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The Galapagos Islands is the archipelago made up of thirteen large islands with an area greater than 10 km2, nine medium islands with an area of 1 km2 and other 107 small islets, which, along with the Malay Archipelago, are the only archipelagos that have land in the northern hemisphere, and in the southern hemisphere.
The archipelago is the second largest marine reserve on the planet, declared in 1978 by UNESCO as a Natural Heritage of Humanity and is part of the Pacific Volcanic Cordon, classified as one of the hottest spots on the planet, having the most active volcanoes such as Cerro Azul, Sierra Negra and La Cumbre. In the 16th century, Charles Darwin called them the Enchanted Islands for their peculiar biodiversity of flora and fauna.
This unique natural setting, admired by more than 200,000 visitors every year, offers many activities for tourists regardless of their age. Apart from the walks among paradisiacal places, there is one activity that awakens the spirit of adventure. This activity is swimming and diving among the most diverse marine fauna on the planet where you can find penguins, iguanas, sharks, and fishes of a thousand colors at the same time.
For the experience to be properly enjoyed, it is important to consider some tips and suggestions that we can share with you.
Plan the experience and type of tour according to your time.
Day off: Rent the equipment and go out to the Port Villamil and Concha Perla in Isabela where, with a little luck, you will be able to find penguins. However, you should be careful of the boats that enter and leave the port. In Las Tijeretas – San Cristobal, seals love to play with visitors, while green sea turtles swim next to you.
Guided tour: Going to León Dormido in San Cristobal, is the preferred place to snorkel with the family. Here you can dive among the rocks and see up close the Galapagos sharks, rays, reef fish, and sea turtles. The sea currents, which bring an enormous number of species, always speed up the heart and allow the adrenaline to flow.
In the tunnels at Isabela, you can find reef sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, penguins, and especially colorful seahorses. At Pinnacle Rock in Bartolomé, you can go directly from the beach to snorkel taking advantage of the few waves and very calm waters. North Seymour Island allows visitors to see rays and whitetip sharks at the same time.
On a Cruise: Here are several places you can visit while traveling on a cruise to snorkel and enjoy the most varied marine biodiversity (turtles, sea lions, sharks, rays, penguins, iguanas, exotic fish, and seahorses): Corona del Diablo in Floreana, Punta Espinosa in Fernandina, Sombrero Chino in Santiago, Ensenada de Tajo in Isabela, and Príncipe Philip Steps in Genovesa.
Tips to improve your experience.
The waters are usually rather cold, especially in the month of July, which is conducive to the flowering and feeding of multiple species that visit the Galapagos, so, to enjoy Snorkel, it is suggested to wear a neoprene suit, which will allow you to make your experience longer and more satisfying.
It is better to bring a mask that you have tested previously, with which you feel comfortable to carry out your practice. It is advisable to wear a life jacket if you are not an experienced swimmer, and a t-shirt to better withstand the cold water from June to December.
Bring a video camera suitable for immersion in the water, which will allow you to have the best and most impressive memories of your experience. Whenever you float on the surface, check your surroundings every 3 minutes so you don’t stray from the group or boat that accompanies your trip. Remember that the currents can take you away from your landmarks. Wildlife is not dangerous, but common sense is what will always keep you protected.
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