Isabela / Galapagos Islands
"Scubadragon" is a new dive centre located in Puerto Villamil, on Isabela Island, in the enchanted Galapagos Islands, the natural jewel of Ecuador (South America). It is the first and only dive operation on the island; and it is run by a French PADI diving instructor, with a 25 years world wide diving experience.
Isabela is the largest island of the Galapagos archipelago, with a land surface of 4588 km2. Volcanic, as expected, it has six imposing shield volcanoes which rise between 1100m and 1710m above sea level. Sierra Negra volcano, near Puerto Villamil has the widest caldera: 7km x 10,5km. A very active volcano indeed, which last eruption occurred on October 22nd, 2005, after a silence of 25 years. Lava flows poured over the northern flank of Sierra Negra, towards Elizabeth Bay and into the caldera as well. A spectacular sight, for sure, that adds to the magnificence of the Isabela island.
A number of tuff cone islands dot the southern shore of Isabela, close by Puerto Villamil: Tortuga Island and the Crossman Islands (known as Los Hermanos). There are lots of isolated rocks just out of the ocean, e.g. La Viuda and Roca Union. Strongly eroded by weather and wave action, these rocks and islands are the exciting dive sites of Scubadragon.
The south of Isabela is a rich, unique and diverse marine environment. This is due to the presence of an upwelling or surge of planktonic, nutrient rich waters. A result of the strong effect of the Cromwell Current, a deep cold water current from the Central pacific, that hits the west coast of Isabela Island and comes around the south coast. Here, the underwater seascape is not dull and boring, but very colourful, with a bounty of soft corals, sulphur yellow black coral bushes, all sorts of gorgonians, blue and red sponges. Not surprisingly, the fish and marine life is bountiful. An amazing wonder!
Among others, you will marvel at the Galapagos sheephead, the harlequin wrasse, humphead parrotfish, schools of King angelfish, yellowtail surgeonfish, grey grunts, tunas, barracudas??but also meet turtles, sealions, large stingrays. If you are lucky, you shall even encounter penguins, graceful devil rays (Mobula sp.), awesome mantas, the eerie sunfish coming from the deep, or a breathtaking pod of orcas passing trough. Indeed, it is the ocean of the unexpexted!
Nudibranchs lovers will also find many critters of interest on the walls. Sea stars, sea cucumbers, pencil sea urchins, crabs and shrimps, red spiny lobster, blue lobster and slipper lobster are also present. Indeed, a photographer’s heaven.
Scubadragon Dive Centre has rental equipment for 10 divers, 20 wetsuits Aqualung "Aquaflex" (men + women), Scubapro regulators and BCD, 32 Luxfer aluminum tanks (12 litres) and a Bauer Mariner compressor.