Do You Love Snorkeling? These Are the Species You’ll Find in the Galapagos
What feels better than slipping into the cool and clear waters of your favorite vacation destination, so you can take some time to enjoy the beauty beneath the sea? Galapagos snorkeling is a truly wonderful experience that can help to put you in touch with an underwater world with some incredible sights and marine species found nowhere else. It is a perfect adventure, and for many, it is the highlight of their trip to the Galapagos.
Snorkelers can enter a very different world where they can experience the marine creatures in their natural setting. There is no single best place to snorkel in the Galapagos, as there are so many areas and options that have some great opportunities for getting beneath the water. In the Galapagos, snorkeling every day is possible, and you will always find new things to see and enjoy.
One of the big draws to snorkeling when compared with scuba diving is the simplicity that snorkeling offers. You do not need to have any training or certification if you are snorkeling. You just need a mask, snorkel, and some fins, and you can experience the wonders of the ocean. These items are typically available for rent at many locations, or you could even bring your own if you prefer.
Because of the location, Galapagos snorkeling can allow you to see many different types of marine life up close and personal. Those who may be snorkeling on the western islands or during the Humboldt current season, might also want to consider renting a wetsuit, just in case the water is a bit on the cool side. People of many ages can enjoy the Galapagos for snorkeling, along with a host of other adventurous activities.
Marine Species Found Nowhere Else
Certainly one of the most exciting things about snorkeling in the Galapagos is getting to see a wide range of fish and marine species that you would not typically get to see elsewhere such as …. Whenever you head below the surface, you could be able to see many different types of creatures, and the experience is always new and interesting.
While you may not be able to see all these creatures on your trip, there is a very good chance that you will run into quite a few when you are snorkeling. However, even if some areas are better for seeing certain types of species, it is impossible to know just what will be out and about when you go snorkeling. Let’s get a better look at some of the different types of creatures that make their home in the area.
Types of Fish Found in the Galapagos
One of the most populous fish in the area is the yellow-tailed surgeon fish. These fish will usually be found in large schools. They have two vertical stripes on the side of their head, along with three dots on their sides. They have a sharp spine in their tail, which has proven beneficial for them when it comes to predator defense. They are a common fish, and they will generally stay away from snorkelers, but you can see them from a bit of a distance.
The parrot fish is quite popular due to being so colorful. They are blue, green, and orange, and they feed on coral. Because of their favored food, this means you are likely to see them in areas that are somewhat shallow and close to the coral and the rocks.
The King Angelfish is the only angelfish variety you will find in the Galapagos. They are very easy to identify. They have a deep blue color, with orange fins and tail, along with a white vertical stripe down the side. These are located at many of the best places to snorkel in the Galapagos.
These are just some of the many different types of fish you might encounter when in the Galapagos. Snorkeling can also get you a view of plenty of other types of marine life.
The Turtles and Tortoises
The green sea turtles are one of the draws to the island. These are large sea turtles that are commonly seen by snorkelers, as they spend quite a bit of time in the shallows and allow snorkelers to get quite close. They can also be found at some of the deeper snorkeling sites. The males will spend their entire lives in the sea, whereas the females will leave the ocean when they go onto the beaches to lay their eggs.
While you aren’t going to find them while you are out snorkeling, you might also want to take some time to experience the famous Galapagos Giant tortoises. They are found on land and these large, beautiful creatures can only be found in the Galapagos Islands.
Sharks and Rays
There are sharks in the waters of the Galapagos, as well, and it is common that you might get to see some when you are snorkeling. The most common shark is the white-tipped reef shark, which features white tips on the tail and the dorsal fin. The Galapagos shark can also be seen, as can hammerheads and whale sharks. These tend to be in the deeper snorkeling sites, though and the whale shark is only seen during the Whale Shark Season, which runs from June to November
Rays are very interesting creatures, and there are four types that you might come across in the Galapagos while snorkeling.
These include the spotted eagle ray, golden cownose ray, stingray, and the manta ray. They are not aggressive, and when they move through the water, they look as if they are flying. Sting rays, which have a barb in their tail, are not dangerous, but they could sting if they are stepped on. This is out of defense rather than malice. The manta rays are truly impressive. They are massive and can have a span of more than 15ft. If you see any rays on your Galapagos snorkeling trip, count yourself as being very lucky and enjoy the show!
Of course, this is only the beginning of what you can find. There are eels, octopi, sea lions, and many other types of marine life that will make your trip truly memorable.
Food journalist and serial Galapagos travel