Snorkeling is the ideal way to view some of the amazing marine life that surrounds the Galapagos Islands.
If you visit the Galapagos on an expedition cruise, snorkeling equipment is available on board. Sea turtles are marine reptiles which gently patrol the ocean and despite their large size, they are extremely efficient swimmers and migrants.
At Rabida Island or at Gardner Bay on Espanola Island, very calm bays bring a different marine environment. Prince Phillip’s Steps on Genovesa (Tower) Island is the place to see hammerhead sharks while snorkeling, although there is no guarantee every time we get in the water there are sharks waiting. One of the best ways to have a great snorkeling trip throughout the Galapagos is on an expedition cruise. It can be learned in a few hours, and even children can do it, opening up a wonderland of lifeforms that you would completely miss if you stayed on the land. Quite different than scuba diving, the main advantage of snorkeling is the freedom from high-tech gear and the need of certification. Naturalist guides will help you see and recognize the varied marine life that you will encounter.
They have adapted over the millennia to feed on algae and seaweed; thus becoming well adapted to the marine environment.
It offers a wild ride for snorkelers as the currents take you around one side with hardly any swimming effort. In fact, sharks are animals that require constant movement, and so it is more luck than anything else that will match our time with their presence. The number and variety of underwater life is staggering, and, in many cases, the animals welcome you into their world. There are many advantages, including traveling to the different islands at night, so you have more daylight hours on land or underwater.


The new boat will ensure sumptuous surroundings from which to take in the magnificent vistas of the enchanted islands. It may not display this or other websites correctly.You should upgrade or use an alternative browser. Keep in mind, the waters around the Galapagos have been declared a Marine Reserve (largest marine protected area in the Americas) and are also a UNESCO World Heritage Property. They are great swimmers and show a long flat tail propels them through the water very fast.
The waters here are sheltered and home to a huge variety of marine life that you will see on your tour around the crown. At Chinese Hat Islet and Bartolome Island, you can snorkel with penguins and other animals such as sea lions, green turtles and reef sharks. In general, it is not common to see sharks while snorkeling, but if you ask your guide, you may be able to locate them by exploring a bit more in detail. Furthermore, it is the true hidden secret of the islands, as media generally covers more on the land species and little on the marine side of the archipelago. You will have a trained guide and can be sure that your trip is ecofriendly because the cruise captain and crew follow strict environmental practices. You may want to wear a wetsuit if you are exploring the islands during the dry season (June-November) when the water is cooler for tropical standards.
The soft, black sand makes the water look dark, and the nearby sheer drop offs allow clear views of them in the deep blue water. You will also see them resting on the shore rocks, and sometimes they sneeze to expel the salt that accumulates in their nostrils as part of their constant desalination. Wrasses, groupers, snappers, amberjacks, parrotfish, angelfish, rays, and reef sharks are just a few of the marine animals you will see. The sea lion pups stay in a secluded cove where they are safe while their mother is out looking for food.


Darwin Bay is actually a submerged caldera (possibly just a giant pit crater) of this flat pancake-like island. Yet, when you put your mask on a whole new adventure begins, and that is exactly how the spirit of discovery lives so well in the Galapagos. Now, for a big surprise, if you don’t plan to snorkel don’t get disappointed; expedition vessels which have a glass-bottom boat will focus on the understanding and viewing of the marine environment for non-snorkelers.
It is this puff of powdered salt that made the first explorers think the iguanas were dragons.
What is so bizarre here is that you find a wild combination of tropical and subtropical species of fish; in fact, a natural aquarium. Sea lions will often blow bubbles at snorkelers and perform fantastic underwater feats to impress them. A good place to find marine iguanas and sea turtles grazing is the underwater pasture in Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island as well as Rabida Island. Because of its northerly location, some warmer water fish species may be spotted including box fishes, wrasses, and convict tangs. These calm and confident animals sway with the sea currents and while in the open ocean will go after jelly fish and floating tunicates.
Many consider this location one of the finest snorkeling and scuba diving sites in the Galapagos.
Their peaceful, relaxed demeanor is contagious and everybody loves finding sea turtles in the water.



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