Snorkelling in the Galapagos with flirty sealife

Snorkelling in the Galapagos is unlike snorkelling anywhere else in the world.

Just check out our video!

I’ve snorkelled on Rottnest Island in Western Australia, and Dominica in the Caribbean and the coral has been eye-blazingly amazing.

But it wasn’t like the Galapagos.

Carmen and Dave snorkelling Galapagos Double-Barrelled Travel

Ready to snorkel in the Galapagos!

In Galapagos, it’s less about the beauty of the reef, as most of the seabed is made from jutting volcanic rock. Instead, there are an abundance of animals to play with.

And when I say ‘play’, I mean it. You’re not simply observing the animals as they quickly swim away from you. Galapagos sealife is unique, in that what’s under the water is not afraid of human activity and in many cases will approach you.

Galapagos Double-Barrelled Travel

The land tours on the Galapagos are amazing – but don’t miss what’s under the water!

Being inside a natural aquarium

I’m sure you’ve been to an aquarium once or twice in your life. You know the tunnels you can walk through where you have fish swimming all around you?

Snorkelling in the Galapagos is like that, except you’re in the water with the animals.

As you breaststroke and dive through the water, expect to see fish above, below and to the sides of you. You’re in a natural aquarium and it’s brilliant.

Penguins Galapagos Double-Barrelled Travel

Where else can you swim with penguins? The Galapagos is brilliant for this

Types of sealife you’ll see snorkelling in the Galapagos

We snorkelled with massive marine turtles who were nearly the length of us. Graceful swimmers, we found them either resting on the sea floor or swimming peacefully closeby.

In some parts of the Galapagos you have the opportunity to snorkel with penguins, and we swam with them on Isabela island. Fast and manic movers, you can blink and they’ll be gone. Their small bodies are irresistably cute though.

A few times when we were snorkelling in the Galapagos, a large black tip, white tip or Galapagos reef shark would swim by. Although at first it might set your heart racing, the sharks are relatively harmless so it’s wonderful to be able to swim with them in such close proximity.

We were also lucky enough to see a huge school of cow-nosed rays which was fascinating. They swam back and forth past us as if they were showing off and it was brilliant to see them grouped in such large numbers.

Watch the video above to see it!

However, the absolute highlight for me was snorkelling with the sea lions. They are the friendliest animals of the ocean and they’d swim up to us, perform barrell rolls and then blow bubbles in our faces. I fell in love with these beautiful creatures while snorkelling in the Galapagos.

Sea lion Galapagos Double-Barrelled Travel

The sea lions in the Galapagos are just as cute in the water as they are outside of it

Scuba diving vs snorkelling in the Galapagos

We love scuba diving. Ever since we got our PADI certifications a few months ago, we’ve been racking up our dives.

And although I think snorkelling doesn’t really compare – there’s something about getting deep in the water that’s truely magical – if there’s a place where snorkelling is nearly as good as scuba diving, it’s in the Galapagos.

For many, the thought of scuba diving is frightening, and they’re much more comfortable floating on the surface of the sea with a snorkel. And in the Galapagos, you really don’t feel like you’re missing out because the animals are so abundant and easy to spot.

Beach Isabela Galapagos Double-Barrelled Travel

There are so many stunning beach for you to snorkel from in the Galapagos – this one is on Isabela island

Snorkelling from the Seaman Journey yacht

Most of the snorkelling we did in the Galapagos was from the Seaman Journey catamaran and it was a very safe way to swim.

The Seaman Journey provided us with wetsuits, snorkels and flippers, and then drove us out to the snorkel spot on their panga (or dinghy boat).

Seaman panga Galapagos Double-Barrelled Travel

The comfortable panga we snorkelled from, which is owned by the Seaman Journey yacht

We then had a short briefing about the conditions, what we could expect to see and what direction to swim in, before jumping in the water.

The panga stayed by our sides while we snorkelled, so if anyone in the group got tired from the activity they could go back onto the dinghy.

One lady in our group had never snorkelled before but our guide Geoff gave her some tips and she quickly got the hang of it.

Have you been snorkelling somewhere amazing? Where was it and what was it like?

Thanks to the Seaman Journey for hosting us in the Galapagos for four days. For more information on their cruises, you can visit their website. As always, our opinions are our own.



About the author

Carmen has been nomadic since May 2013 and the co-founder of Double-Barrelled Travel. She loves experiencing new cultures and learning new languages. She is having the most fun when skiing down a mountain, scuba diving in the Caribbean or curled up with a good book.

11 comments on “Snorkelling in the Galapagos with flirty sealife”

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