Best snorkelling sites on Galapagos
Most people associate the Galapagos with being one of the best places in the world to spot wildlife. With marine iguanas, numerous endemic tortoise species and some of the tamest birdlife in the world, they’re not wrong. However, it’s under the water where the wildlife is really out of this world. Which is why diving and snorkeling is highly recommended on all Galapagos cruises.
The Galapagos Islands have become a worldwide Mecca for snorkellers and scuba divers, with the possibility of seeing hammerheads, playful sea lions and even the elusive whale shark (the Holy Grail of underwater exploration).
Conditions for diving and snorkeling are best in the cooler season between June to December, with September and November giving you the biggest chance of getting up close and personal with some stunning creatures. The water is colder at this time of year, so you’ll need a wetsuit (or two), but the calmer climate means clearer conditions are better and also safer. You do still need to watch out for strong currents and abide by the rules at all times.
There are countless dive spots all over the islands with calmer waters for beginners to learn the ropes. However, those looking for exceptional snorkeling should try the following:
Gardner Bay, Española Island
This crescent beach on the northeast side of the island is home to a sea lion colony, stingrays, white tipped sharks and parrotfish amongst others. Marine turtles nest here too, and the easy access makes it a great spot for snorkellers.
Wolf and Darwin
Located some distance from the main archipelago, Wolf and Darwin are often considered one of the ultimate diving spots. You’ll need to be on liveaboard Galapagos cruises this far north as the islands are uninhabited, but the rewards for visiting are spectacular. This is the spot you’re most likely to glimpse a whale shark, and because tourists are few and far between you’ll more than likely have the waters all to yourself. Book Galapagos custom vacations to truly experience Wolf and Darwin.
Kicker Rock, San Cristobal
This narrow channel positively teems with life, with the area popular with turtles, rays, and sharks. You may need to go deeper to see hammerheads but it’s still a great snorkel spot. Combine a dive here with the nearby sea lion colony at Isla Lobos.
Devils Crown, Floreana
These jagged peaks form the tip of a largely submerged volcano which gives it the ominous sounding name. Outside of the volcanic cone, you’ll find sharks and rays and then head inside the shallower ring for a chamber full of tropical fish.