Snorkeling in Galapagos!
Updated: Aug 12, 2022
When you think about Galapagos the first things that pop into your head are probably Charles Darwin and the giant Tortoises. The BIG 15 that you search for while in Galapagos are basically land animals. Some might swim a little but none of them live underwater. As excited as I was see all of those endemic species I was also very excited to get in the water and explore who lives there too. The leaders of Central and South America want to protect the underwater creatures just as much as the land living ones. On the day we were leaving Galapagos they signed a decree officially creating the new Galapagos Marine Reserve. https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/galapagos-marine-reserve-ocean-highway
I would not call myself an expert or even an avid snorkeler. I really had only done it a couple times in the Caribbean and honestly didn't enjoy it that much. Then when we cruised Sea of Cortez 2 years ago I was very excited to snorkel with the sea lions which meant I did need to take a refresher course on how to snorkel before we got to the sea lions.
I realized that part of the reason I didn't enjoy snorkeling was that I just didn't like having the snorkel in my mouth. I also hadn't snorkeled in a wetsuit before so I learned that it is so much easier in a wetsuit since that does all the work of keeping you afloat. I will be honest when our guide said you will always float in a wetsuit I didn't believe her so at first I kept feeling like I had to tread water. Once I got comfortable enough to convince my brain I wasn't going to sink I finally started to enjoy snorkeling.
When I booked the expedition cruise to Galapagos I knew snorkeling would be a must do - mainly because there would be sea lions and I had so much fun swimming with those little guys in Sea of Cortes. I already knew I wanted a wetsuit since it made it easier but then I read how cold the water would be I knew it was a must have. You would think being on the equator would mean warm water but it doesn't. The average water temperature all year is 75 degrees. So I also added scuba gloves and socks to the list to keep me warmer.
With all the covid stuff I thought the ship might not be lending snorkels and masks so I figured best to buy our own. I did some research and so glad I did since I found the best mask and snorkel. I had seen some people wearing these recently on other cruises and I kind of thought they looked silly. After reading the reviews I realized those people were the smart ones. We ordered a couple from amazon and so glad we did. This new mask goes over your whole face and no need to hold anything in your mouth. The snorkel also has a great way of keeping water out of your mouth too. It made snorkeling a breeze. I was able to stay in the water for hours and never felt uncomfortable.
If you really want to snorkel in Galapagos an expedition cruise, like the Hurtigruten one I did, really is the best way. I think we snorkeled almost every day in new locations and one day even twice in the day. The first time we walked in from the beach but after that it was what they called deep water snorkel where you get in the water from the zodiac. I had never done that before but it was easy and actually better than walking in from the beach because you get the cold part over fast.
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