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Liveaboard Diving in Ecuador

Liveaboard diving in Ecuador is a wildlife experience like no other, divers can meet sea lions, penguins, schools of hammerheads and whale sharks.

Ecuador liveaboards

Ecuador sits across the equator, with a long coast on the Pacific Ocean. The liveaboard diving there is focussed around the world famous Galapagos islands. Home to some of the most diverse wildlife in the world, these islands sit around 620 miles (1000 km) from the mainland of Ecuador. The entire area is a marine protected zone and only a few diving boats are allowed to visit the remote sites in the North. Due to the distance between the main islands and the famous dive sites of Darwin and Wolf most diving cruise itineraries are between 7 and 10 days. It is hard to rival the luxurious Galapagos Sky or the Galapagos Aggressor for service, with every detail taken care of by the excellent crews. If you want something slick and modern, the Galapagos Master which was just refurbished in 2014 is perfect. Those who are looking for a more personalised, technical diving experience will find the Nortada takes only 8 guests and has blending facilities on board.

13 liveaboards in Ecuador

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USD 5,432Per trip
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Diving in Ecuador

Quick facts

Diving in Ecuador, especially in the Galapagos, you often feel like the marine life is putting on a show for you. On the coast, divers can expect to be dive bombed by sea lions, diving iguanas, flightless cormorants and small Galapagos penguins. On the reefs, there is hardly any coral but plenty of reef fish and sharks, and more turtles than you can count. You can also look out for red-lipped batfish and pacific seahorses on the more sheltered reefs. In the channels that run around the islands, you can expect to see just about anything. Mantas and mobula ray shoals glide past and schooling hammerheads come in their hundreds. There are plenty of other sharks too, silkies, Galapagos sharks, tiger sharks and even whale sharks can all be spotted cruising by. If you are lucky there is also a chance you might see whales and dolphins, even orcas have been known to pass through hunting their favourite food, mola mola.


January to December

The diving season in Ecuador is year round but you should choose to visit depending on what you want to see. Whale shark season in Ecuador is in the cold period of July to December. The plankton blooms and current bring big fish like whale sharks although the visibility is slightly reduced. The water temperature goes down to around 60-65°F (16-18°C) so a semi-dry is recommended. The wet season in Ecuador brings calmer weather conditions and legions of hammerhead sharks and mantas to the islands. There are significantly less waves at this time of year as well and the water temperature is around 70-80 °F (21-27 °C).

View our full scuba guide

How to Get to Ecuador

Ecuador has two main airports for international flights, the capital Quito and Guayaquil on the coast. Both offer flights to Baltra airport near where most diving liveaboards embark for the Galapagos. It is worth noting that Quito flights can often be delayed due to volcanic activity in the area. Liveaboards will offer transport to the Baltra channel from the airport by bus. From here guests will be taken by tender to their diving boat.

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