Two of the best diving sites of the planet can be found at about one hundred miles from the core of the Galapagos archipelago: these are the Wolf and the Darwin Islands. Named respectively after the German naturalist Franz Theodor Wolf and the English naturalist Charles Darwin, they are known for their abundance of hammerhead and Galapagos sharks, whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, reef fish, and many other species.
They were named a marine sanctuary in 1998, to protect them from unregulated fishing. Even though their eroded surfaces may fool us at first sight, they are the home of dozens of terrestrial species that cannot be found anywhere else.
The most curious, perhaps, could be the “vampire finch”, a small bird that feeds on the blood of other species, specially the blue footed boobies. The victims, however, do not seem to mind it and do not oppose any resistance.
Though land visits are forbidden, the true treasures await underwater. Depending on the season, the visitors can live different experiences. The best moment to spot manta rays, for example, is around March, whereas October is the best month for encountering whale sharks. But no matter the season, these islands offer sure sightings of incredible animals the whole year.
Given the great distance from the central archipelago, tours to these islands are scarce and limited, but they are surely the most wanted by divers from all around the world, who reserve their trips with several months in advance.