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Best Time To Snorkel In Galapagos
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Drinking at Chinatown offers one of the best ways in the islands to see Galapagos penguins, sea lions, reef sharks and green sea turtles all in one place. Sea lion cubs swim in isolated lagoons around China, where they are protected from predators and waves while their mothers forage in the ocean. You’ll also get the chance to swim and play with the sea lions, which move like torpedoes around the underwater rocks and pop bubbles to surprise the snakes. You will also have the chance to swim with penguins zigzagging around small schools of fish, and Green sea turtles, moving slowly in the same water looking for beds of algae. Whitetip reef sharks are also seen here as they slowly swim beneath the sand, oxygen in their blood.
Isla Lobos gets its name from the sea lions that live on its shores, and after a short trip to the island to visit these friendly creatures, it’s time to swim with them. On the west side of the island there is a sheltered bay, cut off from the sea, except for a small bay. It offers very calm waters and white sand at this site. There is not much to see apart from the sea lions, but here they are the main attraction and always steal the show! The water is so clear here, that you can often see the lone king of the pack drowning below, but be prepared for all the fun and surprises of the young.
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These little creatures have been known to sneak up behind unsuspecting turtles, leap into the air and shoot in front of surprised swimmers! They also like to swim up to your mask, stay within inches and blow bubbles in your face. Everyone who drinks here immediately falls in love with the friendly animals!
Ancient earthquakes created North Seymour Island in an uplift above sea level. Its origin as an ocean gives the island its unique and narrow location. North Seymour is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in the Galapagos to see Whitetip Reef Sharks swimming in deep water under or on the bottom of the sand. The very few currents in this area make the Galapagos Islands very large due to the proximity of the small mountains that surround this small island. It makes for fun and easy snorkeling with the usual sightings of king angelfish, billfish, black rays, stingrays, pool fish, parrot fish and sea lions.
James Bay on Santiago Island is a shallow area that can be reached from shore rather than by boat. Even this fact makes it very different from other Galapagos sites. While on land, you’ll notice that California sea lions and sea lions abound on Santiago Island, and if you’re lucky, you might see both species while lying on James Bay. The black sand beach slopes down to the bottom of the rocks, where flocks of green sea turtles enjoy hiding and grazing among the rocks. However, these dark stones move and float towards you! Galapagos seals are also frequent visitors here, and large schools of light and golden rays can be seen gliding past at certain times of the year.
An aerial photo of Isabela Island shows its oceanic shape, while Punta Vicente Roca is located in the northwestern part of the island, on the coast. Here, the remains of an old volcano form a bay that is well protected from the waves of the sea and two beautiful turquoise bays. In this area of the Galapagos, the cold waters of the Humboldt Current lead to an abundance of marine life, making Punta Vicente Roca one of the most sought-after snorkeling spots in the archipelago, with its turquoise sheltered coves. but also one of the coldest. Tigers, sunfish, hinged shrimp, sea urchins and the famous red-lipped batfish await the snakes here! Because sea lions are active and out of sight, Pacific sea turtles are often found sleeping on temporary reef beds. The iconic Port Jackson logo is also a regular visitor and is often seen when driving by.
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Bartolome Island is famous for its Pinnacle Rock, a tall, spear-headed obelisk that rises from the beach and is one of the most famous landmarks in the entire Galapagos. The moon is dreaming, the white sand and the black sand are in the east of the peak. The beach is used as a nesting site for sea turtles and they can be seen swimming under the ‘rock’. Galapagos penguins – the world’s second smallest penguin and the only penguin species north of the equator – wander uncontrollably through small volcanoes where sea lions often sleep.
Floreana Island has a rich and colorful history that includes traders, convicts, pirates and a group of colonists who chose a Robinson Crusoe-like life. North of Punta Cormorant (and on Floreana Island) is an ancient, volcanic climate. The eroded crater walls are frequent nesting sites of seabirds, including pelicans and red-and-blue boobies. Get ready for a real ride when you drink here! The Devil’s Crown has a strong suction, a channel that dominates the float and surrounds the crown. You feel like you are at a theme park where animation does all the work! Because of its water, Devil’s Crown is home to many marine species, making it one of the most beautiful areas of the Galapagos.
These species include moray eels, various types of coral, pencil sharks, snakes, swallows, groupers, angelfish, amberjack, yellowtail, scorpionfish and many other interesting creatures. As with most dive sites in the Galapagos, you can expect to be visited by sea turtles and sea lions. This is a great place to see schools of eagle rays and see them.
In the northwest of the Galapagos Islands, about 90 miles from the main port of Porto Ayora, we find Munara Island (Genovesa in Spanish). The southwestern part of the island consists of a flooded caldera, partially open and flooded. In the center of this caldera is a deep section often seen with large manta rays and hammerheads. These fish sometimes swim near the open west side of the Caldera. Tower Island offers two very different snorkeling spots on the mountains that make up the interior of the Caldera. Drinking here is great if you look out into the abyss to see the big fish.
Great Galapagos Snorkeling Spots
Another good spot is located on the east side of the Caldera, near Prince Phillip’s steps. This site is named after the British monarch’s visit in the past. Warm fish feeding on cold water food are often seen here, along with other large tropical fish. There are large species of angelfish, parrotfish, unicorns and pips, as well as surgeonfish, sea bass and a variety of butterfly fish. The rocky rim of the caldera is also a good place to see rainbow trout.