As I sit on the deck of our catamaran, a splash in the water in front of me catches my eye. Intrigued, I watch as 5 seconds later a bird emerges with a huge fish in its mouth, and takes off into the sky! 15 minutes earlier we saw a sea lion wrestling with an octopus from our zodiac. Earlier that day we were snorkelling with huge sea lions (and even a shark!) just off the coast of one of the islands. It’s never dull in the Galapagos islands!
The Galapagos islands are special, and with 97% allocated as national park, and endemic species galore, we were constantly seeing things we would never see anywhere else in the world.
Visiting the Galapagos islands is a bit of a misnomer, given that much of the action actually happens in the blue waters surrounding the islands. Snorkelling and diving are unmissable given the abundance of sea life in the fertile waters.
On our cruise with Happy Gringo, we were afforded the opportunity to snorkel each day, sometimes twice in one day and saw some of the most docile and beautiful creatures on our underwater odysseys.
On our very first snorkel, we battled with the incoming waves as we watched in awe as 20 sea lions played in the water around us. Our presence seemed to energise them, and a competition seemingly developed around who could get close enough to us! Cue huge sea lions zooming alongside us, sometimes only a metre or so away. It was an incredible, if not intimidating experience!
If dodging huge sea lions as waves crash above you sounds a bit too intense, then a more tranquil experience snorkelling with sea turtles might be right for you! Our experience of snorkelling with turtles was incredible. Slipping into the water from our zodiac, we put our heads under the water and instantly a huge, graceful turtle was floating a couple of metres below us. As we watched it ebb and flow with the waves, we could see others all around us.
Seeing sea turtles in their natural environment ranks as one of the highlights of any of our travels to date!
The abundance of wildlife in the fertile waters was complimented by huge stingrays, thousands of fish and even (gulp) that shark!
Snorkelling in the waters of the Galapagos islands is a must do activity, and you are almost guaranteed to see graceful turtles, energetic seals and (we hope) friendly sharks!
*With thanks to our friends for kindly sharing their underwater photos with us!