While elusive to many, the nutrient-rich waters of the Galapagos Marine Reserve give the sleek and slender creatures like the bottle-nosed dolphins, ample room to roam freely; a highlight of the journey to the islands for scientists and travelers alike. The fast-swimming creatures can weigh as much as 1000 pounds, and grow to 14 ft. long.
Intuitive, intelligent, and socially curious, Bottle-Nosed Dolphins are often seen from the decks of cruise ships and in the waters off of the coast of Isabela and Wolf and Darwin Islands. Moving in groups of up to a hundred, the cunning creatures come to the Galapagos to feed and breed with the arrival of the Humboldt Current between the months of July and December.
Bottle-nosed dolphins feed as a team, working together to herd schools of fish upward into chaotic swarms on the ocean’s surface. Groups of dolphins dive underneath the small fish, using their speed and agility to push their prey to shallow water where members of the pod are waiting to pounce.
The curious creatures are often spotted in ship’s wakes, gracefully breaching the waters in striking displays of dazzling aerobatics. During diving excursions, they can be found along coral reefs alongside sea turtles, sharks, and whales.
Where to find them:Out at sea from cruise ships, and in the waters around Wolf, Darwin, and Isabela Islands.
When to see them:Between July and December