Isabela Island’s underwater world

Visitors to The Galapagos Islands, in Pacific Ocean, are encouraged to take the plunge and experience the underwater world. Whilst some might want to stick to snorkelling (equally amazing in this part of the world), those willing to take part in some scuba diving on Isabela Island certainly won’t regret it.

The shallow reefs, steep walls and striking underwater volcanoes which surround Isabela Island make it ideal for diving. In particular, the south of Isabela, where you’ll find Puerto Villamil and the main settlement on the island, offers a rich and very unique marine environment. Characterised by the presence of nutrient rich waters and the strong impact that the Cromwell Current has on this southern coastline, the water here is deep and cold. Take to the sea during your stay and experience the colourful sights of Isabela’s surrounding ocean, packed with soft corals and sponges of all different colours.

In this article, we share with you some helpful information about where, how and when to go scuba diving on Isabela Island. We also let you know just what you can expect to see during your dive. If you’re looking to take the plunge with a reliable company run by friendly and knowledgeable staff, choose Galapagos Isabela Dive Centre. 

What you’ll see

Scuba diving on Isabela Island offers some fantastic sights and will help you to see marine life in a totally new light. When it comes to fish, divers can expect to find tuna, barracudas, king angelfish, yellowtail surgeonfish, humphead parrotfish and more. However, some of the most fascinating sights have to be that of rays and mantas. During manta Season (December to May) find giant manta rays off Isabela Island as well as beautiful stingrays and graceful devil rays. Turtles and sealions can be seen all year round and if you’re lucky you may even see penguins.

Whale sharks are visible from June to October, which is an exciting drawcard experience for visitors, however if you don’t get to see whale sharks, many different kinds of shark can be found year round.

Scuba diving on Isabela Island isn’t only about the bigger creatures. Part of the experience involves spotting all kinds of unique critters, such as sea stars, sea cucumbers, pencil sea urchins and many kinds of lobster and shrimps. The fantastic volcanic scenery you’ll find underwater is also a wonderful sight to be marvelled.

Where to go scuba diving

There are a number of popular sights to go scuba diving on Isabela Island. Below we outline a few of these places and then finish with some recommendations for which companies you should trust with your underwater experience.

Cape Marshall

Cape Marshall is a wall of volcanic rock which disappears deep into the depths of the ocean. Recommended only for experienced divers due to its strong currents, this sight is not as easy to access. At Cape Marshall divers will find hammerhead sharks, manta rays and marbled rays as well as large schools of fish. Sea turtles and sea lions are scattered throughout this area too.

Punta Vicente Roca

Dotted with caves, Punda Vicente Roca is an underwater walls that offers shallow dives and has some very cold water. Spot seahorses and frogfish here, whilst penguins and the rare horn shark can also be found. This dive site is recommended for intermediate level divers, but is also excellent for recreational scuba diving, underwater photography and snorkelling.

Roca Redonda

Roca Redona is a dive site found at the top of an underwater volcano. It begins at the ocean’s floor and protrudes out like an underwater island. Here, you’ll see hammerhead and Galapagos Sharks as well as seahorses of course sealions.

Tortuga Island

One of the best dive spots on the islands, Tortuga Island is a hidden gem. Famous diving spots such as Gordon and Kicker Rocks on other Galapagos Islands might be spoken about more. However, this location is just as amazing. Found on the southern part of Isabela, this location is home to a deep drift wall. Beginners as well as advanced divers are welcome here.

One of the most exciting things is that orcas can occasionally be spotted. On top of this, you’ll also be able to see many kinds of sharks, mantas, stingrays, sunfish and much more!

Where to stay during your scuba diving trip

Ideally located just outside of Puerto Villamil on the southern part of Isabela Island, Chez Manany Ecolodge is a comfortable and environmentally conscious accommodation option. The ecolodge offers divers an excellent base location from which to explore the underwater world of Isabela. Comfortable rooms decorated with character make Chez Manany feel incredibly cosy. Views across the green surroundings immerse guests in nature. As divers and lovers of nature, Chez Manany helps you to stay in harmony with the environment. The ecolodge focuses heavily on sustainable practices and encourages its guests to follow suit.

apartment balcon outside

To find out more about Chez Manany or to book your room, click here!