Snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands is a must-do activity on any trip.
The islands are home to some of the most incredible marine species found anywhere on the planet.
There are around 25 different sea turtle species, five different penguin species, and six different seal species, not to mention innumerable fish and mollusks.
If you’re looking for a Galapagos snorkeling cruise or trying to figure out what type of trip will give you the most snorkeling possibilities, there are a few things to consider.
This guide gives insights on how to choose the best galapagos cruise for snorkeling for the ultimate experience.
What Is Snorkeling and How Does It Work?
Snorkeling is a water sport that involves swimming along the surface while breathing via a snorkel.
The snorkel is then used as an extension of your upper body, with your fins doing the majority of the work!
The word’snorkeling’ is derived from the German word Schnorchel (which means tube or pipe) and the French word sous-marine (which means undersea) (meaning underwater).
So it’s basically the same as swimming, except you breathe via a tube rather than your mouth!
Factors to Think About When Choosing The Best Galapagos Snorkeling Cruise
There are a few things to think about before booking your Galapagos snorkeling vacation. They are as follows:
- Cruise Length: Some trips are longer than others, so make sure to check which ones allow you to go snorkeling the most.
- Average Time At Sea: Determine how much time will be spent at sea as opposed to visiting other islands. Make sure there are days set aside for snorkeling so you may spend as much time as possible in the ocean!
- Diving vs. Snorkeling: It’s important to confirm ahead of time if there will be a day during the tour dedicated to snorkeling, as not all diving cruises do. Some cruises leave one or two days open for people who want to dive in other locations, so do your research ahead of time — you don’t want to be disappointed!
- Trip Length: A longer cruise will give you more opportunity to explore and dive at numerous locations:
How To Choose The Best Galapagos Cruise For Snorkeling
When it comes to snorkeling chances, certain cruises are better than others, but here are some of the top Galapagos cruises for snorkeling:
Legend Cruises – The Condor’s Legend
The Legend of the Condor is a stunning Galapagos luxury yacht that is one of the greatest Galapagos tours for snorkeling. It is named after an old fishing boat.
This classic sailing schooner has two decks and three floors, with breathtaking views from every window!
It has been meticulously constructed to allow passengers to take in the breathtaking scenery while also relaxing in luxury and style.
The Legend of the Condor comes equipped with a comprehensive range of snorkeling equipment, as well as kayaks, a seawater pool, paddleboards, water bikes, and fins.
Because it is a smaller ship, there will be lots of opportunities for diving and snorkeling at various locations throughout the islands and nearby waterways.
This is your chance to witness all kinds of marine creatures, including sea turtles, penguins, seals, and whales, without getting wet.
The Galapagos Mystery: Santa Cruz II
This fantastic cruise ship offers a fantastic route that includes snorkeling the Galapagos’ most famous islands, including La Plata (home to blue-footed boobies) and its southern cousin, Fernandina (where you can see penguins).
During its 7-day voyage, the Santa Cruz II offers some of the best Galapagos cruise itineraries, with plenty of opportunity for snorkelers.
Plus, you’ll get the opportunity to witness a wide variety of water creatures: sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, and whales are just a few of the marine animals you’ll be able to see up up and personal.
These cruises are ideal for individuals who want to see everything Galapagos has to offer – and they’re also incredibly affordable!
Yolita II Cruise
Yolita II is one of the greatest trips for people interested in visiting some of the Galapagos’ lesser-known islands.
You’ll probably spend more time on land than onboard this boat, which primarily visits islands that were previously off-limits to tourists.
There are no distractions here; only wildlife, abundant aquatic life, and breathtaking landscape. It’s a thrilling experience!
On these trips, the scuba option includes diving in a location where you can expect to see hammerhead sharks and sea lions! This is without a doubt one of the top Galapagos snorkeling trips.
The Magic of Disney
This is a well-thought-out cruise that caters to families with young children. There are numerous activities for children, ranging from art workshops to marine life quizzes.
This boat also includes visits at Santa Fe Island, which provide fantastic snorkeling opportunities (where you can swim with penguins).
On this tour, you might even get lucky and see dolphins – as one traveler put it, “the dolphins and sea lions were incredible.” So, if you’re searching for a truly memorable family vacation, this is undoubtedly one of the best Galapagos cruises for families.
The Cruise of the Quest
This is the finest snorkeling cruise for you if you really want to come in touch with nature and be right in the middle of it all!
This cruise has a unique schedule that takes you to San Cristobal and Floreana Island (this was where Charles Darwin landed).
You’ll get to view some magnificent things on the ground, including lava tubes and volcano craters — it’ll be incredible! If that wasn’t enough, there’s a good possibility you’ll have the opportunity to swim alongside sea lions.
On top of that, it’s a fantastic boat for taking photos (bring your camera!).
Where In The Galapagos Are The Best Snorkeling Spots?
Because the Galapagos Islands are so different, there is a wide range of snorkeling opportunities throughout the archipelago. The following are some of the top snorkeling spots:
– Baltra Island, where enormous schools of fish may be seen around Wolf Point;
– Santa Fe Island, with its sub-tropical climate and water;
– Fernandina Island, where you can go scuba diving with marine iguanas; Darwin Bay
– Isla Genovesa – a fantastic opportunity to swim with sea lions.
– Tortuga Bay (hundreds of marine iguanas and other endemic species such as lava lizards can be found here). You can even learn to scuba dive here!
– Santiago Island – offers fantastic chances to observe sea lions.
Is Snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands Safe?
It’s actually quite safe — perhaps even safer than swimming in a local freshwater lake! There are a few things to keep an eye out for while you’re here, though:
– If there has been a lot of rain, the water might become rather murky. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but it will make it more difficult to see some of the best Galapagos snorkeling places.
– If there is an oil spill, you should avoid swimming — this includes fishing boats and other vessels. Plus, if there are a lot of dead fish floating about, you should get out of the water.
The Galapagos Islands are unquestionably one of the top snorkeling destinations in the world. Still, you must choose the finest Galapagos cruise for snorkeling carefully, or you may find yourself in a position where there are no suitable snorkeling places available.
As a result, it’s critical to choose a cruise that allows you to swim with sea lions (if that’s what you desire) and avoid excursions that focus solely on land rather than water. We hope this guide on how to choose the best galapagos cruise for snorkeling was helpful.