Okay, that may be a bit of a hyperbole but the Galápagos Islands are truly a sight to behold. I’ve done my fair share of snorkeling in crystal clear Caribbean waters and I can safely say, they do not compare to what I experienced in the islands.
Out of all the snorkeling I did in the Galápagos, Champion Islet takes the cake. The water is so clear and you can see about 60 feet below you. If you visit here, you can cross off about 75% of those fish in those handy animal guide books.
Believe me when I say, Champion Islet is in the middle of no where. While the archipelago is indeed remote, this place feels even miles away. The islet itself is situated off the coast of Floreana and not accessible to humans (unless you’re an approved scientist). For my trip, my group took off on pangas toward the islet, decked in our finest snorkel gear. Approaching the islet is almost intimidating. Champion Islet is tall, jutting straight out of the sea. There are no beaches here to welcome you but the Galápagos sea lions will bark a nice welcome toward your boat. Don’t worry, they are friendlyish. They swam around my group a couple of times but were just playing with each other. They really didn’t seem to notice us.
Once you’re in the water, ohmygod, you won’t know which way to turn your head. There are fish freakin’ everywhere. Above, left, right, below, beside…My Go Pro videos from the snorkel trip are all rather shaky because I kept looking all around me constantly. That’s another thing, if you have a camera, BRING IT! I was one of the few in my group of 16 or so who could take pictures or video of anything here. I use the Go Pro HERO Session since it’s rather inexpensive compared to most sport related cameras.
So, look up, down, side to side and find all the angel fish you can imagine. You’ll see a menagerie of parrot fish as well – from the silly looking bumpheads to the beautifully iridescent blue-chins. I managed to see a couple of wrasse swimming close to the corals but they are rather shy and often high tail it to a crevasse before you get a good look at them.
Historical Post Office Bay.
Back to Floreana, right off the beach by Post Office Bay is another fine snorkeling spot. This was the first spot of the day which was a good thing for the groups emotions. Anything after Champion Islet would be seriously disappointing. Not to sell Post Office Bay short but it does not offer the clarity or depth of the islet. Still, I managed to find no less than five green sea turtles here. Nearly everyone in my group spotted a few black tip reef sharks around. Of course myself, being the shark person I am, didn’t manage to see any of them. (It’s okay, I got to see the white tip later on!) I also spotted a handful of diamond stingrays shuffled under the sand. Even caught a tiny 7″ baby on camera. You will definitely find a variety of fish in this spot. I didn’t see too many parrotfish but a lot of angels and a few puffers.
Even still, 3 weeks after I’ve gotten home, I have hours of video and photos to sort through. I’ll be sure to update with a part 2 and more beautiful content. Stay tuned!