The Galapagos Islands are without question a top destination for divers since it is the second largest marine reserve worldwide.
The word “scuba dive” may sound scary; however, the marine landscape can be enjoyed in a different way: snorkeling.
Marine life in Galapagos
While snorkeling, the tourist is sure to see stingrays, sea turtles and an enormous variety of fish. For instance, stingrays are found close to sandy areas near the shore and sea turtles remain close to seaweed beds.
Reef fish including parrot fish, surgeonfish or colorful wrasses are also frequently seen in Galapagos.
In some cases, hammerhead sharks, penguins, an octopus, booby or sea lions can be encountered. Snorkelers in deeper waters may spot reef sharks, which is the most common specie in Galapagos.
Types of Snorkeling
Snorkeling may be a simple or a challenging experience. For beginners, off-the shore snorkeling is the easiest to perform because you can easily go back to the shore, the currents are not strong and the water is still warm.
Wall swims are used by intermediate snorkelers. These walls protect the snorkeler from currents and winds. And, you can get to see a wide variety of marine species. Some islands, such as Isabela and Genovesa, are excellent for snorkeling.
Deep-water rocks are isolated in the middle of the ocean and are perfect for fine swimmers. The more famous are Devils Crown, Turtle Rock and Kicker Rock. These submerged volcanoes are only reachable via Galapagos cruises or authorized boats.
These snorkelers get to see the greatest underwater species such as sharks, rays, eels, large fish and much more, but you have to be careful since the area has strong currents and the water is much cooler than the one close to the shore.
Galapagos Cruises rent snorkeling gear. This includes fins, mask, snorkel and wetsuits.
Sizes and quality vary depending on the Galapagos cruise you choose.
Masks must keep the water out and protect your nose
Fins are normally available from sizes 12 or 13. In case you have larger feet, it is best to bring your own.
Snorkel: make sure they allow you to breathe and keep water out.
Wetsuit in luxurious Galapagos cruises are of superior quality and well-maintained.
For those tourists who prefer to bring their own equipment, it is suggested to give it a try to avoid last-minute inconveniences.
It is also a good idea to be informed about the exact gear provided by the Galapagos cruise you choose.
Consult your travel guide before going snorkeling. Do not get into deep waters if you are not a very good swimmer. For photographers, underwater cameras are a must!
Enjoy the unbelievable marine life of Galapagos in one of the best ways possible: snorkeling.