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Before we traveled to the Galapagos the first time, we dreamed of seeing the marine life.

And since we aren’t divers, snorkeling is the next best thing.

During our many trips to the Islands, we’ve seen lots of marine life. Here are some of the highlights.

Learning to Snorkel

When we first arrived, our daughter was afraid to snorkel. Swimming in a pool is one thing – but swimming in the ocean with a snorkel is something entirely different.

Sometimes all it takes is a few minutes in shallow water for children to get a feel for the snorkel. We were so happy that after the second day she learned to snorkel.

Because we were on a land based tour, we had the time and circumstance to snorkel in our free time. Read The Top 10 Reasons to Choose a Land Based Galapagos Tour. This is something to keep in mind when planning your trip.

Swimming with Sea Lions

For our daughter, snorkeling alongside a young sea lion was the highlight of all her time in the Galapagos. While we filmed the video, the sea lion was very curious of the camera and he stayed close while he checked it out. Snorkeling with a sea lion was a highlight for all of us.

Snorkeling with Sea Turtles

While our daughter liked the sea lion the most – both Dena and I really enjoyed swimming with sea turtles.

There was something especially majestic about these large turtles. They continued to feed without giving us a second glance. And in spite of the large waves and strong current they were almost unaffected by it. Here is a video of some of the highlights from sea turtle experience.

A great place to snorkel with sea turtles is Los Tuneles. We saw dozens there on our last trip. Learn more about Los Tuneles.

Snorkeling with Pilot Whales

This (unfortunately) isn’t our experience. This is one of those right-time, right-place kind of experiences. Last year a group of guests happened upon a pod of pilot whales. While snorkeling from from the boat, a pod of these huge whales swam by. Would you enjoy to swim with whales?

Snorkeling with White Tipped Reef Sharks

Being in the water with sharks certainly isn’t for everyone.

In the Galapagos you actually have to go looking for sharks. I never even saw one until the time we went looking for them.

While five of us went on the kayak trip, only two of us got in the water to go looking for sharks – the naturalist guide and I.

And while I knew that they weren’t dangerous, my heart was still beating hard when I first got in the water.

Because they are night hunters, they are at rest during the day. When we found their cave, they were just laying in there. I took the photo when one of them left the cave to go on a brief patrol.

Marine Iguanas Feeding Underwater

While I didn’t get to see a marine iguana feeding while snorkeling, I did get to see it while I was sitting on the shore on Floreana Island. The video was shot with an underwater camera, and I didn’t even get wet.

Keep an eye open for marine iguanas while snorkeling – they’re great swimmers!

Just being in the Galapagos Islands means that you will see lots of animals. We were amazed with the variety of animals we saw before breakfast. We were surrounded by animals!

Diving the Galapagos

While you can see lots of sea life while snorkeling, diving the Galapagos is a completely different experience. Here are some of the animals that divers frequently see while diving in the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Marine Life Video

What are your favorite Galapagos marine animals? Which ones do you want to swim with?

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