Liveaboard Diving in Baltra Island

What To Expect On A Baltra Island Liveaboard

Liveaboards to Baltra Island on Galapagos tend to head north where there are two islands: the small island Mosquera and the larger North Seymour with narrow channels separating them which offers superb diving. Baltra is one of the smaller Galapagos Islands, sized 21 km2. It's located 1 km north of the main island Santa Cruz, divided by a narrow strait.

In 1942, the Americans founded a military base on Baltra Island to protect the Panama Channel, with barracks and runways. After World War II the barracks were taken down but the airport is still being used as a commerical airport. Most tourists arrive at this airport after which they transfer to a liveaboard cruise on Santa Cruz.

Baltra Island is also known for having an iguana population until 1954. After the introduction of dogs, cats and goats the iguanas were threatened with extinction. To prevent this some iguanas were brought over to Seymour Norte and were iguanas bred in Santa Cruz. In 1991 the Galapagos iguana were newly introduced on Baltra Island.


Taking a liveaboard dive cruise around Baltra Island is as everywhere else in Galapagos, very rewarding. The abundance of fish life is spectacular and great schools of inshore grunts and snappers are encountered on nearly every dive, while immense schools of open water jacks, barracuda, bonito, eagle ray and scalloped hammerheads are regularly sighted. On top of this you can even find manta rays, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and even whale sharks. Also other exotic species are to be seen such as the rainbow basslet, red-lipped batfish, bloody frogfish, pacific seahorse, rockmover wrasse and galapagos clingfish. A dive trip to this area on a liveaboard will give divers maximum exposure to the amazing marine life to see in this very special area.


At North Seymour your liveabord vessel will allow you to dive on a rocky slope and end the dive in the shallow close to the island. Here you can see schools of jack fish, manta rays, eagle rays, marble rays, stingrays, marlins and hammerhead sharks. There are also many reef fish such as yellowtail grunts, bluestriped snappers and salemas in schools. The fish here attract birds like boobies that dive into the water and swim down to feed on the fish. You can also see sea lions here.

Mosquera is a large sand bank which lies north to south on a shallow area between Baltra and Seymore. There are two dive sites here: west beach that is known for the large population of sea lions on the western side and east mosquera.

At East Mosquera the dive starts at the southeast on a slope with boulders and then moves forward to the north. After the slope you drop down to the top of the wall at 15-22 meters with schools of grunts and snappers around you. The current can be strong in the channels north and south of Mosquera.

Daphne Island is located near the north coast of Santa Cruz Island, 30 minutes from Itabaca Channel. The moderate currents here make this dive a drift dive along a drop-off from the top of a sloping wall to a rocky and sandy bottom. There is a small cave where white tip reef sharks rest and a pinnacle with several rays accumulating, Galapagos sharks, turtles, reef fishes and barracudas. Inside the black coral walls you’ll find a variety of invertebrates.


Due to the remoteness of the Galapagos Islands and the associated costs of any medical treatment, we recommend guests to have sufficient dive-travel insurance.

Don't forget to charge your camera, and don't miss a shot.


Flights arriving daily from continental Ecuador arriving from either Quito or Guayaquil. Arriving at Baltra passengers pass through the national park queue and pay a $100 park entrance fee. They then proceed to the luggage claim area.

Visiting the dive sites of Baltra Island is best done by Galapagos Islands liveaboard while most of the dive sites are quite far off shore requiring long journeys.

Baltra Island Diving Reviews

  • 9.3 Superb
  • 18 Verified Reviews
  • 9.2 Superb
  • Samuel F
  • United States United States

Simple and easy to navigate

Diving Baltra Island in May on the Galapagos Aggressor III

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jason H
  • United States United States

If this was the check dive, it was OK. But purpose was just to get weights right and feet back in the water

Diving Baltra Island in March on the Humboldt Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Brandon S
  • United States United States

It was neat as it was a more shallow reef with a sandy bottom. We saw species here that won't be found at the other dive sites.

Diving Baltra Island in November on the Tiburon Explorer

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Eli R
  • United States United States

Check dive, not lots to see and poor visibility but important to get weights right for the trip to come.

Diving Baltra Island in November on the Galapagos Aggressor III

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Anthony M
  • United States United States

Baltra was a great first day of diving and had huge schools of tropical fish

Diving Baltra Island in December on the Humboldt Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Li P
  • Canada Canada

Not great. Nothing in the water.

Diving Baltra Island in December on the Calipso

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Marcela V
  • Slovakia Slovakia

Visiting Mosquera for sealions and some wild life..

Diving Baltra Island in October on the Calipso

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Domingo G
  • Spain Spain

Relaxed environment, warmer waters.

Diving Baltra Island in April on the Tiburon Explorer

  • 6.8 Review score
  • Annette Rokeya H
  • Germany Germany

cold water and not much to see

Diving Baltra Island in September on the Galapagos Master

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Steven C
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Poor diving with little to see and poor visibility

Diving Baltra Island in June on the Galapagos Aggressor III

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Daniel C
  • Australia Australia

Okay, just a shallow spot for a check out dive. Had a inquisitive turtle come up close.

Diving Baltra Island in December on the Humboldt Explorer

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Stephen B
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Cabo Marshall fantastic for Manta

Diving Baltra Island in February on the Galapagos Master