Galapagos - best month to go for best of sea and land?

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cwan

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Hi divers! I'm planning a trip to the Galapagos in the near future... do you have any input on the best month to go? We would like to see best of both underwater and topside, while trying to avoid overly rough seas as mentioned by many. I'm considering May, June, beginning of July. How rough is the sea as we head into late June/July? Have you been there during those times? We've seen whale sharks previously so not a must but of course always a plus; we are more interested in the hammerheads and molas. By edging our trip closer to early July how much higher is the encounter chance for whale sharks, or do they not really show until later? Do the hammerheads thin out towards July as people say? Lastly a chance to see wild giant tortoises is also high on our wish list (hence before August)... Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Finally... what boat did you go with and would you recommend?

Thank you so much!
 

Tbar

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I haven't been yet, so cant answer most of your question... but regarding the boat we have booked Astrea Galapagos Islands Cruise - ASTREA. This boat offers alternate weeks diving and naturalist (above water). I was keen to see both and really the two are different trips. Naturalist trips don't go to Wolf and Darwin but these are the best dive sites. Dive trips don't provide much above water... We have booked two weeks to get the best of both - I hope.

We travel in early September, we do not worry about rough seas!
 

Worldwide Dive and Sail

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Hi Cwan,

If you would like to avoid rough seas and see mola molas, you should try to go more towards May rather than towards July.
Even though there are more hammerheads from July to December, you can see a lot of them the rest of the year!
 
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cwan

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Hi Cwan,

If you would like to avoid rough seas and see mola molas, you should try to go more towards May rather than towards July.
Even though there are more hammerheads from July to December, you can see a lot of them the rest of the year!


ah ok thank you so much! Are the molas for the most part a guarantee? (I know can't guarantee anything, but they're really frequent?). Thanks for info!
 
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cwan

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I haven't been yet, so cant answer most of your question... but regarding the boat we have booked Astrea Galapagos Islands Cruise - ASTREA. This boat offers alternate weeks diving and naturalist (above water). I was keen to see both and really the two are different trips. Naturalist trips don't go to Wolf and Darwin but these are the best dive sites. Dive trips don't provide much above water... We have booked two weeks to get the best of both - I hope.

We travel in early September, we do not worry about rough seas!


Ah ok, please do post a report here when you return. Wish you a great trip!
 

Worldwide Dive and Sail

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Are the molas for the most part a guarantee? (I know can't guarantee anything, but they're really frequent?).

They have been very frequent lately, so hopefully they will be around when you go to Galapagos! :)
 

Lavalamp

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My wife and I are also planning a Galapagos trip as well. Though ours will be in April/May 2017. We were looking at several options:

Galapagos Sky
Galapagos Master
Aggressor
Humboldt Explorer
Nortada
Astrea Gala
Deep Blue

Master seemed to offer the best price, but ruled itself out by being mostly sold out for Spring 2017. So we were leaning towards Galapagos Sky as that boat was formerly a part of the Dancer fleet, which we've always liked. But yesterday Aggressor announced the 2017 dates for 'Dive the World promotion' (25% off). So our search was over. We jumped on that and booked right away: Apr 27 - May 4.

The full price for a 7-night itinerary is approx. $5,800/person (for Sky & Aggressor). So when we have the chance to do it for $4,300/person, it was an easy decision.

Not sure what exactly we'll see during the shoulder season of Apr 27 - May 4. We've been told it's right in between the warm and the cold season.

But to answer OP's original question - we would recommend going with the biggest discount/deal that is available to you!!
 

DiveTheGalapagos

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The polar Humboldt current begins arriving in June so cooler water, less visibility and rougher seas but the nutrients that cause diminished visibility also support an increase in marine life. Hammerhead populations are good apart from late Feb - April due to migration to Cocos. They do not thin out in July, on the contrary. Whale sharks typically begin arriving in June, but the parade increases as high season progresses with Sept & Oct being the peak months. They are usually gone by Dec.

The thing about whale sharks in Galapagos is that 99% of them are huge pregnant females. It is the only place on the planet where you can dive with pregnant females. When I went to snorkel with the humpback whale migration in Silver Bank, my first thought when being close to a humpback was that our whale sharks were larger. Amazing that no one has witnessed whale sharks mating or birthing.

Safest bet for seeing mola molas is Punta Vicente Roca though they can also sometimes be seen at Punta Carrion. So check the itinerary of the boat to make sure it goes there. Sept and Oct are also great for tortoise sightings in the Highlands, on most liveaboard itineraries.
 

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