Scuba diving at Wolf Island
Scuba diving at Wolf Island
Scuba diving at Wolf Island is commonly done as part of a Galapagos liveaboard dive trip, due to the distances involved from the nearest airport, which allows visitors to undertake several dives per day and fully immerse themselves in the very best on offer within the Galapagos. Amongst many divers' aspirations, is to spend a few days diving at Wolf Island in the very north of the Galapagos Island archipelago. Located some 350 kilometres from San Cristobal this isolated speck of outstanding natural beauty is up there with the very best places in the world for underwater action.
Marine Life At Wolf Island
This section truly could be endless. The Galapagos Islands are renowned for being home to an incredible array of marine life, with some people saying that it may even be the premier place in the world for diving. The biodiversity supported here is none other than spectacular, 20 percent of which is found nowhere else on the planet. Scuba diving at Wolf Island will introduce divers to the full range of life on offer, spread across several different sites. As with much of the Galapagos, sharks are present here in huge numbers, including Hammerheads, Silkys and Galapagos Sharks. In the right conditions and at the correct time of year, it's not unusual for visitors to see Whale Sharks in the vicinity. Dolphins and Sea Lions regularly join divers in the water but also playfully like to swim alongside dive boats, giving you a taste of what's to come before even jumping in!
The array of corals is astounding, providing the complete range of colours and even including some white soft coral species. The surrounding waters house all the usual reef fish such as Trumpetfish, Snapper and Angelfish, and in little nooks divemasters will often point out lurking Moray Eels. Cruising through the blue, you'll often see Eagle Rays and Turtles, effortlessly gliding by.
The amount of life, and it's pristine condition, really is unprecedented and unlikely to be matched in many scuba diving hotspots around the globe.
Best Dive Sites At Wolf Island
The Caves is a site with topography to excite any level of diver. Caves, swim throughs and walls are all features of this dive, and with many dives finishing with an exhilarating drift in strong current, it's an experience that will last long in the memory. There are some great examples of classic Galapagos marine life here, including Eagle Rays, schools of Hammerheads, and circling Galapagos Sharks.
Landslide, as the name suggests, resembles that of a fallen cliff face, with boulders and other rocks strewn across the edges and floor of this dive spot. They provide an ideal hiding place for Moray Eels, which, when you know where to look, can be seen in high numbers.Away from the reef, Tuna, Snapper and Turtles are commonplace, although it's perhaps the large schools of circling Hammerheads that are most likely to grab divers' attention. Their unique body shapes form impressive silhouettes in the glaring sunlight.
Diving at Wolf Island will certainly allow visitors to swim with their fair share of sharks, and there's no better place to witness these awe inspiring and graceful predators than at aptly named Shark Bay. In the correct conditions, the volume of sharks can be extremely high, frequently including Silkys and Hammerheads. Sociable Sea Lions join divers as well, together with the full array of reef fish.
Best Time To Dive at Wolf Island
Dive trips to Wolf Island are possible all year round, and the full range of marine life will be resident whenever you visit. There's two seasons to be aware about:
The wet season runs from January to June, with warmer air and water temperatures, giving pleasant conditions both above and below deck. Some sites can still be a bit chilly and so it's worth bringing extra exposure, but generally water temperature is between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius.
The dry season, July to December, is distinctly cooler, with average water temperatures from 19 to 23°C, and so it's very wise to have plenty of protection for the cold. It is also the busiest season, mainly due to an increased chance of seeing Whale Sharks, and higher numbers of Mantas and Hammerheads.
Experience Level For Diving at Wolf Island
There's no hiding away from the fact that diving at Wolf Island can present some challenging conditions. Many sites have strong currents, choppy surface water and awkward rocks, therefore it's advisable to have some recent experience for dive trips to this area. Some dive operators will request at least an Advanced Open Water Qualification, often with a minimum of 50 logged dives. Having said all of this however, there are a few places with gentler waters, allowing for easier and more relaxed diving. Do check with your guide or liveaboard operator beforehand, as they'll want to ensure your enjoyment, but above all, your safety.
How Do I Get To Wolf Island?
Wolf Island diving has some of the most isolated underwater action on the planet. Probably the best way to access the remote sites of this island is on a Galapagos liveaboard dive trip which will sail guests some 350 kilometres from San Cristobal or Baltra to the northern tip of the Galapagos. The islands of San Cristobal and Baltra have small airports with regular flights to and from the main international hubs of Quito or Guayaqil, which are served by many big international airlines, allowing visitors to reach Ecuador from a multitude of overseas locations.