Malpelo is one giant cleaning station!

Malpelo Trip Report

This trip was the validation that Malpelo is a huge cleaning station. There were plenty of cleaning stations all around, attracting all kind of fish, from the “little” ones —triggerfish, rainbow chubs and leatherbasses— to the majestic hammerheads.

The weather conditions were nice—calm water, warm (mostly 26°C / 29°F), very good visibility and sunny days. The very nice and warm group was a mix from several countries: Spain, Germany, Switzerland, France and Brasil.

As usual, we arrived at Malpelo early in the morning, with a shiny day welcoming us.The first diving day was good; individual hammerheads, dozens of leatherbasses, blue trevallys and a big school of whippersnappers in Altar de Virginia and the first small groups of Hammerheads in deep water La Nevera.

The second day was wall diving; the hammerhead schools preferred to stay in deep water, where it was a little colder, like in La Nevera and La Pared del Naufrago. La Catedral was nicely illuminated and so beautiful at the exit; a big school of big-eye jacks mating, dark ones and clear ones dancing together.

The third day was at La Gringa and even with warm water, she gave us what we were expecting: a huge wall of hammeheards with at least one hundred sharks in mid-water, passing by and staying in sight for a few minutes. Superb!!!

We continued visiting the south, and on the fourth diving day, the view was amazingfrom El Bajon: clouds of hammeheads passing over our heads, with the presence of two Galapagos sharks very close left us speechless! In Sahara we had lots of hammerheads all around, passing by in big schools. And to close the perfect day, in La Ferreteria we surrounded by dozens of leatherbasses, blue trevallys, black jacks, rainbow runners, Almaco jacks, Creolefish, white-tip reef sharks, scorpionfish and moray eels in clear water and calm water!

For the rest of the trip the hammerheads activity moved to the north at places like D’Artagnan and Altar de Virginia, with cold thermoclines ascending from the deepest, anouncing the seasonal change; small groups of hammerheads, big schools of fish, Galapagos sharks and eagle rays, were what Malpelo offered us to finish this nice trip!

Juan Solano
Dive Guide on MV Yemaya
Malpelo Trip Report
November 29-December 9, 2016