Galapagos Islands: Most Unique Snorkeling in the World
(North Merrick, NY)
I've snorkeled many places in the Caribbean and Pacific. The most unique snorkeling I've ever done was in the Galapagos Islands, which is located about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in South America.
First, you need to be on a Galapagos cruise boat that offers snorkeling. I was fortunate to be aboard the National Geographic Islander which holds 48 people. It was my second time on this ship (the first time they didn't offer snorkeling) and my wife's third time (twice with snorkeling). The trip is pricey but worth it if you want to see something unique.
If the snorkeling conditions are good -- which they were for our last trip in February 2018 -- you see the following close-up as you snorkel: sea lions, marine iguanas (eating seaweed at the sea bottom), penguins, many, many huge sea turtles, and ocean sunfish (the second largest fish in the world after whale sharks).
We were fortunate to see all of these creatures during our snorkeling. In particular, our expedition leader told us that we were most fortunate to see six ocean sunfish one afternoon, the most she has ever seen at one time.
Also, I should point out that the National Geographic cruise that went out a week before us did not have as much luck snorkeling as we did because the water conditions were not as good. In other words, this is a weather dependent experience, but one that I doubt snorkelers would experience anywhere else in the world.
If you go, bring a full 5 mm wetsuit; the cruise only loans out 5 mm shorties which are not warm enough.