. The island is barely over 1 km² in size and 168 metres at its highest point. Here you’ll have the opportunity to encounter Dolphins, Eagle Rays, Moray Eels, Manta Rays, Hammerhead Sharks, Galapagos Sharks, Pilot Whales, Melon Headed Whales, Humpback Whales and the enormous pregnant female Whale Sharks. Encounters with the Whales and Whale Sharks peak in July-September, coinciding with this exclusive Equator Diving charter. Also on these amazing dive sites you may encounter Blue-Spotted Jacks, Scorpionfish, Rainbow Runner, Hogfish, Big Eye Jacks, Sailfish, Trumpetfish, Parrotfish and many other different species of marine life. Darwin Island is really a diver’s dream come true. There is no dry access to the island for it emerges vertically, but from the liveaboard you may spot the endemic Darwin Mockingbird, Sea Lions, Galapagos Penguins, Red-Footed Boobies and Masked Boobies. Another famous attraction of this island is the Darwin’s Arch, an impressive arch-like stone formation emerging in the middle of the ocean.

Day 6 – Cape Douglas & Punta Vicente Roca – 4 dives
Located on the island of Ferdinand, Cape Douglas is one of Galapagos best spots for encountering Marine Iguanas feeding underwater, Galapagos Penguins, Sea Lions, Galapagos Bullhead Sharks, Electric Rays, Seahorses, Turtles and Red-Lipped Batfish. Upon surfacing you will probably find yourself surrounded by swimming Marine Iguanas! Isabela is the biggest island of the archipelago, and it is shaped roughly like a seahorse. On its northwestern coast, in what would be the “mouth” of the seahorse, is Vicente Roca’s Point. Here the remains of Volcano Ecuador form two coves with a bay protected from the ocean swells. Part of the volcano slid into the ocean, leaving a spectacular cutaway view of the volcanic caldera. The upwelling of Cromwell current, one very rich in nutrients, gives rise to an abundance of marine life which, in combination with the protection of the coves, makes Punta Vicente Roca one of the top diving destinations in Galapagos. Huge Mola-Mola (Sunfish), Sea Lions, Turtles, Pufferfish, Marlin, Galapagos Penguins and Galapagos Bullhead Sharks can be spotted here. Among the smaller fishes Punta Vicente Roca offers you are Frogfish, Electric Rays, Seahorses and the Red-Lipped Batfish. Along the shore you might spot Galapagos Penguins, Marine Iguanas and Flightless Cormorants.

Day 7 (morning) – Cousin’s Rock – 1 dive
Cousin’s Rock is located off the east coast of Santiago Island and it rises barely 10 metres out of the water. The combination of coral covered rocks sheltering a variety of smaller creatures, a huge variety of tropical fishes and the presence of large animals make Cousin’s Rock one of the favorite dive sites in Galapagos. Here you can see Sea Lions, Turtles, Eagle Rays, schools of Mobula Rays, Whitetip Reef Sharks, schools of Barracuda, and sometimes Hammerhead Sharks and Mantas. Black corals, small hard corals, sea fans, hydroid bushes and red sponges grow in every direction, and because of the many ledges on the wall small fauna populates this site. Among your small companions you’ll find Hawkfish, Nudibranchs, Seahorse, Octopus, and even Frogfish.

Day 7 (afternoon) – Land tours on Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz is an island of extreme geological interest and beauty. Out of the different islands in Galapagos many of which are young, volcanically active and dominated by rock formations of all different styles and colours, Santa Cruz tells a “greener” side to the Galapagos story. After lunch guests will disembark at 1pm to go ashore for a private bus tour to see the beautiful Highlands of Santa Cruz Island. This will include Los Gemelos (The Twins, two enormous sinkholes), Scalesia Forest for a scenic view over Santa Cruz, a Tortoise Reserve to see Giant Tortoises, and Lava Tubes. After the hike, guests can walk through town, shop and visit the Tortoise-breeding center Fausto Llerena at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Guests will have dinner ashore at a local restaurant of their choice (only meal not included in the cruise).

Day 8 – Disembark Galapagos Aggressor III and transfer to Baltra Airport.

The Galapagos Aggressor III is a 100 ft. yacht built and powered for comfort, safety and stability. The Galapagos Aggressor III sleeps 16 guests in privacy and comfort. Comfortable accommodations include four Deluxe cabins and four Master cabins. Each cabin has a private toilet, shower, hair dryer, TV/Blue Ray DVD, stereo CD player, temperature controls and safe storage box. The Galapagos Aggressor III has a beautiful spacious salon, large sun deck with shading, chaise lounges and deck chairs, bar, grill, hot tub, and a complete photo/video center.

The menu aboard is varied and plentiful, with a variety of American feasts, barbecues and local cuisine. You will wake up to fresh fruits, hot entrees, cereals and juices. Lunches are buffet-style, featuring hot soups, homemade breads, salads and sandwiches and/or entrees. Dinners are chef prepared and served each evening and include salads, vegetables, seafood, beef or chicken with a fresh homemade dessert.

Spaces are available on this trip.

Galapagos on Aggressor, 26 July-2 August 2018

The cost of the trip is 6,295 USD including 7 night/8 day cruise on Galapagos Aggressor III with up to 4 dives per day, tanks/weights/weight belts, land tours, all meals (except evening meal on the final night), snacks and drinks onboard (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and return transfers from Baltra airport to the vessel. Flights are not included in the price, but can be readily arranged by Equator Diving upon request.

National Park fee: 100 USD
Transit Card fee: 20 USD
Nitrox: 100 USD

Trip prices in GBP and EURO are also available upon request.

Galapagos Video

Filmed by Jennie Brown on Equator Diving’s 2013 Galapagos group trip.