The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s premier snorkeling destinations. The combination of unique natural history – largely spent in isolation and away from the effects of mankind – and the convergence of huge ocean currents have created a unique underwater world.
Warmer equatorial waters collide with cool currents coming from the southern Pacific, resulting in an incredible mix of marine life. It really is a snorkeller’s paradise and for anyone with a love of underwater photography, it’s a bucket list destination, teeming with endemic marine species and once in a lifetime snapshot moments.
However, there are a few things that any keen marine photographer should know before heading below the surface – some top tips for capturing the image of a lifetime on your Galapagos Islands vacation.
The time of year you take your Galapagos Islands vacation is important. While there is no real off-season and incredible underwater opportunities exist all year round, the end of the rainy season in February and March usually brings the sunniest skies and calmest waters. All of which means better light and clearer images.
A Galapagos Islands vacation involves a cruise tour of a number of the islands, so there will be plenty of opportunities to check out multiple dive spots. However, some really stand out, such as the more isolated Wolf and Darwin islands, located around 150 miles north of the main archipelago. North Seymour is also a fun dive site because conditions are always changing, which means you never know what you are going to get on film.
Anyone keen on smaller marine life, including seahorses, octopuses, and frogfish, should head for Cousin’s Rock. Create a Galapagos custom vacation for the best chance of hitting all the best and most secluded spots.
As you might expect, the sheer scale and range of marine life are astonishing and you’ll find it easy to find great subject matter. However, many photographers are keen to capture some of the bigger, more prestige, animals. Chief amongst them is the colossal whale shark, known to frequent the waters to the north of the main archipelago towards Wolf and Darwin. Hammerhead, Galapagos, and white tip sharks are also main attractions, as are the endemic turtle species and sea lions. You can also capture the world’s most northerly penguins in a playful mood.
So, if a Galapagos Islands vacation and snorkeling experience get your inner Ansel Adams excited, then follow the advice above and hopefully you’ll be rewarded with stunning images.