May 2018 Galapagos Snorkeling Trip Report
by Tim & Mihee Jordan
My wife and I just got back from our May 2018 eight day, seven night snorkeling trip to the western islands of the Galapagos. We were on a liveaboard, the motorized catamaran "Anahi," and the trip was just fantastic in every way. Our three main critters we wanted to snorkel with were the penguins, marine iguanas, and sea lions and the "Anahi" has one of, if not the best, itineraries to do that. The "Anahi" is a great boat in every way. The food was great and plentiful, and the captain, crew, and park guide are second to none, so I highly recommend this boat.
We snorkeled two times a day on six out of the eight days and we made land trips all eight days where we got up close and personal with all kinds of land creatures like giant tortoises, land and marine iguanas, sea lions, flamingos, as well as nesting Blue Footed Boobies, and Frigatebirds. The only thing we did not see that I would have liked to have seen was the Waved Albatross, but they are in the eastern part of the islands. But we were totally satisfied just as well.
While the water was not cold cold, it was cool (mid 70's °F) at least to us, so we did bring our wetsuits and wore them each time. The snorkeling sessions were about an hour and a half each time, once in the morning and once in the afternoon and always at different locations.
While the wife and I have snorkeled with turtles before and they are always a treat to see, the turtles in the Galapagos are like we have never ever seen before. There were literally green sea turtles EVERYWHERE you looked. I filmed so many sea turtles that I got tired of filming them. Here is one of my turtle videos.
It was almost the same way with the marine iguanas. They too were almost everywhere you looked both on land and feeding underwater. Really was a rare sight to see them swim out, dive down, and cling on to the rocks eating algae. Something you will get to snorkel with and observe nowhere else except the Galapagos. Here is my video of the marine iguanas.
We did get to snorkel with the penguins BUT there were not as many of them and they are so fast it is hard to film them. I got a few good shots but they are what I would say as "short and sweet". But once again only in the Galapagos. Here is a decent video I got of the penguins.
Snorkeling with the sea lions was also a lot of fun. They are very curious of humans and a couple of times they would swim right up to you, stop and then blow bubbles at you. Here is a good video I got of that. We even snorkeled with a group of six juveniles that played with and around us for quite awhile. Here is another of my snorkeling with sea lions videos.
I also got to film a flightless cormorant swimming underwater looking for a meal and that was very special as well.
While we did not see a lot of sharks, I was able to find several of them resting on the bottom under ledges and got some good footage of them as well.
So, as you can see, the wife and I had a spectacular trip snorkeling the Galapagos Islands and if going there is not on your bucket list like it was ours, we highly recommend you adding it to your list.