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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 07 July, 2023

Growing up to 6m and 450kg, the hammerhead is one of the ocean’s most impressive – and iconic – sharks.

Aggressive, solitary hunters by night, by the day the sharks school in groups up to several hundred strong – a spectacular sight. The Galapagos Islands is one of the last – and best – places on earth to witness it.

One hour from Puerto Ayora, Gordon Rocks is the best one-day dive in the Galapagos (for advanced divers only) and one of the best locations to see hammerheads. Also expect to see turtles, white tips, large morays, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, stingrays and the weird and wonderful oceanic sunfish (mola mola).

Price from: £190
Minimum age: 18
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around
Duration: 1+ day

Getting there & doing it

Head to Puerto Ayora, the small town on the central island of Santa Cruz, Puerto Barquerizo Moreno on San Cristóbal, or Puerto Villamil on Isabela. Dive packages range from full-day excursions to multi-day liveaboards.

When to do it

Hammerheads are in the Galapagos all year round, but the best season for seeing them is August and September. You may also see whale sharks from May to November.

Our writer’s recommended tour operators to book with

Scuba Iguana Galapagos

Scuba Iguana Galapagos

Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Based in Puerto Ayora, this well-regarded operator offers full-day dive trips in the Galapagos Islands in small groups of eight people, including to Gordon’s Rock to see the hammerheads.

Round-ups that include this experience

13 Best places to swim with sharks

Get in the water with the so-called ‘man-eaters’ – great whites, tiger, bull and hammerhead sharks – to appreciate these magnificent but sadly maligned creatures .