Top 5 snorkel sites in the Galapagos

by on 21st April, 2017

Top 5 snorkel sites in the Galapagos

Snorkelling around the Galapagos Islands is a true highlight of any Galapagos holiday.

An abundance of inquisitive and beautiful creatures await you once you slip into the sea.

Most snorkel sites are in calm waters and suitable for people that have never snorkelled before.

Here – in no particular order – Galapagos expert Tom Shearman lists his Top 5 Galapagos snorkel sites.

He said: “I always tell people that half of Galapagos wonders are above sea level, the other half below.

“It’s worth a bit of practice before you go, then take the plunge and enjoy.”

Check our full range of Galapagos underwater highlights videos and our full playlist here.


Top 5 Galapagos snorkel sites


Tuneles, Isabela

Fancy getting up close to a white tipped reef shark then drift past a green turtle?

Perhaps some common eagle rays?

Tuneles is famous for the range and accessibility of incredible marine life without being in deep waters.


Punta Vicente Rock, Isabela

A beautiful protected cove and a lovely cave is the home to a varied snorkel replete with characters.

You can start in the sandy cove area where no doubt you will see turtles and schools of fish.

As you move towards the cave, the light starts to play and illuminate the water in a beautiful, curtained fashion, a moiré of blues and whites.

Frogfish, moonfish, sea horses and darting sea lions await those who snorkel, in what is a one of the colder snorkels owing to the Humboldt Current that runs near. Sometimes Port Jackson sharks can be seen.


Kicker Rock, San Cristobal

Kicker Rock, or Leon Dormido, is the final remains of a tuff cone rising over 143 metres out of the ocean, two dramatic slabs with a channel of water running between them.

If Kicker Rock were a building, it would have almost 50 floors!

Drop into the sea and use the gentle current to bob you along the edge and through a channel of this drastic formation.

Gaze left and right and down below – sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, chocolate chip starfish, and, with any luck, a Galapagos Shark or two. Hammerheads can sometimes be seen here, too.



This submerged volcano crater offers two great – and distinct – snorkel spots.

What is left of the crater lifts up from the water in a moon crescent. The first snorkel takes place at the start of this lift, with deep waters underneath, at the western edge.

Hammerheads and large manta rays are known to visit this edge of the island.

On the east side of the island is Prince Philip’s Steps, another snorkel spot.  This brings a mix of warm and cold waters together and a flood of tropical fish.

If your itinerary allows, you may be able to snorkel at a third spot, from the beach in the centre of the volcano, where sea lions and reef sharks live.


Devil’s Crown, Floreana

Stunning to look at, stunning to snorkel by.

This is just north of the island, and impossible to miss. The remains of a submerged volcano thrust from the waves, with many birds roosting in the crown.

There is a current here that may take a little bit of getting used to. It pushes you past the volcanic cone so you can concentrate on what is below.

The sheltered waters are home to beautiful corals, urchins and colourful fish, plus rays, sea turtles and sea lions.


Been inspired?

Check our Galapagos cruises page for options, or for more information about the islands, check our Galapagos Islands page.

Don’t want a cruise? We offer hotel-based tours, too.

Contact us for more information.


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