The Galapagos Islands contain some of the most exciting snorkeling and diving sites in the world, and you will be able to snorkel on any cruise or land-based tour. Even those who are lukewarm about snorkeling will be delighted by swimming with playful sea lions and watching green sea turtles much on seaweed lawns. In fact, most people return from the Galapagos report that snorkeling was their favorite part of their entire trip.
Just as on land, the highlight of your underwater Galapagos experience is the wildlife viewing. The animals seem to be absolutely fearless and docile. In fact, it’s only place in the world where human can safely swim beside hammerhead and white-tip reef sharks. Snorkelers usually see sea turtles, manta rays, penguins, sea lions and reef sharks. Lucky snorkelers will swim alongside dolphins, hammerheads, . Additionally, the waters around the Galapagos Islands boast hundreds of species of tropical reef fish, many of which are endemic to the area.
There are a few places to snorkel that you can visit without a guide, but these are few and far between. Most of the snorkel sites have to be visited with a guide which typically has be booked months in advance.
Typical trips to the Galapagos feature snorkeling as an option for travelers almost every day. Galapagos cruises and multisport tours usually have two snorkeling excursions a day; land-based naturalist tours typically have one snorkeling cruise a day or every other day. While many boats have snorkeling gear to rent, it’s always recommended that you bring your own mask and snorkel as they will fit the best; you can then just rent the fins and/or wetsuit in the Islands. If it’s not clear ahead of time, you should check with your trip operator to see if snorkeling gear is available for rent.
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