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Diving for beginners in the Galapagos?

Buffalo, NY
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61 posts
13 reviews
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Diving for beginners in the Galapagos?

We are a family of four - our children are 16 and 10. We are going to Galapagos in March and we are trying to arrange a diving experience. My husband and I have dived only once before and the kids have never dived. i am starting to question myself if it is wise to try to dive in Galapagos - from what I hear the conditions are rough there. Any thoughts on that ? Thanks!

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Diving for beginners in the Galapagos?

I would strongly advise you to change your expectations. It is often stated that diving in GI is for moderate to advanced divers. You really all need to be PADI certified and very comfortable with open water dives ocean dives. How would your 10 year old react when a surf shark, or seal comes swimming up behind them at 30 feet? If you go, look for a family trip with lots of snorkeling. There are many experiences told here of the fish and sea mammal activities just when snorkelling. There are some better than others places that a good Galapagos Islands expert tour operator can advise you on.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Diving for beginners in the Galapagos?

I will be in Galapagos later this month. I just completed the confined-water course of my PADI certification and will do the open-water course in the Galapagos. I handled the pool very well and am confident I'll fly right through the certification. I just hope I can handle some of the real diving, such as Kicker Rock off of San Cristobal which is what I'm aiming for.

Regrading the question, I understand the waters are at their calmest in the hot season (which is right now), and the sharks are less frequent. Snorkeling is always an option but there are also "Discover" scuba diving options that might be worth looking into, albeit quite pricey. DSD is for new divers or for orientation dives, no certification needed. I'm not sure how that would work with a group, but when I did DSD in Thailand the instructor was literally holding me the entire time, all I had to do was breathe and enjoy.

Edited: 02 February 2013, 20:10
Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
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3. Re: Diving for beginners in the Galapagos?

There are indeed sites where novices can dive safely. Just make sure you go with a very reliable operator that is actually registered with one of the certifying agencies (there are others besides PADI). Don't rely on the operator's Web site or window stickers; check with the certifying agencies themselves. They will have a data base on their Web sites.

It's very important to communicate to the operator and the DMs themselves that you are all novices. In fact, hiring a private DM just for your family might be a good idea.

Buffalo, NY
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4. Re: Diving for beginners in the Galapagos?

Thank you all. We are starting a certification class this Sunday - it will be fun but I still worry about the 10 year old - we may have to postpone his first diving in open waters.

Sunnyvale, CA
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5. Re: Diving for beginners in the Galapagos?

That depends on the 10 year old. My younger son was barely 11 when he was certified and he took to it like a fish - he's definitely better than myself and my husband and as good as his brother who's 4 years older. That said, when we looked into diving in the Galapagos last year in the summer (he was 14 then), everybody advised against it. There can be very strong underwater currents and it definitely requires more experience than we had. We ended up just doing a lot of snorkeling and it was absolutely amazing!! Perhaps diving would've been somewhat better but this was 100% safe and the overhead was far less.

The conditions are far better in March, but still, as everybody said, make sure you go with a very reputable agency - perhaps you could have your instructors here recommend someone over there.

6. Re: Diving for beginners in the Galapagos?

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