There are three dimensions to the fascinating wildlife of the Galapagos: land, air, and sea. Though many creatures are comfortable in more than one (even all three!), the vast majority of species reside exclusively below sea level.
So to get the most out of a Galapagos trip, we recommend bringing a dive mask for an amazing snorkeling adventure. Maybe you already own one or can pick one out in your local dive shop. This is preferable to a used mask that may not fit exactly. A new snorkel might also be a good idea, though fins (which are heavier) can be rented. In fact, fins are entirely optional.
After a short orientation from your tour/cruise guide, you’re all set to explore the first few meters of the Galapagos underworld. If no wetsuits are provided and you find the water chilly, a tight-fitting shirt/vest and cycling shorts are usually enough.
Enjoy hiding around rocks, but aren’t afraid of humans and will happily swim right up to your camera lens! They don’t travel fast or mind being followed. Unfortunately, you can’t grab their shells and expect them to pull you along!
Other diver’s favorites. These tricky fellows love to play around like underwater puppies, and though it’s hard to keep up with them, they usually travel in packs and will surround curious humans instinctively. They’ll get bored of you first!
Cousins of land iguanas, are not the prettiest of sea life, but have impressively long tails and are marvelous to observe. Males are larger with spiny heads, while the population as a whole features various colorations, and feeds on algae.
The second-smallest in the world, about 50cm long, and can be spotted floating/swimming on the surface, or darting like a rocket through the water. Humans can help keep them safe from their many underwater predators!
There are a great many other treats for snorkellers, including hundreds of colorful reef fish, harmless sharks, spotted eagle rays, seahorses, and even larger fish such as dolphins, hammerheads, and whales!