Galapagos Islands Human Steps, Galapagos Cruise, Galapagos Tours

The first inhabitants of Galapagos Islands, were between two and three hundred in number; they are nearly all people of colour, who have been banished for political crimes from the Republic of the Equator, of which Quito is the capital. The settlement is placed about four and a half miles inland, and at a height probably of a thousand feet. In the first part of the road we passed through leafless thickets, as in Chatham Islands at Galapagos Islands.
Higher up, the woods gradually became greener; and as soon as we crossed the ridge of the Galapagos islands, we were cooled by a fine southerly breeze, and our sight refreshed by a green and thriving vegetation. In this upper region coarse grasses and ferns abound; but there are no tree-ferns: I saw nowhere any member of the palm family, which is the more singular, as 360 miles northward, Cocos Island takes its name from the number of cocoa-nuts. The houses are irregularly scattered over a flat space of ground, which is cultivated with sweet potatoes and bananas. It will not easily be imagined how pleasant the sight of black mud was to us, after having been so long, accustomed to the parched soil of Peru and northern Chile.

The inhabitants, although complaining of poverty, obtained, without much trouble, the means of subsistence. In the woods there are many wild pigs and goats; but the staple article of animal food is supplied by the tortoises. Their numbers have of course been greatly reduced in this Galapagos islands, but the people yet count on two days’ hunting giving them food for the rest of the week. It is said that formerly single vessels have taken away as many as seven hundred, and that the ship’s company of a frigate some years since brought down in one day two hundred tortoises to the beach.

Galapagos Islands Snorkeling Activity

The Galapagos Islands are without question a top destination for divers since it is the second largest marine reserve worldwide.

The word “scuba dive” may sound scary; however, the marine landscape can be enjoyed in a different way: snorkeling.

Marine life in Galapagos

While snorkeling, the tourist is sure to see stingrays, sea turtles and an enormous variety of fish. For instance, stingrays are found close to sandy areas near the shore and sea turtles remain close to seaweed beds.

Reef fish including parrot fish, surgeonfish or colorful wrasses are also frequently seen in Galapagos.

In some cases, hammerhead sharks, penguins, an octopus, booby or sea lions can be encountered. Snorkelers in deeper waters may spot reef sharks, which is the most common specie in Galapagos.

Types of Snorkeling

Snorkeling may be a simple or a challenging experience. For beginners, off-the shore snorkeling is the easiest to perform because you can easily go back to the shore, the currents are not strong and the water is still warm.

Wall swims are used by intermediate snorkelers. These walls protect the snorkeler from currents and winds. And, you can get to see a wide variety of marine species. Some islands, such as Isabela and Genovesa, are excellent for snorkeling.

Deep-water rocks are isolated in the middle of the ocean and are perfect for fine swimmers. The more famous are Devils Crown, Turtle Rock and Kicker Rock. These submerged volcanoes are only reachable via Galapagos cruises or authorized boats.

These snorkelers get to see the greatest underwater species such as sharks, rays, eels, large fish and much more, but you have to be careful since the area has strong currents and the water is much cooler than the one close to the shore.

Gear

Galapagos Cruises rent snorkeling gear. This includes fins, mask, snorkel and wetsuits.

Sizes and quality vary depending on the Galapagos cruise you choose.

Masks must keep the water out and protect your nose

Fins are normally available from sizes 12 or 13. In case you have larger feet, it is best to bring your own.

Snorkel: make sure they allow you to breathe and keep water out.

Wetsuit in luxurious Galapagos cruises are of superior quality and well-maintained.

For those tourists who prefer to bring their own equipment, it is suggested to give it a try to avoid last-minute inconveniences.

It is also a good idea to be informed about the exact gear provided by the Galapagos cruise you choose.

Consult your travel guide before going snorkeling. Do not get into deep waters if you are not a very good swimmer. For photographers, underwater cameras are a must!

Enjoy the unbelievable marine life of Galapagos in one of the best ways possible: snorkeling.