San Cristobal – Snorkel and Dive Sites

July 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Snorkeling with sea Lions

Snorkeling with Sea Lions

San Cristobal is somewhat unique in Galapagos Islands destinations – unlike the swift waters that can surround Isabela and Santa Cruz, there is little or no around Puerto Baquerizo or some of the most popular Galapagos Diving and snorkel sites.

Just outside of the port itself are the remains of Caragua a WWI German transport ship, this 100-year-old wreck whose sinking gave the bay its name – Wreck Bay.  Today the Caragua is one of the only wreck dives in Galapagos.  The wreck is approximately 300 feet long and you can inspect the ships remains inducing the propellers and boilers.  Today Caragua is a reef-like environment where you can dive with schools of fish, sea lions, sea turtles, marbled rays, yellow snapper and scopionfish among others.

Heading up the coast you’ll reach the ancient and eroded volcanic formation rising out of the ocean to form Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock.  Formed by two rocks reaching a right of just under 500 feet the rocks have the shape of a sleeping lion.  The rocks are home to a variety of birdlife including boobies, frigates, lava gulls and pelicans.

As stunning as the scenery is above the water it is under the water at Kicker Rock where things are really exciting.  A fantastic site for both snorkeling and diving Kicker Rock is home to Eagle Rays, Stingrays, White-Tipped Reef Sharks, Barracuda, Yellowtail Surgeonfish, Juvenile Grunts, Creolefish, Mexican Hogfish, Sea Cucumbers, Blue and Gold Snappers, usually lots of turtles and more.  Seasonally Dolphins and Whales are frequent sites.  In the gap between the two rocks Galapagos Sharks are known to live where as along the backside of the rock hammerheads are frequently seen.

Continuing up the coast of San Cristobal you’ll reach a sandy isolte known as Isla Lobos.  The walk on this Island can only be done with a licensed naturalist guide and allows you to see the nesting grounds for both blue-footed boobies and frigate birds.  Yet the reason most people come to Isla Lobos is to swim with the playful sea lion pups.  Isla Lobos is noted for the friendliest sea lions in all of Galapagos.  The pups here eagerly await the arrival of new playmates in the form or tourists.  These frolicking and barking ‘dogs of the sea’ love to swim up to you give you a small kiss then swim away waiting for you to chase them.  They will swim circles around you swim underneath you then turn to stare you straight in the eye awaiting for you to join in the fun.  Giant Mantas, fish and sea turtles are also common surrounding Isla Lobos – however the sea lions are the stars of the show.

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