Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

We did two snorkeling trips. Santa Fé from Santa Cruz and Los Tuneles from Isabela… we decided to take the PADI Open Water and Advanced course while on Galapagos, therefore we didn’t go to Kicker Rock from San Christobal (so if you don’t scuba dive, we would recommend Kicker Rock). There is a lot of agencies that offer the same trips, including “Santa Fé” and “Los Tuneles”. The water is cold this time of year, so a wetsuit is necessary or we would highly recommend a long one. How to pick the right agency?

Before picking a agency consider these things to get a good tour: 
(1) try the wetsuits and make sure they have one that fits tight (a lot of places the wetsuits were to big for me, Camilla)
(2) check that they have fins in your size and try them on (if the fins are on the boat you can not be sure, that they have your size – I had the problem, because I have small feet)
(3) ask if the guide speaks a little bit of English or speak fluently English (few guides only speak Spanish)
(4) ask if the guide will take pictures on the tour. A lot of agencies use GoPro cameras and take underwater pictures on the tour, after you can get the pictures on YOUR OWN memory stick – bring one
(5) read online which animals you can see, at the time you are visiting, because the agencies does not always tell the truth (they have a tendency of promising to much)
(6) read online reviews of the agency fx on TripAdvisor
(7) bring your own seasickness pills – just in case. The more prepared agencies usually have extra seasickness pills

Okay all this sounds a little bit negative, but ”YES” you have to go on some tours to see the life underwater – it is amazing

Santa Fé

P8312061_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  P8311820_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

First we was not that impressed over the snorkeling at Santa Fé, but Esben got a few good shots of some colorful fish (the big one is a bluechin parrotfish). Also the water was very clear at the first snorkeling spot, which was great.

P8316022_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  P8316040_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

Out of the blue two sea lions showed up! They were curious and just wanted to play around. They also get really close, but when you think that you are about to collide with the sea lion, it makes a quick turn preventing it from happening. I had a blast! I just loved swimming around with them – the bad thing was, that all the other people on the tour was already back in the boat, just waiting for us – or they were yelling at us, because we had to return to the boat.

P8312100_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  P8312380_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

I did get a shot of Esben – but off course he was busy taking pictures wlEmoticon-camera Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

P8316093_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

With all the hard work that he puts into taking all those picture – it also pays of in the end. When I am writing the blog, it makes me appreciate all the pictures even more. Thank you – love you wlEmoticon-redheart Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

P8312295_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

All tours include lunch and a dry towel (at least the ones we have been on) and maybe a snack. The good thing about visiting Galapagos in the low season, is that the boats are not stuffed with tourists. We could also just book our tours the day before, and pick the tour we wanted, because there was always room. The bad thing is that the sea is rough, at I had to lived on seasickness pills, every time we had to get on a boat for more than 5 minutes.

P8316155_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  P8316157_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

Sailing of and getting one more view of the sea lions, which would not be the last!

DSC04668_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

Not even 5 minutes after sailing for home… a humpback whale shows up. Splashing in the water

DSC04680_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  DSC04695_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  DSC04710_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

Los Tuneles

The snorkeling spot on the tour “Los Tuneles” is not called “Los Tuneles”, but the water is shallow and perfect for snorkeling. Sea turtles come here to feet, and the white tippet reef sharks hide in all the caves.

GOPR4565_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  P9060099_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

We saw so many sea turtles, and it is just amazing how close we could get – this is why we came to Galapagos in the first place wlEmoticon-redheart Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)wlEmoticon-thumbsup Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)wlEmoticon-openmouthedsmile Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

>P9060086_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  P9066256_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

The white tippet reef sharks

P9060127_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  P9060153_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

The Pacific sea horse – The only known oceanic island population occurs around the Galapagos Islands

GOPR4728_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

Esben really likes to take pictures, and a lot of the things he see underwater is through his camera (Olympus TG-5, the newest edition). I feel different… I really like to work together with Esben to get some good photos underwater with him or me together with a turtle. Sometimes I have an idea for a picture, and we try to get the short. I also like not to take pictures, and just focus on the wildlife around me and it is important for me that there is room for both (sometimes Esben don’t agree).

So Esben takes of ready with his camera in his right hand wlEmoticon-camera Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

P9066290_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

At “Los Tuneles” we didn’t see a lot of colorful fish – this is a “Golden Eye Grunt”, but we came for the sea turtles and sharks

P9060128_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  G0171956_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

After the snorkeling we went to the area called “Los Tuneles” (The Cabo Rosa tunnels), I thing you can see how it got its name. The landscape is the result of lava platforms that collapsed into the sea, which created hundreds of lava tunnels and bridges of lava, above and below the water.

P9060169_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  P9060187_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

It is beautiful to sail through the rocky lava landscape, and it is allowed to go on shore

P9060193_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

Here the blue footed booby nest – love the blue feet!

DSC05753_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  DSC05745_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

The boobie’s feet doesn’t get the blue color before they are adults. As you can see on these two pictures of a chick (left picture) and a youth boobie (right picture).

DSC05702_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)  DSC05720_thumb Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

In total we had an amazing tour to “Los Tuneles” with the agency PAHOEHOE, http://pahoehoegalapagos.com/en/pahoehoe-galapagos-islands-tours/. Our guide spoke fluently English and pointed out the Pacific sea horse, chased the white tippet reef shark out of the caves and took some amazing photos. A few of the photos in this post was taken by our guide.

printfriendly-pdf-button Snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles (Santa Fé and Los Tuneles)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.