Scuba Diving In South America
In this section of Scuba Diving Point will have gathered articles regarding dive destinations and dive sites in South America. Note that does not mean the same thing as Latin America. If you want more information about scuba diving in Central America, you will find that in a separate category. The Central American category is also where we have decided to place all the articles regarding scuba diving in Mexico, regardless of whether the actual dive site is located north or south of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. We have also made a special category for scuba diving in the Caribbean Sea.
South America is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean and to the northwest by the Caribbean Sea. There is also plenty of opportunity for interesting freshwater dives in the South American lakes and rive systems.
One example of the many great dive destinations in South America is the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are famous for their endemic species and how they led Charles Darwin to form his theory of evolution by natural selection. They are also a dream destination for many scuba divers in South America. The Galapagos Islands are a part of Ecuador, but are located over 600 miles (965 kilometres) from the mainland in the Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is made up by 13 main islands, 6 lesser islands and over 100 islets and rocks. They are the result of tectonic activity and the oldest ones are believed to have formed 5-10 million years ago. Several volcanoes are still active in the area.
A majority of the dive sites around the Galapagos Islands are not recommended for beginner divers, and it is therefore usually only experienced or intermediate scuba divers that come to Galapagos. You must be able to handle currents, surge and eddies under the water. The islands are located around the equator, but the water can still be really chilly. A 5 mm or 7 mm wetsuit with hood and gloves is recommended. Above the waters edge, you should expect powerful waves and sharf volcanic cliffs. Following the safety guidelines are even more important than normally since the dive sites are located far away from the nearest recompression chamber. If you want to start off with a comparatively easy dive in the Galapagos, you can find a few good dive spots around Puerto Ayora.
Scuba divers come the Galapagos Islands year round, but the warm season that stretches from December to May can cause murky water. The underwater visibility is especially prone to drop during February, March and April since these months receive plenty of rainfall. The windy season begins in July and lasts until October. The thermocline is usually located at 10-30 meters depth around Galapagos. The water around the central and southern Galapagos Islands is colder than around the northern islands, typically 21º - 25º C. The warmer northern waters can often offer a water temperature around 26 º C. West of Isabella the water is especially cold, and temperatures down to 16° are not uncommon. During El Niño episodes, the water temperature at Galapagos can suddenly increase to 30° C.